In today's Nutracon session, "The Changing Role and Influence of Packaging," IMG Branding partner Jeff Hilton had plenty of bankable advice on how to make your healthy product—be it functional food or beverage or dietary supplement—speak loud and clear to consumers.
Here are some highlights:
Embrace social media.
Word of mouth is the holy grail of marketing, we all know. And social media—Facebook and Twitter in particular—offer an unprecedented opportunity to have a one-to-one connection with your customers.
Tell your story, don’t “sell.”
Social media is all about telling more narrative—and ideally, fostering community and brand evangelism. Tell a compelling, clear story about your product and embrace transparency to build brand loyalty, Hilton advises.
Your packaging needs to be online-friendly.
With the explosion of online shopping, your package needs to appeal via a small, two-dimensional jpeg, Keep the message simple and clear, he says. With Amazon.com’s free shipping over a certain amount, even weighty beverages are selling well online.
Packaging needs to help educate.
Beyond making an emotional connection with shoppers, successfully brands deliver a rational message about scientifically proven benefits. Hilton cited creative ways to expand the available messaging space, such as neck-hangers on beverages, or “5th side” pullouts on dietary supplements.
Pills on the way out?
“You can only take so many pills,” Hilton says. His market research shows boomers and milennials both are moving to one-a-days, and wanting to reduce the number of pills they take. Examples of the less-is-better trend: gummies for adults, made by Hero Nutritionals and others; krill blockbuster MegaRed’s tiny softgels; highly concentrated micro-shots for energy such as DynaPep.
Watch for innovative delivery systems.
Recent ones include inhalers, gel strips, pixie sticks (unistraws for probiotics is one). New “dosing cap” technology allows the consumer to mix up a 35-mg dose of nutrients into a water bottle. Some are even eco-friendly: You can buy a reusable bottle along with several caps. Activate is a big U.S. player with this technology.
Convenience wins over the environment.
When it comes down to convenience vs. the environment in packaging, convenience is everything, an expectation for today’s consumers.