Top goal: to create a pet brand that connects with consumers

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“You want to have a more meaningful relationship with your users, then imbue your brand with a deeper meaning.”

Ten years ago, a culture shift reached a point of no return and forever changed the dynamics of brand building. Consumers have gained full control over brand engagement and have become serial avoiders of the overt awareness of self-reverence and promotional marketing. Selling in its traditional form was no longer an efficient way to interact with users. Analytical messages on the formulations, recipes and ingredients of pet brands would not be enough to bring pet parents closer together. The buying path has changed irrevocably.

As a result of this transformation in the way brand-consumer relationships are created, a new, more informed platform has emerged to drive brand marketing effectiveness called Higher Purpose Brand Building.

The marketing best practice game plan is no longer based solely on promoting product features and benefits. As 2022 approaches and strategic planning is in full swing, we still see vestiges of the old-fashioned thinking that follows the “if you build it, they will come” marketing methodology. Higher-vocation branding remains under-exploited in the companion animal category.

Here we will provide an overview of the branding practices designed for this purpose and how best to define that anchor platform that will positively impact all aspects of how your organization does business and how you communicate. on the market.

Why the goal is important

It is the intersection of need and passion where people will find affection and the basis of a relationship with your brand. He expresses himself thus because the world has changed and relating to a brand is now basically the same as relating to a person.

The digital environment in which we operate is a sudden end to the effectiveness of disruptive marketing. At the same time, consumers evolved as the purchase motivation moved closer to a symbolic act and signaled what interests them: their values ​​and beliefs.

Lasting relationships with brands are now based on admiration and trust – and this insight, properly executed, can offer significant financial rewards.

Built brands represent goodwill that can be isolated as a component of business value. They can drive higher margins and higher traffic, while striving to reduce promotion costs, improve ROI and bottom line. The goal creates the opportunity for transcendence – the state of being admired – where consumers “join” your brand as members, not simply customers.

You probably think you are in the pet food manufacturing and marketing industry. If so, you may be inadvertently leaving important strategic advantages and competitive leverage on the table with an under-fueled brand value proposition.

In order to build a more sustainable brand, you have a responsibility to put additional meaning, trust and conviction at the forefront of the relationship with the consumer. In other words, you have to stand up for something important in the lives of your users. Your business and your brand must cultivate a soul. A higher goal defines the true north of your business and why you exist. It should be a deeper, more lifestyle-relevant concept that goes beyond making high-quality pet food.

It goes without saying, but maximizing the growth and profit of the business is not a goal. A real goal, relevant to man and selfless is a goal – and in the long term, dedication to it will indeed maximize financial results.

An informed brand

This is an effort to codify the me inside. It is vital to invest in this process because the marketing game has completely shifted from command and control (persuasion around the overt selling of features / benefits) in the age of relationship building.

The goal of higher goal planning is to anchor your brand in a new, deeper understanding of its mission – and in so doing, provide a cohesive guide to all go-to-market tools and strategies.

Mapping brands on relative strength or lack of a bona fide goal can help contextualize the assessment of what best practices should look like in the competitive set. Here are four main conditions that indicate where brands can exist based on their purpose.

Limit – province of pet brands that are struggling with stable or declining sales, and which command little respect or trust from the consumer.

Reluctant – brands that are little respected and not very emotional, but whose pricing strategy or competitive advantage outweighs the reluctance of consumers.

Emotional fairness – brands that maintain respect despite concept limitations, transactional marketing behaviors, higher prices or other competitive disadvantages.

Sustainable – more enlightened businesses that understand brand relationships operate on the basis of true and genuine reciprocity and humanity – and are not superficial, opportunistic or purely transactional.

The depth of your brand’s mission and purpose can range from obvious to somewhat superficial. to something quite deeper and more engaging. To help you fight for the latter, consider this basic premise:

If your brand were to disappear from the face of the earth tomorrow, would anyone other than the financially interested parties really care? Said more succinctlyy: is brand promotion now a more important and relevant objective than loyalty? Yes it is.

The further the concept moves along the “aid versus the hype” continuum, the more transformational the concept. If we are looking to make the most of the main objective, then it will necessarily become the heart of everything the company does, informing marketing, hiring, sourcing, operations and communications.

The main components of thinking about a higher goal is asking yourself why your business and brand exist, how you fulfill your mission, and what business you really are in.

Your branded stand

From analyzing and evaluating what your business is all about and what you stand for comes a statement that we call the brand stand. It’s an anchor expression of your higher purpose that informs business decisions and behavior. It’s remarkable what happens internally when this work is done to create and codify values ​​and beliefs. Employees and other stakeholders rally around the mission.

The principles and the objective become an anchor lever for the organization and immediately change the dynamics of communication in the market to create social, won, paid and content strategies that are more powerful and impactful. Your brand’s voice acquires more impact and emotional gravity. You give users something to believe in, a deeper meaning, and a reason to engage with you.

As stated before, the result is greater efficiency and effectiveness for your brand marketing investments, as it does not depend on the tonnage of media spending. You are no longer competing on technical specifications that are harder to maintain and defend, but your brand’s value proposition goes beyond the tropes of the pet category.

Robert Wheatley is the CEO of Emerging, The Healthy Living Agency, based in Chicago. Emergent can help pet brands erase ineffective self-promotion and replace it with clarity and deeper meaning in their dealings with pet parents and brand communication.


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