The pet food industry certainly has had their share of issues over the years. The list includes deceiving customers with cheap ingredients, dangerous additives and artificial preservatives that are dangerous for the long-term health of a pet. Manufacturers are ruthless when it comes to intentionally betraying consumers with pet food labels.
How to reposition a Canadian pet food brand within a global marketplace. Elmira Pet Food Manufacturing acquired the Nutram brand, and senior management set major goals including industry disruption, increased revenue projections, packaging, credibility and consumer education.
The OGK team immediately realized what a tall order we had in front of us. As always, we began with profound research. This included surveying pet owners, pet store managers, animal nutritionists and industry professionals. By developing a central theme of “love,” our creatives were able to produce sophisticated materials, gorgeous imagery, unsurpassed package designs and simplified purchase programs.
Since we were handed the Nutram name at the inception of the project, our role was to develop the supporting elements with a tagline, slogan, positioning statement and back story to bring the entire brand communication to life. Customer needs, roles and functions all needed to be identified while evaluating the complete purchase cycle.
The task of boiling down a brand’s essence to a single unique selling proposition can certainly be demanding. However, it is extremely worthy to nail down the brand story — we knew the “love” concept had to forge a valuable connection with pet owners from all different cultures. This is so important, as consumers want to connect with a brand that represents their values and virtues.
A tagline is a key identity for your brand. It’s a short set of words that make up a memorable phrase about your brand’s key values. The Nutram marketing team immediately fell in “love” with the tagline because it had such deep meaning for the brand identity and what went into the manufacturing of each product recipe.
When we were first introduced to the Nutram family of products there were too many SKUs with various combinations of ingredients and names. As part of the overall marketing plan and profitability structure, our team organized the sub-brands into three component brands.
As Nutram brand pet food is centered around optimal health, prevention of diseases and general wellness, our creative teams understood that the best elements come from Mother Earth. With that in mind, we used all aspects of nature including the sun, soil, water and sky as the Nutram creative palette for all of the marketing resources and brand guidelines.
This sub-brand was designed for pet owners seeking natural and holistic pet products that cater to owners looking for grain-free options and low-glycemic carbs.
This sub-brand was designed to be a mainstay long-term product that the pet can consume for many years.
This sub-brand was produced to support a pet’s specific health condition.
Our client requested that we examine the global market and identify what was missing from the leading manufacturers. From this, we assembled a four-sided package that grabs a consumer’s attention, showcases competence of the company, gains respect for their mission and stands above the competition.
Many fun and originative concepts went into the making of each Nutram bag design. For example, one of the layouts features a surfer with his dog in the background on the front cover. Then, when you turn the bag over, you see the dog staring at his surfer owner from the reverse angle.
Our crew flew to breathtaking locations that provided the scenery and backdrops for appealing photoshoots. To remain on brand and ensure we captured scenery that accurately and perfectly represents Canada, location scouting was an important ingredient of successful package design and marketing campaigns.
From our research, the OGK team learned about what pet owners desire from the packaging of commercial pet food. There have been great advances in packaging design in the last several years, and because our client had an innovative, high-definition printing system, we were able to exceed expectations with flexible options, vibrant colors and intelligent layouts.
Leading manufacturers stopped using actual pictures of pets on the front of their packages. This was due to the difficulty involved with photographing animals, as well as the expense of hiring trained experts to assist with this process. OGK embraced the concept of using actual pets, knowing that it would create a connection for pet owners seeking a trustworthy product. OGK’s attention to detail — including each photographed pet wearing a personalized engraved tag on its collar — helped make the Nutram packaging an award winner.
Our strategy was to ensure that the Nutram booth would be visible from any vantage point on the floor. Whether from an elevator view or across many aisles, the professional signage, attractive packages and high columns would set the stage for credibility and ease of locating the product. We desired a very free-flowing route to the Nutram booth and we were successful in delivering this for our client.
In order for consumers to truly relate to the “love” concept, the art direction needed to showcase the connection between pet and owner. Multiple computer graphic and photography techniques were integrated into the art direction to make the hero characters pop.
No more confusing labels, bag colors or endless searches in a massive pet supermarket retail store! The Nutram Number helps consumers know exactly which type of dog or cat food they need or desire. Each consumer can easily follow six simple steps to determine their Nutram Number. No other manufacturer allows you to enter the type of pet, grain option, stage of life, size, weight and special needs to quickly identify which products would work best for your pet.
If you find yourself in a purchase situation without knowing exactly which bag and package name you are seeking, it’s easy to buy the wrong product. Therefore, our creative team was determined to simplify the process by establishing a two-part identifier system. This turned out to be a huge hit in the marketplace.
In order to engage customer loyalty and foster ongoing relationship management, our strategists designed a multi-purpose application that could preform many tasks. This included tracking customers’ purchasing behaviors and following along with the wellbeing of each pet as they experience different stages of life. Through prudent marketing techniques, we presented Nutram’s management team with concepts on gift giving and sample testing in exchange for approval and data collection.
Since we designed the application to work for both retailers and consumers, capturing data would be paramount for research, cross promotions, driving traffic to appropriate zip code retailer matches, and a host of other marketing efforts.
The primary goal for nearly every business is profitability. By custom designing just three options for consumers to select from, Nutram could cover all the requested industry categories while maximizing their sales and profit potentials. Our team audited various product combinations that did not offer a mass appeal and eliminated low-margin flavors.
Our in-store retail campaign was a mainstay for the overall branding efforts and rollout strategy. Our creative team recognized that the ideal audiences needed immediate awareness to kick-off the initial brand launch.
Having a website is mandatory in today’s marketing environment. However, making it “sticky” and getting visitors to return consistently is fundamental for every brand. We added the Nutram LIFE platform to focus on the owner’s needs. It is a source of information outlining things like places you can take your pet — for example, local dog parks, dog beaches, and more.
This was an inventive campaign that allowed pet owners to take their own health seriously while evaluating family nutrition, exercise and other ways to achieve their most balanced lives.
Retail buyers and consumers, alike, are always seeking reasons to differentiate their brand from the pack. The OGK team succeeded by creating an element no other brand ever has. The concept is a one-of-a-kind seal that fuses an image of a dog and a cat, creating a unique brand certification stamp. Our client loved this and it became a total brand separator.