Thursday, May 29, 2008

Toyota and Honda Dog-Friendly Cars

Honda's dog-friendly concept car introduced in 2005 has evolved into a comprehensive marketing campaign that is creating sales in Japan, according to Reuters ("Dog-lovers of the world unite...around Honda," by Chang Ran-Kim, Reuters, May 29, 2008).

Honda Dog uses its 1.5 million monthly website visitors to sell cars and its Travel Dog line of pet accessories.

Not to be outdone, Toyota also has a Japanese website for dog owners featuring the Corolla called C Loves Dog.

In case you don't read Japanese, it's still fun to click around these sites. I assume it's just a matter of time until the U.S. versions come out as the auto industry aggressively seeks to differentiate products while appealing to broad demographics.

Closer to home, helps American pet parents choose the best pet-friendly cars, by reviewing new models specifically from a dog owner's perspective.

Read all posts about dog cars.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Business Resources

The largest trade organization in the industry, the APPMA has updated their website with some valuable information for pet businesses and about the pet industry.

Check out the new blog written by Bob Vetere, president of the American Pet Products Manufacturer's Association. This should be a good way to stay informed about the latest trends and issues.


Monday, May 05, 2008

Pet Business News

VCA Antech, Inc. (NASDAQ:WOOF) reported a profitable first quarter of 2008 as it continues to acquire animal hospitals and grow its laboratory business. Although elective procedures tend to diminish when consumers cut back, this strength highlights the fact that the bar is moving; some services once considered elective are now being considered necessities. VCA seems to be on its way to becoming the managed care company for pets, primarily dogs and cats.

Utilizing the pet industry to differentiate a business in a crowded market has been a popular strategy the last few years. Check out Peninsula House Hound dog-friendly real estate website, with features like 'Search Homes Near Dog Parks'.

Anyone watch Nascar this weekend? Dog food marketing is big business in the U.S., and Mars, Inc.'s Pedigree brand is prominently featured on Kyle Busch's number 18 car. This sports sponsorship by Mars draws an average of about 6 million viewers per race, according to ACNielsen ratings for April and May of 2008. But the company didn't stop there; Mars' Nascar marketing campaign is directly tied to its adoption drive, illustrating the importance of the adoption channel for generating long-term brand loyalty in the pet sector.

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