Dog of a brand came together gradually

Dog of a brand came together gradually

ST. JOSEPH — After branding his company as The Roofing Dog, Cory Swanson saw revenues shoot up dramatically.

But the canine campaign for Swanson Roofing came together piecemeal.

Swanson began using The Roofing Dog brand in 2007 and 2008, after leaving his teaching job to focus on expanding the business.

"In this short span, the business saw a growth of more than 122 percent, from $450,000 to just over $1 million of annual revenue," according to information the company submitted in its nomination for Small Business of the Year.

In 2009, Swanson Roofing saw its revenue jump again, to just over $2 million, the nomination said.

The dog theme developed in stages.

Swanson said when he left teaching, he knew he needed a logo for the business and considered a bulldog. About that time, he got a letter from a man in Wisconsin offering use of a dog logo.

Swanson arranged to use the logo and started calling his company The Roofing Dog, using as its website. The advertising campaign grew to include creative commercials.

He said the ideas for the commercials "come from within the family" and the campaign got a strong reaction from kids.

His wife, Melissa, went online to find a "Roofing Dog" costume and found one made in China that resembled the logo. Some of Swanson Roofing's "smaller workers" wear the costume at promotional and charitable events, he added.

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