Trotting Out a New Approach

Central Garden and Pet experienced a period of explosive growth through its sales culture and M&A activity, which created a hodgepodge of brands. This resulted in a portfolio challenge for their equine division — they were managing by product type rather than by brand. The opportunity existed to create a better regimen by knowing and supporting the target audiences.

We set out to understand each audience and their relationship with their horse in order to determine a brand portfolio strategy. Then, within each brand, we worked on brand architecture to discern how they think about various categories of products (fly spray vs. supplementing vs. grooming, etc.).

We discovered where Central Garden and Pet could capitalize on regimen opportunities. We also developed a pipeline of principles for innovation and growth. The end result was a brand-driven approach focused on building relationships with key retailers and loyalty with consumers.

Client: Central Garden & Pet


Equestrian life is highly visceral and emotional. Communication and respect between human and horse are physical and intuitive. To get the client and design teams into the right space, we took them to a local farm to share the experience that we would be bringing to life. 


Inspired by our outing, we brainstormed starting hypotheses for each masterbrand, creating clear differentiation in the values and drivers for the target audience for each.


We then dug deep and brought order and organization to over 500 products. We made recommendations for products to discontinue and identified opportunity areas for new product development.

All of this was summarized in a brand portfolio structure with clearly differentiated target audiences and brand toolkits. The architecture explained product by product how their target would be motivated by each product.