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October 05, 2015

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Dog helps roofing business succeed

While Energizer batteries had the "Energizer Bunny" and Geico had the "Geico Pig," a South Florida-based roofing company has "Jake, The Best Roofing Mascot."

"Roof! Roof!" Get it? The boxer dog has a few more friends. They call themselves "Team Best Roofing." And they have an Instagram account. Kathleen Lowe, the company's marketing vice president, came up with the idea.

The dog, now an advertising character and social media accessory, is on everything from signs to company uniforms.

"Let' put Jake on a business card or let's put Jake on the side of the truck," Gregg Wallick, of Best Roofing. " And before I knew it, Jake was like on the side of everything."

At the company's office, 4995 NW 77th Ave., in the Doral neighborhood, the safety signs read "Don't Blow Up Jake."

Marketing expert John Condon told Forbes that highly-recognizable characters can help engage customers and help the company stand out in a crowded market place.

"When you have an iconic character, it makes what can be a difficult transition for a brand that much easier," he said in the 2008 Forbes interview. "Wrapped in that icon is the point of view, the purpose and the values of the brand all short-handed in an easy and familiar way."

Zachary Wallick, vice president of Best Roofing, said half-jokingly that he attributes increases in revenue mostly to Jake. And despite that, Jake has yet to ask him to re-negotiate his contract.

"I'd give Jake about 80 percent of that," the company vice-president said. "And I'll take 20 of it."