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D.N.A. Program Helps Store Employees Feed Their Pets

Posted: Aug. 21, 2012, 6:30 p.m. EDT


Dried-N-Alive (D.N.A.) Pet Food Inc. of Canyon, Texas, this week launched an online campaign called Real Rewards that promises to benefit not just customers of independent pet retailers and their pets, but store employees and their pets, too.

Employees can earn points redeemable for free D.N.A. pet food by promoting coded vouchers that customers activate online to receive more than $20 in savings, including a free bag of dog or cat food picked up at the store and two discount coupons.

The purpose, company president Ken Wilks said, is twofold: Build a customer database and offer a program in which the employee gets “paid.”

Ken Wilks of DNA Pet Food is offeringa new rewards program for both consumers and store associates.
Dried-N-Alive founder and president Ken Wilks with his boxer Oakley. Courtesy of D.N.A./Ralph Duke Photography
“The employees get just as much out of the program as they put into it, and so does the store,” he added.

Employees earn a point for each bag of D.N.A. dehydrated food redeemed by a customer, and every 10 points accumulated give the employee a bag worth up to $30. As many as four bags a month may be claimed.

Is the program too generous?

“It is and it’s not,” Wilks said. “Not every employee is going to participate—maybe one out of every three stores will have a motivated employee who wants to feed their pets every month for free.”

“We feel once a customer gets D.N.A. in their hands—that’s most of the work—the product will add more customers to our base and the program will pay for itself,” he added.

Wilks ran a similar program years ago as vice president of sales and marketing at Nature’s Variety, which he credited with “helping to create the raw food presence in the independent pet specialty channel.”

The campaign is expected to run for at least two years.

Watch video
Click here to watch an interview with D.N.A. president Ken Wilks.
“The beauty of it is that every time we market a new product to these new customers, they will have to return to their independent pet store to redeem future D.N.A. coupons,” Wilks said.

The coupons are store-specific, with the retailer’s name printed on them.

Under the program, new customers get a three-month trial, after which they are encouraged to “tell a friend” by sending the same offer of free food and discounts.

D.N.A.’s dog foods come in chicken, lamb, venison-and-salmon and beef formulas. Feline foods are scheduled to launch in October 2012.

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