Pushing The Right Buttons

By Christopher Zoukis

Pawsible Marketing (PM), a marketing firm specializing in luxury pet marketing, believes that quality is the driving factor in luxury pet products. PM forecasts that the retailing sector of luxury pet products will see massive growth in not only brick and mortar stores, but in online stores. The biggest retailers will begin offering luxury products to customers that want even greater luxury and “green” products. PM also sees new companies jumping onto the luxury pet products bandwagon. Most of these new companies will “feel” their way along, because they have no previous experience in the pet market segment.

According to PM, boutique stores will focus more on luxury pet products to niche markets. If their niche market is lucrative enough, and if their marketing is effective, these boutique stores will be acquired by larger companies seeking to expand their offerings.  Image courtesy crystal-fox.com

Green products and services will prove to be a key niche market. Affluent pet owners are concerned about pet foods and products with potentially harmful constituents. So they will seek out and patronize foods, toys, clothing items, medicines, and other products that are pet friendly.

PM also sees affluent pet owners seeking health insurance for their pets. These owners will respond to marketing targeted to the health of their pets, including alternatives such as pet massages, pet acupuncture, pet chiropractic care, pet hydrotherapy, pet nutrition, pet herbs, and pet homeopathy. In other words, now is the time to carefully plan marketing and promotional campaigns in these areas.

Luxury pet owners will continue to drive the growth of groomers, day cares, dog walkers, and pet sitters. PM also forecasts significant growth in pet day spas, luxury pet hotels, pet rehabilitation facilities, pet workout facilities, and pet camps. There will be a greater demand for luxurious pet funerals.

PM encourages businesses in the travel industry to pursue marketing themselves as pet-friendly. Demand for pet car safety will increase, as will airlines and cruise ships that cater to pets.

According to PM, this is the perfect time to take luxury pet products and services online. More and more affluent pet owners are interacting with other pet owners online. This means they need reliable information, referrals, and social networking sites. An online presence and effective online marketing is essential to this growing group of luxury customers.

PRWeb reports that luxury pet products are the hottest trend in the pet industry. In keeping with this trend, they list the most popular items being purchased by affluent customers. Knowing what luxury customers want now is helpful in designing appropriate marketing. To the discerning, such knowledge helps predict what the next trend might be, and how to market to it.

According to PRWeb the most popular luxury items for pets are:

Apparel and accessories for the fashionable dog and cat, including elegant leashes, collars, pendants, and necklances.

            Austrian Swarovski Crystal Collars and hand-crocheted flowers.

            High-quality, handmade dog sweaters.

            Handcrafted matching jewelry for owner and pet.

            Luxe doggie carriers and travel totes.

            Opulent home décor for pets, including couches and beds.

            Luxurious leather-feather dog beds.

            Luxury souvenirs for owners and pets, especially travel-related items.

            Hip-hop doggie clothing, including gangsta’ doggie socks.

Marketing to affluent pet owners should be psychological in its appeal, focusing on images and emotions. Simply put this means avoiding rationalizations for the logical or physical benefits of a luxury product. For example, there is really no logical reason or benefit to purchasing a Swarovski Crystal Collar for a dog. Logically speaking, a twenty-five dollar nylon collar will serve the same function. The affluent pet owner is not interested in hearing such reasonable information. The affluent pet owner’s interest is self-interest. His desire is to pamper his pet. It is an emotional need. There is no logic to it. It is the same reason that people drink too much, eat too much, and smoke cigarettes.

This means the best marketing appeals to emotional needs. The best way to appeal to these needs is to press the button that is connected to the need. Barry Feig, author of Marketing Straight to the Heart, calls these buttons “Hot Buttons.” Of the 15 Hot Buttons that he identifies, a few are pertinent in marketing to affluent pet owners.

~Family values. Since most pet owners think of themselves as “pet parents,” this button appeals to the emotions of unconditional love and acceptance, both of which the owner receives from his pet. Marketing directed at this button appeals to the vision of family and togetherness.

~The desire for the best. Owning the best available luxury product carries mystique. The mystique of owning something simply for the personal satisfaction it brings. As a “pet parent,” the affluent pet owner wants to provide the best for his pet child.

~The idea of nurturing. “Pet parents” want to nurture their pets. This means they want to care for them. Caring often means indulging.

Marketing that presses any or all of these buttons in the psyche of the affluent pet owner will prove effective. Why? Because it gives the customer “the ability to fly.” It gives the customer the ability to get more satisfaction out of life.