SportDOG Brand Capitalizes on Hunters' Passion for Camo
- October 20, 2015
- By Randall Mueller
“Designed by folks as ducky as you.” That’s one of the clever taglines that SportDOG Brand uses to advertise its WetlandHunter remote dog training collar. The company’s marketing campaign is meant to appeal to hunters’ passion for waterfowing. And for more than a decade, Realtree patterns and branding on WetlandHunter products have supported that premise.
“Camo talks to our customer,” says Chris Morgan, SportDOG Brand Director. “Waterfowlers see camo products and they say, ‘That’s me.’ They instantly identify with what we’re selling. Camo is part of their lifestyle year-round.”
When SportDOG Brand set out to develop the WetlandHunter, the company performed a detailed survey of serious duck and goose hunters. Their goal was to find out whether producing the product in camo would make a difference in hunters’ purchasing decisions. The results left little doubt that licensing a camo pattern would improve sales.
The realization that hunters preferred a product that said “I’m a waterfowler” over a generic-looking product was a pivotal moment in the company’s marketing strategy. After all, it could be argued that the color of something as small as a dog collar and its transmitter has no bearing on hunting success. But it was clear from the survey that image and identity mattered a lot to this segment of hunters.
“At that point, which was around 2003, we had to decide what type of camo to go with,” Morgan says. “We really believed that partnering with a known brand was important, as opposed to going with some sort of homemade color scheme. Going with Realtree was a way to validate the quality of our product. I’d compare it to someone who goes to buy a Ferrari. You’re not going to purchase a top-end car and then put off-brand tires on it. You’re going to purchase whatever high-performance tires Ferrari recommends.”
At the time, Realtree’s premier waterfowl pattern was Advantage Wetlands. In the years since, the pattern evolved to become Realtree Max-4, and today, Max-5, the most realistic waterfowl hunting pattern yet.
The WetlandHunter comes in two models, a compact Model 425 and a longer-range Model 1825. Both have advanced features such as instantly selectable correction levels, the ability to operate multiple collars from one transmitter, vibe/tone option, and collar and transmitter guaranteed waterproof to 25 feet.
SportDOG Brand captures its product quality and partnership with Realtree in one simple statement when it says the WetlandHunter is “outstanding – without standing out.”