There’s an emotional bond between pets and their owners, and it’s that bond that drives over $55 billion in sales of pet-related products. Nine in ten pet owners see their pet as part of the family, and according to the American Pet Products Association today more than 62% of Americans own pets. Companies within the pet industry as well as those in non-pet industries are paying attention to this data and are seeing a big opportunity for their brands. Charitable walks, hotels and resorts, car brands and car rental companies, and even software developers are some of the industries that purchase pet-related branded products to enhance their marketing efforts.
Today’s pets travel and exercise with us, have their own social-media accounts, require stimulating day care, eat organic food, and nap on luxury fabrics. To reach those pampering pet owners, marketers need to connect their brand to activities people do with their pets. There are many ways to do this and lots of products to support those efforts. Below are a few ideas:
- Sponsor a community event that is aimed at animal welfare, such as the popular Bark in the Park and Yappy Hour events.
- Distribute branded giveaways aimed at pets: dog treats at a drive-up window; dog-safe flyers at the company picnic; light-up waste bag dispenser in a safety program; or pet emergency decals as part of the wellness program packet.
- Companies that cater to the travel industry (hotels, car rental agencies, airlines), and want to connect with the people who travel with their pets, should pay attention to the pet amenities with gift bags that include useful animal care items like a collapsible water bowl or pet-paw soft wipes.
It may be the unquestioning loyalty owners get from their pets, or possibly the health benefits of lower stress and anxiety that come with pet ownership, but whatever the reason, trends show that pets are one of the most meaningful ways to engage consumers. So consider the power of the paw when your team is brainstorming the next new marketing approach.