Steve Sweitzer

Taste of the Wild: How to create a new brand category

Steve Sweitzer
Taste of the Wild: How to create a new brand category

How do you gain a competitive edge in the fiercely competitive dog food market? 

Create a new brand category. 

It’s not often that a client will engage its agency to create a new product but, we were more than mere admakers. After researching the diets of ancient canines in the wild and studying current consumer health trends, we recommended following the consumer Paleo diet movement. The result was, “Taste of the Wild” pet food. 

Think about it. Ancestral canines didn’t eat grains. They ate meat. And it’s the same today. Meat is what dogs crave, both in the wild and at home.

To add to the appeal, Taste of the Wild was launched with unique flavors like roasted pheasant and smoked bison. We found that consumer-style descriptions appeal more to the buyer of dog food in the household than ordinary descriptions.

Prior to launch, we leaked news of this upcoming new product through sales channels, followed by personal phone calls to pet food buyers by the owners at Diamond pet foods.  It was an unorthodox, understated, un-advertising approach. Upon launch, online and retail sales exploded, creating a whole new category of healthy dog food. Supplies sold out and demand became so high during the first year for this product that a new California production facility dedicated solely to the Taste of the Wild was built.

Purina, Blue Buffalo, and other pet foods are still trying to catch up with their me-too products and huge advertising budgets.

Great product ideas do not need much advertising.

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