Marketing Effectively to Pet Lovers
More Americans have pets than ever before.
And we’re spending more money on them, too.
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 65% of U.S. household own a pet. That’s almost 80 million households.
Slightly more of us have dogs than cats. But the total number of homes with pets has increased about 10% since the APPA started its annual survey back in 1988.
With more of us choosing to live with pets, it makes sense that we as a country are throwing more money at our animals. APPA estimates that pet spending reached an all-time high in 2015, surpassing $60 billion.
That’s a lot of food, toys and visits to the vet, daycare and groomer for Felix and Fido.
It’s also a tempting situation for anyone looking to start a business or tap into a different market. But it’s not like pets are just shedding money. In fact, with so much growth in the industry, it’s becoming harder for brands to stand out.
My love for dogs and the opportunity for growth in the pet industry is part of what inspired me to start Beer Paws, a dog treats and accessories business, back in 2013.
One reason my company continues to grow: strategic brand positioning.
There are 77.8 million owned dogs in the U.S. But, let’s face it, they aren’t all going to eat my treats.
Knowing this, I zeroed in on a specific type of customer right from the start – dog owners who also enjoy adult beverages.
Serving a niche has made it easier to brand my company with a unique and memorable identity, connect authentically with my customers and spend marketing dollars wisely.
Plenty of companies do this and reach pet lovers on a much larger scale.
Subaru is one of my favorite examples of a non-pet industry brand that thoughtfully and effectively markets to pet owners. The carmaker knows that a huge percentage of its customers are dog owners. As a result, Subaru tailors its advertising and marketing efforts to reach that demographic.
That includes hilarious TV and online ads, charitable efforts within the pet rescue community and even promotional products.
The key to Subaru’s success is authenticity. Just check out the Subaru Loves Pets campaign for proof.