Nutrition Marketing Without All the Suffering

If you want people to truly understand (and yes, love) your brand, find a unique story that creates an advocacy position for your consumer, connect that story to everything you do and suffer a whole lot less to succeed.

Let’s get a little boozy with Sufferfest, a line of beers that’s different because they’re “Celebrating Athletes.” Great line. First, it says exactly who the brand wants to be for. Secondly, it says it’s for athletes who are celebrating super hard workouts.

So what’s Sufferfest doing really well?

  1. They know why they started this brand, and who they started it for. When you put your consumer at the center of the story, you make people feel special — people like that.
  2. They have specific reasons to believe. Their beer is “Crafted to remove gluten.” They likely know a lot of athletes are avoiding grains. It rings true for me, because, while I like the taste of a cold beer, I won’t touch the stuff because I have a clinically-substantiated gluten intolerance.
  3. They’re carving out a new category: Functional Beer. Hmm, sounds cool, I want to know more though.
  4. They make it for a very specific kind of athlete. They’re not talking to the guy who meanders through ten minutes on the elliptical at the Homewood Suites.
  5. They live their promise by sponsoring name endurance athletes.
  6. They market their simple promise consistently. That’s the real point here. When your story is centered on a unique consumer’s need, you don’t have to work that hard in your marketing. You simply repeat your core idea over and over.

What could make the brand even better?

  1. More specifics. I’d like to know how they remove gluten and what those functional benefits are. After all, only two of their beers are labeled, Beer with Benefits. Does that mean only those are “functional?” I’m confused.
  2. Sponsor a broader range of athletes. Their peeps are endurance athletes. How about some CrossFit/High Intensity types? Would simply appeal to more people.
  3. Does their video water down the promise? I see some people really going for it and others doing yoga on the beach and beginner boulderers. Not all that sweaty. I know, they’re trying not to leave out potential consumers. Why not show a super sweaty hot-yoga workout?
  4. Since they’re anti-gluten, they have a great chance to talk about food sensitivities — maybe even partner with Everlywell (at home food sensitivity testing) to get people a discount based on repeat purchase.

Like every brand I talk about, these guys could, on the blog or in social, go beyond the product to help people figure out what the heck to eat — use that functional word to talk about how to build a functional diet, by the meal, by the day.

Think this article’s off-the-top ideas are remotely good? Think what we could do in a whole day. Email me at if you’d like a copy of my marketing tools one-pager (that’s actually three pages).

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

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

One Comment

  1. Mike White January 17, 2019 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Be interested in your take on the recent Gillette campaign “The Best a Man Can Be”….

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