Most pet parents have at least one thing in common — they want what’s best for their four-legged companions. However, as the pet industry continues to proliferate and younger generations come into majority pet ownership, the term “pet parent” barely scratches the surface of the variety of needs, demands and expectations dog and cat owners hold when it comes to their pet purchases.

According to Michael Johnson, principal at BSM Partners, “pet parent” lacks the necessary nuance and attention to detail needed for individual brands to succeed in today’s competitive, ever-evolving pet industry landscape.

“Just as there are millions of actual human parents, if we and our kids are all very different from one another, then the millions of pet parents and their pets are all different from each other, too,” Johnson said. “…Savvy brands and retailers really know better than to bucket all their consumers as ‘pet parents,’ and they realize instead that they need to get a lot more specific and maybe a lot more granularly targeted in their marketing and messaging.”

This latest episode of More Than Kibble dives deep into several consumer insights and brand strategy tips. How is inflation really impacting pet product consumers? Is humanization all bark and no bite? How can brands identify a target audience and market to it successfully? And what’s in a channel strategy? Tune in to hear Johnson’s answers to these questions and many others.


Show notes

(00:39) Introducing Michael Johnson

(02:28) The impact of inflation

(05:04) Evolving consumer demands amid an evolving industry

(07:13) Understanding the “pet parent”

(08:36) What it takes to truly understand your audience  

(11:13) Tailoring pet owner education to specific audiences

(12:44) Fine-tuning channel strategies

(14:50) Distribution tips for smaller brands

(17:03) For startups, the dangers of going it alone

(19:23) Humanization and the real consumer

(22:51) Consumer sentiments about plant- and insect-based proteins

(24:30) Warming up to emerging nutritional approaches

(26:35) Susceptibility for subscription-based purchasing

(29:52) Channel strategy through the eyes of the consumer

Listen to other episodes of More Than Kibble. 

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