In 1999, P&G acquired the leading Pet Care brand in the industry—the Iams Company which produced Iams and Eukanuba. The company was a pioneer in premium pet nutrition, and its brands were endorsed by top breeders, veterinarians, and pet owners. The company was at the top of a growing $17B industry.
P&G drove initial growth by expanding into Mass and Club. However, the company struggled to drive natural growth. Meanwhile, the market shifted as “human-grade” ingredients became increasingly important to pet parents. P&G was resistant to the change what they knew was scientifically proven to be best for dogs and cats. As a result, the brands in its portfolio fell out of favor with consumers and lost recommendation, distribution, and share.
- Revitalize the brand value proposition, product offering, and positioning (from science to performance)
- Establish Eukanuba as a brand consumers can relate to. Integrate into consumer lifestyle
- Transform branding, packaging, shelf presentation, and marketing
- Optimize pricing and product assortment
- Drive growth despite -25% reduced marketing budget
- Build Brand Equity, Awareness, Trial, Penetration, and Engagement
- Out of tune with the market. Although the ingredients were scientifically proven to be best for dogs, science was deemed untrustworthy as human nutritional quickly reshaped the category. People believed, “if it’s healthy for me, it’s good for my dog (e.g. kale, cranberries, etc.).
- Vilified by competitive brand with heavy marketing support. Changed consumer and influencer perception.
- Product recalls. The company had three recalls which killed consumer, customer, and influencer consumer trust
- Profitability declined due to weak equity, perceived value, and discounting
- Losing distribution and shelf space. Although the pet food category was rapidly growing, Eukanuba occupied a segment that was quickly shrinking
- P&L economics were unsustainable. The brand was incentivizing sales on least profitable product
- Ineffective marketing. The brand lost moneyfor every dollar spent on marketing
- Confusing brand architecture, shelf set, and SKU proliferation
Led comprehensive transformation of brand:
- Successfully made business case to remove barrier ingredients from product formulation
- Revised brand equity and branding. Positioned new formulations to win in whitespace segment.
- Led development of new packaging
- Streamlined product architecture and clusters. Improved shelf set and navigation
- Improved profitability by optimizing product mix, pricing, and package size. Also led innovation initiative to develop new wet and treat adjacency offerings
- Developed new campaign and high-ROI media plan including new copy, claims, and creative
- Led global brand restage from inception to launch in record timing – 9 months (typical initiative timeline was 2-3 years)
- Introduced new line and transition plan to phase out existing product
Reversed 7-year decline. Drove unprecedented growth:
- Sales (+15%)
- Profit (+6x)
- MROI (5x) despite -25% marketing spend despite flat marketing budget and increasing competitive investment
- Led brand to become top performer in P&G Pet Care portfolio
- Achieved #1 rank in social media virality of all P&G brands
- Transformed brand equity: +55% Brand Perception, +35% Recommendation, and +300% Purchase Intent (from 24% to 72%)
- Led the largest most comprehensive innovation initiative for the brand since acquisition