As the continued globalization of all business around the world continues to accelerate, so do the market trends. The pet business is no different and is definitely not immune to the effects of globalization.
As shipping rates rapidly drop year over year, even month to month, we can see the world as we know it shrinking. Although we see some stagnation in the growth of manufacturing in Asian countries like China, we as see that more and more Chinese and Asian manufacturers overcoming the small barrier of language and are now able to tap into North American markets directly through online marketplaces like Amazon.
Now armed with the ability to go directly to the consumer and circumvent the age-old North American trading company, that used to hold the “keys to the east”, there is no stopping the flood of Asian products.
With this flood of new Asian products entering the local North American markets, along with it come to the trends from Asia. Although desperately trying to shake the reputation of a copycat marketplace, China manufacturing companies are still that. Often unable to start new trends, but able to copy a trend then exponentially grow it to never before seen heights. This clearly depicted in the technology sector.
This copy then grow strategy can clearly be depicted in the technology sector through companies like the powerhouse Tencent and its app WeChat. At first dismissed by tech giants in Silicone Valley as a simple copy of the famed WhatApp, the Chinese tech giant took the idea and grew it into a global powerhouse all in one application that even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is jealous of and now himself is tryign to copy (ironic isn’t it?). By adding essentially all facets of the top mobile applications in North America into one single app, the Wechat app reigns supreme as China’s Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Spotify, Netflix and more all rolled into one.
So what does this mean for the pets business?
The bottom line is that there is no stopping the globalization wave, so the idea is to ride it.
A sound strategy on where to look is to take cues from where Asia looks for trends, and the answer to that is resoundingly clear- Japan. Japan’s distinct ability to turn the small niche sub-culture and have it explode into pop culture is an uncanny ability no other place in the world has mastered.
Japan’s uber cute kawaii culture has fused with their historical obsession with cats to form a new sub-culture that has already gained not only global acceptance but has become a craze. As reported by a popular cat blog, Pacific Tail Pets, in their article Kawaii Cat – A Global Pop Culture Phenomenon, it seems that kawaii culture has spilled into the pet business but specifically cat culture. Spanning all pop culture mediums from entertainment, fashion, food and products, Kawaii cat culture is a global trend that should not be ignored.