A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post talking about how smart brands don’t market their products, they market the passions of their customers. Red Bull isn’t selling energy drinks, it’s marketing and investing in extreme sports and activities. Or what happens after you drink its product. Patagonia isn’t marketing its clothing, it’s marketing the beliefs and passions of its customers, such as sustainability, being active outdoors, and protecting the environment. Both companies are smart enough to focus on their customers’ passions, moreso than just their products. Any marketing done for its products is done in a way that relates and connects with the passions of its customers.
Pedigree is another company that taps into its customers’ passions with its marketing efforts. Pedigree is marketing to dog owners. Obviously. But dog owners don’t just love their dog, they love all dogs. They care for all dogs and want all dogs to live happier and healthier lives.
Pedigree does too. Of course, Pedigree markets that its dog food helps dogs live happier and healthier lives. But that’s not going to resonate with customers, because all dog food manufacturers market that their dog food will improve the life of your dog. So when Pedigree says that it loves dogs like you do, it doesn’t resonate because it sounds like marketing.
But that’s not all Pedigree does. The dog food manufacturer actively invests in creating better lives for dogs, especially shelter dogs. Pedigree is committed to helping shelter dogs live happier and healthier lives, and here’s three ways they follow through on this commitment:
1 – The Pedigree Feeding Project. Pedigree partners with shelters across the country to provide them with free dog food. The idea is that by getting better food and a better diet, these shelter dogs will be healthier, more active and energetic, which will increase their chances of being adopted. Plus, it helps alleviate the costs of running the shelter for the owners, allowing them to spend more time and money on finding parents for their dogs.
2 – Pedigree Shelter Renovation Project. Pedigree has partnered with GreaterGood.org and country music superstar Miranda Lambert to renovate dog shelters around the country, giving dogs places to play, and free dog food. The idea again being that happier and healthier dogs will be adopted faster.
3 – Pedigree Adoption Drive. This is the effort you are probably the most familiar with from Pedigree’s commercials. The message is simple, adopt a dog. You see commercials like this featuring Echo, who isn’t adopted:
And then he is….
By actively investing in initiatives that help dog shelters and make it easier for shelter dogs to be adopted into caring families, Pedigree is communicating to its customers that it shares their passion for happier and healthier dogs. This makes the brand more interesting (and trustworthy) to customers because its rooted in larger ideas and themes (dog adoption, helping dog shelters renovate, helping shelter dogs get adopted by loving families) that the customer is passionate about.
It’s not about marketing the product. It’s about marketing the larger passion that the product is a part of. That larger passion is what customers care about. Customers don’t care about your product until you help them realize how your product connects to the larger idea/theme/belief that they are truly passionate about.
If you can do that, then your customers will become just as passionate about your brand.