Pets at Home had become a successful national business but marketing support was negligible and growth had come purely from store expansion.
With a £250m valuation and an ambitious business growth plan the management team at Pets set us the task of quantifying advertising’s ability to help them reach their like for like sales target of 5%. This shift meant we had to tackle the big supermarkets head-on and with a significantly inferior marketing spend we needed to behave like a true challenger brand.
The latest step in our five-year journey has been to connect with pet owners on a more emotional level. How? By demonstrating something we knew the supermarkets couldn’t claim.
Pets at Home staff undertake rigorous training and as a consequence are hugely knowledgeable but the thing we really wanted to demonstrate was that they also understood what it was like to be a pet owner – we dubbed this unique combination of knowledge and affection, 'Friendly Expertise'.
Since launch we have helped achieve record levels of spontaneous brand awareness (over 8 million more than when we started) and penetration (6.3 million more people have shopped there). Equally as important however has been the shift in shopping behaviour away from supermarkets with increases in the number of “regular” shoppers by 56% and “most often” shoppers by 38%.
Pets at Home recently floated with the company being valued at £1.5bn