Michele M. Chenette
Cats have been known to delight their owners for many years. A recent study indicated cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke than people who do not own cats. (McClatchy Newspapers, 2008). While that statistic is interesting, people do not adopt cats because of their health benefits. Many people, like me, are life long ailurophiles. We just cannot get enough of the furry little creatures. Cats are known to be persnickety, willful and downright stubborn. But their beauty and grace and distinct personality possessed by each are traits cherished by cat fanciers. Here are some quotes by famous cat fanciers (Catquotes.com, n.d.): “What greater gift than the love of a cat?”. – Charles Dickens "Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.” - Anonymous “The Smallest feline is a masterpiece” - Leonardo DaVinci The quotes illustrate that ailurophilia has existed throughout the history. Sure, cats had their dark days when they were associated with witchcraft. But today, the cat is very popular and outnumbers dogs in terms of ownership. Cats can be left alone for long periods of time because they can relieve themselves in a litter box. This is attractive to people who lead busy lives, and spend late hours on the road or at the office, but still crave the companionship of a pet. Cats also make great pets for those who live in apartments as they do not require a lot of room or even a yard. The Food and Drug Administration regulates cat food (and other animal feed) be pure and wholesome, safe to eat, produced under sanitary conditions, contain no harmful substances, and be truthfully labeled. (FDA, 2009). Purina has been in the business of animal feed since 1893, when it was founded by William H. Danforth. Danforth’s sales promotion skills were ahead of his time. He realized the value of a distinctive trademark. In a time when standard packaging was practically nonexistent, he bagged his Chows in sacks marked vividly with a uniform red and white checkerboard pattern. The Purina Checkerboard has become one of the most famous and effective trademarks in American business. (Purina, n.d.). Today, Purina offers a variety of dog and cat food, but we will focus on “Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys”.
Fancy Feast’s Target Customer
The target customer for Fancy Feast is the cat owner. The Humane Society of the United States estimates there are 88.3 million cats owned as pets in the United States. This translates into about 34 percent of U.S. households owning at least one cat, while 56 percent own more than one cat. Eighteen percent of these cats are adopted from a shelter. (Humane Society of the United States, 2008). The Fancy Feast line offers four products. First, the “plain” fancy feast can that was the original wet cat food they offered. Next, they have a more expensive wet cat food line called “elegant medleys” which we will focus on. They also offer gourmet dry cat food, and a wet cat food specifically for kittens. This variety allows them to offer products to market segments, witch are sub groups of target markets of customers with similar needs and likely to engage in similar purchase behavior. Based on the foods described above, you have a submarket for wet cat food (the Fancy Feast can or the “upscale” elegant medleys), dry cat food and a special can just for kittens. This gives a submarket of age and price. This also allows Fancy Fest to reach higher potential profits by offering the variety. A Fancy Feast customer who adopts a new kitten is likely to stick with Fancy Feast kitten food, but if they migrate to another brand, they may switch their other cats to another brand. Fancy Feast is targeted to the market segments that are true cat lovers and want the best for their cat. The name...