As most of you know I am a HUGE dog lover. I am a big canine health and nutrition geek (hence my recent launch of healthywoof.com) so I am always on the lookout for companies who truly care (actions speak louder than words) about the health and well being of dogs.
I was instantly impressed with what I saw. Their website is built on the search engine friendly WordPress platform and is incredibly easy-to-use and engaging. In addition, not only is The Honest Kitchen pioneering a new front in healthy dog food by producing various blends of human grade dehydrated raw food, but they are also relying heavily on social media and other digital tactics to build brand advocates. They are focused on building relationships with their audience (rather than selling) so much that the first tab on their website even reads “community.” A double thumbs up!
Founder Lucy Postins and her marketing team understand the Golden Circle concept and that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. They rely heavily on social media sites like their blog, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to tell their story and explain why The Honest Kitchen exists. They also are very good about engaging in conversations with their audience through social sites.
With nearly 8,000 fans on Facebook, The Honest Kitchen marketing staff has fostered the growth of a large community of pet lovers who want to interact with the company and learn more about them. Fans are encouraged to upload photos of their pets, take part in contests, and give feedback and opinions.
The Honest Kitchen blog has tons of insightful articles about topics ranging from the best forms of exercise for your pet to puppy birthday cake recipes you can create using their products.
The Honest Kitchen is using Twitter (1,800 followers) to tap into the vocal minority. They are engaging in one-on-one conversations with some of the most influential people inside social media.
The Honest Kitchen has also been promoting their Allies program, an ingenious approach to sparking word of mouth. The Allies program targets pet owners who are passionate about healthy nutrition and who support The Honest Kitchen by telling their peers, passing out samples or coupons, and answering questions that new customers may have. Allies also are encouraged to spread the good word about The Honest Kitchen through social media. You must apply to be a part of the Allies program. However, they have had such an overwhelming response they are not currently accepting any more applications (hopefully soon though!)
Pet people have been buzzing about The Honest Kitchen and that will continue to increase not only because The Honest Kitchen has a great product, but also because they are able to successfully tell their story and engage with their audience through social media.
The Honest Kitchen does very little traditional advertising or marketing because they rely so heavily on the web. I am willing to bet they are able to produce a very positive ROI for their marketing efforts by relying heavily on digital efforts.
As a marketer I can honestly say that more companies need to follow The Honest Kitchen’s lead and create a truly unique product and then use the web to connect and foster brand advocates.