Along with virtually every other industry, the pet industry experienced a significant shift throughout 2020 when the global pandemic forced virtually all product-based pet businesses to go digital (and virtual). And while we’d all love to call it quits on the pandemic, the reality is, the long-lasting impacts of the pandemic mean pet brands have to be prepared to do business differently in 2021.
Along with this year’s top consumer trends, there are a few key industry trends that pet brands must be aware of if you hope to make 2021 a year for the books! Let’s dive into the hottest pet industry trends and what they mean for your business.
Natural pet products are King (Queen)
Natural pet products may not be “new”, but they sure are gaining traction as more consumers become conscious of what they’re giving their pets (and the impact of their consumption on the planet).
From toxic plastics in dog toys and artificial chemicals in grooming products to suspicious ingredients in cat food, many consumers are becoming label and ingredient-list aware, making them extremely careful about the health and wellbeing of their furry friends.
For pet brands that sell consumable products, this means being hyper-aware of how your customers’ needs, and tastes will change, and how you’ll prepare to meet them. Customers won’t be afraid to second guess what’s in your products (and they won’t hesitate to speak out about it, either).
Pet tech is quickly becoming “the” next must-have
When it comes to tech that makes our lives easier, more pet owners are turning to pet tech — not just for the convenience, but because most of the pet tech on the market also fits with consumers’ lifestyles, too.
With automatic feeders, water dispensers, interactive toys, cameras that play fetch with your dog, and even “Fitbit” style accessories for pets, there’s little we have to do to take care of our pet’s everyday needs. But what does this mean for pet brands not in the tech space?
Well, it signals the need to make products that can work alongside pet tech. For example, a pet brand that makes hydration powder for cats could team up with a brand that makes automatic pet feeders and water fountains to create co-branded products.
CBD for pets
Many pet owners have used CBD and other cannabis byproducts on their pets for years, but with legalization growing more popular in the USA and Canada having adopted legalization years ago, more pet brands are moving into the natural, CBD supplement space. And it’s not so surprising if you consider how many opportunities exist for pet brands in this space.
From grooming products to treats, drops, tinctures and much more, there’s an explosive market emerging for CBD-related pet products that will help pet owners manage their pet’s health.
Not to mention, CBD is being consistently marketed as a more natural alternative to medications or medicated products, which more pet owners will turn to as the natural pet care trend continues to rise.
Pet influencer partnerships
Social media influencers aren’t just human anymore — they’re also furry…with four legs…and a tail!
Where once social media users would follow human influencers (think: celebrities, artists, fashion brands and more), now users are adding pets to the mix. Many dogs, cats, and other exotic animals are becoming so famous on platforms like Instagram that brands are paying big bucks to partner with and collaborate on social media campaigns with these animals.
For smaller pet businesses, niche pet influencers are a great alternative if a social media influencer campaign is something your brand wants to explore. The name of the game, as always, is engagement — and often, the niche influencers have this in spades!
How these trends impact your pet brand
While not every trend the pet industry will see this year will impact your pet brand, some will definitely inform how and what you sell in 2021. And that means being prepared to iterate your offerings and marketing to meet consumer demand.
If, for instance, you own a pet brand that sells dog shampoo and conditioner, you’ll have to watch some industry trends more closely, as your products and ingredients might need an update. Consumers are becoming more quality conscious, and where natural pet care is king, many pet brands will be at the mercy of how consumers perceive their products.
How you market your brand and products will also be impacted by industry trends. Consider how quickly customers can switch brands or change their opinion of a product just based on marketing alone! For many pet brands (but especially smaller businesses), paying close attention to brand sentiment and what your community and audiences are saying about your brand will help you change your strategy if you need to.
Generally speaking, keeping an eye on the industry’s trends is also a wise thing to do if you plan on creating new products or changing existing ones. The same goes for pet brands that may be considering offering a new service or partnering with influencers. If your marketing tactics will be impacted by a specific trend (or informed by them), it’s crucial to keep in mind what that could mean for your brand long-term!
While every industry experiences its fair share of trends that come and go, it’s inevitable that some trends will stick around and have long-lasting impacts on businesses. To avoid catering your brand and products to a trend, consider how your brand will be impacted if you choose to optimize your marketing to meet trending consumer needs.
If you’re stuck on how to do that, our team at Street Dog Marketing is here to help! Chat with us today about how we can help you grow your pet brand.