Case Study: How a Cat Litter Used Emotion to Change Its Underdog Brand Status

BY Jean Broders, senior brand manager, Kent Pet Group

World’s Best Cat Litter, a Kent Pet Group brand, is a premium, natural litter that lets consumers use less and get more, thanks to the concentrated power of corn. While the line of litters had grown to lead the natural-litter category since its launchin the late 1990s, in 2015 the brand sought to break through to a mass category audience and raise awareness among cat owners across the nation.

In addition to further increasing sales and awareness, World’s Best Cat Litter looked to generate word of mouth and create a story that ensured its consumers were willing to choose its product based on overall performance, rather than price per pound. With more and more shoppers looking for total-value solutions, the brand needed to make a big splash and prove its value beyond price.
Challenges
With a handful of category kings of the jungle and dozens of litters all promising the same thing—odor control, easy cleanup, etc.—and often promising it at a lower cost, World’s Best Cat Litter had to rise above the noise in the feature and functionality war and capture audience attention with less budget and more disruption. It needed a memorable story that would message the emotional ben- efits of these features, rather than just promising great performance.

The brand needed to validate its price point, while also becoming part of the conversation among cat owners. And it needed to get noticed in-store, where many packaged-goods consumers still make their final decision. To do so, it needed to create a disruptive campaign and efficient media buy.
Strategy
To grab consumer attention in the crowded pet-product marketplace, World’s Best Cat Litter knew it needed to create an emotional story that resonated with its cat-loving audience. The brand sought to create emotional branding that linked performance to the positive cat-owner relationship-boosting benefits of picking the right litter.

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