Marketing Nutrition for a Longer Life

You have something in common with a superstar cancer doctor; you can help people beat disease, reach their physical goals and live an incredible life.

This article, like many of those on The Digestible Brand, isn’t about packaging, promotion or velocity — and yet it is. Because this is my belief and mantra — food marketers will become more successful when they realize the awesome opportunity that comes along with our biggest problem as a society…we don’t know what to eat to be healthy, reach our goals and live longer, happier lives.

It’s an out-on-the-limb idea. But going out on that ever-narrowing metaphorical branch is what separates the me-toos from the visionaries.

This is about one of those visionaries, who’s in a completely different field than yours — and yet the same.

His name is Dr. David Agus. As Wired Magazine Science writer Amy Wallace describes, “…Agus, 49, is no average pop-doc. He’s also an accomplished and well-regarded research scientist. A professor of medicine and engineering at USC, he has helped develop new drugs and landmark diagnostic tools, cofounded two health care technology companies, and made breakthroughs in both how to treat cancer and how we think about it.”

It’s this last part…”how we think about it,” that relates what Dr. Agus espouses to what I think you should. While others in the field of Oncology are mired in the study of how cancer works, Dr. Agus is far more interested in helping people prevent the disease in the first place. As Wired’s Ms. Wallace writes, “Agus believes we can conquer this devastating disease only if individuals take ownership of their health. They can’t do that if they don’t know how. So he has taken it upon himself to educate them, one rule at a time.”

Being overweight, suffering brain fog and a life-sucking lack of energy and worrying over the judgement of others (as well as self-loathing judgement toward ourselves) are diseases — along with the things like obesity and diabetes we more frequently refer to using the D word.

In his two books, The End of Illness and A Short Guide to a Long Life, Dr. Agus lays out steps after steps for creating an environment in which your body is less likely to “cancer.” That’s right, he turns our most-dreaded noun into a verb.

What could you do for your consumers, along the same lines? How could you go beyond the product to help people prevent or reverse the ills they feel?

  • First, acknowledge their confusion over food — just hearing that from a food brand will get attention.
  • Give people the basics, something as simple as “eat a piece of protein when you eat a high-carb snack” will help.
  • Create a tiered list of things people can do to make food work better for them. Start with baby steps, after all, in a recent study, the majority of respondents thought organic and non-GMO were the same thing.

Read the entire Wired article, Steve Jobs’ Doctor Wants to Teach You the Formula for Long Life.


Be digestible. And thanks.

Eric Kiker: Speaker

Author of The Digestible Brand: The Secret Sauce for Marketing Nutrition to the Confused Consumer

Agency Principal/LRXD

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