In a time when people are taking control of their health more than ever, it seems that new, "edgy" vitamin and supplement companies, especially those targeted to the always-coveted Millennial, are popping up left and right, up and down, forward and backward… you get it. In fact, the FDA reports that there are more than 29,000 different nutritional supplements on the market today, with the global dietary supplements market expected to reach $220.3 billion in 2022. And as these companies continue to emerge, they continue to evolve toward a more personalized approach. Fewer people are taking a one-size-fits-all multivitamin and are instead opting for supplements that target individual health issues unique to their personal needs. The most successful supplement companies are paying attention to this, shifting both their product lines and their marketing messages to be more individualized, focusing on specific health needs and targeting their messages to the appropriate audience cohorts that meet those needs.
Higher standards equals fewer key differentiators
Alongside this shift, consumers are raising their standards when it comes to their favorite health brands. They are making more of an effort to know precisely each supplement's list of ingredients, and they need to know that those ingredients align with their overall healthy lifestyle before they commit. And as the demand for "non-GMO" and "all-natural" ingredients continues to rise, the most successful healthy living brands are ensuring they meet these expectations, making these health claims not nearly as strong differentiators for brands as they once were. Consumers have come to expect clean, transparent ingredients and again, the most successful brands are making sure they deliver. With both the number of healthy living companies, as well as the level of consumer expectation increasing more and more, what must a fledgling vitamin and supplement company do to break through the competitive landscape and carve out a piece of this highly desired market?
The answer is both the same and completely different for each brand.
What does it all boil down to? Personality. When product features and health claims across brands appear to be similar, it's the relationship with the consumer, and the brand's personality serving as the foundation of that relationship, that truly set it apart. A creative platform that emphasizes a unique personality and an authentic story that is both exclusive and distinct to the brand is key in breaking apart from the competition and securing a memorable place in the mind of the consumer. Brands cannot be afraid to invite consumers into their personal space and use an authentic tone of voice that speaks to them as if they were speaking to a friend. The best brands use a marketing approach that integrates this personal and unique tone of messaging across several strategically selected digital channels, emphasizing not only the (now expected) transparency in the actual vitamins and supplements, but the transparency in the story as well- humanizing the brand by showing the faces behind it and telling the story that only they can, which is their owned, unique narrative.
But this theme of human-centricity is only one side of the digital coin that makes up a successful brand's marketing plan.
Yes, each brand has a unique personality and background from which to build its creative platform, but the most effective marketing strategies for brands marry this human-centric element with one that is also data-driven and based on a solid foundation of research to generate measurable results. Marketplace and audience motivations are known for being moving targets, so the strategy must be adaptable and optimizable to always reflect the data as it morphs, turning research into actionable insights, designing impactful (i.e., humanized) creative based on those insights, and then iterating and optimizing campaign performance based on continual analysis. It's this personality-focused, human-first and data-driven mindset towards marketing that we have found time and time again to be crucial if a brand, especially one in the highly competitive vitamin and supplement industry, expects to differentiate itself and develop a long-lasting, successful, and yes, lucrative relationship with its audience.