How To Use Dog Treats To Sell Boxing Classes

My dog, who is increasingly convincing me to take Chris’ boxing classes.

There’s a park near my house that my dog voraciously pulls me towards every day. He is charging with all his strength to go see Chris (named changed for privacy), a boxing instructor who teaches classes in the park and feeds him bougie dog treats.

Chris loves dogs so much that he will actually stop his class if he sees my dog in the distance so that he can grab his bag of treats and feed him. I’ve seen dogs line up to get a treat from Chris and by my estimation, I think that he spends about $60 a week on dog treats.

It may seem like he has an expensive hobby, but Chris is no dumb dumb.

That $240/month is a marketing expense.

It’s not a surprise that I see students in his class working out with their dogs — Chris has probably converted a meaningful number of his visiting dog parents into students.

What Chris has likely realized is that his students dominantly fit a specific profile — the major age group of people who live near this park are millennials; they like working out at spaces within walking distance to their home, and they have a fur baby (huge draw of living near a park).

Rather than hitting people over the head with pitches on how great his boxing classes are, Chris knows that this won’t work because there are hundreds of other workout classes in Brooklyn, NY with the same pitch. What these classes don’t have that Chris has are weekly visits with potential customers (led by their dogs) who have grown to trust him out of familiarity and bonding.

I share this to say — marketing isn’t about 24/7 direct pitches about your product or service.

Sometimes it’s about knowing your customers well and appealing to the human in them who loves and is interested in a million other things.

I love cookies but I don’t want to follow a cookie brand’s newsletter to hear about cookies all the time — I will eventually tire of it.

However, I would follow their musings if they care about the same stuff as me like shopping ethically, interesting art from new artists, and dog memes.

If you’re wondering how a cookie brand would blend those into their marketing, remember that Chris was able to make feeding treats (equivalent to human junk food) to dogs relevant to his boxing classes.

It works if it’s a part of your personality — no one’s all work and no play after all.

I write thoughtful, personal Friday morning emails called The Crux to help entrepreneurs turn their startup chase into a victory lap. Join here to get my best musings in your inbox.

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