Kick Insights on Creating Packaging for Exclusive Pet Brands


By Egotist / /

Creating an exclusive brand, whether for a distributor, individual retailer/chain or a specific channel can be a winning marketing strategy. The packaging must work just as hard to appeal to the consumer at shelf as a national brand.

All consumers want to feel understood and valued. While they might be looking to pay less—they definitely don’t want to sacrifice those feelings.

Great package design starts with consumer insights
When BrightPet Nutrition Group, Ohio, purchased the By Nature® dog and cat food brand, Chicago, they reformulated the offering and aimed to reposition it in the marketplace as an exclusive brand for regional independent retailers. They then partnered with Kick branding + design to redesign the packaging.

As a first step, Kick started by digging in and really understanding the consumers who shop at independent pet stores.

Pet Specialty Shopper Insights and Packaging Takeaways:
• Consumers who shop at independent pet specialty stores are looking for more
Independent pet retailer consumers value the expertise and the shared passions with the employees of the retailer. They enjoy the discovery experience and relish in telling their network about their latest find.
Make sure your package helps them with this sense of discovery.

• Shared mindset on nutrition
Many pet specialty shoppers are looking for the latest and greatest in terms of what is best for their pets: Non-GMO, super foods, grain-free or limited ingredients. They look to the smaller, independent brands to be at the forefront of offering these options. A store that offers these types of brands can win their loyalty — especially if it is the only store where they can buy them.
Make sure your package calls these unique points-of-difference out clearly on the PDP.

• Pet specialty shoppers read labels
Reading labels and talking with employees before making a purchase decision is a key part of this shopper’s decision-making process.
Make the label easy for the store clerk to learn and sell from, and easy for the consumer to find the key things that will pique their interest. It is like telling a story that unfolds around the package with bite-sized pieces of information and delight.

• Pet Mom
Pet specialty shoppers are primarily female. She treats her pet as a family member, a trend called “humanization of the pet,” so your packaging must relate to her and appeal to her in a meaningful way.
Make sure you create an emotional connection with her while giving her the information she is looking for with relevance AND delight

Great package design requires heart
Kick’s engaging packaging features a pet frolicking in nature, looking our female shopper in the eye to tap into the emotional bond she has with her pet. Key product features are called-out around the pet in a “magazine cover style” layout, making learning about the product interesting and fun. The approachable font, icons and fresh color palette make By Nature irresistible and pop-out on shelf. The package also describes how the product is made — slow cooked —which offers nutrient retention and maximum energy absorption.

What’s In and What’s Out
It was important on the front panel to call attention to the exceptional nutritional content of each product and also what not in the product. The new product formulations are full of beneficial ingredients, including superfoods, probiotics and high-quality proteins. At the same time, they are free of potato, chicken, peas, corn, soy and by-products — things Pet Mom is seeking.

To place emphasis on both what is in and what is out, Kick created a key package visual to communicate what the product is “Full of” and “Free of” for a different take of “product no’s.”

Kick’s packaging elements are designed to tap into consumer emotions and the “humanization of the pet” trend while appealing to the pet mom’s philosophies on feeding.

Kick helps exclusive brands succeed by starting with insights. For By Nature, this meant ensuring the brand had a nutritional point-of-difference and a shared purpose with the consumer—two major ways exclusive brands can show up big — and win.


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