If you’re unfamiliar with Rufus & Coco, this brand produces a pet care range designed to offer ‘the world’s most original, inspired and trusted products.’
You may have come across Rufus & Coco products in stores such as Woolworths, Coles and the Pet House Superstore… so whether you’re familiar with this brand or not, this should give you an indication of how big this company is.
Today, we’re going to workshop Rufus & Coco’s positioning in relation to their audience, how their brand personality is the perfect siren call to their target market, and what impact Rufus & Coco have achieved through their free content strategies.
On the Rufus & Coco website, the brand outlines its values as being trusted, passionate, aspirational and dynamic. And these values are certainly captured in everything from their visuals, their language and tone-of-voice, to their very brand personality characteristics.
Just consider the brand statement above, and the language they’ve used… ‘household name’ easily resonates with their value of being trusted, the word ‘proud’ encapsulating their passion and enthusiasm, ‘fastest growing pet brand’ echoing their aspirational drives and goal to aim high, whilst ‘wholly Australian’ reflects their desire to be seen as dynamic – forerunners in Australia’s pet industry.
Already, Rufus & Coco work to demonstrate their values through this positioning statement on their website. The effect is that they are subtly yet deliberately shaping their audience’s mind to view the brand from a very specific angle; from the get-go, we are encouraged to consider Rufus & Coco as one of the best pet brands around, in both the quality of their products and the principles they abide by.
Look closely and you’ll see how the Rufus & Coco brand personality resonates strongly with the Innocent Brand Archetype, particularly with how it demonstrates both wholesomeness and purity through featuring photos of sweet, unassuming animals and smiling pet owners across the website.
The Innocent Brand Archetype values simplicity, honesty, well-being and safety; whilst fearing impurity, contamination, pollution and sinfulness.
(To learn more about the core 12 Jungian Archetypes, upon which brand archetypes are based, you can also check out this article.)
It’s important to note how this brand archetype is known to powerfully appeal to an audience who themselves are responsible and aware, who prefer the natural over the synthetic and artificial.
Rufus & Coco understands what makes their target market tick, and have aligned their brand personality to reflect this.
To be specific, Rufus & Coco recognise that their target market adores their pets and want to provide these animals with the best quality of life possible. Whether that’s through facilitating positive mental and emotional wellbeing, by using a range of engaging and interactive toys; or whether it’s through nurturing their animal’s physical health, with a healthier and informed diet and grooming equipment.
In fact, the brand is positioned not only as the #1 company to help pet owners offer their animals the best mental, emotional and physical quality of life, but also as the #1 company to turn to for the best quality products.
With more and more resources and scientific studies available for this target market, pet owners are becoming increasingly informed and educated on what ‘the best’ choices are for their pets. For example, the benefits of choosing a pet food with a higher meat content as opposed to being stuffed with meat derivatives.
Rufus & Coco acknowledge their target market’s higher degree of education, emphasising how their brand is against animal testing and that their products are made locally in Australia, earth-friendly, of a superior standard and are also award-winning.
“EVERYTHING WE DO IS BUILT AROUND THE PROMISE OF PROVIDING WELL-BRED PET CARE TO ENSURE THAT PETS AROUND THE WORLD LOOK GOOD AND FEEL GREAT.” – About, Rufus & Coco
So far, we can see how Rufus & Coco have positioned the brand in relation to the audience – how they are playing off their target market’s desires and what will appeal most to them.
But how, exactly, do they evolve the relationship with their target market from being purely transactional to establish such a loyal and engaging following?
Well, one way is through the free content and value they offer their audience, specifically across their blog and social media channels.
For instance, take the range of blog posts they published across April 2020 alone.
With the outbreak of coronavirus reaching global pandemic status, Rufus & Coco understood that their audience – whilst being concerned about the wider cultural implications – would be equally as anxious about the implications this would have for their pets.
They have directly addressed their audience’s need for clarity and reassurance regarding both their own and their pets’ wellbeing with the blog ‘Can my pet give me COVID-19?’ and also ‘Mental health benefits of pet ownership’.
Across Instagram, Rufus & Coco publish a combination of attractive animal shots, product promotions and ‘relatable’ quotes – the perfect cocktail of content to publish on a platform which thrives on aesthetic compositions and engaging meme-like posts. Whilst on Facebook and YouTube, Rufus & Coco likewise publish informative and educational video content.
You’ll note that whilst Rufus & Coco do slip some promotional messaging into their content, that is not the purpose of the majority of their posts. Indeed, Rufus & Coco predominantly focus on entertaining, informing and educating their target market, supporting their customers to make informed pet product purchasing habits or simply offering their animal-loving audience a chance to enjoy some cute pet snaps.
Nonetheless, as with any company there are opportunities for Rufus & Coco to encourage even further growth with these strategies. To clarify, this brand is incredibly switched on when it comes to knowing exactly what appeals to their target market on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. Yet the manner in which Rufus & Coco exhibit their aforementioned values could be emphasised even more explicitly. To further differentiate themselves from their competitors, Rufus & Coco have the ability to leverage their unique ethos and principles to establish a powerfully distinctive style of messaging and content approach.
For example, as a number of pet care brands will also be posting photos of pets on their social media, Rufus & Coco could instead establish a campaign celebrating the ‘dynamic’ qualities of their audience’s own pets. Through inviting their audience to submit photos and videos showcasing a pet’s idiosyncratic talents or habits or personality traits, they would once again be establishing the Rufus & Coco brand as one which celebrates ‘being dynamic’, whilst also encouraging greater levels of interaction from their target market.
Moreover, a campaign such as this would be highly effective in generating a style of user-generated content (UGC) that would in turn draw the attention and engagement of a much wider audience. Because if there’s anything the internet loves… it’s definitely photos and videos of cute animals doing weird and wonderful things!
We hope through this workshop, you can now understand exactly how Rufus & Coco have constructed their brand personality to powerfully appeal to their target audience, and to also elevate that audience from a collection of customers to a committed community around the brand.
When developing your own brand personality, make sure to consider what characteristics and personality traits will appeal to your audience. Don’t just pluck characteristics out of the air; take the time to understand what your target market will be most responsive to and what will appeal to their subconscious mind and drive their purchasing behaviour.
Be strategic in how you build up your brand personality and then ensure your offerings align with this personality type, to create an authentic and convincing brand personality.