Five Questions: Pieter Prenen
Pieter Prenen is the founder and CEO of Hello Pets. His dog food brand Wooof is sold online in Germany with FSG’s help.
What was the reason for Hello Pets to work with FSG in Germany?
When we decided that we wanted to sell our dog food brand Wooof online in Germany, we started looking for a partner that wanted to get to know our brand inside-and-out. FSG really took effort to get to know the pet care business in Germany because they wanted to work with us. On top of that, we needed customer service for Wooof. You can’t sell dog food without showing the customers that you know what you’re talking about when it concerns taking care of pets. Part of our sales really happens through customer service. People can be insecure – we’re talking about their pets here. When they have questions about our brand, they want to feel that we know what we’re talking about. Those conversations are highly important to our brand. Before we were working with FSG, we saw that German customers wanted to be talked to in their own language about their pets. FSG also takes care of that.
What did you want to achieve with Wooof when you entered the German market?
We were successful in the Netherlands with selling our dog food online. There are over 5 million dogs in Germany, so it was crystal clear to us that we wanted to grow their, too.
What makes the collaboration with FSG successful?
The idea of doing it together is what makes our collaboration successful. FSG always gives us the feeling we are in it together. FSG embraced us and is now living our brand. We really are in it together. We have two companies that are taking steps together as one. This creates confidence. I realize it every time I step into FSG’s office in Berlin. There are posters and signs everywhere of the brands they represent. I always feel that we as Wooof are part of them. That’s special. FSG is really there for us. They don’t work billable hours, they share the responsibility for Wooof with us.
In what way did FSG and Wooof have to adjust the message of Wooof for the German market?
I’m glad we could really count on the knowledge of the 30 German online marketing specialists at FSG. Some things are obvious, others are not. In Dutch, we use the word waggling (kwispelen) a lot when it concerns dog happiness. In the Netherlands, we built a whole Facebook community around just that verb. However, in German a direct translation of that could sound somewhat strange, is what we’ve learned. So FSG prevented us from doing this. They are now using the word ‘Hundengluck’.
What are Wooof’s plans for the future?
‘At the beginning, it took extra effort for FSG and Wooof to agree on future plans and growing ambitions. But not anymore. We’ve agreed that we want to double our turnover in the next two years. We are planning on introducing other dog food brands in Germany. We’re in that together, too. No doubt. We are looking forward to working together with FSG on this a lot. That’s why I travel to Berlin often, and FSG colleagues come to spend time with us in Rotterdam. This way, we can all keep going in the same direction.