At least half of the pet owners in America think of their pets as members of the family – equal to any of the human members.
With numbers like these, it’s no wonder dog food branding matters so much. Parents go to great length to feed their children the best foods available. Why wouldn’t they do the same for their beloved dogs?
Positive dog food branding that taps into those familial feelings can go a long way toward making sales. How can you use positivity in your marketing tactics?
We’ve put together this guide to the most important ways to capitalize on the emotional connections people have with their pets. Read on to learn how to show that your dog food is the best for four-legged family members.
5 Tips for Positive Dog Food Branding
You may be wondering what “positive branding” means.
When you create a positive brand identity, you don’t just have customers – you have fans. Positive branding helps buyers have a positive association with your product.
They’ll learn to see your product not just as useful, but as an essential part of keeping their pet happy and healthy. This will turn them into loyal customers, because you’ve effectively shown them the difference your dog food can make in their pet’s life.
How can you create this level of positive branding? Let’s break it down.
1. Help Animals in Need
Everyone knows that brands need to make a profit, but customers no longer want to see a brand that exists only to make a sale. Link your product to an important cause, and you’ll soon gather a loyal following.
One of the best ways to evoke positive feelings in your customers is to sponsor pets in need by donating some of your profits to a shelter or a program for disadvantaged dogs.
People are more likely to trust a company that truly cares. Putting a percentage of every sale toward making a difference in dogs’ lives proves that you care before they even make a purchase. And knowing that some of their money will go toward a good cause can help them make that purchase in the first place.
2. Appeal to Emotions
Many dog owners feel a close bond with their pet. Dogs are best friends, family members, companions, confidantes, and more.
Your dog food branding should appeal to the emotions that people are already feeling. Use branding to show customers that your company really understands just how close they feel to their pets.
In ads and online content, you can use imagery and storytelling to connect with those emotions. Show a picture of a cozy moment at home with a dog. Use video to tell the story of a real customer who uses your product.
As viral online content shows, people love to see sweet, funny, and heartwarming moments with pets. Link those moments to your brand, and you’ll easily create an emotional connection.
3. Packaging is Your Friend
For customers who shop in the store, packaging is one of the first things they see about a product. It can also be one of the most important factors in their decision-making process.
Your packaging is another place where it’s important to develop an emotional connection with the customer.
Showing images of a happy, healthy dog on the package is a great way to hint to consumers that your product can also keep their dog happy and healthy. Whatever you want them to feel is what you’ll want to display on your dog food packaging.
There are other strategies besides imagery that can be helpful when it comes to packaging, too. If your product comes in a uniquely shaped package, that can signal that it’s unique and high-end, as well as catching the customer’s visual attention more easily.
If you want to promote the healthy, wholesome ingredients of your product, consider adding a clear window to the package so buyers can see the dog food inside.
Letting consumers see the product can show that you’re an authentic, trustworthy brand. Placing a clear window alongside a list of healthy ingredients gives the sense that you truly have nothing to hide.
Resealable and recyclable packaging is another bonus for many customers. Caring about pets translates to caring about animals and the environment for many dog owners, so they’re sure to appreciate anything that promotes sustainability.
4. Try a Natural Approach
Because so many pet owners also care about the environment, promoting your product as natural and ethical is another great form of positive dog food branding.
Inform customers of the sustainable, ethical way your ingredients are sourced. Show them the steps your company takes to reduce pollution during the manufacturing process.
Use science to back up claims that certain ingredients are better than others. People want to feed their dogs natural, wholesome food, but are quick to pick up on companies that can’t support their claims with facts.
5. Offer Something Unique
One of the best ways to positively promote a dog food brand is to offer fun, unique products that no other company is selling.
From Betsy Farms duck jerky for dogs to birthday cakes for pets, there are many unique ideas you can use for inspiration. If all you sell is large bags of dry food, it may be hard to convert customers from the brands they already use. But selling interesting treats gives people an easy, fun way to try your product and get hooked on your brand.
Get creative with shapes, themes, and ingredients. Try to offer something that’s not quite on the market yet.
You could also try treats that are focused on specific health issues. For example, did you know that some dogs are allergic to wheat, dairy, and even beef? Offer a package of wheat-free dog treats, and customers will soon be interested in seeing what else you have that meets their pets’ specific needs.
If Dogs Could Talk
If dogs talked, selling dog food would be easy. The challenge lies in getting people to see that your brand is the best, even though they won’t be the ones eating it.
Ultimately, the most important thing is that your dog food actually lives up to its branding promises. If you know you have a quality product already, the hard work is over. All you need to do is use these tips to make sure consumers can see the quality of your dog food for themselves.
People genuinely love their pets and will go to great lengths to give them a better life. If your branding shows that you care about the same thing, you’ll soon have customers raving about your product.
Ready to learn more about branding? Check out some great branding tools for small businesses here!