Nutrition Marketing That Puts Some Skin in the Game

If you really, truly, passionately believe your food or beverage product offers a big benefit to people, go all in, take the consumer’s side in a big way. And watch interest grow into fervor.

I try to do double duty with these articles — be super respectful toward someone’s life’s blood while offering suggestions that might help their brand and yours. But this time, especially given Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides is a cow-based product, I might just step in it.

Here goes.

We’ve come a long way since “glucosamine.” You know, the stuff that was supposed to help our joints get some young back in ‘em. RIP old school, long live Collagen Peptides. New, better, sexy name and the promise of additional good stuff for hair, skin and nails — all kinds of benefits up in this joint.

Vital Proteins is one of the top category players. Their number one point-of-difference is, their collagen comes from grass-fed, grass-finished, pasture-raised cattle. Follow that with the fact the product comes from the hide of said cattle, where collagen concentration is said to be greatest, and they have a strong, consistent story, on the pack and across social media. They also try to educate, which, if you read my stuff, is a big deal to me.

The opportunity I see (I’d call it a beef, and you might pardon the pun, but there’s no problem, just chances to up the ante):

  1. As my title suggests, put some skin in the game on behalf of the consumer. Stop positioning the product as a nice-to-have-for-a-nicer-life. That’s using the secondary meaning of “vital,” as in vitality. The primary definition is more like: ESSENTIAL, CRITICAL, MANDATORY! Up the advocacy on behalf of consumers who run the gamut, depending on age, from “concerned” to “freaking falling apart.” That doesn’t mean fear tactics, it means, “we are so in the same boat.”
  2. Break up the problems/solutions by age group. The site and social feature young, lovely women and men. I know, it’s a classic beauty play. But this is about smart, reasonably-priced anti-aging. Sure, start with the 20-somethings who are already Botoxing (excuse me?) and go all the way to forward-acting people in my generation, kicking ass, eating better than when they were 20-something and stiff-arming Father Time with everything they’ve got.
  3. Give me a regimen that includes stuff not in a VP-branded container. We are all being yanked between this miracle and that, with single solutions to the myriad issues we face. Put together a package of three to five things I can do/eat/take that will allow me to cross “younger skin, hair, nails and/or joints” off my list for good.

How will all this help? It, in combination with some right up-front knowledge about how long you can expect it to take for VPCP to work (it’s buried right now), will make people feel better about the brand, less confused about what they’re doing and ultimately, turn them into loyal beautiful-seeking-people.

And if you’re still not sure what to do, let’s chat.

Be digestible. And thanks.

Email me at if you’d like a copy of my guide that outlines the steps brand new and established brands can use (or not use) to succeed while others just keep right on slugging it out with the guy next to them on the shelf.

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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