Have you ever heard the term “eat your own dog food”? Also known as dogfooding, this concept suggests that businesses should use their own products and services just as they expect their customers to. It may seem like common sense, but many businesses offer one thing to their clients and use a different service or product internally.

The term’s roots are a bit murky, possibly beginning with the president of Kal Kan Pet Food eating a can of the company’s dog food at the annual shareholders’ meeting (ew!). However, it took off in 1988 when a Microsoft manager sent an email titled “Eating our own Dogfood,” arguing for an increase in the company’s internal usage of its product.

Due to the unappealing nature of the phrase “dogfooding,” many companies have tried to get other terms to catch on, including “drinking our own champagne,” “icecreaming,” or “eating our own cooking.” Maybe one of these other phrases will eventually become more popular, but for now, it looks like we’re stuck with dogfooding. 

Why should you eat your own dog food

Investopedia breaks down the term well: “The basic premise behind ‘eating your own dog food’ is that if a firm expects paying customers to use its products or services, it should expect no less from its own employees. Not using its own products for internal operations may imply that a company does not believe its products are best-of-breed despite its public proclamation of the fact, and that it has more confidence in a rival's offerings. This could not only have a negative impact on employee morale, but can also potentially turn into a public-relations debacle.”

It's also the best way for firms to test their products or services. Rather than relying purely on customer feedback when looking for ways to improve, you can receive hands-on feedback based on solely your / your employees' experiences.

Dogfooding at Vireo

This philosophy is not a lack of support in competitors’ work (think Coca-Cola not allowing employees to drink any Pepsi products) — we know many Saskatoon web design and content creation companies are fantastic. Instead, the focus is confidence in our own work and services rather than a lack of confidence in our competitors.

At Vireo Creative, we believe in practicing what we preach. Our staff and freelancers use the same tools and processes that we recommend to our clients. This not only demonstrates our confidence in the services we offer, but also serves as a real-world test of our systems. By the time we offer you our services, we’ve already ironed out any potential issues, ensuring a smooth experience for you.