Just as I noted yesterday about MSN recognizing a niche component of the audience, PetSmart has done the same with those who consider their pets as part of the family.

A vinyl graphic greets visitors as they enter: 
Welcome to a furrier version of parenthood.

The headline of their ad in People reads:  “Pethood.  It’s just like parenthood.  Except with occasional fleas, harder bath times and no eye rolling in the teenage years.”

Not everyone considers their pets to be one of their children.  Many have pets that don’t have fur, and PetSmart devotes half of their store to serve those needs.  But they have decided to be bolder with their messaging and go deep with one segment of the population.

I think the parenthood theme will have great appeal for some people, and likely it won’t resonate with others.  Good for PetSmart.

How can you rethink your messaging to speak specifically to a defined segment of your audience?  If what you are saying will be liked by everyone, perhaps you should rethink it and try again.

A furry parenthood isn’t for everyone, but for those who have four-legged hairy children, you know where you can find others like you.

— beth triplett

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