Every company in the pet industry is looking for ways to gain a competitive advantage and ultimately generate value. There are a variety of ways to do this whether it’s through innovation, diversification, positioning or any other points of differentiation.
So when we are creating brand and marketing strategies for our clients, we always recommend they stay away from what we’ve coined as “furry” marketing, as it’s the opposite of differentiation when it comes to your brand.
“Furry” marketing is the habit of relying on the adorable furry faces of the animals you serve to market your products and increase your brand awareness.
And this type of tactic used to work. You could put a picture of a cute furry face on a package or website and you could get all of the emotional feelings you wanted from your target market…but that’s not the case any longer. Now you’re competing with hundreds of companies who are using the same stock photography, pet owners who have an Instagram feed full of adorable, furry faces and viral pet videos that make the rounds on social media in continuous waves.
So how do you compete? In order to move out of the furry marketing trap, follow these three rules:
Establish a unique reason for being: This means digging deep and coming up with an answer that is something other than “to make the lives of pets better.” So many companies in this industry rely on this “purpose” but it isn’t unique. Your job is determine why it is your company is in business – and then live it.
Build a unique visual identity: What does your brand look like? If today you are using the same stock photography as a majority of the industry, it’s time to get creative. What can you do to create a unique look and feel to your brand that truly represents you?
Use content unique to your brand: Stay away from regular postings of the memes and viral pet videos you see all over social media. Although they are adorable and hilarious most of the time, they don’t help consumers understand what you offer and what makes you different. Choose your content wisely, as it is a representation of what you do and what consumers can expect from you.
If you would like more information on how to differentiate yourself in the market, contact us today to set up a strategic brainstorm. You can also keep current on marketing tips and best practices for growing your business in the pet industry by registering to receive our monthly communications. Register here.