PitPat has taken the pet industry by storm with its innovative pet-tech monitor for dogs, winning a New Product Award at PATS Telford in the process.
Andy Nowell, CEO and Founder of PitPat, talks to Pet Trade Xtra about how PitPat was born.
Where did the idea for PitPat originate?
The idea came from our experience developing human wearable devices for the fitness market and high performance sport. We spotted an opportunity to use the same technology to help owners take better care of their dog.
How long did it take to get the product to market?
The product was in development for two years, from the prototyping stages through product trials and finally to end manufacture.
How many people involved?
There are five people in our core team, supported by a number of external partners in development, marketing and manufacture.
What are your backgrounds?
The team have all previously worked for leading Cambridge product development consultancies, working across a wide range of markets including health and fitness, wearables and the connected home. Combined we have over 50 man years of experience delivering innovative technology products for major consumer brands, from conception through to manufacture.
Do you have pets yourself?
I grew up with pets, but unfortunately I can't keep a dog at the moment since I live in a small flat.
Is it a hard job convincing owners of overweight pets to try your product?
This a key question and our whole ethos has been to make PitPat fun and engaging. Owners love to discover new things about their dog. For example with PitPat you can discover what your dog gets up to while you are apart. We combine this with the support and peace of mind that our exercise guidelines bring. As such, PitPat really is for all dogs, not just overweight ones.
What evidence do you have that wearable technology is transferring into the pet market?
There has been a wave of start-ups launching pet-tech products in the US, from wearable cameras to GPS trackers. The UK market is following closely behind and we are the first UK company to launch a dog activity monitor.
Did you have a good PATS Telford?
It was great to unveil the product to the trade at PATS Telford. Our stand was always busy, retailers were there to do business and we made many valuable connections and sales throughout the show.
What reaction did you get from retailers?
Retailers were very impressed with the product, especially the ease of use, long battery life and competitive retail price of £39.99. They also really understood the market opportunity, building on the success of similar human exercise products like FitBit and Nike’s Fuelband. Retailers were also pleased to stock a product that is manufactured in the UK.
Did winning a New Product Award help draw visitors to your stand?
The New Product Award really helped raise awareness of the product at the show and is great recognition of the innovation that has gone into the design. It is now proudly displayed in our office and will be at future shows!
Do you help retailers to merchandise your product in store?
Yes we provide counter top and free standing POS display units as we believe this is essential to help promote the product within store and draw in customers. We are also currently offering a free unit when you buy more than nine to allow store owners to test out the product for themselves.
Have you got more pet-related products in the pipeline?
Yes we do, this first product is just the start. In the future we are planning to link activity.
Who came up with the title for the product PitPat?We came up with the name during a brainstorm and it comes from the "pitter patter" of paws - we wanted something fun, short and snappy that would also convey activity.
For more information visit www.pitpatpet.com