Alpo

How we celebrated a bottom shelf brand

 
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Quick Take

Ask: Refresh a dog food brand that’s no longer top dog.

Insight: People pick dog food based on their own values, not what their dog likes.

Strategy: Everyone loves their dog, some people understand them.


Long Take

Situation: Premium dog food is growing rapidly while budget brands are on the decline. Additionally, Alpo’s focus on meat as a differentiator is no longer ownable as other, higher quality brands can lay claim to being the meatiest.

Strategic Approach: We started with store visits to get an idea of where Alpo was on the shelves. It wasn’t good. It was so bad in fact, that in one store, Alpo was in the cat food aisle. We then did a qualitative survey and a deep dive into Amazon and Chewy reviews to gain an understanding of who is actually buying Alpo, and found a disconnect between how people spoke about their dogs when they fed them Alpo vs. a more specialty meal.

 

Alpo User:

 

Non- Alpo User:

 
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This finding led directly to our insight.

Insight: People pick dog food based on their own values, not what their dog likes.

Strategy: Everyone loves their dog, some people understand them.

Target: Head of a two kid, two dog household living in suburban Texas, a value conscious shopper who buys the best for her family but within her budget (approx $20-$50/mo for dogs). She’s unpretentious, welcoming into her house, and not afraid to play around and get dirty with her dogs.

Campaign: The Dogs Have Spoken

Creative Approach: We launched the campaign with a fake Alpo case study:

 

Branding: We updated the logo and used dog friendly colors (aka colors that dogs can see) on the packaging and website to appeal to dogs.

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Digital: Launched a digital campaign where we created “finsta” (fake instagram) accounts of Instagram’s influencer dogs to drive awareness to the plight of the Alpo starved dog.

 

Traditional: Created digital mailers as well as print ads to drive sales.

In store: Instead of trying to move Alpo to another space on the shelf, we realized it perfectly placed to be around dog’s eye or nose level. We used paw prints to update in-store experience and created a coupon holder that dispenses doggy treats.

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Team: Chloe Friedman (AD), Zach Brown (CBM), Mitchell Moss (CW), Sailee Gupta (XD), Rachel Zhou (XD)

My role: co-wrote creative brief, store visits, qualitative survey, 1 on 1 interviews, secondary research, Simmons