What Cat Wine Tells Us About Niche Content

February 21, 2017 Ophelie Zalcmanis-Lai, Content Editor

Cat wine. Yes, it’s a real thing.

The Toronto Star recently did a report on the booming business of cat (and even dog) wines and how owners are loving the idea of enjoying “happy hour” with their feline friends.

Bear with us. We’re not crazy, we have not been sipping the cat wine and this does tie into an important narrative.

Apollo Peak and Pet Winery are two competing companies that both offer faux wines for cats and dogs such as “Catbernet” or “Meow & Chandon.”

As The Star reports, its “essentially catnip water.” There is no alcohol included in these treats – just happy pets and happy owners.

And here’s the thing: the fact that a person could come up with this idea “out of nowhere” and then make a cool $500,000 profit in one year proves an important point in the content world.

You’re not competing with your competitors. You’re competing with cat videos.

Basically, there’s niche content out there for everyone and anyone and audiences know where to find what they love.

This is a case for niche content and it’s what captured our minutes this week.

Here’s why:

1. Content that targets people’s inner desires, no matter how crazy, is automatically stronger than stuff that’s out of touch. 

Ok, so there might not have been a specific audience of people wishing that there was cat wine (otherwise this idea would have already been said and done for).

However, there is a group of people who see their pets in human terms and want to humanize the interactions they have with their furry friends.

These two companies solely do pet wines and this is their product. But this is an example of how catering to your audiences rewarding.

Content can be anything and everything in any kind of format. It can always (and should always) relate to a brand’s core beliefs and values, but still come together in unique ways.

If you know that there’s a portion of your audience that loves their pets, why not create your content with them in mind? It demonstrates that your brand understands its loyal customers and pays attentions to the things that matter most, above and beyond just the product level.

In return, you get customers who feel appreciated and recognized.

Content gives you the play space to do this.

So pass the Pinot Meow, my striped tabby and I want to mutually enjoy a bar tab.

2. Creativity doesn’t have to be risky. It can be your business model.

Ok so content doesn’t have rules (except in terms of quality assurance), but it can be a viable business strategy.

See normal is boring. Normal is everyone else. Not to get existential here, but why establish or be a part of a brand if you’re not going to be different from the rest of the lemmings?

Seems counter productive.

The problem is, people shy away from “too much” creativity. There have to be boundaries and lines.

But what about structured creativity? By that, we mean the type of creativity that serves a purpose (IE: reinforcing your brand belief) but does so in a way that’s not a pamphlet doomed for the recycling bin?

Creativity can be guided to be on message. It can follow a colour scheme and it can fit within a certain budget.

Brands just need to be willing to take more risks on the weird and wacky (take Mailchimp and it’s MailShrimp short movie). In the case of Apollo Peak, they employed fun copy in its marketing such as “Making Cats Great Again” and #whydrinkalone.

Hilarious (and timely, relevant, good cadence, etc. etc.).

If anything it gets people’s attention and makes them want to invest more because they feel like they’re getting a product that is special (and by extension, making them special).

So establish that creative brief. Put some solid effortful hours into it. But don’t be afraid to go off page a bit. It just separates you from the rest of the noise out there.

No, a bigger brand did not create this as a clever marketing ploy. But, cat wine just exemplifies the power of niche content. It’s the thing that’ll make it big and leave people blown away (and maybe even wondering how they pulled it off).

At the end of the day, people engage with content by lending their minutes. Content is successful when its battery is fully charged with attention.

What will win this week?

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