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Willow’s Journey: From Shelter to Forever Home

Willow spent her first week of 2024 lost before coming into Sydney Dogs & Cats Home. At 12 years old, this golden oldie should have been spending her days relaxing in her home, not in a shelter. Willow was safely off the streets and happily spending her days snoozing and going on walks with staff and volunteers and making doggy friends.

While Willow was a happy dog and in good spirits, she had dental disease and needed some teeth extracted to reduce any pain and discomfort and she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in her hips and hind legs. Willow underwent surgery to remove the affected teeth and was put on medication to help with the osteoarthritis. Willow spent the next few weeks in the shelter recovering and becoming the office dog during the hot summer days, basking in the cool AC.

It wasn’t long before Willow caught the eye of Sarah-Jane and her family who brought Willow home at the end of February. Sarah-Jane sent an update recently and has commented on how wonderful Willow has slotted into her new family’s home and lives, “it’s as if she has been here all along!”

Willow has been quite fond of Sarah-Jane, sleeping next to her bed and under the desk while she is working. Willow has become fond of dinner time, parking herself in the kitchen amongst the action.

Apart from spending time with her humans and dinner time, Willow enjoys her twice daily walks and visiting the pet supply store for new treats and squeaky toys, and always receives a lot of love when out and about.

We’re so happy to see a senior dog like Willow receiving the love she deserves.

If you are looking to add a furry friend to your life, consider an older pet who still has so much love to give.


Published April 2024




INSIGHTS: Evaluating Your Brand’s Vital Signs

How to Conduct a Brand Health Check for Your Business

Your brand is more than just a logo or a product—it’s the essence of your business and the perception that consumers have of it. Just like regular check-ups are essential for maintaining good physical health, conducting a brand health check is crucial for ensuring the long-term success and vitality of your business.

Whether, like some of partners, you are all across this or even if this is all new to you, it’s a good reminder to set aside essential time to health check your brand.

Here are some of the key steps involved in evaluating your brand’s health and diagnosing areas for improvement.

1. Define Your Brand Objectives and Metrics: Start by clearly defining what success looks like for your brand. Establish specific objectives, such as increasing brand awareness, improving customer loyalty, or expanding into new markets. Identify measurable metrics that align with these objectives, such as brand sentiment, customer satisfaction scores, or market share.

2. Assess Brand Perception: Gather feedback from key stakeholders, including customers, employees, and industry experts, to understand how your brand is perceived. Conduct surveys, interviews, and focus groups to gauge brand awareness, perception, and associations. Analyse online reviews, social media mentions, and customer feedback to identify strengths and weaknesses in brand perception.

3. Evaluate Brand Identity and Visual Assets: Review your brand’s visual elements, including logos, color palettes, typography, and imagery, to ensure consistency and alignment with your brand values and positioning. Assess how well these elements reflect your brand personality and resonate with your target audience. Consider conducting a brand audit to identify inconsistencies or areas for improvement.

4. Examine Brand Messaging and Communication: Evaluate the clarity, consistency, and relevance of your brand messaging across all touchpoints, including marketing materials, website content, social media posts, and customer communications. Assess whether your messaging effectively communicates your brand values, benefits, and unique selling proposition. Repetition and simplicity in your messaging is key to your target audience hearing you. Identify any messaging gaps or opportunities for refinement.

5. Analyse Brand Engagement and Customer Experience: Assess the quality of the customer experience at every touchpoint, from initial brand interaction to post-purchase support. Measure customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy through metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS) and customer retention rates. Identify pain points in the customer journey and opportunities to enhance brand engagement and loyalty.

6. Aligning with Partners of Shared Values: Evaluate partnerships and collaborations with organisations that share your brand values and contribute positively to your brand image. For example, aligning with a charity like Sydney Dogs & Cats Home not only demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility and will attract and retain engaged staff, but also enhances brand perception among consumers who value animal welfare. Assess the effectiveness of these partnerships in reinforcing your brand values and reaching your target audience.

7. Benchmark Against Competitors: Compare your brand performance against competitors within your industry to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Analyse competitor positioning, messaging, visual identity, and customer perceptions to identify areas where your brand can differentiate and improve.

8. Develop an Action Plan: Based on your brand health assessment, prioritise areas for improvement and develop a comprehensive action plan. Set specific goals, strategies, and tactics for addressing identified weaknesses and capitalising on strengths. Assign responsibilities, allocate resources, and establish timelines for implementation.

I know this is topline and it’s simply meant to be food for thought. Think of it as a reminder to not let your brand health needs become overwhelming. Simply make a start in looking at some of the above. Conducting a brand health check is essential for ensuring that your brand remains relevant, competitive, and resilient in today’s marketplace.

By regularly evaluating key aspects of your brand, identifying areas for improvement, and taking proactive steps to enhance brand health, you can strengthen customer relationships, drive business growth, and position your brand for long-term success. Remember, a healthy brand is a valuable asset that requires ongoing care and attention.

Hope this helps! If you have ideas or steps you’ve taken that have helped your brand, then please share and we can include them in the next newsletter. Email me on

Thank you,


Karen Kalpage

Head of Fundraising and Marketing

Sydney Dogs & Cats Home

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