Finally, someone gets it right: Petco

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

17 August 2011

Petco reflects its target audience

As frequent readers of this blog know, it’s not often that I praise a re-branding effort because so much of it is utter nonsense. But Petco’s recent rebranding, while not perfect, demonstrated a step in the right direction.

The pet supply retailer refreshed its logo and added a brand themeline that says, “where the healthy pets go.” The reasons I like it are because it’s a reflection of the consumer (not the company) and it puts a stake in the ground.

“Petco has said who it is for and who it is not for with a value we’d all like to think our pets have.”


petcoHere’s what I mean about the latter: By saying “healthy,” Petco has said who it is for and who it is not for with a value we’d all like to think our pets have. It has represented a true and emotional choice. Who wouldn’t want to think their pets are healthy?

Many brands are afraid to do either. They often believe that they have to sell some tangible benefit that they believe is important (Quiznos’ “M’m, m’m, m’m, m’m, m’mtoasty!”) or try to be overly clever (such as Citibank’s “Citi Never Sleeps”), neither of which is believable.

We often advise clients to say who they are for because, if the value is emotionally intense for the target audience, the entire target audience believes they are a part of it. (If we’re talking Apple, for example, we all like to believe we “think different.”)

Of course, maybe not everyone at Petco gets it. Its VP of brand creative said the themeline “reflected our healthy values and where we are taking the company.”

Nah, it represents who prospective customers aspire their pets to be. If you think it’s a reflection of the company, then there is more work to do.

See more posts in the following related categories: Advertising Brand Themelines Branding Marketing Petco Retail


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