While consumers are most likely to use their hearts over their heads when buying for their beloved pets, our new survey showed that there are distinct gender differences in their attitudes.

On asking more than 100 pet owners about their attitudes to buying for their pets, we found that more than 70% of women would greatly miss their favourite pet store if it were no longer available, compared to just 55% of men.

Their male counterparts are much more likely to follow the crowd with 64% valuing recommendations from friends and family when choosing where or what to buy for their pets, compared to 44% of women.

Men are also more likely to be influenced by scarcity with 52% admitting to want a pet product more if it’s rare or running out, compared to 38% of women.

Our survey also found that not only pet owners, but people overall are more likely to be led by their heart and stick to the brands they know than look for retailers or suppliers that share common values or ethics.

Marketing tips for pet retailers and manufacturers

  • Celebrate loyalty by showing how you can offer support from vulnerable puppy to old friend.
  • Reinforce the benefits of buying or use humour to show what life would be like without you.
  • Encourage recommendations with a family and friends reward scheme.
  • Reassure customers with facts and figures or real customer stories.
  • Create point of sale material with genuine customer feedback and reviews.
  • Encourage customers to leave their tips on your website, building on the value of community.

If you know what is driving your customer’s biases and influencing their behaviour you can be much more effective at communicating what they need.

Behavioural insight gives brands the opportunity to respond to customers on a more human level. Acknowledging and supporting our irrational decision-making process along the customer journey makes brands not just more relevant but more likeable too.

Read more information on understanding behaviour for more effective, compelling and engaging marketing.