Marketing a product often involves government regulations, particularly if the product is something intended for consumption by humans or animals. Though many manufacturers may see these rules as intrusive, others see them as marketing opportunities. These are the businesses who can overcome the paperwork challenge to create new markets for their products. Here are four more examples of how the pet food industry can use government regulations to their marketing advantage.
1. Companies Can Use the Required Ingredient Statement to Sell More Product
Pet owners want to know what ingredients are in the food they give to Fido or Fluffy. Because the U.S. government requires pet food manufacturers to list the ingredients in the order of their percentage of the total formula, savvy marketers can create opportunities for high-end sales by playing up the fact that their food contains a high percentage of ingredients that choosy pet owners want to see in their pets’ food. For example, a dog owner may want high percentages of lamb and rice in the food they choose, while cat owners may prefer high percentages of salmon or other fish high in omega-3 fatty acids for their cats’ health.
2. Companies Can Use the Nutritional Adequacy Statement to Reach a Niche Market
Because pet food is such a competitive market, many manufacturers need to target their products—and their marketing efforts—to owners of pets in particular stages in life. The nutritional adequacy statement, which requires manufacturers to state that the food provides adequate nutrition for a given stage or stages of life for a pet, provides marketers a superb opportunity to reach people who own animals in that stage of life. They can draw attention to the nutritional adequacy statement for a food designed for kittens, for example, to attract owners of kittens, and then point out that they also have the best food for the animals’ next stage of life by pointing out the nutritional adequacy of their food for adult cats.
3. Companies Who Underscore Feeding Directions on the Label Give Consumers Confidence
Many pet owners, particularly new pet owners or those switching foods, are understandably concerned about how much to feed their pet. Instead of simply including the feeding directions as an afterthought to comply with the law, smart marketers will use bold fonts, eye-catching colors and targeted copy to convey the message that their product is easy to use, even for new pet owners. The grateful pet owners will reward such intelligent marketing with more sales.
4. Companies Who Make Their Contact Information Prominent on Labels Encourage More Sales
Customers want to know where to contact the manufacturer in case they have questions. Instead of supplying the minimal amount of information—the state, city, and zip code—companies should include their mailing address, the street address, a phone number, and their website. To encourage even more interaction with their customers (which will, in turn, build more trust in their brand), the best marketers will include an invitation to connect underneath the required information. Even negative feedback, in the hands of intelligent marketing, can turn into marketing gold if they frame the company as one who solves problems for their customers.
To promote their brand, companies need to show that their products far outweigh the competition in quality, quantity, and accessibility. Therefore, by using government-regulated labeling to their company’s advantage, marketers can create more sales and, more importantly, a core group of satisfied customers who become brand evangelists that gladly spread the word about the company’s products.