There are so many times when it feels like a name and a product should be enough. And in the days when simply putting a product on a shelf at the pet retail stores was the end-all-be-all of marketing, it probably was.
But in today’s more advanced and cluttered marketplace, the words (messaging) you use to describe your company (brand) create the backbone and framework of your identity. The words you use create who you become within the pet industry.
When developing your brand strategy, you want to focus on the three Ps of messaging: Positioning, Personality and Promise.
These three statements will tell you and your stakeholders where and how you will compete; the style, voice and character of your brand; and what you will consistently deliver to your customers that provides value.
Although each statement may only consist of two or three sentences, when crafted in an authentic, accurate, and honest way, they will be the building blocks of your mission and your connection to your customer.
1. Positioning Statement
After surveying the competitive pet industry landscape, you need to choose where you are going to compete.
When creating a competitive analysis for a client, I like to take the two primary competitive drivers for the space and create a quadrant graph. Examples of drivers include price, distribution channels, product features or benefits, and sustainability programs.
Whether you have one graph or multiple depends on how many competitive drivers you want to factor in. By placing all of the players in their appropriate position on each graph, you can readily see where you have the best chance to compete: the open spaces where demand exists and supply does not.
Your positioning statement is then born from the identification of these spaces and expresses how your product, service or brand fills a customer need in a unique way that your competitors don’t. It defines where you are going to play and how.
2. Personality Statement
Your personality statement reflects the voice, tone and character of your brand.
Because it is the “personal” connection between your brand or product and your customer, it needs to balance the culture of your business and the personalities behind your brand with the voice that will resonate best with your target audience.
It’s great if you have an unconventional, rebellious culture of daredevil entrepreneurs, but if your target customer is a 65-year-old woman with grandchildren, you will need to find a comfortable fit for both sides of that relationship.
Your personality statement will also guide the tone of voice for your marketing, so be sure to understand if you want friendly and approachable, authoritative or humorous. Here’s a great list of brand adjectives to draw inspiration from. (I update continuously to be sure to bookmark it for future brainstorms, product launches and marketing campaigns).
3. Promise Statement
Your promise, along with your USPs (unique selling propositions), lays out in no uncertain terms what your brand will deliver to customers on a consistent basis.
A strong brand promise should connect a company’s strategy, positioning, and culture with customer needs and interactions. As such, it should act a guide post for future decisions in business strategy, product development and diversification.
Promises are easy to make, but can be difficult to keep. With so many options on the market for consumers, don’t make the mistake of giving them a reason to walk away. Make a promise you can keep…and keep…and keep.
If you’d like help with the brand strategy for your pet business, take a look at whether our brand development services are right for you.