by Matt Weik
For starters, I want to express my own opinion on this subject and say that there really is no supplement brand (or any brand across markets) out there that has 100% brand loyalty. There may be some exceptions but it’s definitely not the norm. This isn’t a knock at the brands themselves, but rather consumer choices and preferences as they flip flop back and forth due to several personal reasons. Let’s take a deeper look at this unfortunate issue.
What Are Some Reasons to Support a Supplement Brand?
I’ve been in the industry for many years and have pretty much seen it all – the good and the bad. During my time in the industry, I’ve seen some great ways that a supplement brand is building their loyalty with consumers. In all honesty, building loyalty isn’t difficult, but it definitely takes time and work. You’re not going to build a loyal following overnight or even by launching one product. There’s a lot of moving parts when a supplement brand wants a consumer to show loyalty.
How can a supplement brand build loyalty?
If a supplement brand wants to create loyalty, they need to focus on putting quality ingredients into their formula. Cheap ingredients fairy-dusted into a formula to save money and pad their margins is not going to fly these days.
One movement that has taken off over the last few years is focusing on patented ingredients. Many brands are using these ingredients to build loyalty as they are backed by research and have been proven to be effective at the dosages they utilize in their formulations.
Will quality ingredients drive the price of supplements up? Yes. However, people are more willing to shell out a little extra money if they know they are getting the highest quality ingredients out there that can help them achieve their goals and get them the results they desire.
I can already see the eyes rolling on this one. Listen, there is a large group of people on both sides of the fence regarding this topic. Either you’re completely in favor of transparency or you’re completely in favor of brand IP and protection of formulas.
That being said and without voicing my personal opinion, there are many consumers out there who will not buy a product with a proprietary blend. To them, they want to know exactly what they are putting in their body and know the exact dosages of each ingredient on the label. Honestly, I can respect that. They have a right to make the choice of only using products and supplements that they know what they’re taking.
There’s a huge push these days for transparency and brands who show everything on their labels are gaining a lot of business and loyalty.
Building a Community on Social Media
Social media is incredibly powerful these days. A supplement brand is able to get out in front of their consumers with a simple post and reach millions. Did I mention that social media is free? Those who are levering social media are winning.
When a supplement brand actually responds to their customers on social media it can help improve their brand loyalty. I’ll be completely honest and give you an example of what not to do. For those of you who know my background, I worked for MET-Rx for nearly 10 years. During that time as well as after my departure, any time I would engage with a MET-Rx social media platform, I would never get a response. Talk about deflating. So, what did I do? I stopped following them and engaging with their posts. If they can’t take the time to reply to their customers (or their own dang employees), then the hell with them.
If a supplement brand can build a community and engage with their customers, they can build loyalty and make these customers feel as if they are part of the brand. If a brand can show they appreciate their customers, it will go a long way.
Why Do Consumers Show Very Little Brand Loyalty These Days?
Circling back to my original statement at the beginning of this article, I don’t feel that there is much brand loyalty these days. In fact, if you ask most people deep in the industry, I’m willing to bet they will agree with me.
So, why do customers show little to no brand loyalty?
If a supplement brand increases their pricing or is higher than a competitor with a similar formula and product, they could potentially lose the customer and their loyalty. While a brand has the right to price their products however they want, consumers also have the right to choose who they want to spend their money on.
One poor experience is enough to kill loyalty. I know personally, if a brand does me wrong and does not fix an issue, that’s the last time I’ll do business with them. It’s that cut and dry. I don’t overthink it and most consumers would tend to agree. There are plenty of people and brands willing to take our money. If you have a bad experience that leaves a poor taste in your mouth, you have every right to try another brand’s products.
Lying to a customer through hyped marketing and false claims is a great way for a supplement brand to lose customer loyalty. If a brand can’t deliver results, they’ll see fewer repeat buyers. Having outlandish claims may help get a supplement brand initial trial on a product but in the long run, it’s going to tarnish their name if they can’t back up the claims and it could lose consumer trust.
Lack of Touch Points
Out of sight… out of mind. Nothing more, nothing less. If you aren’t in the minds of your customers, another brand is. Without touch points, a supplement brand will suffer. With so much competition out there today, brands need to constantly have ways to reach out and touch their existing customers. This can be through emails (make sure it’s not spam), engaging on social media, DMs, and live events.
If a supplement brand wants to be successful, they should consider the points above and implement them to help build loyalty and increase sales. Those who can figure out how to build a massive following will be the ones growing and leaving everyone else behind.