22. The way to a pet owner’s…wallet?

While home visiting family during Thanksgiving, I spent some quality time with our tiniest family member: the guinea pig!

Technically she’s my brother’s pet, but everyone in the house cares for her like she was their own. Who wouldn’t? She really is adorable.

Like most small pets, her cage is full of fun toys, ramps and plush places to snuggle and sleep. One sleeping area would of course be enough, but no! Our pig has three. If one chewing block is great, why not buy another? As pet owners, we grow attached to our pets and make connections with them, which in turn makes us happy. By personifying them, we feel like they need the same things that we need. It suddenly becomes so much easier (and more fun!) to spend more money on them. They’re basically like family, right?

The designs of successful product packaging know how to target a pet owner’s heart. Many product packages for pet food, bedding and toys have images of pets and their pet owners looking happy or multiple pets enjoying each other’s company while eating/playing with the product. We buy little “cookies” for our guinea pig, which she could easily eat until she burst. Simply by calling them cookies already shows that the ad agency is strategizing ways to get to the heart of the pet owner. We see “Cookies” on the package and immediately think of tasty, delectably treats. Eating cookies is an enjoyable activity; therefore, our pet should eat cookies and be happy too. Add “heart-shaped” to the package, and you’re golden. You can use my family as an example. We quickly purchased these alfalfa cookies for our piggy with her happiness in mind. She’d of course happily survive without them, but that’s beside the point.

Pet owners love their pets. There is no question about it. Whether marketing teams are turning a food product into the shape of a heart or focusing on the joy your pet will get while consuming/using a product, it’s clear that the way to a pet owner’s wallet is through their heart.

 

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