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The biggest misconception I’ve seen is the vast differences in the quality of the products which are hidden by advertising.

Petbrosia creates custom blended food for dogs and cats shipped directly to your door. Using algorithms developed via the latest research from vet schools and pet nutritionists, Petbrosia can determine a pets’ distinct nutritional needs and create a food blend that’s customized for each animal’s breed, age, activity level and more.

Petbrosia delivers the blend straight to your home and adjusts the formula as your pet ages or as your input changes about your pet’s health status.

BusinessInterviews.com: How did you come up with the concept behind Petbrosia?

Keith: I came up with the idea after realizing there was nothing on the market that provided the proper diets for my two rescue dogs, Mickey and Rosie (Jack-Russell and Beagle mixes). Although Mickey and Rosie are brother and sister, I quickly learned they have different nutritional needs – one was too thin and the other was overweight. From my category background, research showed that by feeding pets to their ideal body condition they can live longer and have a higher quality of life.

After looking into the best food options for our dogs, I saw that pet nutrition is often too generalized. Many brands believe in a “one-size-fits-all” approach, which does not address the nutritional needs for most pets. I was inspired to start Petbrosia.com so my dogs and other pets could have access to customized diets that are designed for their unique nutritional needs.

petbrosia

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you talk about the process from first having the idea to taking it to market? What challenges did you face along the way and how did you overcome them?

Keith: The first thing I did was create a comprehensive qualitative and quantitative analysis of the business opportunity. This included primary research (interviews) with manufacturers, distributors, and consumers and secondary research into pet food and ecommerce companies. From this, I developed financial models to quantify the opportunity. It was very important for me to understand if the business even had the financial right to exist. Much of what I learned at Chicago Booth helped in this analysis.

I then made plans to leave my corporate job at P&G, which we scheduled together 5 months from the time I told them. At the point I left P&G, I gave myself 8 months to make significant progress. This included gaining funding to launch. This was a very short timeframe, but necessitated by the fact that I was the sole income provider in a young family.   This proved to be the first challenge…raising capital. It was the hardest getting the first investor. Of course I moved activities forward with my own mone, but it was limited.

The next challenge was time. Raining money while operating the business is a difficult task that you typically do not plan for. At the beginning, fundraising took up 70% of my time, making it critical that I had others to run the business. Without a co-founder, I had it more difficult than most.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some of the key advantages of using a customized blend of pet food?

Keith: Each pet has their own nutritional needs, which change over time. With customized diets, Petbrosia addresses the naturally changing nutritional needs of a pet so that it can maintain a healthy diet for a lifetime.

BusinessInterviews.com: Being first to market is both exciting and challenging. What marketing strategies have been successful in spreading the word about Petbrosia so far?

Keith: We’ve invested in PR to help increase awareness of Petbrosia and alsoimplemented a multi-tiered marketing strategy that includes digital advertising, blogger outreach, and other advertising partners. This is a new concept, so we know people are not naturally searching for it…but they love the benefit.

BusinessInterviews.com: What’s been the biggest misconception about pet nutrition that you’ve encountered so far?

Keith: The biggest misconception I’ve seen is the vast differences in the quality of the products which are hidden by advertising. The big manufacturers spend a lot on advertising sacrificing the quality of the ingredients. Most consumers do not understand that they will spend on advertising and a sleek package, but they are continuously looking at how to shave the next penny off of the kibble cost running tests to understand what the consumer will notice.

BusinessInterviews.com: What milestone are you most looking forward to reaching in 2015?

Keith: We’re hoping to grow our overall number of customers by 400 percent by the end of 2014 (vs. 2013) and believe we can accomplish that goal. We’re looking forward to continuing to grow our customer base and relationships with veterinarians in 2015.

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