Dogs are awesome. They’re always excited to see you, and a simple treat is all it takes to make them super happy. If only running a business worked the same way!

But what if it could? It may be as simple as becoming familiar with the concept of dog food marketing.

Dog Food Marketing (noun) –
when the users of a product aren’t the decision markers, or target market

Think about it this way. Your dog is technically the consumer of the product, whether it be treats, food, squeaky toys, or poop bags. However, their owner (the customer) is the one digging into their wallet and paying for the products. The target market ultimately isn’t the end user. It’s a weird marketing conundrum!

Whether you work in the pet food industry, real estate, or at a trendy downtown boutique, you can still use the dog food marketing strategy to see growth. Here’s how!

#1:  Know the difference between your consumer and your customer

The dog is the consumer and the owner is the customer. This differentiation exists in not only dog food marketing, but in other industries as well. For instance, if you buy promotional products, like t-shirts and water bottles, you’re the customer, but the person receiving your merch is the consumer.

You should always design your products around what your consumer will want. They are your target market, even though they’re not your buyers. The good news is your buyers are more than willing to shell out cash if your products are good enough for whoever they’re buying for (aka your target market).

55% of people would pay more for a better experience when working with a company.

#2:  Use healthy ingredients

Dogs are given the best of the best when it comes to food. Their owners care about the healthiness and quality of the ingredients and want to provide their pets with something that’s both nutritious and delicious.

You don’t have to necessarily work in dog food marketing, or even food, to benefit from this idea. “Healthy ingredients” can be anything you’re doing to make the world a better place or improve the well-being of your customers, whether it’s on a global scale through green manufacturing efforts or on a local one with things like community outreach.

66% of global consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable goods.

#3:  Put the right amount of value on product packaging

People who own dogs might go to a store and grab a bag of treats simply because they look cute. They might even see canned food on a shelf, spot a pot roast smothered in gravy on one of the cans, and buy that one for Fido just because the roast looks tasty.

Your packaging, no matter what you sell, can also feature some kind of enticing “roast.” The package should be not only eye-catching and unique, but hint at what’s waiting inside. It’s the best way to encourage people to choose your products over others.

72% of American consumers say their purchasing decision is influenced by the packaging design.

#4:  Offer the best price

Dog owners will not spend a ton of money on products for their pooch. They will look online or go store to store to ensure what they buy is within their budget.

Remember, people aren’t made of money. You should be reasonable about how much you’re charging for your products and services, no matter what it is you’re selling. Sure, you want to make a profit, but you should never channel an evil corporate overlord and focus only on the dollar signs to make it happen. Be fair with your prices!

85% of consumers believe the price needs to be right before they will shop.

Final Thoughts

The pet food industry generates $30 billion in annual retail sales in the United States, so it’s definitely worth taking note of how they get it done. It comes down to appealing to what consumers and customers both want, doing what you can to make the world healthier, being creative with your product packaging, and above all, offering the price to beat among the competition. 

There you have it! You just applied pet food marketing strategies to your company. Borrow some of these tactics, and you may just get all the tails wagging!

References:

Semple, J. (2018, December 28). State of the US Pet Food and Treat Industry. Retrieved from, https://www.petfoodprocessing.net/articles/12825-state-of-the-us-pet-food-and-treat-industry

Fagan, L. (2013, October 24). Customer Service Stats: 55% of Consumers Would Pay More for a Better Service Experience. Retrieved from, https://www.salesforce.com/blog/2013/10/customer-service-stats-55-of-consumers-would-pay-more-for-a-better-service-experience.html

Curtin, M. (2018, March 30). 73 Percent of Millennials are Willing to Spend More Money on This 1 Type of Product. Retrieved from, https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/73-percent-of-millennials-are-willing-to-spend-more-money-on-this-1-type-of-product.html

Choi, V. (2019, April 25). 8 Surprising Stats about Packaging You Need to Know. Retrieved from, https://medium.com/packmojo/8-surprising-stats-about-packaging-you-need-to-know-622d57faaaa3

NPD. (2012, April 24). Eighty-Five Percent of Consumers Say the Price Needs to Be Right Before They Shop. Retrieved from, https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/news/press-releases/pr_120424/

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over three years of experience in the industry. Her passion for writing has led to a BA in English & Communications from Aurora University and work published for the Advertising Specialty Institute and The Bolingbrook Sun Times.