We love our pets here in Esperance, and we love them A LOT. It's a familiar trend across Australia with more and more dollars being spent on products to pamper our pooches and kitties than ever before. Obviously, pet product and food companies are licking their lips, and marketing their products to humans (the buyer) rather than the animals (the actual consumer) becomes incredibly important. That might seem obvious but it draws us towards one of the pillars of marketing.
Firstly, lets talk the facts.
- Seven to Nine BILLION dollars a year (about 8% of the average persons spend at the supermarket) is being spent on pet entertainment/care/food by Australian's
- Supermarket aisles dedicate on average 32 lineal metres of shelf-space to pet products. That's the third largest shelf-space after fruit and vegetables and dairy products.
- On average, Australian's are spending more money on their pets than they are on personal grooming.
- 70% of people will choose a product or a service based on emotion.
With supermarkets picking up and selling all these pet goods, is their a negative effect on the earnings at the vet? Barry Urquhart from Marketing Focus thinks so...
"Vet's have got to start to recognise that at least 50 percent of their turnover should be front of shop so that actually prescribing and exercising medicinals and therapeutic care of animals is now only part of the situation that is the full spectrum of people saying they got to care for and look after an extended member of my family."
So, why do we feel the need to lash out and spoil our pets? Barry says it's all about how we 'humanise' our pets, especially our cats and dogs. Barry again,
"When pets give you unconditional love we, at a time of reigning in expenditure, discretionary purchases being levied backwards, what we're doing is committing to the pets unconditional and unlimited care of expressions"
And don't think the marketing teams promoting these products haven't realised this, with packaging appealing to the humans buying the products, not for the pets who, quite frankly, probably don't care.
"Don't think about economic rationality, think about emotionalism, because much of the packaging and the products themselves along those aisles... much of it, features prime colours. Now, prime colours are what people in business, fast food in particular, are trying to use to attract children... So, prime colours such as red, yellow and blue are very dominant in these types of situations with pet products, because you want to give it to the pets who will love it!"
This point is particularly poignant considering that dogs have poor vision to the point where they may struggle to distinguish between basic colours such as red and green.
"(the pets) are going to consume it without qualifications, without rational thought but we as the consumers are going to be influenced greatly by what colours were used, what aromas we present and what images we are embracing our pets with."
Basically, when it comes to marketing for ANY product, it's not always about the end consumer, but rather the person buying the product.
Sean interviews Barry Urquhart from Marketing Focus every Monday on Sean for Breakfast to discuss everything marketing and business across Australia.