The chia pet is the perfect example of proper brand marketing. The company knows exactly who it markets to and its business model has eliminated competition for over 35 years.
Off brand chia pets cannot survive long. There is no upscale chia pet because first off chia pets are already a fairly over priced novelty gift. Pricing at above $30 for an upscale chia pet takes the novelty away and just moves you to question, “who the heck would pay $30 for a chia pet, especially an off brand one.” Perfect brand positioning.
The chia pet fills the need of the perfect gag gift. No one really desires one, it’s likely something you would never buy for yourself, yet gifting it typically comes with a humored response. I would guess the majority of people that own a chia pet have never even planted the seeds to “watch it grow”.
And there’s that slogan. From an early age we’ve all heard it, and we all remember it because it’s short and catchy, especially when combined with “Cha, Cha, Cha, Chia”.
You were taught what a chia pet was and never heard any competitors. If you want a funky clay animal or Obama head that you can plant seeds on, you’re looking for a Chia Pet.
But wait there’s more! Chia pets can’t have lower priced competitors either. They’ve positioned themselves as a cheesy gift that’s humorous in it’s tackiness. If you’re given an off-brand chia pet, you feel angry and cheated, and you’ll likely question why you were ever friends with Sandy to begin with.
But Chia Pet didn’t stop with just owning the entire clay and porcelain artisanal animal niche within the in-home chia seed garden segment. No they expanded their brand by partnering with other well-known brands and famous figures. You can get Chia Pets of Disney characters, former presidents, Duck Dynasty beard chias, even Teenage Mutant Ninja chias.
And now Chia Pets have expanded into herb gardens.
So what can you learn from Chia. First, compete in a space where no one can compete with you. What do you do better than everyone else? What do you REALLY do that’s better than everyone else. Don’t just say we have the best service, or the best food. Why? Why is it the best service? What makes it better than everyone else? How do you ensure that no one else can compete with you?
Second, be memorable. What’s your story? It’s called a brand position because you should have a position on something. Something you stand for, something you believe in.
Third, expand your brand into segments that complement what you already do. Partner with other successful brands that aren’t competition but hit a similar segment that you specialize in.
Fourth, be fun. Even if you’re a little cheesy sometimes, showing the personality of the business and the people in it, gives you a personal connection. It makes you more relatable. It makes you a brand worth connecting with and seeking out.
Five, never stop growing. Chia didn’t stop after their first animal or the twentienth. For over 35 years they’ve continued to expand the chia market. THE CHIA MARKET. Next time you think you reached the extent of your market, you haven’t. For your business, get a new angle, plant some seeds, and watch it grow.