Project Goals

What does it take to evolve a successful, beloved brand? Among other things, it requires a genuine understanding of the brand and its audience, the ability to fine-tune a company’s story, a partnership with a pet marketing agency built on communication and trust, the skill to get it all done, and the desire to see it through.

Strategy

We’d worked with FURminator for about six months—B2B pet industry marketing, sales collateral, and a consumer print campaign—when they told us that they wanted to move FURminator from its position as a steady, specialty brand to a household name.

 

As brand strategists, we were eager to take on the challenge of such a significant positioning shift. Perhaps more importantly, as dog lovers and FURminator users ourselves, we believed that it was the right move. So we got to work.

We started with a few small projects and research for an ad campaign. That research convinced us that the audience for our partner, FURminator, was bigger than they’d been targeting. So we took that research, added to it our experience and analysis of their brand and their market, and put together a strategy based on our belief in the value of custom content and designed to shift FURminator from a beloved, but niche, brand to a household name.

Branding

Having previously identified price as the primary hurdle to purchase for most potential customers, we used new messaging, “Worth It,” in an ad campaign to address that hurdle head-on. We knew, though, that it wouldn’t be enough for FURminator to use that language—we had to figure out how to get thousands of passionate FURminator brand ambassadors and influencers to use that language.

We did that in two key ways: by redefining the target audience and by creating a forum through which they could learn, and then use, that language. That forum was the Worth It social site and all the share-able content we created for it.

CONTENT STRATEGY

Words matter. A lot. But web content—that which is highly shared, at least—is visual. To encourage our audience to share the content and spread the message, we had to develop messages couched in highly visual content. That meant custom pet photography and shareable video, harnessing our expertise in photography and videography as well as our experience wrangling high-energy pets.

Furminator Photography
FURminator cat assets
FURminator brand assets
FURminator photo assets

USER INTERFACE

Our target audience comprises a large number of people actively spending time with their dogs, so the site had to be accessible at all times, in all places, on all types of devices. Like the brand strategy itself, the medium needed to respond to the environment of the desired audience, and our design work ensured that response.

SOCIAL INTEGRATION

Expanding FURminator’s audience meant expanding FURminator’s social footprint. So we designed and established a presence for FURminator on Pinterest and Instagram (to add to their presence on Facebook and Twitter) and united them all through the Worth It site.

MEDIA PLANNING AND ADVERTISING

Understanding that engaging consumers directly was critical to the brand, we developed an integrated media plan to help FURminator reach the right audience, and fulfilled that plan with print and digital ad campaigns closely integrated with FURminator’s presence on social media. Fun, shareable images and messaging supporting the “Worth It” helped drive consumer adoption of the brand’s own language, as well as widespread sharing of social advertising and content.

Philanthropy

CAUSE MARKETING

As part of the FURminator media plan, we recommended an approach to cause marketing centered on pet rescue. We worked with a rescue organization near FURminator’s offices to photograph some of their rescued pets in order to promote adoption in a campaign sponsored by the brand. And we helped FURminator move towards featuring 100% rescued pets on their packaging, linking the brand permanently with a cause near to their hearts and ours.

PACKAGING

Working with FURminator’s existing brand, we updated their packaging across categories, evolving and modernizing their visual identity.

CONTENT IS VALUABLE

Value is a cliché. Value is necessary. Value comes in many forms: currency, products, information, status, states of being. For FURminator, whose primary seller is a premium product, being a household name meant providing value across all categories.

We planned, conceived, and created content that pet parents—FURminator’s primary audience—would find valuable. For some, practical information is valuable; for others, humor or beauty is valuable. Expanding our audience meant expanding our marketing to content that would be valuable to all areas of our audience’s lives, from their pet’s coats to their pea coats.

78% of CMOs think that custom media (like FURminator’s) represents the future of marketing

- Hanley Wood

OUTCOMES

We started with a few small projects and research for an ad campaign. That research convinced us that the audience for our partner, FURminator, was bigger than they’d been targeting. So we took that research, added to it our experience and analysis of their brand and their market, and put together a strategy based on our belief in the value of custom content and designed to shift FURminator from a beloved, but niche, brand to a household name.

 

Now that that strategy has been implemented, we’re monitoring consumer engagement and sharing; we’re seeing the fruits of an expanded reach. Pet lovers are sharing FURminator-branded content across social media platforms and their personal websites. And the FURminator name is no longer merely associated with professional pet products; rather, when you use FURminator products, you signal your membership in a community of people who value life with pets.

The transition from a beloved, but smaller, brand to a household name takes time, and we’re confident that with continued adherence to the strategy, regular assessment and adjustment, and continued content creation, FURminator will be loved by the wider audience that it deserves, making all the time and care expended up front completely worth it.

Have questions about our work with FURminator? Want to know more about the results? Give us a call today—we’d love to talk.

SO WHAT’S NEXT?

WE’RE READY TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS. Let’s talk.