According to data released from the American Pet Products Association it is estimated that pet owners spend $72 billion on animal/pet food every year. Well, these numbers are just an estimation though but it does strike a chord in the entrepreneur based within you, doesn’t it?
If not, here’s another- A recent study by 360 Market estimates that the pet food industry is all set to grow by 3.1% till 2024! The Neilsen’s consumer report also shows that this is one such domain where consumers are more worried about the quantity and quality regardless of the price.
Tips to Build a Pet food Brand
What we can make out from this is that feeding the furry friend is truly one business opportunity that you can venture into without a second thought! Here’s a step wise guide for you on how to build a pet food brand from scratch.
Plan your business
Clearly, the first step always has to be planning! Answer these questions –
- Who is your target customer?
- What are the costs involved?
- What will make your business different from others?
- What will you name your business?
- When do you see yourself breaking even in this venture?
Money matters and we know it better than anyone else! In order to start your pet food business, you do not need to have a huge capital investment. There are numerous authorities who would grant you permission to make pet food from our kitchen itself!
You can rent a booth at the market to produce and sell or on the other hand produce from home and sell through established retailers. The second option will also save you any cost for setting up the storefront.
You need to pay the licensing fees so that your produced pet food is worthy to be sold in the market. Other than this, you need to buy raw materials for the pet food from wholesalers for lower price guarantee.
These will include basically your packaging and shipping, delivery charges. Once you start placing bulk orders to wholesalers, you won’t need raw materials every day. These ongoing costs can be coupled up with the MRP for the customer to pay.
Human beings! Yes, though you are producing pet food, humans are your target customers. Those who care for their pets, can pay even a havoc to get the best pet food for their furry friend. This further establishes the fact that your marketing approach should be to make them realise the benefit of such food for their beloved pets!
Brand mission statement
Your pet food brand mission statement must concisely state out what your brand is meant for. Be it for the pet wellness, energy, good hair or strength, point it out in your brand mission statement.
It adds clarity to the customers regarding your pet food brand. The specialty of your pet food, why people should buy it and the problem your pet food solves, these are the typical questions you should end up answering via the pet food brand mission statement.
When you go out to sell everything, you end up selling nothing! This is why it is essential for you to pick a niche when you start your pet food brand. This will give you a proper branding.
You can choose to offer either food for dogs, cats, fishes or even birds! Apart from these, just like humans, pets are also turning to organic food and it is in high demand these days. You can venture into the business of providing organic or health supplement food for the pets and people who wish to keep their pet fit will surely try your product.
Also you can start a pet snacks section that shall have freeze-dried snacks for the pets and they hold all the nutrients perfectly for consumption.
**PS- Make sure you do not use any steroid in the pet food to keep them fit and energetic.
Attend expo and seminar with your brand
When you have started your pet food business, it is extremely important to choose proper branding measures. There are numerous pet shows, expo and seminars held across the nation throughout the year.
Make it a point to visit this along with your product and collaterals. If you can present your product samples for free, there are high chances of people getting back to you for more such products! It will also position you as a known brand in the domain where you are absolutely new.
Qualities of your brand
Brands such as Mars Petcare, Pedigree, JM Smucker, Unicharm Corp will be your competitors when you step into this domain of pet food. Compare your brand and product with them and find out a gap which you can fulfill via your products. This will set apart the quality of your brand from your top competitors.
Name the brand
The name of the brand must be in accordance with the special feature that you promise to offer. You can also focus on the brand keyword and then come out with a name. For a pet brand, it is always essential to make it catchy.
Remember, pet owners are in love with their furry friend and this is why your brand name must have this emotion to create the right connection. Check out a detailed guide here – 99 catchy pet food brand name ideas
Colour of the brand
When dealing with branding, understanding the colour pallete psychology is extremely essential. The emotions that a person relates with a dog, cat or say any pet, has to be showcased with the colour of your brand in order to garner better interest.
Mostly, people connect joyous, happiness, energy and warmth with their beloved pets and hence your colour selection should be on the same lines. It is advised that you do not mix too many primary colours and instead use one colour which would make it look classy.
*Note- 90% of human interaction of a brand occurs in the first 60 seconds and colours of the brand play around 62%-90% part in attracting the customer!
Build brand message and brand voice
Whatever your marketing assets convey or aim to offer is regarded as your brand message and voice. Right from the kind of words used to the type of packaging and the sentences that goes out from your brand will become your brand voice.
Closely connect your brand voice and message with your brand mission statement. Make a list of things your pet food does and doesn’t. It is a great way to come up with effective brand voice and message.
Brand logo, tagline and marketing collaterals
Your logo should carry with it the legacy, heritage and trust of the products you offer. For animal foods, the logo has to be reflective of the energy that a dog or cat will instantly relate to when they smell your food. The enthusiastic pet or maybe the food bowl of the pet can be a great choice of logo as people related it with their happy pets.
It instantly pushes the buyer to choose your product among a host of other brands. The tagline of your pet food brand can go viral if it is apt. Choose words that connect the emotions of happiness and care that the owner and the pet shares.
Tip- As a part of marketing collaterals, you can have animation etched on flyers that can be handed out to the customer. Or even a scrapbook of the happy pet and owner can be a perfect choice for this.
In- store decoration
First of all, congrats if you have made it to a storefront! However, now you would need more branding efforts in order to stand out from the rest in the market! For pet stores, it is suggested that you decorate the entire shop with images of pets along with your pet food. It will instantly create a sense of trust in the customer who would drop in your store to buy the product.
Also, offer emergency medicines and vaccination kits for the dogs in your store. It will add value to the store and people would have more reasons to come to your shop.
Pro Tip- Remember, according to the rule of seven, a customer needs to see or come across your business and marketing collaterals seven times before they will actually choose to buy from you!
Are you online yet?
Well, now that you have finally started off your pet food business, are you online? Given the splendid flurry of e-commerce, have you considered having a website of your own? If no, it’s high time now!
It is suggested that you have a website for your pet food brand. It will make your business a lot more credible as people tend to search for anything and everything on the internet these days. You can reach out to more people with your website and at the same time you can incur sales from the site too!
Add a shopping cart feature to your website and turn your normal informative website into a platform to shop for your brand’s pet food! You can promote your website in various online social media sites. It will boost your online branding to a new level altogether!
You aren’t branding well unless you have done extensive research on how to pack your product! You could be the best pet food out there in the market but unless you come up with something unique and exciting in your brand packaging, you cannot make a mark!
Make sure that your packaging is different from the competitors. Try to avoid the same colour palette as people tend to regard such new brands of the similar colour palette as fakes or first copy!
Choose to be unique and maintain one particular design and logo in all your product packages. It will add authenticity to your brand and it is a truth that anything new that looks good, gets a better response than the other.
Finally, brand extension!
Well, now that you are into the business for a considerable period of time you should definitely start thinking about extending your brand further! Apart from pet food, try and offer pet accessories or play goods that will bring more customers to you.
It will also help you earn more revenue because more products mean more money coming in the form of sales!