Pet bloggers harness great power for brands
By Carol Bryant

Share this article:  

With the American Pet Products Association reporting a record-setting spending projection of more than $55 billion in the pet industry for 2012, pet bloggers are the carrying the torch passed from mom bloggers, and brands are taking notice.

INDUSTRY PULSE

Do you think pet bloggers influence the pet products industry?
  • 1. Yes
  • 2. No

In a study released by Trone Brand Energy, a reported 20 percent of pet bloggers are considered highly influential and have monthly readerships of at least 10,000 readers. Three-quarters of these influencers have blogged for at least three years to build a steady, loyal following. Influencers report dealing with at least six or more pet care brands from a marketing perspective.

Do you ever feel like this? "I know what pet parents want. I go to the shows, walk the expos, interact with the brands, and my dog and his pack of friends participate in frequent play dates."

Or maybe: "I see the toys and water bowls, and read the food and treat labels with the scrutiny of a trained pet product expert's eye. I tell my friends, who are the key purchasing parties in their households for pet supplies."

Me, too. And thousands, if not millions, of others, feel the same way.

If you've been to a pet bloggers conference, you know the energy, enthusiasm, networking, idea exchange and layers of relationships that are formed. The American Pet Products Association's National Pet Owner Survey for 2011-2012 revealed that in the past 10 years, use of the Internet has more than doubled as a pet care information provider. Pet bloggers are influencing people. We are force with which to be reckoned.

Statistically, the numbers are also behind "us," the pet bloggers, and the anticipated growth skyrocketing of the pet industry, of which we are the voice. Cases in point:
  • The Wall Street Journal revealed that "PetSmart Thrives Treating Owners Like Pet Parents" — Their mantra of treating pet parents like the moms and dads they are has proven profitable.

  • Carol Frank writes in her paper, Anthropomorphism is not the Only Driver of Pet Industry Growth, "It has become common knowledge that anthropomorphism is the driving force behind the pet sector's faithful 6.7 percent growth nearly year after year. This begs the question: Is anthropomorphism the cause or the result of the industry boom? Has there been a deeper cultural shift beneath the pet industry that can help guide pet product producers to the promised land?"

  • In a recent report, FranchiseHelp.com shared, "Pet pampering is becoming the norm, as pet owner spending has moved far beyond simple food and grooming expenses to include innovative and specialized premium products." People view pets as the members of the family they are and they are willing to spend money even during economic struggles.

  • Fox Business is reporting that the U.S. economy has gone to the dogs. According to the APPA's 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, dog owners spent an average of $407 a year on surgical visits, $248 on routine checkups, $274 on kennel boarding and $254 on food. And that is before other costs like vitamins ($95), travel expenses ($78) and toys ($43).
I could spend an entire afternoon reciting statistics that bark in favor of the pet industry and the power and responsibility of the pet blogger. Dino Dogan, founder of Triberr.com, perhaps said it best when he shared, "You guys are the celebrities of the future. You guys are the taste makers and influencers. You guys are the force to be reckoned with."

Hello, brands: It's me, the pet blogger. Come and knock on my very influential door.

"A dog lover of the highest order," is how Gayle King introduced Carol Bryant when she, along with her cocker spaniel, Dexter, appeared on Oprah Radio's Gayle King show to dish dogs. A frequent media contributor, Carol has appeared on television, radio and in print. A repeat nominee from the Dog Writers Association of America, Carol also writes for Dogster and Pet360, maintains her own canine-centric blog (FidoseofReality.com) and is the PR and marketing manager for BlogPaws pet blogger social media community and conferences.