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For the Furbabies

Don't forget the four-legged population when selling!

7/16/2020 | Product Feature

“Daddy’s home!” and “Mommy’s home!” isn’t just an exuberant newsflash for two-legged children – it’s also a phrase more commonly exclaimed for dogs and cats. It is no secret that the majority of pet owners or “hoomans” consider their pet to be a family member instead of just “the family dog/cat.”

Approximately 68% of US households are proud homes for a pet. In 2018, the US market value for the petcare market reached more than $7.2 billion. The market includes pet care services and e-commerce as well as unconventional pets such as fish, reptiles and birds.

The most common pet is, of course, the canine, with 63.4% of pet households having one (or more). This is followed by felines, at 42.7%, and at number three on the most popular animal as a pet is freshwater fish, at 11.5%.

According to GM Insights, the following factors are growth drivers:

  • Increase in animal healthcare expenditure
  • Growing pet adoption across the globe
  • Mobile pet grooming
  • Demand for pet insurance
  • Rising prevalence of food borne and zoonotic diseases
  • Increasing demand for protein in animal food

According to Statista.com, a survey of American pet owners spend up to $500 per year, on things such as food and toys; more affluent households tend to spend approximately $1,500 per year on a pet. Interestingly, according to the report, “American consumers are also spending in more unique ways, with some pet owners increasingly splashing out for their furry friends on Valentine’s Day. Consumers aged between 25 and 34 are reportedly spending the most on their pet on this holiday.” 

Fun fact courtesy of Statista Research Department (January 18, 2016): An estimated $703 million dollars were spent by pet owners around February 14th 2015, an average of $25 per person. Some pet gifts have been rather extravagant including a canine unisex fragrance called "Sexy Beast” (this has been available for more than a decade). For Valentine’s Day, retailers are increasingly providing merchandise for pets – and so are animal shelters, which are increasingly creating Valentine’s Day adoption events.

According to ASPCApro.org, large events are a great opportunity to engage all sorts of non-traditional partners and businesses. Amy Shrodes, director of marketing and development for OK in Oklahoma City, OK, provides businesses and organizations the opportunity to give away promotional and educational items to potential adopters who are waiting in line at the agency's big adoption events.

Examples of promotional products that businesses and organizations have given away at OK Humane events include logoed bags, pet bandanas, dog toys and leashes. “These relationships can blossom into future sponsorships or cross-promotions, and Shrodes says it's an effective way to recruit new community partners.

Pet promotional products are not only great for the obvious pet stores, veterinarians, dog groomers, shelters, dog walkers and pet trainers – think of what else constitutes “home,” such as Realtors and auto dealers (what dog doesn’t love to hang out the window watching the world pass by?).

“People love spending time and money on their pets,” comments Carrie Lewis of BIC Graphic. “People may think that pet products are really for stores, veterinarian offices and groomers, but there is a lot of potential across almost every industry. Think about Real Estate agents/brokers who want to give a house-warming gift to their pet-loving clients, or a bank drive-thru who wants to connect with pet owners at their window.”

Because people are spending more quality time with their pets – taking them on daily adventures, BIC’s Pet Accessory Bag (#45730, Fine Print Pet Leash (#26003), and Collapsible Pet Bowl (#26006) make for highly appreciated promotions, and for outstanding visibility.

And, although not glamorous, but a much-needed item is the doggie “poop” bag and related accessories. According to supplier Identity Links Inc., “All dog owners need them but poop bags just aren’t as much fun to buy as a new collar or dog bed. Yet sometimes the best promotional gifts are the ones that your customers wouldn’t think to buy for themselves. Rather than give out another dog-shaped magnet or pen, try a marketing tool that your customers will not only use, but truly appreciate. Most pet owners these days can be seen walking around with a doggie bag dispenser hanging from the leash.”

Identity Links provides more than a dozen pet waste bag dispensers including cute bone-shaped bag dispensers (Colorific in 13 colors, #PET865 and Bejeweled, #BAD547); fire hydrant shaped (#: PET779), and Pet Bag Dispenser with Flashlight (#PET599) for night walking.

As Lewis concludes, “Pet-related promos can be a great for companies wanting to build good will with their audience or recognize stellar employees who are now working from home (and working alongside their pets). When people receive an item for their pets it can go a long way toward building a company’s positive image.”

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