Written by Jennifer Melton, co-founder
Call it divine inspiration, a stroke of good luck, the mind working in mysterious ways, or a series of events leading to a conclusion. Whatever you call it, I see it as the solution to a problem. Dynamo Dog is the latest creation from Cloud Star. The product hit store shelves this month, but it has been a work in progress in our office for several years! This is the story behind the story… the idea behind Dynamo Dog, and what it took to move that idea from conception to execution.
Three years ago, as my beloved dog Samantha grew older, her age really started to show. To help her health and provide her extra energy, I started giving her various supplements with her daily meals. For a while she was a good sport and willingly ate them thinking they were cookies (but that might have been because I told her they were!). Samantha caught onto my tricks pretty fast though. I tried mixing them into her food, but she would turn her nose at that. Masking them with treats was not very successful either since she somehow could still spit the pill out! When she saw me go for the pill bottle she went running! That’s when there was an “ah ha” moment. I decided that there had to be a better way to give Samantha the supplements that she needed daily. Why couldn’t the supplements be concealed in a tasty treat? And that was the initial spark of Dynamo Dog (although, at the time it the product didn’t yet have a name!)
This was the start of our adventure to create a new treat. We had an idea to solve a problem, but what would it look like? What would the ingredients include? What would we call it? How would it fit into the confusing world of label regulations? These and so many more questions quickly filled my mind. We decided to sit down and look at the ingredients available. We asked ourselves, in addition to a specific vitamin or mineral, what fruits, vegetables, or herbs could be used to support the daily functions? We researched so many different ingredients, searching for the ones that were safe and could be beneficial. We reached out to a holistic veterinarian for help in formulating the product. And that’s when things really started to take shape. We began creating combinations of ingredients that were perfect for specific functions such as Hip and Joint, Skin and Coat, and Tummy support. Every ingredient was carefully chosen to work well together to really target the problem.
Now that we had the beginning of a formula, this new product needed a name. (I like quiet meditative time to ponder product names. Brennan prefers a room filled with Pink Floyd and colored markers – and he insists that the Pink Floyd has to be LOUD! As you can imagine, we usually work independently in this stage, then come together with the rest of the team for sharing). I remember staring at the whiteboard full of names in our conference room one morning and just feeling overwhelmed. We had every word and combination of word that you can imagine. There were some lively discussions over a few names that were contenders, but most were tossed out for one reason or another. Eventually the list began to shrink, until we had just a few favorites. It was important to find a name that described the treat, gave it life, and created an impression. After much debate, Dynamo Dog stood out from the rest. We were happy with Dynamo Dog, but that’s not the end of the naming story.
With baited breath, Brennan handed the proposed name over to our intellectual property attorneys for full clearance. This is always a tenuous and tedious task, but one that Brennan enjoys being part of (so I gladly let him do it!). The initial results all came back positive, but we wouldn’t know for months later if there would be any real objections. So we moved on with other aspects of product development while waiting for full IP clearance.
So now we had a treat and a tentative name, but what would it look like and how would it be packaged? Assuming that the Dynamo Dog name would be approved, we charged forward and enlisted the help of an artist to create the dog sketches on the packaging. She designed a series of dogs that really helped the functions take shape. It was exactly what we were looking for, and the remainder of the packaging was essentially created around the sketches.
Onward to the marketing approach. Dynamo became an inspiration, a way of life for a dog. It started with pencil and paper: story board sketches for what a dynamo dog might look like and what it meant to be a dynamo. Our long-time photographer made those sketches come to life in photography (we never use stock images). We created imagery and advertising that showed every dog could be a Dynamo Dog. We were creating an overall plan that tied everything together from the treat itself to the packaging and the overall message.
About the time the packaging and imagery were finalized, we received final clearance on the Dynamo Dog product name. Thank goodness! If that had fallen through, it would have been back to the drawing board (quite literally!). Artwork was finalized, packaging was ordered, and we were on our way towards a successful product launch.
You might think from reading this that Dynamo Dog was easy to create, that it fell together just so perfectly. Well, I would be lying if I said that! There were challenges along the way and speed bumps of all sorts, but it was all possible because there was a dedicated team working together behind the scenes for a long time to bring it to life. This is why I am truly excited about Dynamo, because when I look at the finished product I don’t just see another treat, I see our story of the challenges we faced and overcame to create a treat to help everyone’s dog.
Tell us, how is your dog a Dynamo Dog?
What is Wag More Wednesday? Some ideas are simple, while others are more deep and meaningful. Is it something that simply makes you smile? Is it a simple solution to a difficult problem? Or is it a philosophy and way of life? I want to share ways that we are wagging more each week and hope you can find reason and inspiration in your own life to do the same. Each week on Wag More Wednesday I hope to bring new suggestions on ways that you too can Wag More Bark Less.