You have a dog. You love your dog. You protect your dog with a flea and tick preventive. But there’s no emotional connection to your brand—unless something disrupts the routine and causes you to switch. Bayer’s K9 Advantix® II brand found that it needed a magnetic idea to help the brand stand out and convey the deeply rooted human-dog bond that would inspire product loyalty and, potentially, switch.
Bayer sought to find a cause aiding veterans and dogs to highlight its product’s brand character, which centers on the human-dog bond and owners’ responsibility to care for their dogs. The search led us to K9s For Warriors, which pairs specially trained dogs rescued from shelters with veterans suffering from PTSD, transforming the lives of both.
Research found partnering with a cause, especially one aiding veterans: increased positive brand perception; inspired loyalty among current customers; and made competitive products users consider switching. Added research found: consensus that post-9/11 war veterans deserved our support; 1 in 5 Iraq/Afghanistan veterans suffered from PTSD; and challenges they faced in transitioning to civilian life were eased through service dogs.
Enthusiastic response to call-to-action, reaching target donation goal of $150,000. Great interest by veterinary/retail channels and trade press, with 75 reporters attending launch. Strong media coverage, including The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson (FOX), People.com and USAToday.com. Great employee enthusiasm, with 3,000 naming a service dog, Sherman. Partnership renewed for 2016. Warriors’ and rescue dogs’ lives transformed.