New university partnership to develop rapid growth of Halifax pet treat company

Jun 12, 2023

Marketing experts at Leeds Beckett University have joined forces with Halifax pet treats company, Sniffers, to build on the company’s rapid growth. They will support them in a strategy to develop their new ‘Naw’ own-brand products and enter new markets.

A team of Leeds Business School academics will work with Sniffers Pet Care Limited on the two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP), which is part-funded by the Government through Innovate UK. Sniffers is a small business based in Elland, Halifax, with over 40 years’ experience in the pet industry.

Dr David Andrews, Senior Lecturer in Marketing and project leader, said “The KTP will focus on developing and embedding a platform for Sniffers to grow sustainably. We will develop strategies to identify the best distribution channels for Sniffers to enter new markets and establish their own-brand products.

“Using our expertise to support the wider team at Sniffers, we will build their management capabilities, skills and training. This will create a more strategic approach for the business, embedding innovation throughout the company and facilitating the company’s long term growth objectives.”

Another key focus of the KTP will be to build Sniffers’ targeted marketing strategies to amplify the brand impact with the company’s customers. The project aims to create a brand personality and reputation that reflects the central principles of Sniffers, and positions it more strongly in the market – to support their goal of being recognised as the UK’s leading natural dog treat supplier.

Simon Brown, CEO, and son of the founder of Sniffers Pet Care, said: “We have experienced impressive sales growth in recent years – in part, due to the Covid-associated increase in dog ownership in the UK. We are ambitious and motivated to continue our strong growth through this new partnership with Leeds Beckett – including developing our own-brand products and growing in new markets.

“Working with LBU has been a fantastic experience so far – the support and insight we’ve received already to get to this point in the KTP process has been beyond expectations. We very much look forward to embedding the capabilities within our business and helping us meet our ambitious targets – particularly as we are on the cusp of launching our new retail brand NAW.”

Jo Griffiths, Head of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships at Leeds Beckett, added: “Working with our academics enables Sniffers to take advantage of future opportunities from a basis of sound academic knowledge and expertise, and a solid strategic foundation.

“The project will embed improved strategic marketing decision-making capabilities and skills to support longer-term, sustainable SME growth. These ambitions and objectives align directly with the UK government’s agenda to foster a robust economy and for levelling up.”

A skilled graduate will be recruited to carry out the project, as a full-time member of staff within the business, and with the full support and input of the academic team at Leeds Beckett.

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