How Online Communities helped Pets at Home

Setting the scene

We have delivered two extended online communities for the retailer Pets at Home. Cat Chat (a cat owners community) and Paws for Thought (for dog owners) provided ongoing insight that catered for the insight requirements across the business – especially product sourcing / buying functions.

The context

Pets at Home asked Mustard to build and manage an online community of customers which would be used to provide on-going insight and engagement for both Pets at Home and their suppliers.

What we did

We delivered a 9 month online community of c.300 cat and dog owners, conducting qualitative research to elicit views on a variety of themes and topics in relation to Pets at Home. New topics were introduced on a weekly basis and were varied; covering overall perceptions of the brand (the VIP member scheme, advert testing and communication development), category (animal types, food, accessories) and services research (insurance, Veterinary, grooming) to name but a few. Aside from planned topics, members were also able to start their own discussions about the things that mattered to them.

The results

The community enabled Pets at Home to gain a more holistic view of their customers and their attitudes and behaviour in relation to their pets and the products and services available to them.

It provided an ongoing dialogue with customers and helped buyers and senior decision makers within the business to keep abreast of emerging trends within the sector and enhanced and shaped future strategy.

The response