IMMERSION IN PET OWNER RESEARCH AND DETERMINING THAT COMPASSION SUPERSEDED EXPERTISE ALLOWED US TO CREATE A PARENT BRAND THAT SUCCESSFULLY SHEPHERDED AND EMPOWERED A FAMIILY OF EMERGENCY AND SPECIALTY VETERINARY HOSPITALS.
Compassion-First Case Study
Q: How do you help create and develop a parent brand that ensures continued growth of 40 emergency and specialty veterinary hospital locations all organized under one roof?
A: You determine a point of difference so important and true to pet owners that it elevates you and your family of brands far above your competition, with no looking back.
In order to develop and sell an emergency and specialty veterinarian parent company, we needed to identify a unique benefit that would differentiate and elevate the company and its entire family of brands. As locally owned and operated hospitals, it was imperative that we apply that benefit to each brand while honoring their individual personalities and qualities through highly organized and sophisticated marketing efforts.
After conducting exhaustive research across the U.S., we determined that pet owners didn’t care about how much you knew, until they knew how much you cared. While pet owners wanted to know vet specialists were providing the best medical care possible, the trust came by way of being kind, good listeners, good communicators and compassionate to the core.
1. Developed a parent brand, Compassion-First Pet Hospitals that was unconditionally guided by its namesake. Created marketplace differentiation in the veterinary medicine industry by offering the most humane, kind, and compassionate practices, along with the best medical treatment available.
2. Worked carefully to champion the culture and equity of individual local hospitals, allowing them to “stay local” while still infusing the larger brand message of the parent brand. Knowing that acquiring hospitals would be easiest when prospective owners didn’t feel that their local brand equity would be tossed aside, we provided rebrands and/or refreshes to 18 of these businesses.
3. Empowered and supported each of the 40+ local hospitals initially acquired by Compassion-First with the marketing power and sophistication of a national brand to help attract more traffic to their hospitals—including both vet referrals and pet owner clients.
In 2019, JAB, a major private equity group, purchased Compassion-First for more than $1.2 billion (growth almost 20 times the value of Compassion-First in 2015)
Enabled Compassion-First to acquire 40+ hospitals in just 5 years, scaling from 4 brands to 28
Managed the brand merger as Compassion-First Pet Hospitals merged with NVA in 2020, which created NVA Compassion-First Pet Hospitals, with now over 1,300 local hospitals
Unbound embraced my vision and helped create and ultimately launch a brand successful beyond all expectations.