Leading the future – HABRI
The Pet Leadership Council is playing a vital role in propelling the pet industry forward on a number of fronts.
In any successful business venture, you need a strong leader. That is a must for success to be sustainable. But, as we all know, that is not enough. A solid support staff is the true measure of just how successful that organization will be. That staff must cover a wide array of skills in order to be prepared to recognize opportunity, avoid missteps and be prepared to position the team to take full advantage at every crossroad.
When you are building a company, the skills needed are fairly defined—accounting, sales and marketing, manufacturing, research and development and the like. Each plays a key role in making things happen to the benefit of the company and the team.
Now take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Virtually any company in business has to exist in a given industry—whether it is plastics, healthcare, aviation or even pets. The health of the industry itself plays a critical role in defining the limits of success that any participant within the industry can reasonably expect.
The pet industry is a great example. Right now, thanks to many influences, it is one of the most stable, growing industries in the US economy. High-quality and caring manufacturers, distributors and retailers are a big part of that success, as are the veterinarians that provide care for pets, the conscientious animal groups and organizations that promote positive human-animal relationships, and the responsible, dedicated providers of animals such as breeders, shelters and rescues. They are all working individually to keep the industry collectively flourishing.
As with any thriving industry, some type of coordinating oversight helps propel things to the next level of success. Pooling resources, where appropriate, not only helps streamline efforts, but also presents a more consistent message for the industry. This synchronization saves time, effort and money, minimizes duplication and builds upon individual companies and efforts.
We have seen other industries rally to form these types of coalitions in response to severe outside challenges. The American Plastics Council was formed to combat a declining plastics industry. The “Got Milk” marketing campaign grew from the challenge of declining milk sales. And there are others—many of which were born after a clear and present danger to the industry was experienced. In every case, the cost has been extremely high.
We are different in that we have come together even without a visible threat. For example, a strong, diverse group of organizations came together to study and promote the human health benefits derived from having a companion animal. This group formed the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) more than seven years ago. What started as a core group of manufacturers, distributors and retailers has grown and expanded to include veterinarians, hospitals, other non-profits and almost every segment of the pet industry.
What makes this effort unique is that it did not take a downturn in the marketplace to come to fruition. These visionary companies and organizations took the initiative to pool resources not only for the good of the industry, but to educate others on the many proven health benefits of companion animals. And they continue to support the academics conducting these important studies.
To date, we are even successfully reaching out to and working with human health companies and developing partnerships that expand HABRI’s impact. It is an impactful effort supported by many talented individuals, companies and institutions, and we should all be proud of it. HABRI is doing good work on very important levels for so much more than just the pet industry.
Read more HERE.