mapping business needs to customer value

red horizontal rule

INDEPENDENT PET PARTNERS

INDPENDENT PET PARTNERS

Now more than ever, pets are viewed as members of the family and pet parents are willing to pay a premium to provide for them as they would their own family. Couple that with the changes in retail habits across the board and its imperative to keep up in this ever-evolving world of technology, customer expectations and frictionless experiences. And the only way to get there is to map out a “desired state” plan that puts digital products and customer needs squarely in the center.  
Now more than ever, pets are viewed as members of the family and pet parents are willing to pay a premium to provide for them as they would their own family. Couple that with the changes in retail habits across the board and its imperative to keep up in this ever-evolving world of technology, customer expectations and frictionless experiences. And the only way to get there is to map out a “desired state” plan that puts digital products and customer needs squarely in the center.
Now more than ever, pets are viewed as members of the family and pet parents are willing to pay a premium to provide for them as they would their own family. Couple that with the changes in retail habits across the board and its imperative to keep up in this ever-evolving world of technology, customer expectations and frictionless experiences. And the only way to get there is to map out a “desired state” plan that puts digital products and customer needs squarely in the center.

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT | SOLUTIONS  ARCHITECHTURE I GO TO MARKET STRATEGY | CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE 

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT | GO TO MARKET STRATEGY | CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT | GO TO MARKET STRATEGY |
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

PRODUCT MANAGEMENT

GO TO MARKET STRATEGY

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Based in New York City, Independent Pet Partners (IPP) was founded to support the magic of a pet's unconditional love by taking independent pet retail brands and elevating them to a new era of success. Disrupting the traditional retail and digital landscape, IPP provides its family of independent natural pet retailers the back-end infrastructure and support they need to foster the health and wellbeing of pets everywhere. IPP currently has 162 locations in 11 states and Washington, D.C. and includes market-leading brands Loyal Companion, Chuck & Don’s, Krisers and Natural Pawz. IPP strives to provide best-in-class nutrition, educational content, grooming services and pet training with the ultimate goal of making it simple to be a great pet parent. 
Before merging with Marriott International, Starwood Hotels and Resorts was one of the world’s largest hoteliers, maintaining over 1,200 properties in 100 countries and employing over 180,000 employees. Iconic, industry-leading Starwood brands included Sheraton, Westin, Aloft, and 8 others, each with their own unique look and brand.

THE CHALLENGE

As with other retail categories, the pet sector continues to experience eCommerce growth. Much of the growth can be attributed to the rise in digital customer-centric experiences that make it simple and easy to do business with many companies in this space. With mobile owning roughly 75% of global eCommerce by 2021, IPP knew they needed to strategically position themselves to deliver on the goal of being the people store for pets. At the same time, IPP also needed to create a cohesive experience across a family of brands, each with different customers, loyalty programs and product catalogs. Managing this harmonization and unification initiative was key while they also determined the best way to deliver a better customer experience in their stores and through all digital touchpoints. IPP knew they needed a single technology solution and a unified loyalty program that would connect the brands, but also knew other changes were going to be necessary to compete.

Uniting these individual brands and hundreds of properties in a single usable application was no easy feat. Incorporating the quality of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) program in a single mobile experience that is not only intuitive, but also loaded with all of the features guests want and expect, made the challenge even greater. The mobile experience on both iOS and Android had to serve the brands’ most loyal guests AND increase mobile bookings. Starwood needed a beautiful, elegant and comprehensive mobile experience.

Independent Pet Partners logo, image of woman with dog and womans arm showcasing example of wearable prototype.
Feasibility, viability and desirability combine to produce a product strategy value proposition.

OUR APPROACH

As experts in experiences and business transformation, IPP turned to Bottle Rocket for help in three key areas. 

  • Product Strategy: What would a comprehensive digital ecosystem and product roadmap look like to get us from where we are to our desired end state?
  • Solution Architecture: How can we design a unified technology infrastructure by leveraging legacy systems and introducing modern technical solutions and partners that can be utilized across the entire brand portfolio that scale for future growth?  
  • Design: What could a beautiful digital experience look like that not only engages our customers but also helps us achieve our business objectives? 

As experts in digital product strategy and development, IPP turned to Bottle Rocket for help in three key areas.

  • Product: What would a comprehensive digital ecosystem and product roadmap look like to get us from where we are to our desired end state?
  • Technology: How can we create a unified, scalable technology solution for use across the entire brand portfolio?
  • Design: What does an ideal state mobile experience look like that our customers would love?

Using our expertise in design thinking, customer research, marketplace analytics and a deep understanding of how IPP wanted to drive business value through customer experiences, we engaged a cross-functional team to deliver on all three work streams simultaneously.

As experts in digital product strategy and development, IPP turned to Bottle Rocket for help in three key areas.

  • Product: What would a comprehensive digital ecosystem and product roadmap look like to get us from where we are to our desired end state?
  • Technology: How can we create a unified, scalable technology solution for use across the entire brand portfolio?
  • Design: What does an ideal state mobile experience look like that our customers would love?

Using our expertise in design thinking, customer research, marketplace analytics and a deep understanding of how IPP wanted to drive business value through customer experiences, we engaged a cross-functional team to deliver on all three work streams simultaneously.

As experts in digital product strategy and development, IPP turned to Bottle Rocket for help in three key areas.

  • Product: What would a comprehensive digital ecosystem and product roadmap look like to get us from where we are to our desired end state?
  • Technology: How can we create a unified, scalable technology solution for use across the entire brand portfolio?
  • Design: What does an ideal state mobile experience look like that our customers would love?

Using our expertise in design thinking, customer research, marketplace analytics and a deep understanding of how IPP wanted to drive business value through customer experiences, we engaged a cross-functional team to deliver on all three work streams simultaneously.

As experts in digital product strategy and development, IPP turned to Bottle Rocket for help in three key areas.

  • Product: What would a comprehensive digital ecosystem and product roadmap look like to get us from where we are to our desired end state?
  • Technology: How can we create a unified, scalable technology solution for use across the entire brand portfolio?
  • Design: What does an ideal state mobile experience look like that our customers would love?

Using our expertise in design thinking, customer research, marketplace analytics and a deep understanding of how IPP wanted to drive business value through customer experiences, we engaged a cross-functional team to deliver on all three work streams simultaneously.

Using our expertise in, design thinking, customer research, marketplace analytics and a deep understanding of how IPP wanted to drive business value through customer experiences, we engaged a cross-functional team to deliver on all three work streams simultaneously. 
  
With an overarching focus on desired business outcomes, customer expectations, as well the needs of in-store associates, we pulled together market research, ideated a go-to-market strategic approach and drafted potential value propositions to set us down the path to success. We created a robust roadmap for IPP’s entire digital ecosystem via a balanced, customer-focused, research-oriented approach that ensured every release would have the right mix of functionality, usability and desirability with appropriate levels of new feature experimentation and a constant eye on critical business metrics.  

We also created a business case to secure funding from the board, designed a clickable prototype that brought to life a beautiful and frictionless mobile experience for customers along with key web page designs to show how the experience extends across platforms. And to help power future growth and scalability, we delivered a comprehensive technology assessment and long-term roadmap that set the stage for what was possible as their business evolves.  

Working session with the Bottle Rocket team. Prototype mockup of possible mobile application.

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