When Express Pet Supplies was created, its founder John Mason and E-commerce Manager Daniel Scott knew that the task ahead of them would not be an easy one.
Pet owners are some of the most knowledgeable customers. For the majority, most of the information they have on their pet's diet comes from their vet rather than the Internet.
Studies show that when they buy food for their four-legged friends, they place as much, if not more, importance on the quality of the ingredients as when they buy food for themselves.
That's why John and Daniel have made quality the signature of the Express Pet Supplies brand.
"Our goal is to provide foods that are healthy, nutritious and natural", says Daniel. Our customers know that when they buy our products, the ingredients are guaranteed to be of the highest possible quality."
A demanding clientele means that there is very little room for manoeuvre if wrongdoers decide to take advantage of a brand's intellectual property and sell a counterfeit version of a high-quality product.
In fact, customers are so concerned about quality that food products made entirely at home from start to finish are the biggest competitors in the pet food industry as customers are so emotionally invested in the well-being of their furry friends. Poor-quality or counterfeit products are likely to put brands at risk even before they are launched.
"At the end of the day, the customer doesn't know where the product comes from. If they buy from a certain brand, they expect to get exactly the product they paid for."
From start-up to major player
Daniel and John's strategy of prioritising high quality has paid off.
Although the company didn't even have its own website until 2014, a whole 14 years after Express Pet Supplies was launched, it has achieved sustained growth. According to Daniel, this is mainly down to Amazon.
We sold our products on multiple websites, but Amazon was the real driver of our growth. It was by far our biggest channel, accounting for 80 to 90% of our total turnover.
Their success on Amazon inspired them to take their brand to the next level. The first step towards achieving this was to register their logo and brand name as trademarks.
Developing the brand
Once the Express Pet Supplies brand was registered, they signed up for Amazon Brand Registry. As a result, they were able to protect their brand and significantly expand their presence on Amazon by enrolling in other brand development programmes offered through Brand Registry.
"Enrolling in the Brand Registry has a number of advantages.
A+ Content and Sponsored Brands allow you to spread the word about your brand to reach more customers and showcase the best you have to offer. These tools have really helped us to highlight the quality of our products."
In addition, joining Brand Registry allowed them to sign up for Transparency and start taking advantage of the brand-protection benefits that the programme offers.
"Transparency in a word? Excellent!"
"Transparency allows customers to physically check that the product they have received is authentic. At the end of the day, what matters most is that the customer is satisfied. So this programme makes a huge difference."
With customer confidence in mind, Express Pet Supplies was one of the first brands to share content through the new customer-engagement feature available in the Transparency app. "Sharing more of the brand's story and product information while allowing customers to verify the authenticity of the products has helped to reassure them and to strengthen the brand's reputation", says Daniel.
Customer engagement is an opportunity to provide more information about the products and the brand itself. In addition to reassuring your customers that they will get the product they ordered, this approach helps maintain the consistency of your message, which helps strengthen your brand's reputation.
The company's sales and number of repeat customers have also increased, which is a testament to the quality of Express Pet Supplies products.
With pet food sales set to skyrocket over the next five years and the brand's reputation well established, the future of Express Pet Supplies looks brighter than ever.
Transparency is the key to this success.
"Transparency shows that Amazon is committed to protecting brands and ensuring that sub-standard and counterfeit products are not sold on its platform. It also demonstrates your desire to offer your customers the best possible quality."
"I would definitely recommend Transparency, as it has allowed us to expand significantly at a lower price. The benefits far outweigh the costs."
Transparency has been a success for us. On average, our sales have increased by 50%. The quality of our products and eliminating counterfeits have played a decisive role in this. We don't have to worry that counterfeits will tarnish our brand.
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