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Curiosity killed the copycat

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With 15 years’ experience questioning, creating and crafting brands in the pet industry, we decided to share our curiosities to get you thinking about how you can make your brand fit for the future… 

Can we create meaningful connections?

Never has it been more challenging to build strong, future-proofed brands. Consumer control, connectedness and immediacy are more dominant than ever, so brands are needing to continually adapt to remain relevant, and find ways to make their shoppers’ lives richer – not just easier.

Within the highly emotional pet space there are only a handful of brands creating more meaningful connections at shelf. Brands must start to break away from the pack and win the hearts and minds of shoppers.

Can you craft the right story?

Our eye has been captured by ‘Faux Naif’, a design code that is characterised by a ‘hand-made’ look and feel, as opposed to industrialised, mass production.

Faux Naif has been trending across categories and we’re now starting to see this design language adopted by larger brands to signify hand-crafted quality. Consumers are able to look beyond linear interpretation (ie. childish, untrustworthy) to decode the more sophisticated, underlying meaning.

Brands in the pet food space need to credibly tell a story of ‘carefully crafted’ to align with consumer preferences. After all, if consumers feel that brands are personally invested, won’t they be too?

Plastics: problem or potential?

We know that environmental consciousness had become a springboard for design and manufacturing innovation. But, while sustainability is key, what’s just as important is how to creatively translate this for brand growth.

Plastic is commonly used in the pet category and offers great benefits such a convenience and cost-effectiveness. However, a study found that a majority of consumers prefer to buy products in paper-based material, as its perceived to be more recyclable.

This provides the perfect opportunity for pet brands to start to alleviate consumer guilt over plastics. If a brand can communicate this more effectively, they can offer increased value and benefits to shoppers.

What do you mean?

We’ve seen many brands communicate functional product claims and little else. But as consumers have become more educated, product benefits have simply become the cost of entry in many categories.

Shoppers want to buy brands that match their own beliefs. We do not simply buy brands; we buy into the meanings they create and the feelings they evoke in us. We see the most successful brands as those that have a clear sense of purpose, and that truly stand for something.

So, how do you choose the right pieces of information to fulfil the aspirations of your shoppers? And, most importantly, can you engage with your consumers on a deeper level over a shared purpose?


Content includes:

All in
How can we foster and learn in order to create an inclusive and diverse culture in design?

Cultural diversity in design
Brands that cater to the widest range of people will not only be rewarded by consumer spending, but by elevated status in competitive markets too.

Design for a better world
Noteworthy brands who are innovating for a more inclusive world.

How do brands create cultural relevancy through compelling storytelling?
It’s not whether you stand up for a social issue, it’s how.

Why shouldn’t grass be purple?
Designing for colour blindness.


All In.


Fresh thinking from 1HQ