Collaboration July 2011

Pet Products

How two firms are working together thanks to BCCJ ACUMEN

The usefulness of the British Chamber of Commerce in Japan and BCCJ ACUMEN was recently brought home to me after I had signed a business deal that stemmed directly from having joined the chamber and been featured in its magazine—so I thought I’d share my experience with readers.

Established in Tokyo in 2009, K9 Natural is the Japan arm of a New Zealand firm that, since 2006, has been making freeze-dried, award-winning, premium dog food and snacks without additives.

Soon after, I met representatives of the BCCJ and ACUMEN to see how I might benefit from chamber membership. I made my objective quite clear: I wanted to grow our young business. I was told about events, the availability of information and ACUMEN magazine.

The editor quickly saw value in the story of K9 Natural, which had been started by a British former police dog trainer, was expanding rapidly around the world, and was new to Japan in a lucrative industry. He sent the Tokyo correspondent of The Guardian newspaper to interview me, and a fine story soon appeared in print.

Matthew Broadway, then the Japan director of Dyson, enjoyed the piece and asked the editor to introduce us. Dyson was looking for a quality product to partner its entry into the dog-care business with its Groom vacuum cleaner attachment to keep dogs clean and tidy.

He and I had much in common, and agreed that many of today’s canine ailments, such as allergies and skin problems, are caused by poor diet, dust and mites found in most homes that have pets. Japanese owners of dogs want only the best food and care for them—enter Dyson and K9 Natural.

We discussed a detailed campaign that greatly benefits both firms and, after negotiations, signed an agreement.

The campaign allows K9 Natural to reach Dyson’s quality-conscious clients and grow our exposure, while Dyson builds customer loyalty by showing a genuine interest in total pet and home health.