Pop up Cat & Dog Experience Centre

Animal nutrition

Kalverstraat Amsterdam, Wednesday 1 October 2014. Royal Canin The Netherlands opens a ‘pop-up’ Experience Centre for Cats and Dogs Visitors can learn all about the extraordinary world of their pets using interactive tools. It’s been common knowledge for a while now that nutrition plays an important part in the good life of your four-legged friends, but what is the full story? Royal Canin shares their knowledge in a playful way. Knowledge that makes sure owners and pets agree on the menu choice from now on.

Royal Canin wants to serve the market for cat and dog nutrition with high quality health nutrition. It is proven that this nutrition contributes to a longer and healthier life of pets. By attracting new customers, stimulating repeat sales and increasing customer commitment, the brand wants to keep and further expand their leading position. Their positioning as the innovative expert in very specific health nutrition for all types of cat or dog is an important contribution to this goal. Crossmarks suggested a conceptual interpretation, which included strategy, creation, and execution.

Control on customer contact
The market in which Royal Canin is situated, is signified by a very high product loyalty compared to a low and not as high store loyalty. This poses a real challenge for the reseller channel, where less advice sensitive products that are also available on the same shelf for significantly lower prices fight for a preferential place with the end customer. A given, which we included in the reorientation of the sales channel.

Advice regarding target group

In order to properly investigate the needs of the customer, Crossmarks, commissioned by Royal Canin, carried out a quantitative research within the target group. Using social media, cat and dog owners were asked to participate. This way interest and location for new touch points could be measured beforehand.


To make Royal Canin ‘future fit’, we developed the strategic model below. Vision, innovation, and dynamic became the pillars Royal Canin used to fine-tune their activities and message. In order to share valuable knowledge on keeping your dog or cat healthy and to share the love of animals. In order to carry out the added value of health nutrition we suggested creating a physical touch point. A true knowledge and product experience that can be influenced by Royal Canin for 100%. The seed for a brand store concept was planted.

Benchmark tour & market orientation

Crossmarks’ assignment was to develop a brand store and community concept. Part of this process was a benchmark tour where existing retail success formulas were visited. Beginning in Amsterdam By embarking on this journey of discovery with key figures from the organisation, Royal Canin worked on a jointly carried insight into the possibilities of today, but also on new energy, inspiration and ideas for a strategic foundation that is to be developed.

Formula & focus
After Amsterdam the brand store concept became more specific and took the form of a Cat & Dog Experience. An idea that was brought along to London, a trailblazer when it comes to integration technology and retail. How do you integrate your Experience Centre with the community concept? Crossmarks takes Royal Canin to Audi City, Burberry, and Nespresso. Their innovative example gave Royal the idea for integral connections.

“The Royal Canin Cat & Dog Experience Centre would be a first, concrete step to create more experience in the customer contact and give them a reason to stay loyal to the brand.”

Back at the drawing table we zoomed in on the market for health nutrition and the challenges for Royal Canin as a leading brand. Relevant developments with regard to technology, society, and consumer were placed in the perspective of the own brand. To see what adds value, but also what doesn’t.

Royal Canin Cat & Dog Experience Centre

We developed a complete plan for the Royal Canin Cat & Dog Experience Centre. A meeting place for cat and dog owners, where they can get informed and inspired about healthy lifestyles for animals. Everything has been taken into consideration. From an interactive display to entice you to come inside and the reception by an expert petvisor, to participation with knowledge games, getting a personal product advice, and the final registration of your dog or cat’s profile.

The concept is based on four cornerstones: Learn, Explore, Connect and Reward. Cornerstones we worked out on a high ambition level. Conceptual interpretation, strategic argumentation, and a detailed execution plan were all part of the assignment. Based on these ingredients, Royal Canin built their own Cats & Dogs Experience Centre.

To give a dog or cat the best nutrition, you need to know more about their specific needs. Each breed is different and those differences are used by Royal Canin to fine-tune ingredients, form and structure of the nutrition. Here we came up with an interactive wall with screens where you answer multiple choice questions and receive advice on which nutrition is best suited for your pet. Additionally, you can also consult the petvisors, who will help you fill in the personal profile of your pet and give you a tailor-made nutrition advice. Your four-legged friend will be weighed and checked on site.

Learn more about the Royal Canin brand. About the roots of the brand, developed by a veterinary surgeon. And why people who work in animal care or breeding still opt for animal specific nutrition. But you can always walk in for fun facts. Did you know how many cats and dogs live in Amsterdam or which breed is most popular?

The idea behind the Petvisor app is that you not only learn more about your cat or dog, but also receive advice about healthy nutrition. Additionally, you have direct access to the web shop of our partner Pets Place and you can use the app to come into contact with other cat or dog owners as well as veterinary surgeons or breeders.

The concept anticipated a reward for your visit and loyalty. Whoever visits the Cat & Dog Experience Centre receives a print-out with a personal nutrition advice based on breed and lifestyle. This print-out also has a QR-code that gives you access to the online profile of your cat or dog. You can view and edit this profile on the website and in the Petvisor app. The voucher you received can be redeemed with your next order. Customer loyalty is rewarded.


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Impact analysis

Crossmarks made an impact analysis for the introduction of the Experience Centre. Using a floor plan, all segments were named, budgeted, and worked out on an organisational level. Including the development of the interactive installations, the selection of execution partners and consequences for staff. This way Royal Canin was able to make well-founded choices.

A digital journey through the world of cats and dogs
The Royal Canin Cat & Dog Experience Centre allowed visitors to experience what Royal Canin stands for in a playful way and why each cat and dog deserves their own Royal Canin. A tailor-made nutrition advice could be requested through interactive screens or from the nutrition specialists. Each nutrition advice was rewarded with a unique goody bag and a voucher. The vouchers could be redeemed at all specialty pet stores and veterinary practices where Royal Canin is available. For the online orders in the Experience Centre we work together with retail partner Pets Place.

Cat and Dog restaurant
For a month the Royal Canin Cat & Dog Experience Centre housed the first pop-up restaurant for Cats and Dogs in the Netherlands. Every Sunday in October there was space for 32 dogs that under the supervision of Martin Gaus were offered an a la carte meal. Before dinner, the Royal Canin knowledge centre fine-tuned with the owner which nutrition was best suited for their dogs. Because cats prefer to stay in their own environment, there was a take-away moment on Saturdays for cats. The owner would get a tailored-made meal for the cat in a doggy bag.

International follow-up
Royal Canin translated the vision, conceptual design and execution plans that were developed by us to a very feasible, high-impact pop-up variant. This was very successful in fall of 2014 in the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam. That is why Parent company Mars Petcare copied the concept for the Italian market in 2015. Milan opened its pop-up Cat & Dog Experience Centre from 3 to 31 October on the Corso Garibaldi.

Cat & Dog Experience

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