So mum really enjoys her dog sports, especially agility but she also enjoys her job too and hence Marketing Monday. For this reason she finds some recent stuff happening in the agility world a fascinating example of great marketing.
Mum’s take on the background on dog sports and in particular agility. Agility is relatively new to dog sports. There are a handful of individuals who are seen as experts. They have gained this reputation by reaching the highest levels of this sport as handlers, often having achieved these levels with multiple dogs. These people are watched for their style of handling and may these particular styles named after them or have certain moves, turns or cues named after them. This is often their name as an individual used to describe the style or move. To their credit they have also created businesses in sharing their expertise. These businesses usually consist of books, DVDs and seminars where this individual will travel and teach small groups their handling style. Some examples of these individuals are Susan Garrett, Susan Salo, Linda Mecklenburg and Greg Derret. All amazing agility handlers to watch making successful businesses out of sharing their expertise and while they have all created a business name they are essentially known as individuals.
Then enter the newbie to the dog agility training world. Enter the Finnish with One Mind Dogs. Hang on…. Who is One Mind Dogs? To this point we have been talking individuals and now we just have this name.
One Mind Dogs is a great example of creating a brand. Started as a group of 6 dog agility enthusiasts who, from the background on their website, also had the sense to bring on a non-dog owning International Business Development Manager (who lived on the other side of the world in a Chile… talk about thinking big to begin with). What they did was turn dog training from seeking out individual experts to talking about a brand. And talk people are. An engaging back story about a deaf dog (I’m a sucker for a good archetypal story) and a sleek looking online and social media presence people had people wondering what this was about. And then came the innovation in delivery.
Already One Mind Dogs had done things differently by having a team of experienced handlers as trainers (rather than an individual) who could feature in DVDs and run seminars but the real standout was creating an online community and training modules. At a base level handlers from across the world can sign up for regular updates and a base level of information but where these guys have really thought ahead into the digital world is through the Premium Membership. For just under €30 a month a Premium Member not only has access to more information but also has the opportunity for two way communication. An example of knowing your audience and delivering innovation for them. Agility folks are big on videoing their runs and sharing on YouTube or the like (just in case you missed my latest video) and the like for others to see. So why be constrained by geography and needing to attend a seminar to get feedback. Instead these Premium Members can receive feedback from the other side of the world by simply sharing their video and encouraged by setting challenges for handlers to try and then share online.
Mum and I are watching this space both as agility enthusiastics but also mum is watching as a marketer. This group are a team of innovators understanding their audience, using technology and using their business smarts so I’m looking forward to seeing what they do next.
And so for today’s Dog Blog. Well after a serious blog post on Marketing my Dog Blog is good fun. This is my mate Mawson who we train with. He gives his mum plenty of grief in Rally and Obedience and would do great in agility if his dad would just stay on his feet. His blog is a bit like ours with fun little stories… we are just waiting to hear how the chicken nuggets go (mum would love some chooks too Mawson but thinks I am the least of her worries…. hmmm toddler???).