The company will launch its pet product line in mid-May.
LENOX, Mass. — Zogics has drawn a lot of attention for its dog-friendly workplace policies.
The Pittsfield Road office has a number of employee pets roaming around. New puppy parents are given an extra week of time off -- "pawternity leave" -- and gift cards to pet stores.
About a month ago, staff had what owner Paul Leblanc called an "ah-ha moment."
"From the beginning, we've been a dog-friendly company. For the past 10 years, we have manufactured a number of products including a line of high-quality, premium, bath care products for humans. We make shampoos, lotions, we make body washes, hand soaps," LeBlanc said.
"The team just sort of one day said, hey we're making all these great products for humans, we love dogs, dogs are central to our culture, they are roaming the office, why don't we make equally good products for pets as well?"
So that's what Zogics is doing. The organization has created an entirely separate company, Zogics Pet, which will be run with existing Zogics staff.
"We designed it with our pets in mind, something good enough for our own beloved dogs and cats. We're about to launch the company and it will run alongside our core Zogics business right here in the Berkshires," LeBlanc said.
"We think we've developed the highest quality line of pet care products."
The company is starting with four products. A shampoo, both in consumer sizes and commercial sizes, a detangling conditioner spray, a waterless shampoo for spot cleaning on the go, and grooming wipes.
"Those are the first core products and we'll build from there. We did a lot of R&D coming up with those products and refining the formula. As we were producing samples, we would distribute that throughout staff and family. We'd all go home and wash our pets," LeBlanc said.
The company had essentially taken the formula for its current products for humans and adapted it to become pet-friendly. In the end, it came up with new products which can be manufactured and distributed by Zogic's existing infrastructure. The company created the branding and website in house.
The product launch is being handled by a small internal group of Zogics employees but LeBlanc hopes that eventually there will be staff dedicated solely to the new company.
"We're already growing at an incredible rate and Zogics Pet not only adds a level of diversity to our operations but it helps fuel our growth. It will result in us hiring more people. It will result in increasing our reach, increasing our exposure. It strengthens us as a company and allows us to go after even greater opportunities," LeBlanc said.
He added that by having employees experience the process of taking a new type of product to market will enhance their skills supporting existing Zogics products, helping both businesses.
The company is starting with four products.
LeBlanc said the pet company particularly has a leg up because there is an easy transition for Zogic's core clientele.
"There is a lot of overlap. Something like 40 percent of Americans own dogs. That means 40 percent of our 20,000-plus core Zogics customers own dogs. Even though Zogics Pet is targeting a different market than Zogics in the health and fitness market, those customers in the health and fitness market become potential customers for the pet line," LeBlanc said.
"So we not only have this existing infrastructure to leverage but we also have an existing customer base we can tap into as well."
The products will hit the market in mid-May on a national scale. LeBlanc said the intent is to eventually scale up to the global market, where the health fitness business already operates.
"We are serving an industry that we, ourselves, are part of. And that's similar with the pet care market. Pets, inside and outside of the office, are very much part of our every day lives. So having a business that serves them allows us to so from a very sincere and exciting perspective," LeBlanc said.
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