What new products and services do pet owners really need?

How Think Global Qualitative generated global insights into companion pet ownership and brought consumers into the creative product development process

By Think Global Qualitative, a team of expert researchers.


Unveiling new products for dog owners

As a category leader, PetSafe faces competitive challenges as it strives to stay innovative. Speed in the product development process is one way to gain competitive advantage, meaning there is a need for quick idea generation and sense of consummers’ wants and needs.


Mobile ethnography

Think Global Qualitative set up Online Mini Communities of 10 to 12 dog owners from each of the following countries: US, Canada, Germany, UK, France, Czech Republic, India, Mexico, South Africa. Data collection started with a multi-day mobile diary. These diaries were private between the researchers and the participant and were used to observe dog owners and their dogs in their everyday environment. The diaries were used to learn about cultural similarities and differences, to daily activities of the dogs and of their owners and to encourage participants to go beyond chronicling day-to-day activities, and to delve into the emotional aspects of dog ownership as well as to start generating new product ideas.

So what?

Design of new products and useful insights

Mini communities with mobile and online components proved to be time-saving and cost-effective. The research allowed for identification of dog owners’ problems that need to be solved, and expanded the discussion around the emotional aspects of dog ownership. Researchers used the results of collective creativity to inspire the research team for the design of new products.

The research also supported a fundamental shift from focusing almost exclusively problem-solution products to including more relationship enhancing products to the product portfolio. This research also afforded PetSafe editorial mention in industry publications like Pet Business, where this work was used to reinforce PetSafe’s position as an innovator in the pet product.