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Episode #33

MUSH began as a startup with little money and no brand, selling commodities to a tiny segment of the pet food industry. Over almost 20 years they’ve built an international brand while helping grow the entire raw feeding segment. We discuss their journey with Magnus Pettersson. Magnus is the Business Director at Snellman Pet Food.

This post is based on our podcast episode with Magnus Pettersson. Magnus is the Business Director at Snellman Petfood. You can watch the entire conversation here.

1. Successfully launching new products

Recognizing the complexity of raw feeding, MUSH launched its new product series Vaisto: frozen raw meatballs that provided a balanced diet without the hassle of mixing different ingredients. Vaisto appealed to a broader customer base, including those traditionally feeding kibble, and significantly expanded the raw feeding category.

With a limited media budget, they focused on two key elements to generate awareness and get pet owners to try the products. First, they gave out free samples, a total of over 15,000 products in Finland and Sweden. They also allowed customers to suggest which pet stores should carry their products. This approach worked well, especially with smaller, independent stores. Customers suggested their local stores, which in turn helped the MUSH sales team in their job. When pet stores could see that there was existing demand and that MUSH was actively growing the category, it was easy for them to say yes.

2. How (not) to expand internationally

With good results in Finland and Sweden, MUSH started exploring growth opportunities in bigger markets. They conducted a large study which suggested that the German market could be a good fit for the products.

In the Nordics, MUSH had been growing primarily through social media and word-of-mouth. In Germany, they thought that they needed to adopt a more traditional sales-led motion. However, this approach turned out not to be very effective for MUSH.

Magnus also pointed out that the costs (from marketing and other activities) of establishing yourself in a new market are often much higher than expected. After struggling with rising costs and lower-than-expected sales, they chose to refocus on the Nordic market and handle Germany through local partners.

3. Growth through community and social media

MUSH’s growth has in large part been fueled by its innovative use of social media and a strategic ambassador program. In thea early days of social media, they established Facebook groups focusing on raw feeding, creating a platform for education and community engagement. They got over 100,000 Facebook fans in Finland (more than any other petfood brand) and were able to use this audience very affordably. This initiative was vital in building a loyal customer base and enhancing the brand’s visibility.

Complementing this, MUSH’s ambassador program, involving influencers and genuine customers, helped extend their reach and authenticity. Instead of just focusing on paying for sponsored posts, MUSH aims to build relationships with the people and get them to become true fans of the products.

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Watch video: Magnus Pettersson – building an international pet food brand from scratch

Building an international pet food brand from scratch – Youtube transcript

Today’s guest is Magnus pon the business business director at snellman
pet food snellman pet food operates three pet food brands across 10 markets in Europe welcome to show Magus thank
thank you for having me it’s great to be here and and I’m thrilled to be here you have had s such amazing guest here
before so we’ll be great fun to take part of this and uh yes absolutely and
How MUSH got started in 2005
and one of the the kind of interesting things that um or the stories the journeys that we want to talk about
today is specifically around mush one of the the brands that CA pet food or the the biggest brand the original brand um
so we’re going to kind of go to that Journey because you were there from the kind of very beginning when when how did
it get started and when you when did you get involved yeah I I got involved quite from quite from the start but it was my
my father-in-law back then who who wanted to start a a dog food manufacturing and and he had an idea of
making raw food and I was back then studying meat technology so so I I asked
him do you have your your uh hygiene hygiene routine set up and and what
about the the the protocols and everything and then said no but that’s your your task so so when I was studying
I was helping him out with with those things and and then 2005 I joined the
company and and and uh started to make make raw food for real and the raw food
market back then this was like 18 years ago was very different than it is now right can you talk about like what was
it like in the beginning like cuz you were selling like literally like just pieces of meat and bone to people and they would have to do it themselves and
like it was a pretty complicated thing right yeah the raw food market was was back then it was it was like a lot of uh
early adopters Believers that said that wanted to have something more natural for their dogs and they looked for
Alternatives uh and and uh then we was just supplying meat and and and and uh I
also remember uh when uh when I had the first thoughts of of starting to do marketing
marketing we we were we were looking quite a lot about how do we do marketing
uh in terms of the products or how much do we Market just the ideology and the
the reason behind and and so on so and and that was where we started started
back in the days so it was a very small Niche because it was so like you said early Believers because or like early
adopters and true fans because it was so much work and you had to calculate
everything compared to just going to the store and getting like uh kibble or so it was a very niche market correct yeah
it was it was a niche market but on the other hand in in in Finland we had a lot of of and we still have a lot of hunting
dogs a lot of of do dogs living on the countryside that are used to eat a a
diverse diet with with meat and and and by products from the hunting season and so on so so I think a lot of dog owners
still was thinking that the dog needs something something different and not
only a a kble every day same kble every day so so but then on the other hand the
the consumer that trusted the brands were told told by the branch that the
most safe way to to feed your dog is to buy the same kble every day and feed the same kble every day and the kibble
kibble industry has developed great great product they have worked a long time with with
the product product development and they have made but but there is something
with with just feeding the same thing and especially if it’s made as a kble it’s Ultra processed so you feed the
same Ultra processed food every day and I think a lot of dog owners in Finland
all the time has knew that that maybe my dog needs also something more natural and and some other products so so that
was a good base to start from in many ways but of course then then uh uh to
get it commercialized and to start to sell in pet shops that that it was a long journey from from our starting
point to that what was it like in the beginning then because you mentioned thinking about the balance between
Marketing the product, building the brand, and expanding the category
marketing the products versus marketing the kind of ideology known as at least at the time was known as barf bones and
raw food right when did you how did you start going about trying to expand the
category and not just selling to these True Believers and how did you go about doing that uh yeah it was it was very
interesting because because it was so exciting um I think it was
2010 2009 uh I met I met a couple of guys that had a marketing startup and it
was Sebastian and rosmos from Janeiro that that and they was just starting and they came into my to my plant and and I
knew them from before so we was talking about marketing I said and they was like you need to brand your product and I
said I cannot afford a new machine so so a new packing machine I need plastic I
need packing machine so uh and then was okay but where do we start then and then
we we we was talking about what do we need to have success we need people to
to start to believe in what we believe in we need to start with our why so the first first couple of years we didn’t
Market the product we just Market the the belief we had and we started
Facebook groups that wasn’t about the brand it was about feeding your dog so
uh uh we had one Facebook page
Kar Facebook where we just was talking about raw feeding and and the the things
behind that educating people collecting consumers experiences and and so on and
this was really good because it gave us the growth and at the same time it gave us the the opportunity to start to to
build a brand step by step and and that was really exciting times because a lot
of companies when you have a startup you think that okay I need to start to Market my product but we were honestly
thinking that we need to change the industry and we started by by just uh uh
collecting the the stories and and telling them forward from from dog owners that hey there is there is an
alternative you can feed your dog in a in a way where you not only feed the same cble every day you can can can feed
raw you can you can Fe and a lot of our consumers are feeding cble with raw and they are mixing because they get more
variety to the dog so so so that was really exciting times and it was a lot
of work so I was I was working with mush not quite at that time but for a few years later and there was so much work
like oneto one uh building that kind of educating customers and collecting those stories um I remember one this was not
necessarily about the about the the the raw food but I remember one campaign that you had I think it was maybe
2011 the Christmas campaign um kind of using the early days of Facebook
virality yeah and and it was great it was great fun to work with Facebook back then because then you when you created
content and when you created commitment you got you got a lot of of uh of attention there and and we spread it so
we had we had this Christmas Joy campaign and it was same like we we said that for every every likes we have we
donate one one piece of meat meat meat to to to some dog shelters or rescue
dogs shelters and those those kind of things and and and we really get a lot
of attention and and and I used to say back back in the days that we was one of
the biggest brands on Facebook we had we had almost we have more than 100,000
followers on Facebook and and and uh and it it made a good platform for us to to
build on when we started to build our brand because we wanted to go that way that PE people that has passion for
feeding their dogs and so on that we collected them into a community and build on that so so that was really
exciting and I think like you said when when you can barely afford a new machine for the production then you can’t really
afford to go out and spend a lot of media so the early days of Facebook you were you had probably the biggest pet
food brand in Finland on Facebook and you were able to reach a lot of pet owners for free essentially yeah yeah
and it was it was because um and also when you are when you’re working with a niche product and and uh especially raw
feeding it’s uh it’s somehow also at some points more more or less
controversial some some uh some raw feeders are really aggressive towards
the the kibble industry and and uh and then some of the the Enthusiast that
that believe in in in processed food and controlled processed food are quite skeptical towards a raw food that can
have bacterias Etc so so for for me as a
as an entrepreneur in the business looking into it that I when you see this
kind of of of debate I always love love to follow it and see it because the more
people talk about dog food the better it is for the dogs because at the end of the day the more we learn about the dog
food the more we challenge the brands the better the brands will become and and I think uh the raw food the growth
of the raw food but also the questions from the consumers has has developed the
industry hugely in in Finland and now we have when when also when when I started
in the business there was no nobody making dry kibble in Finland now we have
four four five plants in Finland also making making high highend products uh
with it extruders in Finland and then we have a lot of raw food companies so I think for the for the dog owners in
Finland we have moved uh moved back to a more domestic natural product point of
view from from 20 years ago being almost everybody was buying food from either
Marsh or nestly and and and and now we have a more diverse uh uh market and and
I think that’s a good good way and a lot of people wanted to develop the market and make better products yeah the dogs
and and pet owners have definitely benefited from that yeah um you mentioned one of the big things that you
Marketing through content, communities, and education
did the kind of strategic uh initiatives was when it came to educating customers
was uh collecting their experiences these uh was it BF COK or BF yeah so we
had we we set up on our on our web page this was already before we we we have
our our complete menus launch so so we collected a lot of a lot of uh stories
from consumers and and this helped us to understand the market and uh and it it
helped us doing spreading the the word about raw feeding and and it actually was so so interesting that we had we had
a little bit over 600 stories there and and I was talking to the to the researcher in in HS University annael
Berman who is making research about raw food and I said yeah we have these stories stories that we have collected
online and and she said yeah can I read them and I said said yeah you can you can read them and and uh and and she I
we send all the stories she went in we took them down to an Exel and and she read them all through the stories and
and and a few days later she called me back and said that this is this is unique you have more than 600
stories uh about dogs uh from dog owners that that they
say that my dog was sick and I moved to raw and and the dog became better so I want to make a a study about these
stories and she do she did a uh they did a St study denans University where they
had these 638 stories that we had there and they read them all through and reviewed them and it was 80% of the dog
owners there said said that my dog became became better and they had some
problems before and then when they switched to Raw they become more healthy of course it was we collected them in
our web page so all the 600 that didn’t get better or that didn’t
continue with our food they are not they’re telling their story so so it’s it’s a in one way a bio story that it is
from the consumer point of view but but it was such a great data and it it it
told us also that that a lot of the raw feeders are really really trusting the
the raw feeding ideology and and they are willing but at the same time also a lot of dog owners back then said that
it’s a little bit complicated I have to to mix and mix my own food I need to buy
buy some meat I buy some bones maybe some vegetables and and I’m not sure that do I do I make it to a complete
menu and and so on so so I think there they you needed a lot of knowledge to go
for for raw feeding and and that’s where where our where we started to look into the
solutions for that and and and and there also that how can we simplify and use the the learnings from
from collecting data that in one way was a marketing tool for us but ended up
also becoming a huge uh uh uh documentation for our product development that we we were starting
then and and to see that what can we can we bring to the market it was like a a very early example of user generated
content being really effective for marketing but like you said also for Consumer insights about how where to
bring bring the product mix yeah and I think I think in in many ways uh
marketing especially if you do it in in social social media it’s it’s about communication uh because when you have
when you have when you talk about about uh back then when we had the Facebook communities and and if you start to sell
your product there I used to say say when we had the the big Community there that that if you have a community and
you are get getting together around your your kitchen table and drinking coffee and and then you suddenly allow somebody
to open the door and Shout out some some some Bargains or or come and buy this this and this for this price people are
like what’s wrong with that guy because in social media marketing it’s about
communication you need to listen in and respond and and I think that is a really
important thing to do to do when when you’re are working with a brand to to
instead of listening things in social media and try to sell something listen in and try to deliver something yeah and
and for us since we had we have all the time had such a strong why such a strong
belief in in the raw food and and so on but we all the time know that the raw food need to become easier it needs to
become better it needs to be simplified in ways of communication so a lot of the things we did was to just listen to the
consumers and bring in the things that they wanted so yeah you definitely always um been very very close to to to
the customers um before we go to what you were alluding to about how you simplify the this this kind of way of
feeding your dogs one big milestone was when you were acquired by by snellman so
what was was that in 2011 or yeah it was in summer 2011 so so and we was we was
then a really like small startup and and and uh and uh the the startup was was
started my my father-in-law was from the snail family so so it was but it was a
private startup and and and snail mom was our biggest supplier of raw materials so so we started to discuss
then with the group CEO back then that that maybe maybe there we could do something something together and and and
uh and decided that okay now it would be a good time to to to become part of
snellman and and and I think it was a it was a really good move from having a
small startup to joining a a a food food industry company that has has the same
values about product and focus on the product and product quality so so it was
it was it was a perfect match for us and and and also a great raw material supplier for us did that then give you
Launching a new category-defining product
the resources um to go for Via which is
uh which was kind of like a pioneering product right like was the first product that tried to simplify this way of feeding in Finland at least simplify
this way of feeding so that you could open this up to someone I mean essentially what you you allowed the market you um created the category or
expanded the category a lot by by launching V yeah I would say I would say of course when when you get in in new
owners and and you are a small small company you want to we was setting on a
a track track to grow and and and one of the big thing that was then because we
all the time we was talking about the The Branding of the products and now now we got the opportunity to to to set up a
new completely new line so we we did Big investments in the new line with with spiral freezers Grinders packing
machines everything so we could could be able to to make this and uh and uh and I
was lucky enough also that that just just then the same time uh Ron gr came
came out from from from school he had been studying to an engineer so so he had all the ideas and vision about how
to set up a production so he joined and set up a really good production and and we was working really tight with with
with General Den to to set up the The Branding for for the wand and I think
the the vice to product development was was quite unique because uh the the the
recipes were made made by by by raki who who who she had wrote a book about raw
feeding how to feed your your dog dog with raw feedings so I I read the book and I contacted her and said said that
uh I want the knowledge you have in the book I want to make that into a product and and and we had really close
cooperation then with the product development team with her and with with Ron from production and and and and also
in all of the workshops we had we had the the the brand in mind and we
challenged the why and and and what what shall we communicate how what is the product how is the how can we make the
product good for for for for for dogs and then then also how can we communicate it so so so and
we had we had these with with the uh Natural Things transparency all these
things were were on the table and and and we had a lot of fights because you
want to have it to work in production you want to have the certain price point
and then you have the ideology that want just to have the perfect food and then you have the branding people that just
want to have the the the fancy packaging and and I think that’s that’s the key element there that you we we all trusted
that we are on the right right uh uh track there and that we are heading to the right direction so so all the fights
were where around the issues that how can we package this how can we make this
into a to a really good concept and and and and uh and uh and and we we ended up
to to have it and and of course after the launch we we we we have all the time
the product now has been 10 years on the market but it’s never ready you know all all the time you learn and you need to
do some small steps and develop and maybe some new new new Tasties and so on but the the the foundation is still
there so yeah it’s it’s so hard to to bring something to Market because you’re trying to you have all these different
um stakeholders who have very legitimate like you know needs and you have to try to manage everything um so when you
launched this VI was like uh these frozen raw meatballs that you could just feed essentially they were balanced so
you didn’t have to mix and match organs and bones and all that um what was the reception like among the kind of
existing customer base of those who were already into this kind of uh raw food and also the people who were just
feeding kibble and you were trying to to appeal to with why I I think it was uh a
lot of the the early adopters the raw feeders that now mixing themselves they are still mixing themselves a lot of
them and I think I think our our Target was to to to find new customers with
these products also those that are feeding kble but are starting to think that could it be could it be um an idea
to give something more natural and and maybe their their neighbor is the the raw believer and and mixing the
themselves so they think but they don’t want to go go down that road and start to mix themselves so I think we need we
need both both there and and and uh and of course we uh we was working really
hard with with getting consumers to test the product and I think that was the the
the main target we had because we were so confident that we have developed a really really good product and and we
started to get feedback about the product dog owners were so so happy with it it was easy to use but at the same
time it it was naturally balanced so so so uh we got a lot of good of course we
had to adjust the recipe we maybe had in some of the recipe a little bit too much bone and and and then you need to adjust
so it’s even better for the dogs but but that was that is always when you bring a product to the market you need to be be
adjusting but but we we had a good good product and and and I think the launch
that we did was uh because we had built up this huge Facebook Community we
decided that that okay the launch will be uh and and uh will be that we give
out free free products and and and we was thinking and
and I said that one bag of dog food can can never be a problem for me to give out so so so
then then we we set up a a plan for for that that how can we how can we create
uh this kind of uh bus on on using our social media channel to get people to
test the product and together with our with our retailers uh uh we did uh we
shipped out some products to them and then we started to to promote on on on Facebook that they go and and pick up a
product and I think in a in a a few weeks when we launch it we we gave out
uh more than 15,000 uh products and and so so so and it was both both in Finland
and Sweden and it was part of the launch in Sweden and and we we had a lot of we
had some pet shops especially in in in in bigger cities that that was like okay now we really see that that mush is
bringing in new customers to us and and and and we also had had then since we
were starting in Sweden then we also had had a campaign in Sweden where we where
you could recommend a retailer to to to
to take in the product and and a pet retailer is especially independent pet
retailers they know their customers quite well so and and when we we could go with the campaigns that we had online
that we could go in our salesperson on the field could go into a pet R and say that hey in this we have a Facebook
campaign campaign and we have 53 customers in your area recommending us to go and sell to you
and then they was like okay so so you are coming here because your customers
tell you to come and sell to me and it was easy more easy for them then to to to take the product in and start to sell
to sell and and uh and and I think that that was that was a great great way of
using the the the base we had built on social media and and and we had really
good good momentum and growth then then then with the Via launch in in in
Finland and Sweden and and got it to a to a good good point point in this
category so it was a really pivotal moment because first of all you were going from if you look at the kind of consumer
adaptation cycle you were going from like that just maybe a few percent of the market early adopters to that early
majority um so much bigger category and then you were also this was a real vote
of confidence for the Retail Partners that hey look at what mush is doing they’re actually growing the category to bring in new new customers um I think
around that same time you were also you launched the mush Global project what was the idea there how did that get get
Unsuccessful global expansion and lessons learned
started I think I think the same idea with the great confidence we we gathered
from from the vi to lach and the the way we worked with social media and the nordics uh and and the group CEO back
then was was really like uh asking me that how can we grow this
category and and can we do something something and and I used to always tell him that with food you always the
different food cultures and and taste so so but with dog food all the dog have the same taste so so you don’t need to
make separate recipes to go to New Market so so so I managed to sell that idea and and and we went for and we did
a big study study uh global global study study and and to see where we can grow
and we decided to go for for the German market and and and we had the product we
set up the team we set up the the office in Hamburg and and and and uh we started
and and a lot of the things we did in the nordics we were planning to take to
Germany but at the same time we we wanted to adjust to the German market so so so we also took in some of the German
German uh way of more traditional way of of working with sales and we didn’t dare
to put push the social media so strongly and uh and uh and uh remember
when we went there uh was talking about that we go on the huge German Market to
to become a niche of the BET Food Market dog food market in
Germany and taking a niche role in the German dog food market that would have
been huge for us but U uh One customer we met met one customer the biggest pet
retail chain in Europe and and we were met met uh the peras there and and I
presented the case and and and and since there was already some frozen products
on the German Market but not as as advanced at our product there was more
basic meat products there that they were selling in the Pet Shops and and our product was was a high-end product
produced in Finland so which was um more pricely so we were thinking that we will
become a niche of the of the whole dog food category and he he looked at us uh and
and said yeah guys you might end end up becoming a niche of a niche so you are
just a niche of the German freezers with your exclusive brand from Finland and we was walking out from the
meeting and we were laughing when he he didn’t even understand his own market so of course we will become a niche of the
whole dog food market so every Pet Shop in Germany will have a next to the to the Mars anday Branch they will have a
mush freezer and we were pushing that for one and a half year and and and ended up
learning that maybe he was he knew his Market better than we so so so you Al
always need to have respect for the market but I think also uh what happens also for us is that
we under underestimated the the money it takes to to build the brand so so and
and I think it was also here a few episodes ago discussion about this about bringing Nordic brand to to to Europe
and and underestimating the the amount of money needed for marketing and branding and I think we we had the
foundation we set up the company but but when we started to get the red numbers
and and the monthly sales was was the first month lower than the the costs then we didn’t dare to put in more money
for marketing and building our brand and and weend ended up then 2016 after pushing one and a half year
uh we said that this is now it’s too big risk for a for a uh familyowned food
industry company from from Finland to go for a huge Market in Germany and continue to push so so we decided
together with the board that that now it’s time to to to focus on on the the Nordic Market continue to build the
brand here and and uh and we set up Germany German and some other markets as
as uh as we call it export markets where we have a a local distributor that we work with and they work with with
building the product and the brands there and slowly Step by Step Building building and growing the markets and I
think it was a it was a wise decision uh however I still think if we
would have pushed we might have been been a much bigger company today but you never know and and I think the good
learnings is also that if you trust your your why and the foundation because we
continue to build on the same Foundation the same product product groups and the
same ideology and and the same why in the Nord and and and we we managed to to to start
to make uh make good profit in the nordics uh uh covering up for for the
investment we had had made in in Germany and a lot of companies and brand might have have okay now we failed in Germany
so the whole setup and the whole idea is a failure but no it was a tactical error
but still our our brand is great our products are great and and and and and
with those learning we can then start to build build up uh slower more more and
and I think I think then to to build up the the the base the foundation and the
economical resilience to to build the brand and to build build it forward so so so I think now now we have we have um
again possibilities we we just recently opened up in Norway Norway our own sales
office nor Regan Market seems really exciting and and we are we are we have
had a partner there for for many many years but now it was time time to set up our own own own sales office there so so
and and we have a great distributor in in in Denmark and and and also a country
like Hungary where we have a really really exciting distributor that are really like leading the niche category
there so our distributor once or twice a year you you see her on the on the Hungarian
television talking about raw feeding and she’s in the veterinary days educating educating veterinarians about raw
feeding and she has her own brand they are building that that as a family company there and and and and still mush
is one of the flagship Brands then in her in her portfolio and and that is really exciting to see that we have
several markets there where we have become a a trusted partner for those who
are building the category there as we did back in in back in in in Finland
back in the days when when we started to build the Y and the category and I think I think that is uh really exciting to
see and and overall also the raw feeding category is is growing on on on all
markets and and now also we see new type of products that are more easy to ship
with freeze dried and and so on that are really really coming strongly now in the on the US market so so a lot of great
things is happening in the the and and and I I like to think always that that
the work we have done here in the nordics and and and that that I have
done together with a lot of of my colleagues in the industries is is uh is
changing a little bit the industry from from being really really dominant by by
by a few big players that that are making making processed Gibble and and now we have more and more more startups
also and I think the the the pet food industry has also shown shown during the latest years with the
pandemic and everything that it is quite quite resilient and and it’s still going going strong and and people even took
more pets than than when they couldn’t travel and so on so so it’s a it’s an
exciting industry to be in yeah I guess you know spending on on pets and pet related whether it’s food or or other
Ambassador program, TikTok and other marketing strategies
things has probably gone up yeah uh continues to increase yeah it has gone up and and and now it’s it’s interesting
to see this year because now this year in many markets uh the prices are going up so so so now we see see also but a
lot of dog owners then and dog and and and also cat owners see that okay uh if
they have found a good food and and it’s they trust the brand they they they tend to to to continue with that but then
maybe they they buy a little bit less of of of equipment or toys for the for the
pets but but I think the the food food industry is quite solid solid in that
matter yeah yeah markets changed a lot over these years mush has changed a lot the revenue has grown I don’t know if
you have released any exact numbers but it’s you know lot a lot bigger than it was was back back then um how has your
marketing changed as the category and the company has grown um for instance I
I know that you’ve been doing a lot of influencer or Ambassador running a lot of Ambassador programs in in Sweden for
instance so what are some of the tactics you’ve been using or strategies you’ve been using lately um to reach new
customers I think I think always to re reach new customers it’s uh you need to
be if you don’t have the biggest budget and you are competing about against
multinational companies in in the marketing spend in the same category I think I think you always need to be
smart and and and and uh trying to use your community and and uh and one way of
of of of doing that is is with the ambassador program that we have had now
for for for many years and and and uh and a lot of our ambassadors are really
passionate about about helping us building the brand and and and we
always uh we always tend to to choose ambassadors and we choose them from from
consumers people that are active dog owners that anyhow would feed our products so so so I tend to when uh
influencer marketing has become uh bigger and bigger and and all the time
when when an influencer or or uh when they are in contact and they want to to
propose some marketing uh cooperation uh we always ask okay so how
long have you been feeding our product to your dog and and what do you think about it and and and if they say they
haven’t fed the product then then we said okay then we can ship you some we can send you some C coupons so you can
pick a product and you can test it but we don’t want you to do marketing for us before you have fed the product so so we
don’t want to to to on a regular basis uh send out a product to somebody to
promote it we just want to send out a product for them to feed their dog because we we know that when they feed
our our our product uh then they will become
ambassadors either they are they are in our ambassador community and and working with us but anyhow they will become
because we have a great product and we trust our product and I think that’s that’s a lot of the things we are doing with the Ambassador work and and of
course in this uh we also have the Breeders program and those things so you need all the time to be to be on toes to
to work with that and and and see see the new platforms and and the way the way and and then on different markets
work on different ways so so for example our our distributor in Hungary started
started uh a couple of years ago already he was one of the first one who started to to actively work with with uh Tik Tok
and they made videos with their own dogs feeding them and mixing and making and they they took some of our our meatballs
and then they took some some local products and there some of their own products and they made these kind of fun
videos where you can mix you you take the the complete menu but then you add some berries and some other things some
sardines and and other product that they were selling in their stores and and
actually they he said that that the the Personnel in stores started to to to inform them that
hey you cannot post uh Tik Tok videos without telling us before what you are
posting so we can prepare so we have the because consumers are coming into the shops asking hey I would like to I would
like to to to give a test that product so that you had on the Tik Tok video so so so and that is um and there we have
been been for example in the Nordic Market there we we decide we have not
been investing resources in in Tik Tok and and it’s always for me that okay where do you put your what is your
playbook social media Playbook where where do you put it and and and and uh
and then you choose some channels and you try to be active active and and and see but it’s it’s all the time a at the
end of the day it’s a it’s a way of using different channels to to get in
contact with consumers communicate with them uh tell them about what you believe
in and and hopefully then at the end of the day find those that believe in the same thing because then they will end up
buying your product or somebody else’s product from from the category and and I used to say as long as the raw feeding
is growing and we are pushing every day as hard as we can to make the the best raw food that is on the market and raw
feeding is growing then we will end up having a good good business plan so yeah that’s what we are working with um have
you also been thinking about making any bigger media Investments or are you mostly focused on these digital channels and more low cost we we are looking
especially on our our finish Market we have now also we we we launched the the
Dual plus serus that is sold in groceries and and we we think that the grocery Channel and the people buying
dog food there maybe act a different in a little bit different way than those who are buying from pet retailers so so
we are really really looking into that to see that that what is should we go up
there and and and take the front page of H or something like that but it’s it’s really difficult because the competition
especially in this segment is is really tough so so so we try to to to evaluate
the different channels and and and always always look into I think I have
never during the the 12 Years also part of snellman group where we have once a
year we make a budget I have never considered the number that I give for
the group in in the line where it says marketing budget as a fixed number I I
always consider marketing spend as as something that is a lot of extemporary
that hey now we get momentum here and now we we put put our Focus here and and try to keep it as AG as possible because
uh you never really know what what happens and what opportunities comes up there in terms of communication with
consumers so so so so and and sometimes it’s really frustrating for my for for
for partners and my team when when when when I like to think that that marketing
is so extemporary so so so uh sometimes to make a plan that this year this is
the next year plan and produce something in forward is is a little bit more relaxing way of working but but but I
like to to also in in one way push us to to be real agil and and and be there
communicating with the consumers yeah I think agility is is really really important um last question you’ve been
Why Magnus loves working with MUSH
at MH now involved for over 15 years is there anything that stands out in terms
of lessons learned anything that kind of key takeaways it’s been a it’s been a long and very um
windy journey I would say I would say key takeaway is is uh I I I think I got
the question question thousand times what kind of dog do you have and I don’t even have a dog and and and the key
takeaway is is that to work with with people with passion for
something is is is is so so great and and we have so many days when I come to
work that it’s so exciting because I have a lot of people around me that have passions for for the for the raw feeding
for for everything and and and during this time uh I don’t think one book
would be enough for all mistakes you have made but but those are those are just learning experience and and the the
better we can learn from them and and take it from there but but as long as we
we enjoy coming to work challenging challenging an industry
that from from our point of view is is a little bit uh uh in in producing food uh
to in to simplify it for for the dogs that you eat the same food every day and when we come in and say hey your dog is
not a machine that works on the same fuel every day you have different variance in the dog’s life so you so you
you need to to feed it differently and and sometimes they need more food some times less food sometimes and and if you
give some natural food you get some natural uh natural um antioxidants everything else into
your body and I think for people people food becomes more of more of a thing
that is important and we understand the importance of good food for our health and I think this is coming strongly now
also to the pet owners and and and it’s great fun to work to work with that so m
I I love that answer I think passion creates resilience which you need to stick with something for a long time
even when failure we have mistakes or or failures um thank you so much Magnus for
joining us for the show and I just realized we never talked about cats so we have to mention that mush also makes
yeah it’s it’s really interesting because uh uh we talk a lot about dog
dog food and and when we made a web page a few years ago ago we we said that and
and we want to make a different word for the cats and I think the cat the cat owners are and and and I think mush
brand it CES the Heritage comes from the dog world but but I think the cats and and and the other brands we that we have
is is is is it will be another topic for some podcast sometimes yeah we have to
do that a separate time um like I said thank you so much for coming on uh people who are listening if you have a
pet either cat or dog you can find mush product in retail pet stores and also in grocer gr stores is that only in Finland
or also in in Finland it’s only only in grocery stores in Sweden we are only pet retails for for now yeah for now um and
if people want to connect with you LinkedIn is probably the the best way yeah link LinkedIn but of course if you
have passion for for for dogs and cats and feeding them then spend time reading reading about raw food food on forums
and web page but but but if you have nothing else to do then always you can follow me and ask me but but I think we
have a uh use use the time for your pet and the benefit of your pets that’s good
good advice thank you so much M thank you for listening you can find
all episodes of the growth pod on Spotify YouTube and apple
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