When Express Pet Supplies was established, founder John Mason and E-commerce Manager Daniel Scott knew it would not be a walk in the park.
Pet owners are some of the most well-informed customers around – for a majority, the vet, not the internet, is the primary and most important source of information about their pet’s nutrition.
Research suggests that, when it comes to buying food for their furry friends, they give as much, if not more, priority to the quality of the ingredients than they do when they are buying food for their own table.
This is why John and Daniel have made quality the hallmark of the Express Pet Supplies brand.
"We are all about healthy, nutritious, all-natural food," says Daniel. "Our customers know that when they buy from us they are getting the best quality ingredients possible."
Keeping counterfeits off the menu
Having discerning customers means there is very little leeway if bad actors decide to try to take advantage of a brand’s intellectual property and pass off a counterfeit version of a quality product instead.
Customers are so discerning, in fact, that food made at home from scratch is the pet food industry’s biggest competitor because customers are so emotionally invested in their pets’ well-being. Poor-quality or counterfeit products can challenge brands before they even get off the ground.
“Customers believe that when they buy a certain product, it is coming from the brand, even though that is not necessarily the case. So, obviously, the damage counterfeits do to your reputation is massive."
"At the end of the day, the customer is not aware of where the product is coming from. If they buy a certain brand, they expect to get exactly what they are paying for."
From startup to serious player
Daniel and John’s strategy of putting high quality front and centre paid off.
Despite not having their own website until 2014 – a good 14 years after Express Pet Supplies first launched – the business grew steadily. And, says Daniel, this is mainly thanks to Amazon.
Their success on Amazon spurred them to take their brand to the next level. And the first step towards getting there was to register their logo and brand name as trademarks.