Just for Pets
Just For Pets (JFP); a group of independent pet store owners had just 2% share of the pet retail trade. Two major corporate competitors Petbarn, and Petstock were aggressively opening new stores, under-cutting the prices of long-established independents. Unlike operator-owned JFP member stores, run by career pet experts these corporate competitors offered a huge, discounted range, familiar branding, but minimal service and very little in-house pet expertise.
JFP needed a way to unite the group towards a common goal, galvanize it against competitors and demonstrate to shoppers the value of supporting independent pet stores.
In discussions with marketing strategist Amanda Blennerhassett, the JFP CEO; Karen Justice relayed her early experience as a Baby Health Nurse, working in pharmacies where she provided free expert advice to young mums, which built strong loyalty and sales for the pharmacy. Amanda suggested the positioning of JFP as the step before the vet, as pharmacy is before the doctor. JFP developed the ‘Pet Health Centre” concept and engaged Customedia to design the media strategy to reach consumers.
Customedia recommended a media test market, where a cross-channel TV, Video, Digital Display and Search campaign could be geo-targeted, implemented, controlled and all outcomes from sales, digital activation, store traffic, brand awareness, advertising awareness and shopper’s feedback could be measured and captured to encourage JFP members and key suppliers to participate in and support of a national roll-out. On a shoe-string budget, a four-month pilot commenced in on the NSW South Coast.
After just a four month pilot, JFP Brand recognition went from zero to third place behind Petbarn and Petstock. Advertising recognition was 45%, 51% of pet owners who registered for The Pet Health check were new customers, 48% of those aware of JFP said they were more likely to visit JFP because of the “PetHealth Centre” concept, 90% who used the “Pet Health Centre” were extremely satisfied and 94% would recommend it to a friend. The average basket value increased by 92% after a pet health check. Pilot store turnover increased by 10% during the pilot period, and by 24.7% YOY for April 2015; twelve months after the pilot began. Core ranging increased from 40 to 65 member stores, and since October 2013, no member store has closed down due to competitive activity.