What is it about your pet cockatiel that makes your heart sing? Can science explain why we fall to pieces whenever we see litters of puppies or kittens?
If the popularity of animal videos on the Internet wasn’t enough of a sign, people go absolutely bananas about their pets. “Humanization,” as the trend is called, means pet owners have started treating their pets like part of the family, like a sibling or a child. As such, marketing for pet products have begun to correspond and even align with what bipedal consumers look for when shopping, with packaging at the forefront of the movement.
What specific packaging designs can help businesses in the pet market drive sales as pet humanization continues to go wild across the U.S.?
Luxury packaging may appeal to finer felines
We all enjoy the finer things in life, and many willingly pony up the extra cash for a taste of opulence. The same goes for pet products – in 2015, the American Pet Products Association estimated total U.S. spending on pets reached more than $60 billion, a nearly 4.5 percent increase over the previous year. With that figure in mind and on the rise, pet product providers should try experimenting with extravagant packaging. They should focus on designs that communicate to customers their pets deserve the best and will receive it when purchasing their brand over others.
Utilize universal appeal on pet food packaging
Brian Lester, director of marketing at Purina, told Packaging Digest his dog food company’s independent research showed 70 percent of pet owners yearn for “more input in and control of their pet’s food.” How can pet food packaging provide such a thing to high-maintenance pet parents? By taking a page out of human food marketing and reinforcing the freshness of a product’s ingredients with clear, concise text, as well as images showcasing what sorts of fresh vegetables and lean proteins go into each morsel. In turn, pet owners will feel like they’re making more informed decisions when shopping for Fido.
Pet medicine packaging should mirror qualities in human’s
For some pet owners, a sick dog or cat is just as serious as an ill family member. Both require effective medical treatment. Companies operating in the pet health and medicine sector should consider packaging modeled after human medicine: straightforward, informative and professional, without anything too zany or out of the box. Wellness is no laughing matter, and for die-hard pet owners, nothing is more reassuring than a brand that understands that.