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Friday, 5 September 2014

Marketing tips from unlikely sources - dog breeders

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Dog owners used to fall into one of two categories - pedigrees or mongrels. Recently a third category seems to have developed in the form of the pedigree hybrid. Such mutts would have been classed mongrels, were it not for the power of marketing.

Though the Kennel Club may be in denial of their existence, the world (or at least my little corner), has gone mad for Labradoodles (Labrador/Poodle), Cavapoos (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel/Poodle) and Pugels (Pug/Beagle).

What can we learn from this explosion of fluff?

1. Combining two products which are already popular into a whole new package, provides up-sell and can tap into an entirely new customer market

Think of the brands/products you buy regularly. If you see them paired with a new unknown name, you're more likely to give them a try because you already trust the original brand - in marketing speak, it's up-sell.

Yet even if you're not a regular buyer, but you know of a product or service by reputation, a 'two for one' type offer could encourage you to spend.  Afterall, it seems like a great deal and some of the cost risk has been removed by your familiarity with the brand, making you more likely to give it a try.

2. Customer led product development often produces new ideas

Labradoodles were originally bred in Australia as guidedogs for the blind.  A number of technical innovations came from customer feedback at places like Apple and companies are born everyday to fill niche demands.

What would your product/service look like if your customer designed it?

Are the features and benefits really features and benefits or just the pieces you could create in time for launch?

Have you ever asked your customers why they bought your product rather than an alternative?

Our world gets more hybrid everyday as people seek to distinguish themselves and their purchases. While people want choice, there will always be opportunity.  The trick is creating an opportunity for people to choose.