Case Studies / Pet Food

Skai helps one of the world’s largest pet care companies slash their time to market and beat the odds

At a Glance


Quicker time-to-insight over traditional business consulting and market research


Faster time to market for new products


Reduction in post-launch modifications


Decrease in costs for market intelligence and consumer insights

The Challenge

The process of launching a new product in the market can be a daunting one, even for companies with years of experience and success. Customer validation often comes in the form of focus groups and desperate attempts to understand consumer sentiments and desires in a fast-moving, competitive market landscape. The process is slow, labor-intensive, and limited to specific sources and time-bound activities. This major pet care company was struggling to keep up its desired pace of innovation. To solve the problem, they sought an external data analysis framework that:

  • Is highly automated, rather than dependent on human analysis and monitored focus groups;
  • Delivers timely, ongoing insights, rather than just retrospective analysis or a one-time data set;
  • Provides a full market landscape view, rather than just depending on one type of data

After launching a rigorous selection process to rate the available business intelligence vendors, the company decided to move forward with Skai (formerly Signals Analytics). The decision was based on Skai’s ability to configure the platform to their needs and deliver timely and actionable business intelligence that was based on a broad range of data sources and data types. The impact of this decision became quickly apparent.

The Solution

In stark contrast to other platforms which only monitor and mine one type of data (for example, either social listening or sales data), Skai continually ingests and connects data from a vast array of sources ranging from the voice of the consumer (e.g., social media, product reviews, and KOL discussions) to competitive analysis (e.g., company announcements, filings, product releases) to marketplace analysis (e.g., sales data, product claims) to signals of innovation (e.g., patent filings, conference presentations, research forums).

Artificial intelligence and patented Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques apply a configurable business-specific taxonomy at scale, to extract relevant context from these unstructured data sets and deliver actionable insights that feed into the product decisioning lifecycle. The Skai platform supports multiple use cases including:

  • Understanding consumer sentiment around specific product benefits and claims
  • Identifying white space opportunities
  • Measuring product performance after launch
  • Keeping track of competing brands

The visualization elements in the cloud-based user interface (UI) called Playbook, support company and category-specific analyses, from emerging trends, sentiment scores, prevalence of consumer discussions versus product availability on the market, and more. The intuitive UI empowers team members throughout the company (not just data scientists) to independently and quickly surface relevant opportunities and predictions.

The Impact

By automating the collection and processing of data, the company has realized massive efficiencies in its data analytics function. Instead of building a home-grown solution supported by an army of analysts and data scientists, this major pet care brand was able to achieve some significant results with the Skai platform:

  • 50% decrease in post-launch modifications
  • 300% decrease in the time needed for new products to be brought to market
  • 90% decrease in the cost of surfacing insights and conducting analysis
  • 10x decrease in time-to-insight over traditional business consulting and market research

Product Used

Market Intelligence Solution Spotlight

The Skai platform highlighted an uptick in pet owners’ positive sentiment surrounding bone broth over the past two years. This was an intriguing data point but required more to be actionable. Utilizing the Skai platform, the CMI, R&D, and Marketing teams were able to research, create hypotheses, and test linear options in just a few hours on a task that would have typically taken months using traditional methods.

  • Consumer interest had been growing the past two years
  • KOLs talked about its healthfulness
  • Product claims highlighted several associated values (organic, homemade, etc.) and resonating benefits (digestive health)

With these points, the team had the confidence to proceed with a new line of products, which yielded much higher rates of return right out of the gate. Getting it right the first time was a big win for the team and the company, which is expanding the use of the platform and configuring it to support other business units and product lines.

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