8 marketing truths

Marketing tips

Almost a year ago, Chip (short for Chipolte) entered my life. A long-haired, kind of crazy, very co-dependent Chihuahua straight from the local SPCA.

So, how does a former homeless pup turn into a very upscale canine that now demands only the finest things in life? The pet industry knows how to market, and brand, doggone well.

Whatever the business category, we all can learn from these simple marketing truths.

1) Sympathy sells
Consumers have big hearts. Rescuing a needy, lonesome animal from a well-positioned brand, the SPCA, as a non-profit, savior of little souls shelter feels good.

2) Everyone is into digital
Now that I’m the proud co-parent of Chip, my radar screen picks up everything that can make me an even better dog owner. A few weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal featured a woman who trains dogs to use apps on an iPad. Digital technology enables rapid relationship building, too. When I shop at one of Chip’s favorite pet stores, Wag, upon entering the place, they snap Chip’s photo. He instantly appears as the big star of the day on their Facebook page.

3) Luxury is alive and well
What haute dog doesn’t like to be pampered?  Mine sure does, from staying at dog-friendly hotels like the Ritz-Carlton, to hanging at the just for pet spas with massages, peti-cures, designer perfumes and wearing the latest fashions (see the above shot of Chimp sporting his new life preserver/swim jacket).

4) Personalization is good for the ego
Maybe it’s my ego, or maybe it’s Chip’s, if you can monogram or engrave my dog’s name on anything, we’re in. After all, what dog doesn’t need a few branded travel bags, or some sterling silver dog bone bling?

Branded dog garb

5) Niche segmenting has never been stronger
Who said there are enough cable TV stations? One more niche channel just debuted it’s called DogTV. For five bucks a month your dog can watch commercial free, color-corrected for dog vision, programming, with no violence or barking dogs which can cause anxiety.  What a deal.

6) Hallmark has it right
From greeting cards for and from pets to holiday themed toys and gift wrap, too, holidays are relationship building, publicity producing and sale-generating machines for many businesses.

7) Mental health is big business
Chip has some social issues. I have hired an anger management coach Angelica of Courteous Canines for him. I give him Zen pills to calm his nerves, and seriously thought about swapping his water for a premium tequila.

8) Packaging can change anything
OK, another small admission, Chip was not the prettiest dog in the pound. Not a problem, with today’s sound marketing skills and technology, good lighting, art direction and a little Photoshop, any product can be transformed.


Ugly dog brand


Packaging pays

Do you need more on insight dogs can give us? Check out a good book, What My Dog Taught Me About Life.

Brand on!