As if we needed any more persuading, the adoption of pets has dramatically increased since the pandemic, credited in large part to a shift from strict office culture to working from home (at least some of the time). With most of us now offered the flexibility – country and company dependent, of course – the four-legged friends many of us call family needn’t be left alone all day to cry, bark, or worse, chew. Between those countless Zoom calls and Teams conferences, we can finally be there to pet, walk and feed, as well as put on that satisfying load of laundry in-between duties.
A boost to our wellbeing
But it’s not just about being physically present for our pets throughout the working week. During Covid, our mental and physical wellness suffered, thanks to a lack of exercise and ongoing social restrictions, not to mention concerns about everything from jobs to money and health. It’s safe to say it was an anxious time. It’s hardly surprising, then, that with the passing of the pandemic came a renewed focus on self-care – mindfulness became the buzzword du jour – whereby we finally had permission to slow down, take a breath and prioritise ourselves. This included appreciating the health benefits of owning a pet – both for body and mind – whether it’s getting out and about more with a dog, or simply stroking a cat to keep us calm.
Now, more than a year on since life returned to ‘normal’, the continuation of more time at home and caring about our health has resulted in a boom of pet ownership, with more than 50% of households in the world’s main markets now owning an animal.* As you’d expect, there’s been a spike in pet services alongside, the biggest tapping into trends around customisation and convenience. Tailoring the likes of meal plans and medical care are key -wrapped up with intuitive tech tools and distinctive and ownable branding – as is delivering these products to your doorstop.
Four of the best
The most successful pet-tech start-ups, it seems, are helping us humans pay our pets back by giving them the best quality of life possible. It’s only fair, right? And it’s working, with a flurry of brands flourishing amid our new-found love for fur-babies, the best of which we’ve rounded-up below.
Serving up ‘human-grade’ food that staff themselves taste for quality – yes, really! – Butternut Box has revolutionised how we feed and nourish our pooches, with a brand that delivers real cut-through across channels and an intuitive and inspiring website that enables you to easily customise your plan to your companion. But the best bit? Not only does the branding deliver a truly omnichannel approach – consistent and creative at every touchpoint – but the boxes themselves are designed with their primary audience first and foremost with a small hole for ‘sniffing’ what’s inside. Genius.
Whether food or toys, there are plenty more fun things to prioritise when you get a pet other than boring old insurance, but Wagmo is adding surprising playfulness to the sector with a fun and colourful brand that’s seeing them soar (their tone-of-voice delivers real stand-out: ‘Pet parents, you got this’). But there’s substance as well as style. Unlike competitors, Wagmo doesn’t just offer coverage for the big stuff – broken bones, operations, et al – but ‘Wellness’ coverage for the smaller, earlier things that add up: think vaccinations, grooming and bloodwork. Better still, they’ve just wrapped it up as a unique B2B product, helping to deliver cut-through in an increasingly crowded marketplace. Now, they are offering ‘Wellness’ to businesses as a suite of seriously attractive employee benefits, with perks including cashback every time a colleague takes their pet to the vet for a health check. Better still, the pet insurance and perks start-up is founded by two female entrepreneurs, meaning this has got our vote already.
Offering another alternative take on pet food, US-based PetPlate offers tailored plans and convenient delivery for your furry friends much like Butternut, with all their recipes cooked up by in-house vet nutritionists. Plans are powered by an algorithm that lets you quickly and easily see if you’re over- or under-feeding, as well as impart recommendations on portion control to counteract dog obesity. With their branding infused with their expertise across the board, it’s a name that has built trust with the American public since launching in 2015, and rightly so.
Billed as ‘the first-of-its-kind platform that supports the ever-increasing pet parent community’, Supertails is another start-up making a splash, offering a one-stop shop for everything your animal needs under one roof – food, accessories, medicine, you name it. But what sets them apart is their offering of ‘tele-healthcare’, virtually connecting you to veterinary care and training support without leaving the comfort of home, paired with doorstep delivery on all their products to boot. Their branding is slick, too, with content assets such as training videos to support.
If you’re a pet-tech business and want Bray St. to help you with powerful branding that delivers growth in an exciting market, get in touch to talk about our services.