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Marketing Monday: The power of a single word.

Hey guys and gals.

I was shopping at PetSmart the other day (one of my favorite places to spend money in the entire world) — and I was grabbing some dog food. My two big boys eat like horses.

Anyway, I saw these bags of dog food and there is one word on there that stopped me in my tracks. See it?


As someone who has recently lost a very beloved pet – this marketing hit me in the gut.

I looked at the other bags for “Healthy Coat” or “Weight Management” or “Smart Puppy” or “Large Breed” or “Toy Breed” and it was interesting to me what the manufacturers and marketers deemed important on each bag. I could have studied those things for hours.

But, I do have to say that “Longevity” is a benefit that most pet owners – at least of adult dogs – all think about. And, there's actually guilt involved in buying a food that isn't longevity. Talk about emotion-based marketing. I guess the inevitable question they want you to ask yourself is “If I don't buy longevity food, then … what?”

Thoughts? 🙂 Let me know what you think!

I appreciate shares and I adore comments! Please share your thoughts.

  • Loretta

    Love spending money at PetSmart 🙂 Wow, longevity is certainly a powerful word to use in this instance. And a small bag of “longevity” looks expensive compared to “weight management” for example, even though weight management could lead to longevity, especially in small dog breeds. (I usually buy weight management or small dog type foods for mine) So I wonder if their price point is determined by their emotional trigger or by the quality of their ingredients, which is always a concern for pet owners after that long string of pet food recalls? Interesting stuff to think about.

  • Celene Harrelson | The Happypreneur

    Very clever marketing ploy indeed. Really gets you on an emotional level. Great “food” for thought!

  • craig

    Talk about copy touching the emotional heart! Great little story Nichole!

    That is the kind of writing I want to create. Make them cry with a sad story. Make them laugh with a funny one.

  • Abi Carmen

    Nicole, as much as I agree with your astute marketing savvy, what hit me even more was the fact that ‘mature’ came after ‘adult’ I guess just like in us humans.

    Keep up the great work.

    Best Wishes,

  • Laura

    I know what it’s like to have my buttons pushed by one word – well, in my case two hyphenated words. The first time I embarked on a diet and exercise regimen, I bought an exercise tape based solely on the fact that the word “fat-burning” was in the title. That was all I needed to see because that’s definitely what I wanted to do: burn that fat off! I went on to lose 60 pounds. 🙂 Which I am now trying to lose again, incidentally. 🙁

  • greg

    Well the advertisers sure have played with your emotions here. “Hello there customer, if you don’t buy our product, your pet will die soon!!” Yeesh! That is a sort of sinister manipulation on the part of the company, don’tcha think?

  • Sandy Halliday

    What a great idea. I think food manufactures should put that on their products. That should work a lot better than the nutritional information they currently use. The trouble is that not many products would be able to be labelled Longevity. Maybe it would encourage more manufacturers to produce healthier food and more people to eat it!

  • Grandma Marilyn

    I agree that they knew what they were doing when they put that on the bags. I usually don’t go by what the bags say as much as what their ingredients say but it would have probably caught me for a little before I looked into what the ingredients were.

  • Jim Donovan

    Great post, Nicole. When I wrote my book for baby boomers, I titled it “Don’t Let an Old Person Move Into Your Body” ONLY because Suzanne Somers had already used the best possible title, “Ageless.”

    Of course, the product, whether it be pet food or a book has to deliver on the promise.

    As a 3 cat household, this gets my attention.

  • Ann Oakley

    Great Blog, it is amazing how advertisers using just one word can get our attention, that is called good marketing. when I first started on the net. I purchased a book titled “Words That Sell” I use it quite ofter. thanks Nichole for you informative Blogs. Ann Oakley

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