So You Want to Get Into the Pet Business? Part 2 : Competitive Environment

In my last post we looked at a 30,000 feet view of the pet business. We discussed your passion for your new pet product and how you believe everyone will want one. In Part 2, I want to look a little closer at specific categories and put them into 2 buckets...

1. Highly competitive - enter with caution
2. Moderately competitive - You could get in

Now, all of this is predicated on how unique your item truly is. If you have the greatest new dog food with a unique, patented ingredient no one else can get for a few years, then yes you MAY be able to get into the dog food business. Be honest with yourself - is your item really just a me-to? If so, re-think how you could create something really unique. Most of this is really marketing 101, but I am tailoring it to the pet business. So here we go in terms of the buckets...I am not going to cover every single category, but some of the top ones. If you have specific questions about a category - leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

1. Highly competitive - enter with caution
Pet Food - Any - dog, cat, bird, etc.
Collars/Leashes
Apparell - dog clothes is a really difficult business because of sizing. Then it all comes back full of hair!
Crates/containment
Fish Tanks, filters, etc.
Any electronics product - it's not really that competitive, but I put it here because electronics products for pets typically DON'T SELL!
Vitamins
Flea & Tick
Rawhide
Poop bags and dispensers

2. Moderately competitive - You could get in with the right items
Treats - there seems to be an openness to new and different treats, even with the big names dominating the top spots.
Toys - retailers want to be fresh. Fact is, pets, like kids get bored with the same old toys, so a fresh inventory of new ideas is always needed.
ID tags - again, consumers love variety here. Probably is that it is typically one and done. No need for a new tag after one is purchased.

So where does your new pet product fall? 1 or 2? In my next post, I'll go into what need once you have selected your product and category. We'll talk about branding and packaging as well as the retail environment and what it takes to get noticed. Have a question? Leave a comment.