Jinx, which launched in January, had to get creative to grow its new brand in the middle of a pandemic.

Health-focused dog food brand Jinx launched in January 2020 and it’s been busy dealing with the unforeseen market changes the coronavirus has presented to its business, Jinx co-founder and CEO Terri Rockovich says.

Jinx, which sells via its own ecommerce site at ThinkJinx.com, says sales through its site have grown between 40%-100% each month since launch. And so far, about two-thirds of customers are repeat shoppers, Rockovich says. Much of that repeat business stems from Jinx’s subscription offerings. When consumers sign up for a subscription to receive Jinx products, they receive 25% off their first order and 10% off each recurring shipment.

Last week, Jinx launched its products on Petco.com, No. 107 in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000. Jinx is the first direct-to-consumer dog food brand available on Petco’s site. Consumers buying Jinx on Petco can also subscribe to get recurring shipments of Jinx products at a discount on Petco.com, Rockovich says. The Petco deal is one of several announcements Jinx has planned for the next six months, including new product launches and two deals to sell its products at other online-only retailers, she says.

Launching during the pandemic has presented both challenges and benefits to Jinx. Being an online-only retailer of essentials provided “quite a few tailwinds,” Rockovich says. “We had the benefit of being an online business and we’ve had some nice momentum through 2020,” she says. But the company had to be agile to adapt to unplanned circumstances.

For example, the company had to change its marketing and launch plans to focus heavily on digital after the regional specialty pet food store it had signed a deal with closed during the pandemic. “We had a go-to-market playbook and we basically scrapped it,” Rockovich says.  “We were supposed to be on the shelves of a specialty pet food store in March and we had planned a marketing blitz to celebrate the partnership complete with in-store marketing and instillations. But we had to pivot to grow the brand.”

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That pivot led Jinx to begin selling its products through on-demand delivery service Postmates and to launch a marketing campaign with Overheard, whose viral Instagram accounts are known for their eavesdropping on everyday life and conversations in cities like New York City and Los Angeles. Jinx worked with Overheard to bring witty dog quotes to billboards across Los Angeles and to Overheard LA’s social media accounts. Quips included: “If you’re single in LA and don’t have a dog or do yoga that what the f&*k are you even doing?”

It also worked with fitness class company Barry’s Bootcamp on a digital campaign focused on how to incorporate dogs into home workout routines. “Everyone has been trying to find space in their homes to workout and is having to be creative,” Rockovich says.

Petco says adding Jinx to its website is part of a broader ecommerce push by the company with the rise in online shopping since the pandemic. “We have massively enhanced our ecommerce capabilities and have experienced a growth of more than 100% in this category,” says Darren MacDonald, Petco chief digital and innovation officer. Petco has expanded its digital capabilities during the pandemic, including its buy online, pick up in-store and curbside pickup offerings.

“Our ecommerce business was a top priority and an area of growth for our business since well before COVID-19, and the pandemic has only accelerated that focus,” MacDonald says. “Our scale-up of digital capabilities, including buy online, pick up in-store, curbside pickup, ship from store, online booking and in-app functions [for services such as grooming and training], have increased our competitiveness in this area.”

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