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Pet mania: How brands are jumping on the hottest investment trend

03 February 2022

With more than three million UK households now owning a pet, the sector has experienced a boom in sales and on the stock market. Largely as a result of the increase in flexible working and time spent at home during the pandemic, pet-related businesses and stock are experiencing significant growth.

Indeed, some have overtaken the performance of US technology-focused stocks, with the pet exchange trade fund PAWZ gaining 76%. Plus, with most pets living for ten years or more, experts predict that it’s likely this sector will continue to grow. So, how are businesses taking advantage of consumers’ love for their pets?

Targeting young pet owners

People aged under 34 make up more than half of the UK’s pet owners. With millennials now the largest segment of pet owners, tapping into their love of pets has become a key tactic for brands looking to attract younger consumers. More brands than ever are using pets in their product photography and marketing creatives, from Basset Hounds promoting Vans to cats appearing in Zara’s campaigns.

The growth in millennial pet owners has also had an impact on the sector itself. Younger consumers’ preferences for digital-first businesses and purpose-driven brands have meant pet care, insurance and food retailers have had to stay astride of these trends. Whether it’s connecting with charities, building digital tools and subscriptions or creating educational content, the pet industry has undergone rapid change to attract millennial pet owners more effectively.

Highlight pets’ human side

Giving pets the quality products and experiences they value so highly is a priority for millennial consumers and the brands trying to attract them. Easter eggs, facials and luxury holidays for pets are just a few examples of how the humanisation of pets is revolutionising businesses’ products and services. Hilton Hotels, Made.com and Aldi are just some of the brands looking to take a slice of the £2.9bn UK pet care market.

Humanising pets has also become a key part of many businesses’ marketing campaigns too. As well as using pets in their product promotions and brand creatives, there’s been a growth in the use of petfluencers for adverts and endorsements. With an engaged following, their own causes and brand, these social media characters are proving to be a highly effective marketing tactic.

Making the customer feel at home

Having welcomed a pet into their family to combat loneliness and enhance their mental wellbeing in the pandemic, dogs, cats and other animals are now a key part of many people’s homes. As a result, many businesses looking to attract parents, families or enhance the friendliness of their brand are using pets in their marketing.

Jaguar’s ads show how their cars have plenty of boot space to take the dog on outdoor adventures, Samsung promotions show how their phones are perfect for adoring cat owners and M&S loungewear creatives painted the picture of a cosy, family Christmas. In short, pets aren’t just ideal for making consumers feel at home with a brand, but for demonstrating product benefits and features too.

Choose the best pet talent

From pet food brands looking to promote their digital subscription to lifestyle businesses who want to make their customers feel at home with their brand, the most effective marketing campaigns need the best pet talent. Trusted by the biggest retail brands, our expert team are experienced in finding the ideal talent for any project.

With a huge variety of good-looking and well-trained animal actors and models on our books, we can help you to find the perfect pet star to meet your project’s needs and connect with your audience. For more information, call us on 020 8161 6556 or email us at info@urbanpawsuk.com

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