Breaking News on Supplements, Health & Nutrition - Europe US edition | APAC edition

Trends > Health claims

Guest article

Marketing without health claims

1 comment26-Sep-2012

Marketing without health claims

Health claims are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to marketing health food products, says Alan Ruth, CEO of the Irish Health Trade Association, in this guest article.

The drivers of consumer purchasing behaviour are complex and other elements of what marketers call the ‘marketing mix’, besides health claims, can influence the purchase of a product.

If a company has been using a particular health claim to ‘position’ a product in consumers’ minds, but that claim has not been authorised, the company will need to ‘re-position’ the product to create a different image or identity in the minds’ of their target consumers for their product, brand or company.

Capitalising on partnering with retailers

Retailers are potentially a crucially important element of a company’s marketing mix. Neither the manufacturer/supplier, nor the retailer acting alone, can sell products as effectively as when they work together. Manufacturers (or their agents) need to strategically invest in nurturing relationships with their retail partners.

In that retailers interact directly with consumers, they are in an ideal position to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions. To help retail staff in this influence process, companies should endeavour to position or re-position their product(s) in the minds of retailers, so they in turn can do so with consumers. Companies need to seize the opportunity to incentivize retailers to recommend their product(s) to consumers. They also need to equip them with any other pertinent information which will ensure they are confident to do so.

Emotional Branding

One definition of a brand is: “the emotional and psychological relationship you have with your customers.” As many products no longer have approved health claims, companies should consider connecting with consumers at an emotional level, in order to build brand loyalty. Although health products marketing has always been health claims driven, marketers need to recognize that health is an emotive and personal subject.

In future, it will be important for companies to communicate with consumers at a more emotional level and ultimately become a trusted partner, so as to sustain brand loyalty in the long run. Emotional branding can add value to a product and help differentiate it from the competition.

Trust has a strong emotional component and gaining consumer trust in a health brand is crucial for success. Once gained, it can be leveraged successfully throughout the brand. If companies fail to differentiate themselves at a level beyond functional (product) based features and benefits, they will be unable to sustain strong brand loyalty.

Optimising brand equity

Companies will need to focus on optimizing ‘brand equity’ i.e. the added value with which a given brand endows a product. Brand equity is based on the extent to which the brand has high brand loyalty, name awareness, perceived quality and strong product associations. Health claims do not have to be an aspect of brand equity!

A company ‘tagline’

A company ‘tagline’ can be a very important component of any branding strategy. It serves to differentiate a company’s brand from its competition. It can help to define what a company is all about. It should communicate, in a creative and distinctive way; the ‘reason why’ consumers should choose the brand.

Examples of possible company taglines might be – ‘Your trusted partner in health’, ‘Health is our business’, ‘We’re passionate about health’, or, ‘Your healthy lifestyle partners’.

A company tagline should say something essential about what a company is and how it’s different. Before deciding to use a tagline, a company should check that the tagline is not already trademarked. If a company makes it clear in its commercial communications that their tagline is a company/corporate one, then in theory, it shouldn’t be viewed as contravening the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation in which health claims relate to a nutrient, substance, food or food category, and not to a company.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Puff piece

This reads like the synopsis of a Marketing 101 textbook. The only concrete example/suggestion I can find in this "article" is: don't infringe on trademarks.

In-depth analysis on emotional branding (do you need to come up with a backstory for a brand, or is imagery/hard science enough, etc.), what steps producers can take to engage with retailers (in-store demos, working together on store/product branded apps, etc.) and how to adjust direct-to-consumer marketing in the new claims environment would have been helpful. Unfortunately, this article is little more than a list of cliché marketing buzzwords.

Report abuse

Posted by Jonathan Dough
26 September 2012 | 17h112012-09-26T17:11:35Z

Live Supplier Webinars

Polyphenols tipped to become the way to innovate in Sports Nutrition
Alpha & Omega in Sports Nutrition – Using Omega 3’s and A-GPC to improve performance and recovery.
KD Pharma
Orally bioavailable standardized botanical derivatives in sport nutrition: special focus on recovery in post-intense physical activities
Collagen in motion: move freely and keep your injuries in check
Leading manufacturer of gelatine and collagen peptides
Life’s too short for slow proteins. Whey proteins hydrolysates: Fast delivery for enhanced performance
Arla Foods Ingredients
What it Takes to Compete and Win in Today’s Sports Nutrition Market
Sports Nutrition Snapshot: Key regional drivers and delivery format innovations
William Reed Business Media
Gutsy performance: How can microbiome modulation help athletes and weekend warriors
William Reed Business Media
Pushing the boundaries: Where’s the line between ‘cutting edge nutrition’ and doping
William Reed Business Media

On demand Supplier Webinars

High-amylose maize starch may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes: what does this qualified health claim mean?
Balancing Innovation and Risk in Sports Nutrition Ingredients
Explaining bio-hacking: is there a marketing opportunity for food companies?
William Reed Business Media
Personalized Nutrition – how an industry can take part in shaping the future of Nutrition
BASF Nutrition & Health
Find out Nutritional and ingredient lifecycle solutions and strategies!
Is the time rIpe for I-nutrition?
William Reed Business Media
The Advantage of Outsourcing Fermentation-based Manufacturing Processes
Evonik Health Care
All supplier webinars