BY ROBBI HESS
Pet parents are constantly on the lookout for unique items for their fur babies. They want items that highlight their love for their pet and items different from every other dog they see in the dog park. As a pet retailer or a pet brand, you can set yourself apart from the competition, garner the dollars pet parents are looking to spend and spread the word about your business by creating custom products.
When you consider that Americans spend close to $70 billion annually on their pets and there is no sign of a slowdown, you want to get in on that action with your store’s promotion. To get your share of the pet parent spending pie, your products need to be extraordinary, differentiate you from the competition and make the pet parent feel good about buying your product.
Here are ways in which you, your store and/or your brand can catch the attention and garner the attention and build a community of pet-loving consumers.
Be unique. Create products that are different from those you have seen or been given by other pet-centric businesses. Set your business apart from other pet marketers in your city or state. Create designs exclusive to your store or your brand, and attract local pet parents and even tourists who may be seeking a vacation souvenir for their pets.
If your store or business is located in a vacation spot or a historical area such as Philadelphia, look at creating unique toys, collars and leashes with a city-based theme. A Philadelphia design could include: Philly cheesesteaks, pretzels and the Liberty Bell.
Stay current. Create products that are trend-driven and exclusive to your brand; as well as those that will become customer favorites and highlight your company’s unique attention to detail, customer desires and reliable products. Use the products you invest in as promotional items for:
- A store opening
- General brand marketing
- Incentive program
Look at your design with the customer in mind and invest in branded pet products that leave a lasting impression!
Make the investment. Promotional and branded items provide the highest impact to audiences and are the most cost-effective form of advertising. In fact, 41 percent of promotional products are kept on average of one to five years, and 22 percent are kept between six and 10 years.
Promotional items have staying power. Your brand or retail location benefits from creating an incentive program using unique products! For example, you can run a promotion where your customer buys four bags of dog food and on the fifth they receive a free toy with your company or brand logo on it. This isn’t a throw-away item, but a valuable promotional tool the pet parent will give to his dog.
Highlight your uniqueness. Invest in items and work with a design partner that focuses on quality over quantity. Look for a business design partner that offers a low, cost-efficient point of entry; if you have to buy hundreds or thousands of units for a one-time event, what will you do with the leftovers?
Low minimum quantities are a great opportunity for you to test new products and refresh product lines more frequently. Create customized products for a new store opening or a new brand product launch and easily have them updated for future events.
Branded products should be part of your overall sales and marketing strategy. Look for a product development partner that will guide you through the ideation and design of your product and manufacture and ship to you. A brand partner that supplies you with your own account executive who is also a pet expert will help assure your new branded item is on point.
Every dollar invested in branded marketing needs to count. PrideBites is your partner in creating amazing pet products your customers crave. We are the only turnkey solution for designing and creating one-of-a-kind pet products to engage your dog-loving customers. Since being featured on “Shark Tank,” PrideBites has produced award-winning products such as plush dog toys, collars, leashes, water bowls and poop bags.
Author bio: Robbi Hess is the content specialist at PrideBites. She was a finalist in the solopreneur category for the Women In The Pet Industry Network Woman Of The Year Award and has been involved in the pet industry for close to a decade. She writes full-time and jumps to meet the demands of her two mini poodles, three cats and three lizards.