Unsung Heroes: MedicAnimal

Potential pet owners, witness a truth universal: A dog might be a man’s best friend, but vet fees are anything but.

That’s where this month’s story of consumer understanding and good old gap-in-the-market wizardry starts – with MedicAnimal, the ‘Whole Foods’ of pet products, according to its CEO.

When Ivan Retzignac worked in venture capital, a site selling pet medicine caught his eye. It was cheaper, but it put vets down. Animal owners still craved professional advice, and they weren’t getting it.

The future MedicAnimal CEO had been thrown a bone. He met Andrew Bucher, a vet with experience in 40 practices over two years, and both entered the burgeoning animal-care market, focusing on premium and health products, with wide ranges, lower prices and crucially, vet advice.

The pair understood one essential fact: the love for our pets knows no bounds. And when the stakes are high, the decisions are important. And our pockets, deeper.

With the brilliant ‘FUGLY’ campaign, they proved it. Celebrating the ugliest of pets, they compiled a bunch of mammals who looked, quite literally, like a bulldog chewing a wasp. The reason, as told in their ad video, is simple: “It doesn’t matter how your pet looks – what matters, is that they live long, healthy lives”.

In a culture finally promoting imperfections in beauty campaigns, this understanding of unconditional love seems to us like a masterstroke. And with sales jumping from £1.1m to £75m in six years, the MedicAnimal guys are doing something right.

It all goes to show, nothing is more important than understanding your consumer. And the guys at MedicAnimal are making it look like a walk in the park. With a dog.