While there are an endless amount of industries that will continue to benefit more and more from the “Internet of Things” era, the innovations that seem the most useful to me impact the being that I love the most in the world – my dog, Cooper. As many pet owners have realized, the hardest part of caring for an animal is that they can’t tell you exactly what they want or need. You can only tell based on their behavior if they are comfortable, happy, and safe.
This article describes the many ways that IoT is innovating to help pet owners ensure that our fur babies are both secure and healthy. One example I am really considering buying is pet wearables (similar to our FitBits and Appe Watches) that can track health data for pets, including their activity level and biometric status. These devices can also help monitor a pets sleeping pattern, eating habits, respiratory rhythm, and more. Furthermore, the GPS feature in these products could help owners locate their pets if they ran away or went missing.
There are also a variety of automatic pet feeders that can help pet owners monitor how much and when their animals are eating as well as smart toys that facilitate a more active play time.
I believe that these innovative devises are going to disrupt the previously fairly cookie cutter pet accessory/toy industry because every pet owner wants to find a way to improve their pets’ well being and the Internet of Things gives them that ability. If I were a marketing strategist in this industry, I would ensure that my company was investing in these technologies and branding our products as ones that will most effectively keep pets happy.
In order to come up with a value proposition for these devices, it will be important for marketers in the pet industry to truly understand the pains and gains of pet owners, whose job is to take care of their pets – feeding them, walking them, and taking them to the vet for regular check ups and when things go wrong. Pet owners try to avoid the pain of not being able to communicate directly with their animals by bonding with them and using behavioral cues to understand their pets’ needs. The better a pet owner is able to do this, the more they gain because they will be able to care for their animals more effectively, leading to happier fur baby.
Pet products taking advantage of the Internet of Things, specifically through the devices I mentioned above, are marketed most effectively when their messaging displays how their products relieve these pains and creates gains for pet owners. For an example, based on the the pet wearable products I described above, an effective brand positioning statement might be “To animal lovers whose pets are part of their family, wearables are the pet accessory that will allow for a better understanding of pets’ health and happiness because these devices track their activity level, biometric status, sleeping pattern, eating habitats, respiratory rhythm, and GPS location and report them to the owner through their smart phone.” If companies in the pet wearable market framed their communications and messaging around the benefits of these devices in this way, they will be more likely to successfully bring in new customers who care about their pet’s well being.