Friday, October 9, 2015

Pet Food 2.0 Conference: A Sneak Peek

I'm pleased to be one of the presenters at the upcoming Petfood & Animal Nutrition 2.0 Conference. I'll be presenting two sessions during the week;

The organizers posted this article below on their website, which I have decide to feature below. I hope to see some familiar faces and new ones too. If you want to attend, there is still time to register.

Conference Speakers Cover All Angles: Education Sneak Peak
 - Blog

The Petfood & Animal Nutrition 2.0 conference in Chicago is almost here, and our staff couldn’t be more excited. Besides an exhibit hall filled with forward-thinking potential partners, the two-day education lineup includes some of the brightest minds in animal nutrition, such as:
• Bill Bookout founding member and president of the nonprofit National Animal Supplement Council (NASC)
• George C. Fahey Jr., Ph.D., professor emeritus of animal sciences and Kraft Foods endowed professor emeritus of nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• Industry consultant Deena Krestel-Rickert, Ph.D., who worked at companies including Ralston (now NestlĂ©) Purina, Trouw Nutrition and AFB International
• Dave Ratner, who has more than 40 years’ experience in pet retail, owns his own line of dog and cat foods, and is actively involved with the National Retail Federation (NRF)

We’re also looking forward to the sustainability session featuring Sara Snedeker, project manager, Pet Industry Sustainability Coalition (PISC) and Jim Thomas, Petco’s vice president of sustainability, safety, environment, risk, ethics and compliance. In just a couple short years, PISC has made great strides in arming the pet industry with tangible tools and resources to advance sustainability in businesses of all sizes, no matter how ominous the task may seem. Petco was an early-adopter founding member of PISC, as well as leading the pack of pet retailers by creating an executive position to support sustainability efforts. It will be interesting to hear how the two organizations have made strides collaboratively and as individual entities.

Also of note are the branding sessions led by Rick Rockhill. Managing partner and co-founder of Zarhill Partners Group, a retail, brand and sales consulting company based in Burbank, California, Rockhill has 27 years’ experience in merchandising, innovation, product development, sales and marketing, both in and out of the pet industry, which offers rich perspective.

“Good marketers understand that a well-defined brand strategy is critical to launch a successful brand," he said. “A brand strategy brings your competitive positioning to life, and positions you in the mind of consumers. Think of your brand as a living personality that interacts with consumers. Start by writing a background story about your brand, and incorporate it into your company materials. The expression ‘live your brand’ refers to the need for employees to understand and be able to articulate the brand in everything they do."
Rockhill will discuss the importance of defining the brand’s target customers and channel strategy, the latter of which “is much more than a matter of where your product will be sold," he explained. “It involves an aspect of corporate soul-searching to align your brand with retailers." Through this process, brand holders can identify retailers with the right mix of customers, brand support and opportunities for their unique brand’s growth.
Rockhill shares more of his expertise in our November digital issue, “The Science of Launching a New Brand," which goes live Nov. 6. Several of the conference speakers have written or been quoted in recent Petfood & Animal Nutrition 2.0 articles. 

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