When we first met Todd and Darcy, owners of Puppy Auto Wash, they were just starting their journey of opening their 24/7 dog washing business. They were referred to us by one of our clients. During the first meeting, we all hit the ground running. Since we are
all dog people, the ideas started flowing with all the possibilities for marketing and branding that's cohesive, practical, and relatable to pet owners.
Olivia & Arien: Who is Puppy Auto Wash?
Todd & Darcy: We are a locally owned, family-run self-service dog wash business available conveniently 24hrs a day to accommodate any schedule and almost any pet. This business allowed us to bring together our life-long love of dogs with our knowledge of business and interest in technology.
Olivia & Arien: What do you mean by technology?
Todd & Darcy: Puppy Auto Wash leverages a K9000 pet wash machine that enables a pet owner to wash their pet comfortably at waist height using all-natural products - shampoo, conditioner, and flea treatment - that all come out of the spray nozzle to keep it super simple for the washer. The manufacturer really thought of everything! These cool machines are made here in North Carolina outside of Wilmington in Leland, NC. We love the conditioner for our own dog with dry skin. He doesn't scratch anymore and both dogs are super soft. Yes, we tested these machines before ever investing! The machine also has a blow dryer so you can dry your pet. And finally, it's affordable at $10 for 10min, which is plenty of time for a medium-sized dog.
You can add time by the minute as needed for larger dogs or dogs with a heavy undercoat. So, in short, it's a self-service dog wash that's convenient, affordable, and all-natural.
And finally, we carry a selection of American-made treats, toys, leashes, and collars!
Olivia & Arien: Why did you choose to start a business during a pandemic?
Todd & Darcy: Great question, well, we were already convinced of the business and had been studying the real estate market for a while. Then COVID hit and this perfect location opened at the end of the year, adjacent to the Dog Park at Hunter Street and walking distance to several neighborhoods and downtown Apex. That said, we had to really think about the business value to our customers. One of the pros for this business is that it's self-serve, no appointment, and in-expensive.
The more we thought about it our business was very COVID friendly and maybe even necessary for our neighbors who are at home more these days with pets and there are even more puppies around given COVID adoption fever. So, we went for it!
Olivia & Arien: Who is your target audience?
Todd & Darcy: Pet owners! In the beginning, we thought it was only for people who didn't take their pets to a groomer. But we've learned it's really any pet owner and great for in-between grooming’s to keep dogs from getting matted which often results in shaving at the next grooming appointment. It's for people who want to move dog washing from their house to our business. Dog washing is a messy operation leaving hair all over the sink or tub and a wet dog running around the house. It's also, for folks who don't like scheduling (like Darcy!). We've learned this machine is so friendly to use it's really for anyone! Whether it's in-between grooming's or just washing off from the dog park Puppy Auto Wash is here.
So, our target audience is any pet owner who is looking to wash their pets conveniently on their schedule with all-natural products and leave the pet hair in our machines!
Olivia & Arien: Have you considered partnering with the Apex Police Department's K9 Division? Maybe offer Rocky and Zeus unlimited washes! Or get involved in the Torch Run?
Todd & Darcy: That was a great idea! We view our local business like any other here to serve the community. By the way, we did contact Apex Police. They came for a visit and Jordy loved the machine. We are finalizing plans to support The Torch Run with Quarterly fundraisers. Such a great cause!
Olivia & Arien: What do you think is key to our partnership?
Todd & Darcy: You all met us where we were on our start-up journey. We had a fair idea of what we wanted, and you took the time to listen and came back with a list of ideas that covered a broad scope. We were all candid about budget and goals arriving at a reasonable go-to-market strategy with targets. Especially in these uncertain times, you must set goals and expectations to stay on track.
Collaboration is key in this partnership. The team at Promotional Partners was able to develop a logo for Puppy Auto Wash that incorporated the paw created by Todd & Darcy's daughter! From there, we were able to help select and design signage, floor mats, business cards, and interior logoed items for a consistent image inside and out. We also, developed a brand guide to help them keep a consistent look across all mediums moving forward.