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Marketing Vitamins and Supplements

Online marketing and savvy packaging can help a vitamin or supplement brand stand out among the competition.

During the recent economic recession, the nutraceutical industry saw strong sales as Americans embraced supplements as alternative, cost-effective solutions to costly medical or pharmaceutical options. According to the Packaged Facts report "Nutritional Supplements in the U.S. 5th Edition," supplement sales grew 7 percent to $11.5 billion in 2012, and is forecasted to reach $15.5 billion by 2017. Consequently, the explosive growth of the supplement industry has resulted in more distributors, and in turn, increased competition.

Producing a successful private label supplement line can increase sales, drive repeat purchases, and generate customer loyalty. Private labeling also allows the added benefit of crafting a targeted message that will reach the correct consumers. When creating a private label brand, many issues must be considered in order to differentiate your product from your competition. It is crucial to develop a marketing strategy that best fits your brands message and audience. Understanding the consumers need is a key factor in developing a thriving business. Implementing an effective strategy to market your products can make a significant positive difference in your ROI and earnings.

Product selection plays an important role in defining your marketing strategy. One product may have multiple uses, and as a result, multiple target users. Private labeling allows you to create multiple brands for the same product, effectively reaching a variety of segments. Private labeling also allows you to create value and premium products, which allows you to reach both cost-conscious consumers, as well as those seeking luxury" products. When creating a private label brand, distributors should also consider custom supplements manufacturing. Because consumers place a high value on innovation, this can be a strong selling point, as well as help you stand out from other products within your category.

Consumer demographics and correct product placement should also be considered when developing a marketing strategy to ensure the branding message will reach the right consumer segments. For example, distributors looking to reach senior citizens may downplay the need to sell via the Internet. However, according to the Pew Research Centers report "Older Adults and Internet Use," 67 percent of adults 65 and older use the internet on a daily basis. Forresters report "Digital Seniors: A Demographic Overview" further stated 59 percent of U.S. seniors showed increased online purchasing patterns in the second quarter of 2012. Depending on your target audience, you may find that your product is best suited for online sales, brick and mortar establishments, or both.

Conveying a message through product labeling and packaging plays a significant role in attracting consumers. Your products label and packaging serves as brand communication, evoking personality, benefits, and values of its offerings. Packaging serves as a tool of differentiation aiding the consumers choice within a wide range of similar products. Looks can range from clean and clinical, to loud and vibrant, but must be compelling to your target market. Not only does packaging contain and protect the product, it may also add intrinsic value to be marketed, such as convenience.

In todays society, there is also a growing importance for a brand to build an online and/ or social media presence. Digital marketing can produce opportunities that costly advertising cant. For example, social media can help a company find its key customers, manage promotions and receive a direct line to consumer demands. Because social media is more interactive than other marketing channels, it should not only be used as a tool to reach a captive audience, but also to generate feedback and analyze current trends.

Depending on your core audience, mobile marketing may be a way to reach a younger, more technically savvy consumer. With a combined total of more than 383 million iOS and Android devices, the United States, China and Great Britain markets have a massive reach. The extent of your mobile marketing is dependant upon your desired resultscreating mobile-friendly website versions, developing mobile advertising, or creating specialty apps can all be used to drive mobile traffic, and thus sales. According to a study performed in the U.K., France, and Germany by the Mobile Marketing Association and Lightspeed Research, 45 percent of consumers noticed mobile advertisements, and 29 percent responded. Of those who responded, approximately half made purchases.

Many other methods of online advertising, such as banner ads, blogs and articles, or SEO/PPC, may also be considered. When using these methods, keep in mind that the main focus should be on the product/brand benefits, and specific characteristics that differentiate your brand. One of the most important items for a supplement distributor is to work with a knowledgeable product manufacturer. This not only ensures a quality product, but also can help support your business while creating an effective marketing strategy for your private label supplement.

Brianne Vaskovardzic , a representative for industry-leading dietary supplement manufacturer Private Label Nutraceuticals , enjoys tracking and analyzing the latest trends, exciting developments, and breaking news within the nutritional product industry. To stay on top of the latest nutritional industry trends, follow her on Twitter @PLNutra or visit the Private Label Nutraceuticals blog.

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