Live Client: Holiday Barn Pet Resorts

After our team presented to our client in Fall 2018, we were asked to represent to the larger corporate team. We also received an email from our client in January to let us know that Holiday Barn Pet Resorts had implemented some of our recommendations to kick off the new year.

The Ask:

Give new life to the customer experience.


More than ever before, pets are no longer viewed as just pets. Our pets are active members of the family. These strong bonds between owners and their pets have led them to being more cautious and aware of the choices they make for their “children.” One of the biggest pain points for pet owners is deciding what to do with their pets when they go out of town or go on vacation. The process of leaving a pet somewhere unfamiliar or new is filled with a lot of doubt, anxiety and guilt. Pet owners are overwhelmed with the options they are faced with and, in general, don’t even consider boarding facilities due to the poor reputation and bad press that surround these care facilities. In order for pet owners to feel like they have made the right decision for their pets by choosing a boarding facility, they need to feel like everything about the facility meets their own personal standards of care.


After analyzing both Holiday Barn locations, going through the enrolling process and testing the current customer experience for ourselves, we found that the experience at Holiday Barn did a great job of emphasizing the importance of the pet, but did not make the decision easy for the owner. Potential customers were faced with way too many options and handouts they couldn’t decipher on their own and the digital presence was very outdated. Overall, the human experience was too long, too confusing and too inconvenient for new and returning customers.


Improve the human experience during the consideration process.

Our solutioN:

In order to make the overall experience better for the pet owner we broke down our recommendations into two buckets – ways to remove the human pain points and ways to alleviate the guilt pet owners feel when leaving their pets.

To remove the human pain points, we streamlined the entire booking process to make it easier and quicker. We condensed marketing handouts from ten sheets to one double sided handout by breaking down the descriptions to the main points and making an á la carte menu with options to choose from the most popular packages. We improved the web experience by adding better descriptions of each package, a chat function, a sign-in feature and an online reservation system for booking. The reservation feature includes a quiz that reduces the physical sheets employees have to fill out during the enrollment phase and allows customers to create an online profile for future bookings. 

In order to alleviate the guilt, we also created tactics to better communicate their business strengths to the Richmond community. This meant refocusing their social media posts to leverage their partnerships, employees and community involvement. We also recommended holding events in the area to showcase their involvement in the community such as proceeds nights to benefit their non-profit partners and Holiday Barn branded grocery store activations that would feature a peel to heal display showing before and after pictures of animals who are abused and/or abandoned but then are rescued and saved by non-profit animal shelters. These boards encourage people going into grocery stores to shop in-store for canned pet foods and pet supplies that count as donations to non-profits in Richmond, but also showcase the good these businesses do to save the lives of many dogs and cats in need.

TEAM MEMBERS: Ryan Conner (CBM), Mark Gozzo (CBM), Viviana Molina-Burbano (CBM), Rachel Street (CBM), Sally Zhang (CBM). Illustrations done by Ariana Safari (AD).