April 22, 2010

Review: PetZoom Sonic Pet Trainer

Description: A pet training device that emits a high-pitched sound
Main Pitch: "Its ultrasonic pitch" gets "their immediate attention, making them instantly obey your commands"
Main Offer: $19.95 for one
Bonus: FREE Pet Zoom Nail Groom
Marketer: Emson
Website: www.PetZoomPetTrainer.com
Prediction: Likely to succeed

In the March issue of Response magazine, I reviewed a TELEBrands' product called BarkOff and gave the campaign an S7 Score of 6 out of 7. BarkOff is a $10 ultrasonic pet training device that is primarily targeted at nuisance barking. It is the same concept as this product, but with a narrower positioning.

Sometimes, a narrow positioning is a good idea. TELEBrands certainly proved that with the success of Heeltastic and Windshield Wonder, two products that hadn't done well with a broader positioning. However, I think this is a case where the broader positioning wins. As I wrote in my review of BarkOff, the narrower positioning presents a challenge because not everyone owns a dog with a barking problem. This product is for a wider range of bad pet behaviors, many of them more common, and it claims to work on both cats and dogs.

There are a few caveats here. For one, Emson is flirting with the "curse of the line extension" by putting the Pet Zoom name on this product when it is already on so many other pet products. And then there's the tremendous strength of TELEBrands at retail. If it comes down to a situation where the consumer views these products interchangeably, I'd put my money on TELEBrands winning the battle.

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