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Kennel Marketing – What is it? And why?

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138 – October,2015

By Attila Márton

What makes anyone more well-known than others? Why do some people who should be more successful regarding their achievements remain anonymous? Why do those interested turn to one particular breeder rather than others? What makes a breeder well-known and acclaimed internationally and what do others do that makes them unable to take one step further? And what does all this have to do with marketing?

What must be known about marketing?

Marketing in its everyday interpretation equals advertising, although advertising is merely a means of marketing.

It is rather difficult to sum up marketing and its meaning. As it is a divergent management tool, it is impossible to define it in one single word, sentence or phrase.

Marketing is a medium which makes us choose between two butcher shops for example. There are a lot of underlying mechanisms while making a choice. We consider the proximity of the given place as well as the prices, what we hear about it, and, whether we like it or not, we are even influenced by the color of the signs in the shop window as well as what the neighborhood and the equipment are like. For some, lower prices are more important and they are willing to travel more. For others, comfort is of more importance and they are willing to pay more in a shop nearby because they wish to buy products they consider to be of better quality; or they just think they buy prime produce.

The extent to which these factors influence us vary and there is a separate industry to find out what helps us make a decision when it comes to purchasing a product or using services. For instance, why do people choose a certain brand of yogurt in favor of another one? Surprising as it may sound, these decisions are rarely rational or logical: we rather tend to rely on emotions and decide subconsciously.

What does marketing have to do with breeding dogs?

The name of the kennel is a brand itself. Branding is an important component of marketing. A well-structured brand shows a complete picture of the services or products behind it. It is an indication of what to expect. A brand is not just a name. It includes design, definition, color and slogans. All these form a general impression of the product or service. If we broaden our view, a brand also includes what others say about it, how the representative of the brand communicates with us and the way the media present it to the public.

Whenever we hear the name of a kennel, we attach a lot of ideas to it if we are familiar with it. We remember what acquaintances say about it, what position the dogs they bred achieved in the latest dog show, and we even remember what opinion the breeder had in the latest forum debate. We have a ready picture.

Likewise, we form an opinion when we hear something for the first time. We hear the name of a kennel which suggests a first impression. We start surfing the net, getting new impressions, and the moment we find the website or we can’t find the source of information on the internet – these are all pieces of information that we use, although only subconsciously.

These are the impressions that make us decide. The picture we form about the given kennel makes us decide whether we visit the breeder when buying a dog, whether we will have a top winner bred to a dog from that kennel, whether we should ask for a breeder’s advice, or whether we should recommend them to our acquaintances at all.

And now let’s take a look

at kennel marketing

Let’s view this subject from another perspective. You are a breeder, and you want your kennel that you have been working on for a long time to become well-known and respected. You want others to know who you are, what your values are, and when a litter of puppies is born, you want to make sure all the puppies have an owner.

Surely, the world is full of people who have extraordinary achievements in their own professional field. However, no one knows about them. And the world is also full of people who are strident and self-confident, but in most cases they turn out to lack a proper professional background.

Neither of these roads can be taken in the long run. In the former case, there is no marketing or communication, so there is no visibility for those who would otherwise be interested. In the latter case, marketing is working but they do not convey the truth with it, which causes a loss of credibility.

Consciousness is a key word

To make everything work successfully, before you do anything tangible and spectacular, you must plan what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it.

You consider the image you want to present and how others should view your kennel. Then you choose the advertising means you consider most effective and choose them. You must be organized and plan ahead consciously in order to make the most of possibilities.

When things are working out already, you start watching whether what you had in mind works the way you wanted it to work. You adjust if necessary. If need be, you make up new things.

If you have reached this point, your marketing strategy is ready, as is the plan of action based on it.

Consciousness is more important than one might think. When someone does something consciously, even if it is a routine action, they adjust all the available means and sources, and make the most of the given situation to the best of their knowledge.

Imagine having a luncheon for friends without considering how many guests are coming, what their food preferences are, and what sort of dishes you want to serve. So you go to the market and buy all sorts of goods. Then, on the day of the dinner, you would start preparing the dishes using ingredients from the fridge, and you might or might not be ready on time. The dishes might suit your guests regarding taste or they might not. You might start preparing something and realize you don’t have a certain ingredient. Finally, the guests arrive, you open the door wearing an apron, and make five people sit down at a table set properly for one more or one fewer guest.

This would happen if you didn’t plan consciously. Well, this might be a lovely night with your friends anyway, but you could do better.

To whom? And what?

Our starting point was that marketing is needed because the aim is that those who see your name anywhere would have a nice impression of you and have a permanent picture they might remember later.

Here is one of the most crucial things that a lot of people disregard, although it is very important.

You might be a highly successful breeder for decades, or a breeder who made a dash into the international world of cynology who is an expert on genetics and movement. Your dogs might be world winners for the umpteenth time, or they might be Trial champions.

You can be proud of your achievements and rightfully so. However, the fact that you are smart does not interest anyone. You may not impress another breeder who is loooking for a male dog for mating, or a hobby dog owner who is looking for a housepet.

Everyone sees the world from their own perspective, and makes a decision based on the idea that would be the best for them…for them, not you. They have their own impression of you. That’s the starting point.

The other breeder is interested in what the puppies in the litter will be like if they breed to your dog, not your results. People who buy a dog as a pet worry about the extent to which puppies adapt to a new family smoothly and whether you are able to provide them help regarding the breed and its training.

Do not throw your results out the window, though. Those will be your powerful means of making yourself appear trustworthy and creditable. Your results will be your warranty and that must be used well.

If everything were about you having been or being good and clever, it would be frustrating after a certain amount of time. On the contrary, you must show those you have dealt with why and how they could benefit from working with you. That is the moment when your hard work and success comes into the picture. The order of things is important, as the needs of a potential partner always come first.

You might have several target groups to address via the tools of marketing. Do not burden a breeder with what might only be interesting for a suburban family, and vice versa. We can assume that you have different target groups with different needs. You want to address them and you want to show them how good you are at what you are doing. In other words, you are the one they can trust in a business relationship.

Your complete marketing strategy should be based on defining who you really want to address, thinking over carefully what different needs your target groups have.

Write a list of those you want to address. Are they breeders? Are they suburban families who wish to have a pet? Are they trainers who would like to train the world’s next agility champion?

If your list is ready, think over what they are really interested in and how you could influence them.

The name of the kennel and it’s the basis

Your kennel is the basic unit of your marketing activity onto which you are able to build everything – you have already chosen this name or you are about to choose one. This will be your brand. You will be known for that brand.

You will be able to lay foundations on it using well-chosen tools and making a good impression on your target group.

If we look at the world of advertising and brand building, we know which toothpaste makes our smile brilliant like porcelain, which car makes us look cool at night, which yogurt promises a healthy lifestyle, and which coffee makes us happy… even on a Monday morning.

A kennel name is a brand like those mentioned above. Not only its name but also the sound, the form, the color, its presence on the internet, and the graphics connected to it are factors that influence whether people believe that it guarantees quality. There should by all means be a concept behind that kennel name. It should match the breed or express a sensation. For a papillon kennel for example, the name Thunder might not be the luckiest choice.

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Posted by on Oct 19 2015. Filed under Current Articles, Editorial, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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