Pet Industry Leadership Conference Begins Year on High Note

"Pet Sounds" theme combined a nostalgic look back with an optimistic look to the future

The skies cleared and the rain stopped in Southern California just in time for the second annual Pet Industry Leadership Conference. The beautiful Montage Resort in Laguna Beach hosted 280 PIDA, APPA and PIJAC members for three days of outstanding speakers, industry panels, executive conferences and networking.

Entrepreneur Josh Linkner opened the meeting by challenging attendees to apply innovative thinking to the little things we do every day. He identified five obsessions that innovators have:

  1. They're Curious, continually asking Why? What if? Why not?
  2. They Crave What's Next, changing best practices to "next practices."
  3. They Defy Tradition, applying a "judo flip" to conventional solutions.
  4. They Get Scrappy. When resources are constrained, innovative companies become more creative.
  5. They Adapt Fast. Challenges and set-backs lead to pivots.

Economist Chris Kuehl explained that multiple indicators point to a strong year for the U.S. economy, but wages are driving inflation due to a serious skilled labor shortage. Foreign investors looking for stability are pushing U.S. stock markets up. The highly accurate Purchasing Managers' Index also indicates good news for the economy.

Marketer Nathan Richter noted that Baby Boomers are starting to behave as consumers like Millennials. This sea change in the way they view pets and pet products will allow companies to adopt a "converged approach" to marketing, developing campaigns that appeal to both generations simultaneously.

Troy Hazard urged us to change the supply chain to a "value chain." To better position ourselves with customers we have and those we want to have, we need to be more distinctive, emotive and collaborative. Foster unity in your team and consistency of your people. Have the right people, in the right job, doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason.

If you missed any of the keynote presentations or breakout sessions, many of the presentations are posted in the Members Only section of the PIDA website.

Next Year

The 2018 Pet Industry Leadership Conference will be January 28-31 at the Naples Grande Resort in Naples, Florida.

Pet Leadership Council
Pets in the Classroom
Global Pet Expo
Pet Industry Leadership Conference



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