In the U.S., more than 2 out of every 3 households has a pet. That’s nearly 393 million pets across the nation. So catering to customers’ pets is becoming almost as important as catering to the customers’ themselves. Many companies have started making people products, for pets. Casper, for example, noticed that customers’ dogs really enjoyed their new mattresses, so they made a new, adapted version of the mattress as a dog bed. Chaco uses the same durable webbing to make sandals for hiking and matching hands-free leashes and collars for their customers’ dogs. Rok Straps created stretchable leashes for dogs that like to pull, using the same materials that they use for their cargo straps. Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, & Coach all make high-fashion designs for dogs.
Another way that companies show their love for customers’ pets is by servicing pets in many unique ways. Bass Pro Shops has created and celebrates “Dog Days” each spring with free pet portraits, wellness checks, grooming demos, and many more. Ikea doesn’t allow dogs in their stores, but some locations provide customers’ with ‘Dog Parking’ with water, astroturf, and a tie out to keep dogs safe and comfy while they wait for their owners to finish up.
A growing number of restaurants are welcoming pets to their outdoor patios and drive thrus. Across the U.S., craft breweries are increasingly opening their doors to dogs. “Beer and dogs go hand in hand; they’re both social things” said Bethany Vinton, director of DogsOnTap. In 2014, “Cat Café”, a short lived pop-up, opened in New York City; it featured adoptable cats from a local shelter.
More than half of Millennials think it’s essential to dine with their pet, so quite a few cafés and fast food places have secret special menus for diners’ pets. Starbucks has the ‘Puppuccino’ which is a small cup filled with whipped cream. In-N-Out has the ‘Pup Patty’ which consists of a plain patty with no spices or salt. Dairy Queen’s ‘Pup Cup’ is comprised of a dish of soft-serve, topped with a dog treat. Shake Shack has the ’Pooch-ini’ which is made up of vanilla custard with dog treats and peanut butter. Welcoming customers’ pets can show to your customers that you value and love their pets as much as they do which could unlock a new contingent of loyal customers.
Americans value their dogs. In 2018, Americans spent $72 billion on their pets; that’s about $1,300 per pet parent. For our pets we’re willing to give a whole lot. 3 of 4 Americans would make financial sacrifices for their pets. Pet parents are willing to give up eating out, traveling, and even saving up for retirement for their pet poochies. 76% of Millennials and 505 of Baby Boomers are more likely to splurge on their pets rather than themselves. So when companies care about their pets 92% feel positive, 87% feel trusting, and 88% feel more loyal to that company.
Find out more of the benefits of pet-friendliness in business here.
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