August 4, 2014
Dog Eat Dog PR Wars
When it comes to pet food PR, it truly is a dog eat dog marketplace. Currently, the industry is dominated by brands you know well, Purina, for example. But, Ronn Torossian is following the ascent of the nation’s fastest growing player in the dog and cat food marketplace, Blue Buffalo. The company, which markets its kibble as the “all natural” alternative to traditional pet food offerings, has certainly struck a chord and is making major waves in the marketplace.
Torossian believes this is because Blue Buffalo has connected with an as yet underserved – and enthusiastic – market segment. The company connected with this market using some tried and true marketing methods that founder and Chairman, Bill Bishop honed at Kool-Aid, Tang, and SoBe, a beverage company he founded in the 1990s.
Pet Food Marketing & PR
One of these principles, which doubles as smart public relations, is the presence of a noticeable and memorable mascot. SoBe had that omnipresent lizard, now Blue Buffalo has the American buffalo. That may have absolutely nothing to do with pet food, but it doesn’t have to. That sort of brand characterization focuses consumers and makes a brand instantly recognizable to folks who are accustomed to looking for a competitor on the shelf. It offers a focal point that imbeds in consumer memory, so they will know it again when they see it. Plus, the emblem’s familiarity compels another look, and that’s when new customers are really captured based on better features and added benefits.
And, it is at the point of decision when Blue Buffalo really proves it knows its customers. Bishop says his marketing and advertising approach intentionally targets “pet parents,” those who are most likely to make a health-conscious choice for their pets. The ones whose pets are family members with carefully considered diets.
By making their brand memorable and connective, and by knowing their market well, Bishop and his team have been able to craft a PR message and a market presence that speaks directly to their intended target, a group that has responded by making a buying decision again and again.