Matthew Diamond and James Fraser, VPs with Hunter Straker, take you on a journey through the in-store environment, exploring the pet category in more detail and helping better understand what the shopper really sees. They have a saying: "Consumers are smart and shoppers are dumb." This is ironic because they are the same person in many cases. Diamond and Fraser observe how the petfood shopper works in the consumer mind-set, with time spent pursuing the perfect balance of pet nutrition, reward and indulgence, which in many cases can exceed the amount of time spent on other, non-pet members of their family. This shopper is searching for information, and while most manufacturers are well-versed in explaining the core benefits of their products, Diamond and Fraser can unveil and convince you why most fail to close what they call the "Why Gap." You'll walk away with practical tools to better address this gap and, hopefully, make those dumb shoppers a bit more intelligent when it comes to buying your petfood brand.
VP of business development at Hunter Straker, Canada's first and only Purchase Design agency, Diamond has more than 15 years of marketing experience. Previously he was a partner at Capital C. He started his career as a brand manager at Kraft Canada, as well as working at the NHLPA and an Internet start-up. He is acting president of CAPMA, holds a board of governors seat for the Institute of Communication Agencies and is a frequent guest lecturer, author and contributor.
At Hunter Straker, Fraser, VP and retail guy, has pioneered a proprietary process called Purchase Design. He writes a monthly Shopper Insights column in Canadian Grocer magazine and is a regular contributor to the Path to Purchase Institute, where he is also a faculty member. He speaks regularly at conferences throughout North America.
Kristen Levine, president of Fetching Communications, encourages you to develop a comprehensive Boomer market strategy. Baby Boomers, Americans born between 1946-64, are the largest generational segment in the US and the fastest growing segment of pet parents. These powerhouse consumers control US$2.5 trillion in spending power. They are affluent empty-nesters with time and disposable income to spend on their pets. Even better, Boomers are lifestage aware and interested in health and wellness through diet and nutrition, therefore highly likely to be advocates for their pets' health.
Levine is a 25-year pet industry veteran and founder of Fetching Communications, the first marketing agency to exclusively serve the pet and veterinary marketplace. She recently acquired and re-launched PetPR.com, a news distribution service for pet-centric news and a resource for journalists. An author, speaker and Boomer marketplace advisor to the pet industry, Levine's collaborations include projects with Comcast, Bissell, HSN and Toyota. She writes for longevity blogs including VibrantNation.com and NextAvenue.com and just launched a Boomer-centric travel series for Fido Friendly Magazine.
Dana Humphrey, marketing and public relations consultant, discusses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Tumblr. Social media platforms keep appearing, rising and falling in popularity and usage-how can a marketer keep up? Learn which social media resonate with which types of pet parents and for which purposes. Get a hands-on, step-by-step guide to navigating the terrain of marketing with social media.
A pet PR and social media expert, Humphrey runs Whitegate PR and is editor for Pet News Now. She also serves as professor of "Who's Who in the Pet Industry" at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Humphrey is based in New York.
Stefan Hartung, creative director for Ideas that Kick, and Matt Golladay, vice president of Blackwood Pet Food/Ohio Pet Foods, offer advice on how you can make sure your products stand out on crowded retail shelves as the number of petfood and treat lines keeps increasing. Ideas that Kick recently helped Blackwood repackage is petfood lines, gleaning helpful tips for how much information pet parents want to find on petfood packaging, how credible they view label claims to be and which design techniques best grab their attention.
Born and raised in Hildesheim, Germany, Hartung studied visual communication there and in Wisconsin. After working in full service agencies in Hamburg, he moved to Minneapolis to concentrate on design and co-founded Minneapolis design agency Ideas that Kick (formerly HartungKemp). Kick's design work has made significant business impacts for Target, Johnson & Johnson, Best Buy, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Caribou Coffee, Dr. Comfort, MomBrands, Ohio Pet Foods and Mrs. Fields Chocolates, among others. Shelf-kicking branding, packaging and product concepts have earned Kick successful clients and shelves full of awards, plus design recognition from CA, HOW, Print and ID magazines and TheDieline.com, including that blog's book, Box, Bottle, Bag. Hartung also coordinates Kick's Design Exchange International program and serves on the advisory board of his US alma mater, University of Wisconsin-Stout.
Golladay grew up around a small-town Ohio feed mill and later the startup of family-owned Ohio Pet Foods, which specializes in co-packing premium and superpremium dry petfoods. He earned a bachelor degree in accounting from Kent State University and previously worked in corporate finance at HSBC Bank and GMAC Finance, as well as commercial sales. Golladay returned to the family business to manage the buyout of Blackwood Pet Food. He then partnered with Ideas that Kick to transform the nearly 20-year-old Blackwood brand, which had little consumer equity, into a line of superpremium petfoods worthy of packaging press attention and design awards.
Melissa Brookshire, DVM, president of North River Enterprises, asks if you're still letting misinformation on the internet guide the perception of your brand? Learn how to use tools to educate your customer base and potential customers. More importantly, learn how to empower your customer support team to be the best advocates for your brand. Don't forget this critical piece of marketing power. Education is king!
Brookshire is a graduate of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine. After graduating, she practiced in a small animal hospital in Kansas City, then co-owned a companion animal hospital from 1998 to 2005. Prior to creating North River Enterprises, a pet industry consultancy, Brookshire served as the director of veterinary services for a large petfood manufacturer for four years.
Here's your chance to ask a panel of experts everything you've ever wanted to know about petfood marketing. Panel members include:
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