Building a Better I.D. Tag
Alessandro Borgese, CEO of My Family USA, explains how his company’s history in the jewelry business helps it innovate the pet identification category by fusing function and style.
Tell us about My Family USA. What inspired the creation of the company? What makes your products stand out? If pets could talk, they could easily find their way back home without help from a identification system when they are lost. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The only real way to take care of them is to supply one or more identification systems, providing essential information to anyone who should find them and helping a speedy and safe return of the dog to its home and family.
How has your background in the jewelry business shaped your approach to pet identification tags and accessories? Before MyFamily was set up, nobody thought that an I.D tag could be captivating, in addition to being helpful. Actually, until 2010, I.D. tags were considered a mere functional product. MyFamily’s idea has been to reshape a utility product into an emotional, appealing and trendy product. We convey great devotion, handcrafted mastery and passion for details—unique aspects that distinguish an Italian company born in the Valenza District, the jewelry capital of the world.
What are some My Family USA’s most popular products? What features make these items appealing to pet owners? Our best-selling products are definitely our handmade enameled I.D. tag collections, which are unique in the U.S. market. For example, our Friends Collection, depicting the most familiar worldwide dog breeds, is greatly appreciated, especially for the attention to details.
What should retailers look for in a vendor partner when it comes to pet I.D. engraving machines and tags? MyFamily Pet I.D. Tags are 100 percent made in Italy and crafted with care to provide a high-quality product experience for every customer. We are bringing innovation and style to the pet identification category, as you can see in the small sampling of our collection pictured here.
For decades, the use of pet I.D. tags has been a mainstay for finding and (hopefully) returning lost pets to their homes. Today, this category needs to provide more than that simple function; today’s consumer wants more—much more.
Our goal is to bring new life to a long stale category. Offering a wider, more imaginative and creative assortment of I.D. tags has proven to dramatically increase revenue in this category. You’re leaving money on the table if you don’t modernize this class.
Fashion for pets is a large portion of our industry, and today’s pet I.D. tags need to be more than just a simple circle or bone. Understanding this can easily increase your potential customer base. Right now, your customer base is made up of only those pet owners who already need a tag, which represents less than 3 percent of the walk through traffic in your store.
What are some of My Family USA’s newest product introductions? What makes these items stand out in the marketplace? MyFamily has recently launched collar and leash collections, which feature 100 percent made in Italy craftsmanship excellence. Every product has exclusive design and top-quality materials, with accurate finishes worthy of the high-fashion brands. The range of colors and treatments is extraordinary.
Every collar and leash is produced entirely in the MyFamily factory, thanks to the acquired know-how from the oldest Italian company in the industry. The aesthetic beauty and the material assortment (like genuine Italian leather, leatherette and nylon) come together with the functionality of innovative details. For instance, our products feature a useful tag holder ring to hook the I.D. tag straight on the collar, while our always-ready D-ring comes back into position by itself, easing the anchoring of leashes.
What does the future hold for My Family USA? Do you currently have any products in development? In 2018, MyFamily experienced a 35 percent increase in sales year over year, and enlarged our staff to 100 employees.
The pet market has a great potential worldwide growth, which is expected to deliver 150 millions I.D. tags and reach more than $300 million in revenue.
When we opened MyFamily USA, back in 2017, we reached $500,000 in revenue in the first semester, $2 million in 2018, and about $3 million in 2019. Our goal is to reach an annual turnover of $30 million by 2023. We are proud to have hired 12 new employees in the first semester of 2019, and as many will be taken on by the end of this year.
The latest industry trends are perfectly in line with what MyFamily has offered the market since 2010. Our company has anticipated the trends that are consolidating just now. For example: Considering the I.D. tag as more than a merely functional product, but rather a reflection of style and charm. Creating products that are able to reach various target customers and serve the needs of both pets and owners. Developing a digital service and app—our Memo Pet Identity—that helps pet owners to always carry their pets’ important data with them.
At present, MyFamily is working also on the collars and leashes segment, aiming to anticipate the future trends that will shape the pet industry. PB