BY BRENT WEINMANN AND TODD REGAN
What does @ArzaS86 from Texas have in common with @ExtraBlueRiolu from Florida? They were both recently paired with their new best winged friends via an online quiz at MyRightBird.com. They were both so excited about their pet bird match results, they shared them with hundreds more people on social media. And now, thanks to an addition to the website, people can also locate their right bird in their neighborhood. And that could be your store!
According to the American PetProduct Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, bird ownership is on the rise and at an all-time high. We now just need to make sure birds are available and easy to find for these potential new bird owners. A national bird store locator is on the MyRightBird.com website, listing hundreds of locations, and you can be a part of it for free, just by entering your store information, including whether you sell birds.
The My Bird campaign, which aims to grow responsible bird ownership, was created in 2016 by BEAK, the Bird Enjoyment and Advantage Koalition. After research into consumer interest in birds, BEAK created the interactive online quiz to match people with birds. The quiz uses an algorithm based on a number of questions and answers about things like lifestyle, housing, interests, other pets, time and budget to match people with the best bird for them.
BEAK created this consumer-facing marketing campaign to share the joys and benefits of birds as pets, to grow the category and to educate consumers on responsible bird care. After matching people with bird types, the next phase of this journey is to get the right birds in the hands—or homes, rather—of the people who want them.
The National Bird Store Locator on the MyRightBird website provides people with an incentive to add a bird to their home. The idea is simple: once they’ve matched with the best pet bird for them, the site will display a list of stores in their area that either carry that bird specifically or carry a similar species as well as contact information to inquire about current stock and availability. With this feature also comes the benefit of a friendly neighborhood expert to help them in their newfound role of pet bird owner; and that’s where you come in: getting them set up with what they need and providing information on proper care for their bird.
If you’re already carrying birds in your store, then being a part of this free online locator is a no-brainer. You can be included if you carry bird products, but if you don’t currently sell birds in your store, here are a few key reasons to consider why you should:
Research shows consumers most often buy their supplies at the store where they got their bird.
Bird ownership is at an all-time high. Interest is growing and there is need for supply to fill that demand. Working with breeders or even customers to breed birds could put you in a position to meet that need.
Many bird species live longer than other companion animals, meaning if you get a bird owner customer, you could have one for a very long time.
As emerging research into the health benefits of animals including birds continues to show positive effects on a variety of disorders, the desire for these companions will increase.
The newest and now largest generation of pet owners, millennials, think birds are cool.
What seems to not be cool to the up and coming young generation is breeding birds. It is our responsibility as an industry to ensure a supply of all humanely raised pets, but in this particular case, birds. If we don’t, we’ll be standing around with an abundance of great bird products and not enough birds. Birds are one of the few species that can actually communicate with us, repeat words and phrases, understand and comprehend, listen to commands, cuddle and provide for endless entertaining Youtube material.
To be added to the online bird store locator for free, visit myrightbird.com/retailer-application or by contacting Steve Hellem, executive director of BEAK, at 202-441-0942 or firstname.lastname@example.org.