Building Brand Personality, One Slobbery Kiss at a Time

Meet Pier B’s Brand Ambassador

It’s a Friday afternoon in Duluth, MN. The Pier B Resort Hotel staff is gearing up for a busy summer weekend before the rush of eager vacationers start rolling in. One employee, in particular, ensures his trading cards are replenished, his bed is fluffed, and his handler has enough Bacon Beggin’ Strips for his shift.

As guests enter the lobby, you can see their faces light up and before you know it, strangers become instant best friends with him. He greets guests with a wagging tail, big smile, and loving eyes — something they’re likely used to at home, which gives them a sense of “home away from home”.

Who is this employee you ask? Tugboat. Tug is a handsome, service certified British Fox Red Labrador and the official Pier B Brand Ambassador.


A dog as a brand ambassador? Why a dog?

According to the National Pet Owners Survey, 67% of U.S. households own a pet, the majority dogs. On top of that, the number of owners traveling with their pets is at an all-time high. Pier B stepped up to meet this demand in a unique way. They are one of the few dog-friendly hotels in the Duluth area and, with the addition of Tug, they’ve taken that title to a whole new level.

“People love him and stop by just to say hi to him, or it’s the first thing guests ask about when they arrive. He really makes people feel at home and comfortable,” said Nikki Anderson, Tug’s handler and Director of Operations at Pier B.

How does Tug add to Pier B’s brand personality? He created an identity for guests to interact with and relate to. Tug engages their audience, captures their interest, and draws them into their message. It’s important to give your brand a persona that truly resonates with people and what better way to accomplish that than through a man’s best friend.


We’ve captured Pier B’s brand personality through Tug’s eyes. From collateral pieces like trading cards, to social media campaigns and contests — the possibilities are endless. The proof is in the pudding — brands that incorporate animals, specifically dogs, to their content mix naturally see a surge in engagement, interaction, and brand advocacy that creates overall winning content.

It’s safe to say, Tug has turned human guests and #TugsBuds guests into loyal, brand advocates.