What About Bunny, The Dog That Talks to 5M+ Followers
The Dog with 5M+ on TikTok and two product lines
Today’s article is about something different. Very different. Like not even human.
It’s about this 1 year old giant Sheepdoodle named Bunny.
So Who is bunny and why is today’s edition focused on a dog?
Well, this dog is no ordinary man or woman’s best friend, this dog can talk. Bunny uses buttons to communicate and can speak full-on sentences. Here’s a TikTok showcasing Bunny’s incredible talents in arguably the most wholesome content ever.
Bunny has many of these videos whether its asking Mom to go outside or saying phrases and sometimes full-on sentences.
But let’s take a step back and look at Bunny’s family and how the dog began talking.
Bunny is owned by Alexis Devine who has been teaching Bunny to “talk” using the buttons you see on the ground. Alexis was originally inspired by Christine Hunger, a speech pathologist who had taught her dog to talk in five word sentences. She turned to the buttons when she saw Christine’s dog and wanted to adapt a similar model to see if Bunny would be able to communicate by remembering where the buttons are and step on the right phrase or word.
How Does Bunny Talk?
Well, the buttons are organized like a keyboard.
Each button corresponds to a certain word or phrase and Alexis’ theory is that Bunny memorizes them. Just like a human keyboard where kids memorize the orientation and then are incredibly efficient at typing, the concept is the same for the buttons for Bunny. It just happens that Bunny has over 100 buttons to memorize and walk thru while humans only have about 50-60 buttons on a given keyboard. You can learn more about how Bunny talks with the button keyboard here.
Similar to how humans can type without looking at the keyboard or how musicians play piano without looking at keys, there is most likely a connection between Bunny and her buttons that uses memory association with phrases.
But Bunny and Mom (Alexis) didn’t stop at just making TikToks, they also became the face of the buttons for marketing and then launched Bunny merch as well. Diversifying and offering a sale off of attention is crucial to any business and Alexis capitalized on the attention she has been getting.
Capitalizing on Bunny’s following, Alexis launched Bunny merch priced very well at $25 for tops with the 1 year old Sheepdoodle as the main part of the shirt. However, she didn’t stop there. Some of the videos have Bunny say some pretty common sayings and only in the Bunny way. From shirts, she expanded to jewelry, masks and stickers.
A very smart move when people with dogs want to represent the beloved pup as well as support Alexis in making more content they love. You can buy merch here at https://www.whataboutbunny.com/shop-all
But what about the buttons?
How to Buy the Buttons
The buttons in effect are Bunny’s competitive moat. In the world of business, investors mainly ask businesses about what their moat is. In other words, what makes them different than everyone else? What can keep out the competition?
For Bunny, it’s the buttons. The buttons are the secret sauce that not only lets Bunny talk but also creates a competitive advantage. Yes, others can now buy the buttons but the muscle memory, the word association, the knowledge that Bunny has learnt, all of it is the competitive advantage. That moat is what keeps people coming back to watch Bunny vs. other dogs and what people love about Bunny.
So, Alexis took the moat and flipped it on its head. Why not supply the hardware to the public and sell it? In fact, the buttons were not made by Alexis, so why not create an affliate link where people can support Bunny but also support the original creators of the buttons? That’s exactly what she did.
The buttons are called HexTiles and they come from a company called FluentPet which helps all dogs learn how to talk thru their buttons. Through an affliate link, Alexis and Bunny get paid a small commission on any orders.
This is the affliate link to FluentPet if you want to teach your pet to learn (and support Bunny along the way)
So, that’s merch and a bit about what makes Bunny different, now let’s take a look at growth.
Bunny TikTok Growth
Let’s look at Tiktok as it’s the main channel where Bunny’s videos are posted.
Bunny (well Mom mostly, idk if Bunny has opposable thumbs to post on TikTok, but very possible) has uploaded 235 videos to TikTok, amassed over 100M likes and 5.6M followers on the platform in a little under 5 months.
Bunny’s first upload came on June 22nd, 2020. Since then, steady uploads have led to exponential growth over a short amount of time.
It’s not just uploads and consistency that has helped Bunny gain a massive following, it’s a crucial combination of content that people crave. (try saying that 5 times fast).
When it comes to dog content, there is a ton of content that is labeled as cute, but there is no content that is consistent where dogs are doing more than “just cute things”. That’s what sets Bunny apart and why the likes have also passed 100M cumulatively.
The last thing we’ll look at is follower growth. Follower growth on TikTok is a bit different than other platforms but the best thing is that views go up on all videos typically as most users see a video on the For You Page and then sometimes see a few more after clicking on the profile. From there, it’s up to them on whether to follow or not but chances are if they like 3-4 videos, they’re going to follow.
For Bunny, this is exactly the case and the following has been matched and accelerated with some publicity. Bunny passed 1M followers pretty quickly after about a month or so and has grown drastically over the last few months. There wasn’t necessarily one video that led to Bunny growing like crazy, but it’s a combination of consistent videos with the same format but different storylines. To viewers, Bunny is familiar and the premise of the video is “what is Bunny going to say” and that curiosity builds into the reason for people to follow. Now Bunny is almost at 6M followers and growing as of December 6th, 2020.
Over the last week, there’s been multiple days where Bunny has gained 100K+ followers. The green number on the left is follow growth and the other green number is likes. I also think the averages are interesting to look at. Over the last 30 days, 1.3M followers and a daily average growth of almost 50K. There’s some correlation between followers and likes that you can see, but the most interesting and takeaway point is the 60 uploads (the green number on the far bottom right) in 30 days.
That consistency of uploading (at least 2x a day) consistently is what leads to follower growth especially when you have a built in premise for people to watch new content. For Bunny, that consistency along with cuteness along with a unique differentiator is why you should follow and that’s exactly why I follow the account.
Any creator must diversify across different incomes to make a living. Bunny is a dog, but Alexis (mom) is the mastermind behind the operation and has built a business behind Bunny that is absolutely fantastic. Consistency in content and merch launches have made it so that people not only recognize the dog but also are interested in buying and supporting the pup.
Only time will tell where this pup goes with learning the beautiful world of language, but Bunny is only a 1 year old pup right now and the future is bright and beaming.
Bunny only has one ask of you, to follow her wherever life takes her.
This is the fourth edition of the Creator’s Digest.
I’ll dive deep into a single creator on a weekly basis and look at things like their schedule, business model, and provide some links on their content.
This is an ever-changing experiment and my first take at long-form writing, so please if you have any feedback, feel free to DM me on any platform @shardulgo and please subscribe below.