The Telegraph: How to successfully outsmart big competitors as a small firm

Guy Blaskey, founder of independent pet food business,
Pooch & Mutt, is challenging the goliaths of the market, Mars and Nestle. He launched the business in 2008 with two health supplements for dogs – the brand’s only products for the first few years.

“This gave us a good understanding of the market and its dynamics, and enabled us to build a loyal following,” he says. “From there,
we were well-placed to launch dog foods and treats and take on the multinationals.”

In the past four years, the firm has achieved more than 800pc growth in its turnover, with listings in Pets at Home and Sainsbury’s.

The small company’s agility has worked in its favour. Following discussions about healthy dog chews with a Waitrose buyer last year, the product went from idea to being on the shelf at more than 300 stores in three months.

“The same process could take a large food company three years,” explains Mr Blaskey, who thinks that social media is another arena that has given the “Davids” of business a competitive advantage.

“They can be more open and honest by virtue of the fact that the founder is sitting there in the office.

“In larger companies, the person responsible for social media is usually so far removed from the development of the product that they can never have a truly authentic voice.”

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