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Weird Niche: Dog Goggles

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Animal lovers could keep me busy with ideas for this column for the next 10 years. They, by nature, give me way too many opportunities to post my Weird Niches. 🙂 And, this week is no different.

Now, before I get too far into this, I do need to disclose that I am a total softie when it comes to dogs. In fact, I have two of my own:

This is Einstein.

myeinstink

And, this is Captain Eddy (aka Edison). I don't have a more recent photo as he's terrified of cameras. (I have crazy dogs.)

CaptainEddie-January

I also seem to attract ever stray dog in the neighboring county. They come right to my front door and sit and wait until we open the door. What is up with that? We even have repeat strays who find us multiple times. (I put their owners' contact info in my cell phone so I don't have to keep looking it up.) We just figure our organic dog food tastes better — or they miss playing with Einstein and Eddy so come to visit their friends.  🙂

ok. ((rubbing hands together)) With that disclaimer out there, let's get into this week's Weird Niche Wednesday!

This niche is just cool.

What is it?

Doggie Eye wear!

Now, at first when I got to this website, I thought “These people are WACKED!” Because I just saw dogs in googles. Now, while Eddie won't get into the pool to save his life, my Einstein is a real swimmer. (In fact, he's neurotic about it and wants to be in the water alllll the time.) Einstein only has three thoughts “food”, “ball” and “swim”. He loses his MIND when we let him by the pool. I'm afraid if we lived on a lake, he'd give up sleep just to swim.

But, he doesn't seem to mind getting water in his eyes.

So, the Doggles didn't make sense to me at all.

Of course, I have to give you guys the whole scoop if I'm going to dish a site on Weird Niche Wednesdays, so here's the story. The doggles aren't just cute, but they are functional as well – preventing foreign objects from getting into the dogs' eyes in certain situations. They can also help with dogs that have light sensitivities to lessen the sunlight and glare.

Plus, look at these sweet babies! http://www.doggles.com/doggles.html

I wasn't fully convinced, until I got to this:

In the aftermath of the World Trade Center tragedy, we were one of the few companies that the
ASPCA contacted directly for protective gear for the Search and Rescue Dogs.

” You [will] be relieving unnecessary suffering of the dogs, and … facilitat[ing] this rescue effort.”

🙁 – ok. I give. I give. Doggles is a weird, but wonderful niche.

Now, looking at their website, there are a few things they're doing right, but a lot of things they could be doing much much better.

I love that they showcase their media exposure on the main page of the site “As featured on CNN, People, National Geographic, etc.” which adds a lot of instant credibility to a niche where you need to train people of the value of your product and why you need it before they'll buy.

They also have a number of testimonials on the site. I wish they'd have photos with them as well as video clips to make them more believable, but at least they're there.

They have an “about us” page which is good, but they don't have a story that draws you in and makes you want to shop there, unlike some of the other sites I've featured on my blog.

Also, as anyone with an ecommerce site knows, a phone number is critical to developing trust. While they do list a phone number and mailing address on their contact page, it isn't displayed prominently on the site.

Now, the product is good, but a bit of copywriting and some strategic positioning could do a lot to really explode this company's profits. Does anyone else have ideas? I have a bunch more but I love to hear from you, too.

Thanks for reading!

Nicole

250X250bubblesNRP

3 Comments

  • Andrea
    Reply

    i’m not sure what to say about the site, but it sure does look too ‘plain’ for me… a little tweaking with the general look of the site may perhaps improve how i feel about the site…

    i also adore dogs.. my immediate reaction when i got to the site was pretty similar to yours… i am all for, dog gears/equipment that have practical uses such as dog floaters, backpacks, dog boots etc. but offer me dog costumes, charms, eyewear? not gonna happen.. i didn’t even bother to stay on the site to learn about what they offer, who they are etc. anymore.. perhaps they do need to make some changes to keep prospective customers from leaving the minute they arrive… i only learned about how their product is actually pretty good when i got back to your site to finish reading your post..

    on a side note, your eddy does not like to swim? isn’t he a labrador retriever? i’m surprised he hates the water because labs loooove the water.. on second thought, i learned from a dog rescue trainer that there are labs that may be afraid of the water prior to introducing them to it, off course the process must be done at the dogs own pace.. but he’ll love it when he understands how cool and how fun the water is!

  • Mary Louise
    Reply

    Another dog lover here — and we live in South Florida, where the sun’s glare is intense & often has my doggies squinting. I actually looked into this product awhile back because it claims to offer UV protection for the eyes, like good human sunglasses. I called and asked them then about an affiliate sales program, but they didn’t offer one. It still appears that way. So my suggestion would be, why not unleash (pun intended) a pack of dog-crazy affiliates with dog sites offering Doggles? 😉

  • Rescue Dogs Stories
    Reply

    Amazing product. I’m thinking if our dogs will also have one of these. UV protection for our eyes is really important as well as our pets. Thanks!From Rescue Dogs Owner.

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