Nutrition Marketing That Wins Hearts Through Minds

Consumers hear and know enough to make them skeptical about everything. But a little explanation turns that skepticism into love.

“I know enough to be dangerous.”

When it comes to today’s food consumers, truer words were never spoken. Here are a few things they “know.”

  • Organic is automatically good, even if it’s from a country with questionable organic standards
  • Any new ingredient (i.e. adaptogens) called out on the front of a package is good — got to have that
  • Some ingredients, buried on the back panel — specifically for this story — guar, locust bean and other “gums” are weird and bad, causing certain brands to get extra credit by saying, we don’t use those nasty gums

All of these and many more bits and pieces of consumer misperception are opportunities for marketing.

For instance:

We run a nearly airtight nutritional ship at our house. For instance, frozen desserts are rarer than a solar eclipse. So, a few weeks ago, I should have been wearing NASA-approved eye protection when I opened the freezer, because there were TWO containers of coconut “ice cream.” One from SO Delicious, the other from Coconut Bliss.

To my mind, these brands have always been interchangeable — they’re made with coconut, they’re dairy free, they sit right next to each other in the freezer case. Whichever one is on deal gets the nod. Sound familiar?

Yet on this day, something happened that suddenly made them different. Because, as I took slow, partial spoonfuls of each in an attempt to make the nearly-never treat last, I noticed, while they both contained guar gum, the makers (and hopefully marketers) of Coconut Bliss did something I’d never seen before.

They explained what the hell guar gum is, where it comes from and what it does. See the second photo above.

Guess what happened to my perception of these two brands? That’s right, Coconut Bliss immediately pushed SO Delicious down several notches in my mind’s brand-love heirarchy. And it was simple. All they did was make the negative of guar gum into an “Oh, that seems okay.” Did they do a favor for every other user of gums? Maybe. But who cares? I’ll always remember who told me first.

So, what can your brand do to capture more love from your consumers?

  • Obviously, explain what those misunderstood ingredients are, just as Coconut Bliss did/does
  • In fact, talk about anything about your brand that might be getting bad press — don’t assume no one knows
  • Don’t just slap, “adaptogens” or whatever on your label. Going into even a small amount of detail helps you one-up your bandwagon competitors
  • As I’ve said before, simply acknowledge your consumers’ confusion over the fast-changing world of nutrition. They’ll love you for it, because no one else is saying it

Remember, marketing isn’t just what you do in an ad or on social media — it’s every word, phrase and picture you use. Use these things smarter, and win those consumer hearts (and mouths).

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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