What a wonderful show this year at Crufts, such a pleasure to accompany our clients Royal Canin and experience all that’s new in the pet world.
For us, Crufts 2018 was a far cry away from its history as just a dog show, it now encompasses every aspect of the role that dogs play in our lives. With hundreds of companies and exhibition stands, covering the 25 acres of the NEC in Birmingham. With everything from; handcrafted dog beds, dogs wearing coats for contactless giving,protection for your car boot, car dog guards & dividers, interactive games, magical floral tunnels, GPS activity trackers, fresh & fruity shampoo to cushions made from your own dog’s hair. A real shopping heaven for dogs and their dog-loving humans.
From a marketing perspective, what struck us this year was the ‘natural’ proposition of many of the dog brands and products.
But this led us to ask the question… What part of ‘natural’ are the products referring to? What is the substantiation behind the claims using the word ‘natural’? For example, some products use ‘natural’ to refer to what a dog evolved to eat i.e. meat-based food. Some use the term to refer to organic, or some use ‘natural’ to show the lack of additives. But are the products as ‘natural’ as we are led to believe?
If we, the marketers, are confused by the meaning of all the ‘natural’ claims, dog lovers will be increasingly turning to supporting literature, reading through the specific ingredients, and researching for themselves on brand websites, all to source the substantiation around these claims.
So what is driving this ‘natural’ trend? Well, of course, the increasing humanisation of pets.
Pet owners are searching for more quality for their beloved pets and wanting the best diet they could possibly ask for. Ultimately wanting their doggy family member to live a richer, fuller and longer life. Brands are responding to this humanisation, by taking trends in our human diet and nutrition, and applying them to the design and messaging for dog food and ‘natural’ seems to be the hook that many products are using.
We at Stuff love a good strong proposition, but only when it can be backed up by evidence and research. Otherwise, dog owners will quickly lose trust in brands and switch to those they can trust to deliver the quality product they are after for their dog.
We’re interested to see if ‘natural’ sticks around for Crufts 2019.
Our Client Services Director, Clare Szymanski next to a poster at Crufts created by Stuff Advertising for Royal Canin