Dave Van Brunt, vice president of companion animal marketing for Bayer, discusses how pet stores can effectively meet the challenges and opportunities that come with selling pest control products.
Pet Business: Why should pet stores carry Bayer pest control products? What sets Bayer apart from other manufacturers in the market?
Dave Van Brunt: The Bayer name is a trusted brand recognized by both pet owners and veterinarians for providing effective pest control products such as Advantage II, K9 Advantix II and Seresto. What sets Bayer apart are the strong promotional support and customer insights we provide to pet specialty retailers to help maximize sales and customer satisfaction.
PB: What are the newest and most popular products from Bayer? How do these products improve upon what has come before?
Van Brunt: Our largest brand, K9Advantix II, is a monthly, easy-to-apply topical product for use on dogs only. It offers repel and kill protection against fleas and mosquitoes, and repellency against ticks.
Bayer also sells Advantage II, a broadly recognized, easy to apply monthly topical for dogs and cats that kills all flea life stages, and is indicated for the treatment of flea infestations. We have a full line of on-pet, premises and household products under the Advantage brand that kills fleas and ticks.
Our newest flea and tick brand, Seresto, offers the performance you expect from a flea and tick topical, with the convenience of an easy-use eight-month collar for dogs or cats.
PB: What are the latest trends in the pest control category?
Van Brunt: Product sales are relatively flat, due in part to pet owners’ confusion over which products best suit their pets’ needs. Adding to the confusion is the fact that brands are competing for shelf space across multiple price points. Now, more than ever, pet owners need guidance and education at point-of-sale.
PB: How should pet specialty retailers go about building an effective selection of pest control products for their stores?
Van Brunt: There is no single answer that applies to all retailers. It is dependent upon a store’s layout and shopper behaviors. Bayer can provide assistance with category and brand merchandising by working with individual retail customers to identify shopper behaviors and develop customized solutions.
PB: What are some common mistakes that pet stores make when selling pest control solutions for pets? How can retailers avoid or overcome these mistakes?
Van Brunt: The retail shopping experience can be confusing, so it is important retailers not complicate it further through inadequate shelving, distracting displays or an overwhelming product assortment on both the in-line set and display. Insufficient product education can also be problematic. Bayer can provide customers with shopper insights so they can more effectively merchandise categories and brands they choose to sell.
PB: Tell us about Bayer’s partnership with K9s For Warriors. How does the program work? What does having relationships with charitable organizations like this mean to the company?
Van Brunt: Bayer is proud to partner with K9s For Warriors, which pairs specially trained shelter dogs with veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI), helping them transition back to civilian life at no cost to veterans.
Bayer recently launched a three-month campaign [ending May 31] to enable dog owners to support both veterans and shelter dogs. When dog owners purchased K9 Advantix II—the Official Flea & Tick Preventive of K9s For Warriors—Bayer donated $1 per package—up to $150,000—to this nonprofit organization. As part of its sponsorship, Bayer is supporting the training and adoption of 10 dogs. More information is available at MyK9MyHero.com.
At Bayer, we’re passionate about animals. Our support of K9s For Warriors demonstrates and honors the unbreakable bond between warriors and their service dogs—a unique bond that is shared by all dog owners and their dogs across America.