In the case of Mr. Bayless' current customers, it's four legs.
Mr. Bayless, 48, is VP-marketing at PetsMart, where he moved from the comfortable world of Bayless Supermarkets two years ago.
With 186 stores to date, PetsMart is the second-largest pet supply superstore in the U.S. behind San Diego's PetCo. But Mr. Bayless doesn't plan on being No. 2 forever: The company recently purchased PetStuff, a 56-store Atlanta chain.
Mr. Bayless has built PetSmart with a blend of traditional and not so traditional marketing.
In the traditional category are TV spots from Evans Group that play on the emotional bond between pets and their owners; the tagline is "PetsMart, where pets are family."
Less conventional is PetsMart's pairing with Discovery Channel for a line of Discovery Channel Centers, a store-within-a-store selling items related to dinosaurs, wolves, backyard science and adoption kits for whales, among others.
"We felt there was a commonality in vision in the animal and nature world with our two companies," says Mr. Bayless.
The concept is also intended to build traffic among non-pet owners. "We're trying to expand the usefulness of our stores for our customers-even those that don't have pets."
PetSmart outlets open their doors to local humane societies for adoption centers, a practice that was a deciding factor in Mr. Bayless' joining the company. Last year alone, 60,000 pets were adopted through PetsMart store's "Love-of-Pet" adoption centers.
Of course, those who already know the joys of pet ownership are permitted to bring their furry charges into the stores to browse -as Mr. Bayless often does with his 7-year-old beagle, Polo. "He loves to shop at PetsMart," he says.