Disclaimer: The following post is not sponsored content. I’m just a happy customer who wants to give a shout out to a company I totally respect. Among other things, I wanted to highlight their success from a marketing perspective and offer them as tangible examples of amazing brand experience.
If you haven’t heard of Chewy.com and you are a pet owner – get on board with their service, you won’t regret it.
See – even Zuzu the 9 month old Boxer puppy loves them.
Located in Daytona Beach, FL, Chewy is a delivery service of top pet brands (I’m talking about the ones you can’t find in a Walmart or even most of your local pet shops). From food to toys, treats, and supplies – Chewy offers the things pet owners need at a price you can’t beat. I didn’t even pay anything extra for shipping and my (dog’s) package showed up the next day. THE NEXT DAY. But enough about what they do that’s awesome. Let’s get into their branding.
It’s pretty easy to say you care about animals. I’d guess that more people would tell you they are animal fans than not. But it’s one thing to really like animals and another to display your passion for them through your business model. Chewy.com excels at this for a few reasons.
They won’t sell any supplies they believe to be low quality.
While lower quality pet brands are easily available and would add to diversity of product offering, Chewy doesn’t want to associate with any product that is less than satisfactory from their scientific standards. More than projecting an image of carrying high-quality products, they don’t want less educated pet-owners to even have the option of selecting a low-quality product purely because of price.
I save about 15% on my dog food brand when I purchase through Chewy.com compared to when I shop at the pet store. The people at Chewy make it their mission to offer top brands and quality products at an affordable price because they want healthy and safe options to be available for all pets.
I invest in higher quality brands of food because cheaper food brands will use “food fillers” that place grain or animal-by-products at the top of the ingrediants list because it is less expensive to fill the food with than acutal sources of animal protein such as chicken or fish. While not all pets will need a grain free diet, prioritizing the main ingredients will help ensure your pet remains its healthiest when it comes to what they eat.
They support animals in need.
Who doesn’t love a for-profit company that supports non-profit work? Chewy is dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations that help animals in need. They work with a lot of non-profit organizations that assist pets in some way. As a pet owner, I’m also a pet lover. Not just for my pet but for all types of animals.
Knowing Chewy donates to shelters and other foundations with programs helps me to connect with them on a more personal level. This also assists with customers identifying with their brand, knowing the profit they receive from sales will partially go back into charity they can get behind.
The Chewy.com Rescue and Shelter Network is open to all registered non-profit organizations that specialize in assisting pets in need. Their free rescue network partners with these NFPs by offering access to programs providing donations and fundraising opportunities.
They keep experts on staff.
Chewy not only offers 24/7 customer service, but their customer service reps are trained to handle more than your typical rep. They send these people to lectures, inform them of latest research and trends in pet science and the pet care industry. Chewy really wants you to know that it’s more than just a friendly face on the other end of the phone, but someone who can guide you in the best direction with your pet questions.
Now that we know Chewy rocks because they truly liveout their mission – Let’s talk about actual marketing tactics. I consider myself an old soul, so I may find this gesture more impactful than other millennials, but around my second or third purchase through them I received a handwritten postcard in the mail. First off; that’s classy. Second; it gives a company with over 800 employees a personal and local feel.
This is the postcard I received the other day from Chewy.com reading, “Welcome to the Chewy family! I hope your little one is enjoying the Greenies dog treats. We’re here 24/7.“
So what makes this ‘thank you’ special? What makes a marketing tactic like this so powerful is how incredibly personalized it is especially coming from a large business. While their products are not handcrafted, their thank you notes are. Someone at that company took a minute to legibly write out my correctly spelled name and even call out one of the products I bought. With as many orders as I can assume Chewy.com handles in a day they still make it a priority to not lose the who the customer IS in the process.
What this shows is that Chewy understands the most basic philosophy of business there can be; provide the customer with a memorable and pleasant experience. The reason? (other than truly caring about what they do): To tip the first domino in the chain of referrals. Word of mouth marketing is old school. Before internet, before social media, people talked (believe it or not). What Chewy has done is combine an online experience with a traditional piece of business advice: CARE. The truth is, even in our business of marketing, referrals are powerful things because people trust people who aren’t getting paid to promote something and feed a tailored opinion to others. I haven’t met a single person using Chewy’s service who has not had something good to say, so why wouldn’t I trust them – at least to try out? Then when they send me a very personalized message – IN THE MAIL – and experience a great service, it just affirms that my choice has been well placed.
Social proof is another aspect of this. B2C companies are missing out on huge opportunities if they aren’t active on social media because it provides a platform for happy customers turned “brand evangelists” to display their endorsement publicly. I’m a huge fan of companies that engage with their customers through social media and applaud the ones ahead of the game with a help account for customer questions through social as well.
Creating LOYAL customers is far less expensive than acquiring new ones. A loyal customer base has also been proven to yield a higher return on investment over time than investing in getting new customers. Obviously a growing business has to strike a balance, but the best brands know how to appreciate and recognize loyalty.
The next great thing about this is they didn’t have to work too hard to make me a happy customer. They sent me a postcard, which really doesn’t require a whole lot of work. But the fact that SOMEONE took the time to do that, leaves an impact.
Also, the truth is, tactics like paid online advertising, billboards, and commercials are becoming less and less appealing to audiences. There are ad-blockers now for most browsers, and with SO much bombarding us each day, it has become easier and easier for us to become blind to ads, or even hypersensitive to brand messages that aren’t authentic.
Chewy doesn’t promise anything that isn’t insanely evident about how they do business. But they’ve been able to go above and beyond in simple, but very effective ways. They’ve spent time on WHY they do business, and that has made all the difference. If more marketing and business models can be accomplished like this, the need to get out in front of potential customers dwindles down. Show me you care in authentic ways, and I will be way more likely to care about you too.