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Food for Thought for Pet Food

Marcel Blok is a longtime pet food industry expert, executive and consultant, based in Europe. He writes on business strategy, marketing and communication, and strategic product development.

How to stand out in a crowded petfood market

October 2, 2014

Part one of a series based on this question: Is petfood about marketing or nutrition?


Imagine this conversation between Joe Zweifel (chairman of the board) and Justin Case (marketing director) at the HQ of FYP Inc. (Feed Your Pet):


Joe: It’s about time we bring something new to the market, more than our current run-of-the-mill products.

Justin: Excellent idea. How about natural products?


Joe: That is very old hat; I do remember that when I started in petfood, this was already mainstream.

Justin: Organic could be an option.


 Joe: Why not? But I fear we run into problems with raw material supplies.

Justin: Could very well be; so why don’t we opt for holistic, to be on the safe side?


Joe: Oh no! Besides the fact that nobody knows what it is, this denomination is by now used by virtually every manufacturer in the industry.

Justin: True, but it seems powerful. By the way, something that is not used by anybody in the industry is symbiotic.


Joe: That has a nice ring. What does it mean?

Justin: Dunno. But I will look it up straightaway.


Joe: So symbiotic is the adjective that describes an interaction between two different organisms living in close association, usually to the advantage of both. Sounds complicated.

Justin: Yes, great, isn’t it? Mystery sells.


Joe: So, what do you plan to do?

Justin: I want to turn this into a major program. Our major launch of the decade. Think of what we can do: register Symbiosis as a global trademark, develop a dry and a wet line, approach the symbiots if they exist.


Joe: This can stand out. A new denomination protected through the trademark. Monopoly in this new segment. What are the consequences product-wise?

Justin: Hardly any, because we do not want to rock the boat. Do we?


To be continued …


21st Pet Street, home of Change Stranamics 

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marcel.blok@home.nl

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