David Roberts is the curious founder of an enterprise with origins in the depths of Cornwall. A decade ago, he created the Chicken Hotel, a selection of guest coops for chickens, so that their owners could go on holiday and relax in the knowledge that their chickens would not only be safe from predation but would be in the most caring of hands!

Sadly, David had to leave his beloved Chicken Hotel behind when he moved to Salisbury, but his desire to help people have more chickens in their lives lived on.

“Why?” you might ask?

Well, if you have chickens, you’ll know they’re fun to be around, immediately dissolve the rigours of a stressful day and, of course, lay eggs.

“Niche!” you might say....!

Not as niche as you might think! 1,4000,000 households in the UK have a pet chicken! A number growing at 200,000 per year.

“Really, holidays?” you might joust in a final cry of intrigue!?

Yes, chickens aren’t that straightforward to look after. You have to wake them up, put them down, watch out for broodiness, fend off foxes, feed them, cuddle them, avoid avian flu… There’s just a lot that can happen to your pet chicken!

That was enough for STANCE to leap into action in both a brand creation and startup advisory role, along with Ian McCaig of Fiit.tv and Hugo Bailey, the interim CTO.

Brand strategy for Betsy

After having mulled over ideas concerning sustainability, ‘farm-to-table food’, hen welfare and even ‘adventures with chickens’ we decided the motivational force behind Betsy was in fact ‘happiness’.

Our belief

A happy chicken makes a happy home.

Our mission

To make sure that pet chicken owners are always within easy reach of exceptional holiday care for their feathered friends.

Our vision

We see a world where pet care for chickens rivals the cat and dog industry.

A word on Betsy's brand’s vision

Have you seen the brands popping up for the dog and cat industry? Finn, Rover and Wag were all leading inspirations for us, providing benchmarks for how strong we can make Betsy as a brand. (You can see more STANCE mission and vision statements here.)

Creating a brand name for Betsy

Spoiler alert: The name is Betsy! But at this point STANCE began to collaborate with the creative masterminds of Alex Johnson and Kenji Smith, from naming brainstorm through to creative brand identity execution. For the brainstorm, we followed the process outlined in the STANCE naming guide, with a few extra chicken-focused quirks.

Ian was adamant that today’s startups should have a one-word name. The shortlisted brand names were:

  • Flock
  • Betsy
  • Roostly

As we started exploring the visual identity, Betsy and her mascot bubbled up to the top as the favoured and most trademarkable name. The previous name, The Chicken Hotel, would form part of the Betsy vernacular, describing the various residences on Betsy.

Creating a visual identity for Betsy

Welcome to Betsy

Betsy herself would become a core asset to the brand. Originally, we had speckles of egg markings appearing too, but throughout the waves of refinement, we had to say goodbye to these.

In losing speckles, we gained an additional typeface: Nib would be the brand voice whereas Verveine would be Betsy’s voice, adding humour and happiness to the brand.

A brand launching for Betsy in SW England

At the time of writing, we’re frantically adding the earliest adopters to Betsy, creating their listings so that they can go live for bookings this year.

To drive traffic, STANCE helped create a lead generation website, along with a presence on Instagram, Linked and Facebook.

Betsy IG

Together with David, we would send ads asking people to register their interest in either hosting or becoming a customer. We have also designed a downloadable chicken naming guide, as there are 100s of funny chicken names out there that we just had to share.

Betsy naming guide

Do you have pet chickens?

If you have chickens? Do you refer to them by name? Go check out Betsy and become one of the inaugural customers once we go live.

Here’s where to join Betsy’s flock on social media. Facebook | Linked In | Instagram.

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