PAWDinkum – export advice and how to stay ahead of the pack

Ever since Victorian business owner, Fiona Rigg met with Trade Victoria’s Market Engagement Manager, Joe Gayton in Japan to discuss export opportunities for her dog treat business PAWDinkum, she’s gone on to enjoy great success with the Asia market.

Joe facilitated meetings with key business partners in Japan – however it was Tsugi Minagawa from FinePet’s in Tokyo who Fiona really connected with.

“Your business relationships are very important,” Fiona advised, and “trust, respect, rapport and enjoyment of conversation” are all key components Fiona believes have made a significant contribution towards her export success.

And having a "good support network is just as important" Fiona added, recommending that any business owner wanting to tap into the global market should “take advantage of the huge support Trade Victoria offers.”

Life before PAWDinkum saw Fiona enjoy a reputation as one of Australia’s most successful food stylists and recipe developers, so she understands “the importance of aesthetics,” and how “packaging is a key element for distribution.” That’s why 2017 saw Fiona return to the drawing board to redesign PAWDinkum's packaging. While she admits a redesign was a bold and “courageous move,” Fiona felt confident it was a move “necessary to stay ahead of the pack and lift my products to the next level."

2017 has been a busy time for Fiona concentrating on the back end of business. She's undertaken some IP workshops and plans to engage an IP lawyer to protect her creativity, because according to Fiona, “your logo and IP is everything.” Right from the get go, Fiona ensured her branding was strong by engaging a top UK designer to create her unique PAWDinkum logo.

Today, PAWDinkum's online sales account for around 35 per cent of business, and within the next twelve months, Fiona hopes to secure three to five more export markets, (a conversation with Korea is already taking place), hold a stall at Japan's biggest pet trade show, and continue to innovate adding more products to her range of premium dog treats and products. “The Asia market is enormous," said Fiona, "they're crazy about their dogs, and love all the PAWDinkum products on offer.”