News coming out of Super Zoo 2014...
PetHub.com announced today a breakthrough in pet safety and companion animal protection with the launch of its new, evolutionary PetHub Signal™ electronic ID tag.
Chicken Soup for the Soul To Premiere Exciting New Products And Programs At SuperZoo To Promote The Happiness And Wellness Of Pets
Petmate Showcases More Than 175 Products At SuperZoo 2014
ThunderWorks Continues to Expand Product Line at SuperZoo 2014
Buddy Pouch to Introduce Innovative Product on QVC and at SuperZoo Pet Tradeshow
The Ultimate Dog Pool, LLC Set to Make Waves at the Superzoo Pet Product Expo in Las Vegas with the Release of Their Newest Product, The "Summer Splash"
Tuggo Dog Toys seeking retailers and distributors at Superzoo
Eco-Friendly Packing Innovator Has “Box” Announcement for SuperZoo
SuperZoo to Add Hundreds More Booths in 2015 to Meet Exhibitor Demand
Get the SuperZoo app for a chance to win. Pet Product News International will give away an iPad at the end of each day at SuperZoo! Just visit their booth (#17103) and show you've downloaded the app to enter the drawing.
News coming out of Super Zoo 2014...
Back in the Internet heyday, as VP of marketing for a new tech start-up, one of my first orders of business was to reinvent the company's name, logo and product names and logos, and build their brand in their specific marketplace.
Over the years I've helped many pet business with naming their business, naming their products and consequently helped them invent and/or re-invent their logos to build their brand.
With all the pet products and services hitting the market, a great logo (and a great business and/or product name) is essential to your pet business, and it's acceptance and ability to stand out in a crowd.
Whatever logo you decide upon, it must have the ability to:
- Instantly relate to your key prospective and current customer.
- Appeal to your target demographics.
- Define what your business does and can do in the future.
- Tell your audiences who your company is and what it stands for.
- Endure (with slight modifications) for the life of your business and/or product/service.
- Inspire all the elements that end users want in a pet product/service company - trust, loyalty and implied superiority.
- Be identifiable.
- Be versatile.
- Be appropriate.
- Be memorable and unique.
What are the key elements to consider when creating your company and/or product logo?
- Keep it simple. Simple designs stand out, are clean, more memorable and are more instantly recognizable to the audience.
- Consider all media where your logo will be seen and appear including business cards, your website, social media, on your product packaging and more.
- Avoid your logo being literal and work toward it being hypothetical, speculative, imaginative and theoretical.
- Plan for the future. Over time you may need to re-invent and re-format your logo to change with trends.
- Keep in mind that different colors, shapes, words, symbols and fonts/typefaces provide different impressions to individuals. Research and utilize elements that speak to your audience (demographics) by taking into consideration what your company does, and what your customers and prospective customers want and need.
- Take into consideration your competitive advantage. A good logo can give the impression to help your pet business (and product/service) stand out from the sea of competition.
Facebook: Is spending time and money on this social media platform the right thing for your pet business?
Facebook is one of the most prolific social media channels on the Internet.
But now that Facebook has changed, I often get asked if it's worth it as a marketing tool or tactic for pet businesses.
I've had my business pages and personal page on Facebook for over six years, now. During that time I've seen Facebook change a lot; from a small group of fun, interesting friends, new and old acquaintances, clients, customers and prospective clients and customers; to an overwhelming number of people, companies, groups, posts and interactions. So many that it's difficult to keep up.
Facebook used to be an easy, free way to market your pet business. You post on your FB page and all your FB fans (or 'likers') would see it. But it's changed.
How? Through Facebook's new algorithms, they have changed how many and who see your FB page posts. I've seen analytics drop from 90% of people seeing my posts back in the earlier years to just about 10% seeing my posts now, even though my fan base has grown considerably.
There are a lot of people speculating as to why Facebook page post reach has gone down. And now Facebook has finally come out and explained it. They are indicating there are several factors occurring as to why your FB page posts are not getting seen by as many of your fans as they used to; they explain it as content overpopulation (meaning there is just too much content on FB for your fans to see everything) and that is why FB has chosen to rank the importance of your FB page posts based on the past and current FB behavior of your fan. Only those posts that FB ranks most important will appear in your FB fans news feed.
So what do I think? Is it still a great marketing tool?
Yes, it is can be and it is for now. But you have to 'do' Facebook right for it to help your pet business and increase your sales.
There are two specific things you can do to do it right.
1. The first thing is to post content that encourages your fans to interact with your page and your posts. Why? Because if your fans interact (leave comments on your page, and like and comment on your posts) with your page, they are more likely to see more of your posts in their newsfeed based on Facebook's new algorithms.
2. The second thing you can do is convert your Facebook fans to other types of 'sticky.' Facebook fans are sticky people. What do I mean by sticky? They are people that are stuck to you, that you can market to consistently over time, so that when they want or need your product you are right in front of them. Sticky people are the most important prospective and current clients for your pet business. You want them and you want a lot of them.
Facebook used to be easy to market to market to your Facebook 'sticky' fans (those who liked your page). But now that Facebook has changed their algorithms and don't show your posts to all of your likers it's more difficult to market to Facebook fans, not all of them are 'sticky' anymore. So you have to find other ways to create 'sticky' situations with those Facebook fans.
Some companies ask that their Facebook 'likers' select 'get notifications' on their Facebook page to ensure they see their posts, but what I've found is that doesn't really work. I tried it out on my own pages and still didn't see my own page posts in my newsfeed.
Others request that you add your email address to their email newsletter system before liking a page.
And still other companies utilize promotions on their Facebook page to achieve email addresses of their Facebook fans.
Why emails? Because emails are another form of 'sticky.'
Some of these are good ideas, some aren't.
What you need to remember is that it's important to put yourself in your customer's, or prospective customer's, shoes. What would you like from a company that's on Facebook? What are your interests, what are your likes, what information or 'deals' do you want from a company?
By putting yourself in your customer's, or prospective customer's, shoes you can increase your Facebook fan base, and create 'sticky' relationships for your pet business, ultimately providing a means to effectively market consistently over time and build increased sales for your pet business.
What are a few tactics you can use to take advantage of this free marketing platform, now?
- Build your Facebook fan base the right way and get fans that really want to purchase your pet business products and/or services.
- Reach more of your Facebook fan base, despite the fact that Facebook is constricting your post's visibility by posting content that invites interaction.
- Engage your Facebook audience for higher conversion.
- Convert Facebook fans to other forms of 'stickiness.'
You put a lot of effort into creating the most engaging, appealing, educational website you can for your pet business....all designed to increase sales and help prospective and current customers find you on the Internet.
Over time, you work on your SEO, and often wonder if it's working. Here's a great way to find out.
"What page of Google Am I on" can tell you where your website ranks in Google for certain terms that individuals will search on to potentially find your website and your business.
Think for a moment by putting yourself in your customer's, or potential customer's, shoes and make a small list of keywords that these individuals may use to find the products and/or services you offer. Input them into the website, along with your url and you can see where your site ranks in Google.
It's a great tool that I use regularly for all of my sites to keep tabs on where my sites rank. And if they are not ranking as well as I think they should, I'll tweak my SEO - specifically page titles, descriptions and keywords.
Give it a try! And if you need assistance in helping your pet business rank well in Google, email us to explore how we may be able to help you.
Just this morning I noticed a new feature on Facebook. Take a look at this screen shot of a post from Pawsible Marketing's Facebook page:
With all of those products, good packaging can make or break a sale on the store shelf. That's why, today, we are discussing the importance and key elements you need to think about when developing, updating, or re-packaging your pet product.
First and foremost, always put yourself in your customer's, or prospective customer's, shoes. What do they like, what don't they like, what 'speaks' to them for their pets, what concerns do they have about the type of product you offer?
Take the time to do your research, either through a market research firm, or through your own testimonials, Facebook comments, reviews, forum searches or just a good bit of Google searching before you begin the process of packaging your pet product. This will help you in creating more powerful packaging that will grab consumer's attention and make the sale. As a pet product manufacturer it's imperative that your packaging grab pet lovers as they browse the various pet store isles.
- To be seen and seen first
- To engage shoppers and entice them want to learn more
- To communicate key messages and key differentiation
- To close the sale.
- A 'Wow' - creativity, innovation, texture, use of color, form, imagery and punchy text and call outs can provide your product packaging with just the right amount of 'Wow' to get noticed the quickest on the store shelf.
- Imagery - great use of imagery helps potential customers immediately identify with the product, it's use, and why they need it for their pet.
- Description - short and pointed descriptions shown prominently on the packaging help shoppers more fully understand what your product is, what it does and why they need it.
- Differentiation - competition in the pet industry is tough. This is your opportunity to quickly showcase why your product is superior without putting down the competition.
- Extension of your brand - you've spent a lot of time and effort (hopefully) thinking about your prospective customer, their likes, wants and needs, and identified elements to represent your brand that will 'speak' to your potential customer (and current customers) and build and increase sales. Don't miss this opportunity to utilize your packaging as your company's brand extension.
- Ingredients - if needed list it and list it fully. And for treats and foods list the guaranteed analysis for a more informed shopping experience.
- Instructions - always provide complete and easy to understand instructions on how to use your pet product.
- Company logo - your logo (unless you're a super brand like perhaps Facebook) is not the most important message to convey to your potential pet product purchaser. The most important item to relate is what it is, what it does and why they must have it for their pet. So while including your logo on your packaging is important, make it smaller...it's not the most important inclusion.
- Contact info - provide a way for customers to have easy access to how they can reach you, company name, phone, email, city, state and your Facebook url need to be included.
- UPC - for products to be sold in mid to larger stores, you will be required to show a UPC code on your packaging.
- Are you a green, eco-friendly focused company with products that are healthier? Then look 'green and eco-friendly,' and reflect that mission in your packaging to appeal to those individuals looking for healthier options for their pets. These consumer scanning the pet aisle will instantly know you are greener and healthier by the look of your packaging.
- Are your products highly stylized and geared toward the more affluent pet loving consumer? Be sure that your brand packaging is representative of what more affluent consumers want. Make it clean, with colors that express a higher end market like purple, gold and black. Make it highly stylized and expensive looking.
- By all means make certain that your package is as easy to open as possible and find that balance between secure packaging and easy-to-open packaging. More and more studies are showing that consumers dislike packaging that's very difficult to open and will immediate get 'turned off' by the product by association.
- Pet loving consumers are focusing more and more on healthy, eco-friendly and greener options for their pets. This is a great opportunity to reach that important audience by providing recyclable and recycled packaging and indicating as such on your product package.
- Keep it simple. If pet shoppers see your product packaging as busy, complicated and difficult to digest and read, they will associate those 'feelings' with your product and shy away because it may be 'just too difficult.'
- Want to keep your pet product in front of consumers for the long haul? Provide consumer reusable packaging. For example: treats that are sold in a container that may be refilled and re-used for a wide variety of purposes will keep you in front of the consumer a long, long time.
- Complete disclosure. I can't stress this enough. The higher purchasing pet loving consumer wants to know what the ingredients are, and feel confident that they are safe for their pet. Provide full disclosure on your packaging to immediately put them at ease.
- Check the legalities. Does your product require any formal approvals by governmental agencies to showcase various claims or logos? Check.
- If your packaging doesn't showcase the product, then be certain that it is showcased visually through imagery. For example, if you need to box your product, make sure that your product image, enjoyed by a pet, is showcased prominently on the box.
- Make sure it fits on the shelf, or in some cases on hanging racks, end caps, or in showcase display cases.