A lot of companies boost sales of a product by giving something away with it. But what happens when you want to sell that free gift as its own product? 

Animal health company Zoetis is one of our longest-term clients and are a prime example of a company looking to turn a gift-with-purchase into a valuable product in itself.

“Along with all of the major animal health pharmaceutical companies, Zoetis has been giving livestock treatment applicators away free with most product purchases for many years, effectively using them as a ‘sweetener’ to encourage both the farmers and retailer to purchase their products,” says FdK’s Simon de Kretser.

While this may have helped sell other products, giving the applicators away free meant that recipient farmers did not perceive any real value in them, regarding them as disposable items. There was no need to care for them because they could easily be replaced when bought with new products.

This attitude was costing Zoetis a considerable amount of money each year in the purchasing and distribution of applicators which are actually far from throw-away items. The vast majority are manufactured by a New Zealand company called Simcrotech and are carefully designed and precision engineered. They would have a separate retail value of £20 or more if they were sold as individual items.

Zoetis’s solution was to stop giving them away as ‘sweeteners’ and effectively charge for them.

Simply adding a price tag would not have gone down well with consumers: The company needed to highlight the value of their applicators to explain why they were charging for them.

Their strategy was to create a ‘Treatment Station’ that would be a complete in-store package unit, stocking all of the applicators, spares and accessories, maintenance kits and related items such as spare needles, latex gloves and a secure carry-box that could hold all of the dosing equipment that a farm might need.

Zoetis Injector 2Once they had their strategy laid out, it was our job to design a whole new branding: “It was necessary for the Treatment Station to be treated like any other product line and have packaging and a presentation that reflected the quality and longevity of the injectors and drenchers,” says Simon.

To help reinforce value and quality, we also helped design leaflets that give guidance on the correct usage and maintenance of all equipment, stressing the importance of well maintained equipment and good technique in ensuring accurate dosing.

These products are designed, engineered and manufactured to very high standards; to be accurate, easy to use, comfortable in the hand and durable. However, they are are also a no-nonsense everyday piece of farm kit, so our design solution needs to communicate a feeling of practicality as well as quality, not simply an ‘up market’ image.

“We used a bold, graphic style with a simple colour coding and icon system to separate items associated with injecting from those related to drenching/pour-on and to indicate clearly the species each was suitable for as well as the Zoetis products that could be used with them.”

New branding and presentation is key to giving the applicators a whole new look and feel in the eyes of consumers, especially important for the ones who have previously been getting them free for years. Promoting their longevity and high-quality will encourage farmers to take care of them and ultimately save Zoetis money.


For anyone looking to add value to a product, here are 5 key points to remember:

– Don’t undersell the design, engineering and manufacturing quality of your product.

– Understand the needs of your target audience; how they feel about your product and how it helps them.

– Don’t over-promise or over-state features. Recognise that a well-designed, high quality product is often one that you are hardly aware of as it gets on with it’s job with the least fuss. Ensure that your branding reflects that – remember ‘less is more’.

– Make sure that product range presentations look cohesive and that it is simple to understand and select a product and identify the spares and accessories that go with it.

– Don’t skimp on the quality of the packaging – use the right papers, cards and plastics to ensure that the feel – as well as the look – reflects the quality of what is inside!