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Why the Lack of Branding is Killing the Pet Industry

A brand is defined by Philip Kotler the author of Marketing Management as, “a name, term, sign, symbol, or design or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of the competitor.”

Does this sound like what you are trying to do? If you are in the pet industry and NOT selling dog or cat food then probably not. Outside of food manufacturers whose leading brands are owned by top Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) firms, the pet industry has lagged behind other industries in terms of branding. Small to medium manufacturers of commodity toys, treats, collars and leashes have lined their pockets for years with a blatant disregard for developing a consumer brand. This worked great for the last 50 years. Manufacturers made tons of money and never invested in their brands.




This was a great strategy... until now. Pet retailers have woken up and discovered the power of private label and direct sourcing. They figured if consumers didn’t know any of the brands in their stores anyway, why don’t they just create their own brands? This is a great question. It would also lead to loyalty to their specific stores. Now retailers are taking it one step further and asking, ‘why don’t we just direct source from China and cut out the middle man?’ Now they can exceed 75% margins in even more categories. This is a great strategy for the likes of Petco and Petsmart but it is putting many pet manufacturers out of business.

Who will survive in the current pet environment? Unfortunately, only a handful of enlightened companies like Caitec with its HERO brand will change and thrive. The rest will ignore the call to create brands and fall by the wayside while pining away for the way things used to be. The Pet Industry needs to realize what the Consumer Packaged Goods industry has known forever -- if you own the consumer relationship with your brand you can control your retailers (ask Procter & Gamble who is in control). However, if the retailer owns the consumer relationship because you have no brand, they will control you. Better yet, they will bypass you and develop their own brand and put you out of business.





PureLife 4Pets Launches Uniquely Formulated, Highly Palatable, Joint Mobility Soft Chews

PureLife-4Pets-White-New

(Weston, FL) February 24, 2015
– PureLife 4Pets by Vetimed, Inc. (www.purelife4pets.com) today officially announced the launch of its new joint mobility supplement soft chews. This formula offers a new and unique solution to joint health for dogs. The formula is powered by pure, highly absorbable Eggshell Membrane. This super-premium, powerful and proven ingredient was created to support the stability and flexibility of joints. Studies show increased joint mobility in adult dogs in as little as seven (7) days of treatment*.

 

The proprietary formula also contains the antioxidant Astaxanthin, which reduces free radicals to further support healthy joints, Boswellia Extract to help promote healthy connective tissue and the joint lubricant Hyaluronic Acid. This powerful blend is made in the USA and is now available in a highly palatable soft chew made with natural flavors, making dispensing easier for dog owners.

 

The MSRP is $34.00 for the 60 ct. tablets, $49.99 for the 90 ct. and $64.99 for the120 ct. For more information, show specials and to see our complete line of pet supplements please visit Global Pet Expo Booth #3912 or visit www.purelife4pets.com

 

*The effect of Hydrolyzed Eggshell Membrane Powder on joint mobility in dogs

 

 

About PureLife 4Pets by Vetimed, Inc.

PureLife 4Pets by Vetimed, Inc. is a family owned company that started brokering active ingredients for pet supplements between the U.S., Latin America and Europe in 2000. After extensively trading with high-quality raw materials, Vetimed began the development of its own formulas. Its knowledge and expertise in premium ingredients and formula design make PureLife 4Pets’ products the best and most innovative in the industry. The company is headquartered in Weston, FL. For more information please visit www.purelife4pets.com.







Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. Launches New Logo

BS-Logo-OnWhite-TAGLINEAgency Takes Steps to Solidify Its Position as the Premier Pet Industry Marketing & Sales Resource

Bronx, NY – (May 7, 2013) Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. (www.bulldogms.com) announced today the launch of its new company logo.  The logo reflects the agency’s desire to solidify its image as the premier marketing agency servicing the pet industry.  The logo is the next evolution of the original keeping only the bulldog head but with a more modern, crisper look.

 

“The pet industry, outside the major pet food companies, is filled with companies that think they can get by with mediocre marketing, logos, websites and packaging,” said John Cullen, Principal of Bulldog.  “I wanted to use my logo as an example to the industry.  Love it or hate it – it’s professional and clean”.

 

In addition to creating a new logo, Bulldog has also revamped its website to fit with the professionalized look.  It has also added a toll-free number and has begun accepting all major credit cards including American Express.

 

“Many of our clients asked if we would accept credit cards.  Just like all businesses, our clients want the rewards points offered by credit cards,” said Cullen.  “It is also a convenient way to pay.”

 

To learn how Bulldog can help your company grow, call 855-456-4738 or visit www.bulldogms.com.  We offer a free, no obligation consult to discuss your marketing & sales needs.

 

About Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc.

Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. is a full service agency formed in 2009.  It has over 15 years of marketing and sales experience ranging from marketing strategy to new product development and retail sell-in.  It has increased sales and developed new products for the Fortune 500 as well as for start-ups. Marketing & sales expertise includes: Pet, Consumer Packaged Goods and Consumer Electronics.  Bulldog is headquartered in New York City.  For more information, visit www.bulldogms.com or call 855-456-4738.







Video: 10 Signs You are a Pet Business Clown

How to go from the BIG TOP to the BIG LEAGUE in the Pet Business.



A controversial video explaining what you are doing wrong and how to succeed in the pet business.

The 10 Signs are:

1. You Have 1 SKU

2. Your Marketing Budget is $0

3. You Think Posting Cute Dog Pictures on Facebook will drive Demand for your Product

4. You Think You Can Get Into a Major Account without a Rep

5. You Have No Brand Recognition and Think Petsmart will Carry Your Product

6. You Believe the Ridiculous Category Stats that Pet is a $50 Billion Industry

7. You Think You can Build Your Business with Distributors

8. You Don't Know How to Pay for Marketing & PR

9. You Write Dealer Orders at Trade Shows

10. Your Packaging Looks Like a 4th Grader Designed It

It's not your fault, but you need to get help. Drop the rubber nose and big shoes and give us a call.

Contact Bulldog Marketing & Sales Today for a FREE 1/2 Hour Consult info@bulldogms.com.

Learn more about Bulldog Marketing & Sales and check out all of the FREE pet marketing advice at:

http://www.bulldogms.com





Pet Marketing Expert, John Cullen, Expands Consulting Practice

Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. Becomes Premier Pet Marketing Agency


 

Bronx, NY – (March 12, 2011) Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. (www.bulldogms.com) announced today the expansion of its agency’s bandwidth.  Bulldog is the Pet Marketing Consulting and Sales agency formed by pet industry veteran John Cullen to give entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small to mid-sized organizations access to top level markeg talent without the expensive overhead.  The agency was run by Cullen part-time while employed at JW Pet as VP of Marketing.

“John Cullen has successfully led our transition to a brand driven organization,” says Jon Willinger President of JW Pet Company Inc. “Cullen’s marketing experience and pet background make him a driving force in our industry.  He will continue to build JW’s brand momentum on a consulting basis.”

Cullen began his pet marketing career at HJ Heinz on the Pounce brand of cat treats. He has also held marketing positions with Chock Full O’ Nuts Coffee, Saputo Cheese and Liberty Media.  His marketing & sales agency offers services such as go-to-market strategy, brand name and logo development, advertising, promotions and PR, marketing research, SEO, PPC and Social Media as well as sales rep network and channel development.  Client case studies can be viewed at www.bulldogms.com/case-studies.

“JW is a great case study on how marketing can drive sales and transform a company,” says Cullen.  “I’m looking forward to helping other companies get to the next level of sales by increasing their consumer awareness.”  To learn how Bulldog can help your company grow call 718-218-4PET (4738) or visit www.bulldogms.com.

About Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc.

Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. is a full service agency formed in 2009.  It has over 15 years of marketing and sales experience ranging from marketing strategy to new product development and retail sell-in.  It has increased sales and developed new products for the Fortune 500 as well as for start-ups. Marketing & sales expertise includes: Pet Products, Consumer Packaged Goods and Consumer Electronics.  Bulldog is headquartered in the New York City.  For more information, visit www.bulldogms.com.

About JW Pet Company Inc.

Established in 1998 in Teterboro, NJ, JW Pet Company is internationally recognized for excellence in pet product innovation. The company produces a variety of unique pet products across several categories including: dog toys, cat toys, grooming, bird toys and accessories, feeding, small animal habitats and others. JW Pet Company is also the recipient of numerous industry accolades, including “Best in Show” awards at both Global Pet Expo in 2010 and 2011 and SuperZoo in 2010. The company presently holds more than 125 product patents designed to improve the lives of pets and pet parents with the goal of creating “Intelligent Ideas. Happy Pets.” To learn more about JW Pet Company, visit www.jwpet.com.





Pet Business Opportunity Podcast Interview with John Cullen Bulldog Marketing and Sales, Inc.

Is pet marketing dead? Do pet products sell themselves? What are the 5 tips for selling more pet products?

John Cullen of Bulldog Marketing & Sales will answer these questions and more in our interactive podcast interview.

Some of the things John will discuss include:

• What are your top 4 tips for getting a new pet business off the ground?
• How has the economy been affecting pet product sales? Strong areas? Weak?
• How do you get your product into the bog box stores? What’s involved?
• What are the best types of online advertising tactics you recommend and why?
• What are the best and most cost-effective OFF-LINE ad tactics you recommend and why?

Listen to the recorded Podcast here...








5 FREE Pet Marketing Resources

Here are 5 pet marketing resources that are absolutely FREE.  I hope you find them useful to your own business.

1. I put together a Twitter list of the top 10 pet marketing experts.  Check it out...Pet Marketing Experts.

2. Here is a quick video covering pr, SEO and blogging for your pet business.  3 Pet Marketing Tactics You Can Use Today To Sell More Tomorrow.

3. Here is my white paper, "Confessions of a Pet Product Marketer" which is chock full of free pet marketing advice.

4. If you liked #3 there is also a fun video of the same name.  Sometimes it has problems loading, so if you have an issue just hit reload.

5. Here is a nice sell sheet outline.  You need one of these to sell into distributors.  Pretty handy.

Well that's it for now.  If you are looking for more free pet marketing advice, checkout my Pet Marketing Blog.

 





3 Pet Marketing Tactics You Can Use Today to Sell More Tomorrow

Hi Fellow Pet Marketers,

I finally got around to starting my Pet Marketing Video Lesson Series.  Glad we are off and running.  Here is the first video in the series. I hope you enjoy it. Please feel to leave comments/questions/feedback here on the pet marketing blog or on YouTube.  I'll be checking both.  Thanks.

 


This is a short Pet Marketing how-to video that covers 3 simple marketing tactics to help pet product manufacturers and services sell more. Topics covered include:

1. Public Relations - Write a press release and submit it to petpr.com and reach pet influencers like pet trade magazines, pet bloggers and TV news producers that focus on pet.

2. SEO - Start learning about search engine optimization, do keyword research to figure out what people are searching for when they are looking for your product or service and optimize your website's title tag to include the keyword.

3. Start a blog - Blogging increases web traffic and inbound links (which helps with SEO). It also helps you become an authority in your product or service category.

Need help? Get a Bulldog.
Pet Marketing Help


 

 





Pet Marketing is Dead!

But was it ever alive?

The pet industry is a strange breed. However, I can’t be too harsh because it is also the industry that has employed me for over 10 years. Just for reference I started my career in marketing research and the consumer packaged goods industry. I've also spent a few years in Consumer Electronics.

In a nutshell the pet industry is at least 20 years behind CPG or CE. However, it is changing. Luckily the dog food companies owned by Colgate and P&G keep things professional. For most, it is an industry where anyone with a zip-lock bag of home

[caption id="attachment_601" align="alignright" width="150" caption="No offense to my old client, but this is not the right approach to Pet Marketing."]Hemp For Hounds[/caption]

baked dog treats can slap a label drawn with crayon on the front and be in the pet biz! The barriers to entry are low and the potential for riches great (at least that is how the story goes).

I started the pet marketing ad and consulting agency, Bulldog Marketing & Sales, Inc. to help start-ups become more professional. It has been a struggle. It’s not easy professionalizing an industry where many people attend trade shows in a t-shirt and flip-flops. Add to that the pig headed nature of entrepreneurs (me included!) who thinks they know everything and you have a recipe for disaster!

So if you are thinking about getting into the pet business or are already in and not seeing much success here are a few tips to help you get off to a good start.

1. Develop a good, benefit brand name and logo. Get professional help if you need it. So many times I work with clients that have a pretty good product, but the name is terrible and has nothing to do with the product itself. Making it worse, the logo looks like it was created by a second grader (and probably was).

2. Create a real packaging design. In most cases, the packaging is the most important piece of marketing you can invest in. It is your “silent salesman”. Will it stand out among the competition on shelf?

3. You need more than 1 SKU. Yes you do. No really, yes you do. Depending on the category you need 6 – 12 SKUs to have an impact. Buyers hate 1 SKU lines. So do I and so should you.

4. Set a marketing budget. You need one. There are so many options today to market your product and not spend an arm and a leg. You need to spend something. If you think business is free, don’t spend anything and save yourself a lot of time and effort and NOT start the business at all.

Want more helpful tips? Read my pet marketing whitepaper or watch my video.

And of course if you need personalized help navigating this crazy business, give me a call at 718-218-4PET or email me at john.cullen@bulldogms.com.





Pet Marketing and Sales Video Lesson Series



Hi All -

After the overwhelming success of my whitepaper, 'Confessions of a Pet Product Marketer' and the recorded pet marketing webinar of the same name, I have decided to create a video series called Pet Marketing and Sales Lessons. These will be short, to the point, video lessons about how to create a successful brand and marketing campaign in the pet industry. I hope to get this up and running within the next week and publish a new video about once a week over the course of a few months. I have a new baby on the way in November so I want to get as much published before then as possible.

Feel free to suggest pet marketing topics so I can keep it relevant to your needs. Keep a look out for lesson # 1 : Creating a Pet Product Brand Name. It's coming soon to the Bulldog YouTube Channel and right here on the Bulldog website.

See you online soon.

John
Bulldog