Orca Communications Client Spotlight: SodaPup
Welcome to the Orca Communications PR client spotlight. Each month our clients tell you in their own words why they do what they do and provide tips for other growing small brands and businesses.
For this month’s Orca Communications Client Spotlight, we are focusing on an exciting brand in the pet industry. SodaPup initially hired Orca Communications to generate brand awareness for the company’s Made in America brand of durable dog toys. This Veteran-owned business found a way to efficiently manufacture high-quality pet products without compromising design or their mission to keep the company 100% made in the U.S.A. In 2020, PEOPLE Magazine named Sodapup one of the “Top Pet Products of 2020”.
We spoke to founder Adam Baker about the benefits and challenges of a growing brand in the pet industry.
How did you come up with the concept for SodaPup?
Our first product was a durable rubber chew toy and treat dispenser in the shape of a soda can. So, we named ourselves SodaPup. More broadly speaking our vision was to create dog toys in shapes that would resonate with consumers. The industry was full of expected shapes like bones, paws, and balls and we thought it was pretty boring.
I experimented a lot with my dogs and found that they did not actually have a preference for things that are shaped like bones or paws. So, we segmented dog owners and started building novelty shapes focused on these different consumer segments. Today, consumers buy our products because we have so many novel designs that are unlike anything else in the industry. From Grenades to Coffee Cups, Cupcakes to Pot Leaves, Starfish to Butterflies, and much, much more!
Why is it important to you that your company manufactures all of its products in the U.S.?
Building our products 100% in the USA is a core value at SodaPup. It’s not something we do with just some of our products. EVERYTHING is made in the USA.
We do it for several reasons:
- It is important to create jobs in our local communities.
- We have better relationships and better control with our materials suppliers and manufacturing facilities.
- Domestic manufacturing gives us shorter production lead times giving us the ability to have “just in time” inventory management.
As a result of the pandemic, there have been massive supply chain issues – most of which are related to global supply chains. SodaPup has experienced very little supply disruption at all, giving us an advantage over competitors who have struggled to get inventory.
What’s your one piece of advice for companies that are looking to manufacture their goods in the U.S.?
- Don’t assume that it cannot be done. Where there is a will, there is a way.
- It depends somewhat on what industry you are in. If there is the possibility of automation, then it could be easier to produce domestically.
- I think many people simply assume that they have to source their products overseas to remain cost-competitive. However, today, with global supply chain issues and rising transportation costs, the playing field is being leveled. It has become quite expensive to land products in the U.S.A., especially with tariffs against certain countries like China.
- You also have to evaluate the benefit of a shorter, quicker supply chain. Because we produce domestically, much of our revenue is generated by building to order, and by shipping directly from our factories.
Is there a particular challenge or common mistake you think could easily be avoided?
I think the most common mistake is that people assume domestic manufacturing is not a cost-effective strategy. In almost all cases, it is worthwhile investigating domestic manufacturing.
What’s one thing you like about working with Orca Communications?
Orca has been delightful to work with. They understand our brand and are excited to help us share our message. They are always responsive to my inquiries and most importantly, they deliver results. We received A LOT of coverage in the time that we have worked together.
Are there any specific projects you’re working on right now that you’d like to share?
We have an aggressive product launch schedule for this summer. We are launching at least two new products every month through the end of the summer. At the moment, we are focused on developing our enrichment/feeding system category.
For more information about SodaPup or to purchase their durable pet products, go to www.sodapup.com.