The pet industry is booming, and if you’re active on social media, you have almost certainly noticed an ever-increasing tide of pawsome pet products being integrated into the posts of your favorite online pals. Brands of all sizes are now having to look beyond traditional broadcast and print ads in order to reach the eyes and ears of their outlying target customers. An ever-increasing trend of pay-to-view services like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu has changed the landscape of the marketplace as customers prefer to binge-watch favorite shows without the constant drumbeat of commercial interruptions. Should you ask anyone under 30 if they have seen the new Cardi B Pepsi Commercial, you will find that, unless they live for live sports, there is a good chance they have not.
Who can you trust?
If you suspect that the sudden attention from huge multinational brands could have turned into a prosperous business for almost any pet-centric Instagram or Facebook account boasting a large following, you are right…but only sort of. True, product placement with an adorable pet can sometimes cost a brand upwards of $2000 per product-loving post, depending on follower counts (Forbes.com). That said, in many instances, manufacturers are only asked to send free products. No money is exchanged. For this simple reason, the way into the consciousness of target consumers has become a much more level playing field as, with these influencers, large companies with the financial capacity to make huge TV time ad purchases are no more powerful than small companies when it comes to an honest product review.
How has this changed things?
The power of Pet Influencers has produced a very refreshing and honest result for consumers and small brands alike. If a product performs as it should, or better, outperforms the Influencer’s expectations, the resulting endorsement is pure gold. A prime example is our Mini Pet Hair Detailer which entered the marketplace with no ad budget. Positioned as a tiny David against products from Goliath-like multinational competitors, the Lilly Brush MPHD has managed to gain remarkable traction thanks to Pet and Car Detailer Influencers who were blown away when they were able to use the $10 tool to remove previously impossibly embedded pet hair from car carpets and home fabrics.
How will this impact the future?
We have all seen how forums such as Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp and Amazon’s 5-star rating system have forced manufacturers and service providers into accountability through individual conversations with their consumers. The Influencer community is a powerful extension of this trend. Yes, dollars do sometimes change hands, but should you find yourself wondering whose peppering of product endorsements you can trust as unbiased, or who is formally representing a brand, you can almost always get a straight answer if you ask. Just remember, these very popular people and pets became well-loved because they took care of their followers so misrepresenting something for pay would be more damaging to them than it would be to you!
The Lilly Brush Team
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