From the early days of vitamin and supplements, branding has always centered around keeping up with the times. In the 40s, the need for vitamins for malnourishedAmerican soldiers (likely following the depravations of the Great Depression) headed off to war was stressed by President Franklin Roosevelt. In the 60s, there was greater emphasis on healthy food, followed by the 80s-era trends in exercise and fitness. Today, vitamins and supplements companies are still working hard to keep up with current trends.
Thanks to the industry’s ongoing freedom from medicine’s packaging and design limitations and less regulation, the task of keeping up with these new trends has been easy and straightforward. As of 2017, the vitamin and supplement industry has an estimated worth of approximately $37 billion. However, this leeway has presented a challenge: broad competition. Inworking to meetthese challenges,several interesting patterns have emerged.
Many of these companies are producing the same or similarproducts, so branding, marketing and storytelling have become key. Vitamin and supplement brands promise to boost your energy and strength and increase your focus and mental clarity. Some even promise to transform your looks. In many ways, these products take these promises a step further than health benefits by suggesting that their use will allow you to be a part of a distinct lifestyle.
When it comes to logos and packaging, companies work hard to make sure they pick up on gender cues. Consider Goop Wellness, Ritual and Care/of, for example. According to David Gardner, the Founder & CEO of Chicago-based brand strategy and design consultancy ColorJar, “Each of these brands are cut from the same cloth of modern, clean design target[ed] at female shoppers,” he says. “Their use of soft colors, ample white space, and elegant typography convey the thought and care behind the products.” On the other hand, products like JYM and Onnit appear to primarily target a male audience; their wide, “beefy” wordmarks set against black backgrounds suggest power, strength and intensity.
When you compare starting a vitamin and supplement company with launching a pharmaceutical brand, there is much less regulation. Marketing vitamins and supplements do not go through clinical trials like pharmaceutical products to prove quality and safety. Companies can place whatever ingredients they choose inside their bottles, as long as consumers are not harmed. The future of the industry and its regulation, however, is unclear following Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) recent announcement that his four-decade congressional career will come to an end this year.
Even though this industry is booming for vitamin and supplement companies, it is not as easy as one might assume to get a startup off the ground. Banks consider this industry “high-risk” because of limited regulation and high chargeback rates. As a result, those hoping to take advantage of opportunities in the industry often turn to the flexibility and security of a from alternative provider.
Author Bio:Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas co-founded eMerchantBroker, serving both traditional and high-risk merchants. His passions include producing music, and traveling to far off exotic places.