by Matt Weik
I don’t pretend to know everything because I don’t. However, every once in a while, I have some good ideas. When I was working for a supplement company and was out in the field talking with retailers and consumers, I gained a TON of insight into what people were looking for and in need of.
That being said, every time I would have a meeting with corporate, I would bring up the things I’ve learned in the field. What do you think happened next? If you guessed that I was told to keep my thoughts to myself and stay in my lane, you would be correct. This company was full of ego-driven idiots who came from outside our industry and thought that they could learn everything they needed to know in the plane ride to sign the contract to work for the company and receive their nice fluffy salary that they didn’t deserve.
However, the more I read into what some supplement companies are doing today, it appears the brand I worked for should have been listening to me as these companies are utilizing my strategy to sell more product.
Want to grow your business? Then start listening and stop talking.
The funniest thing about this entire article is the fact that a certain brand is increasing their sales by taking an existing product, and changing how they offer it to their consumers. Check it out…
Nature’s Way is a dietary supplement company that sells many different ingredients in a pill form. They take a raw material, encapsulate it, and sell it in a bottle. Then all of a sudden Nature’s Way wanted to dig deeper into the consumer demands and needs – great idea, sounds oddly familiar. What did they do? They read the comments on their social media platforms. What they found out was that consumers LOVE their products – that’s a good thing. What they also found out was that consumers weren’t using their products they way they were intended to be used.
In the social media comments, the brand found that consumers were taking the pills they purchased from the brand, and were opening them up to be poured into beverages. Why would anyone want to do this? There are actually several reasons. For starters, some people can’t swallow pills for one reason or another – they just can’t get them down without choking or gagging. So, they break them open and put them in a liquid. This actually makes perfect sense. Another reason is because the product is more easily absorbed by the body since the powder is quickly dissolved in the liquid and then absorbed by the body after being consumed.
Rather than force consumers to continue opening up the pills each time they want to use the supplement (not very convenient), they simply took the raw materials and packaged them up for sale in powder form. BOOM! Instant sales! Rather than think they know it all, they listened to consumer demand and needs and delivered. What a concept!
Now, there isn’t a shift in consumer choice, rather it’s simply another delivery method that people prefer. So, there really isn’t any risk of one form hurting the sales of another to the point where one will become discontinued due to a drop or lack of sales. Pills are still a highly preferred delivery method. People like the simplicity and ease of use where all they have to do is swallow the recommended number of pills and they are good to go – whereas with a powder the user would need to measure it out which some people are not comfortable doing and are concerned of not attaining a reliable dose through their measurement.
This is something every brand should be focusing on
The example above was from Nature’s Way, but more brands should be implementing this strategy if they want to grow. Ultimately, consumer needs and demands are what drives sales. If one brand doesn’t carry a product or in a preferred delivery method, the consumer will look around at other brands and potentially never purchase from that brand ever again. Or maybe they are loyal to a brand and break open the pills to create a powder like in the Nature’s Way example? That’s the risk you take when you aren’t close to the pulse of your consumers.
Each brand needs to have a division/department that focuses on the consumer (customer relations). I couldn’t tell you how many brands I’ve spoken with since leaving the brand I was working with that don’t have anyone in the field or anyone in general who goes out and collects consumer feedback on their brand/products. They base everything off of sales. How do you expect to give your customers what they want if you’re not asking the right questions? That’s why so many brands slowly die in this industry because they get too caught up in producing new products just to produce something when in reality, it’s not what the consumers want.
You literally need to stop and listen to your customers – regardless of what industry you are in or business you run. Your customers are your lifeline and blood. Without them, you DIE. Start asking questions on social media. Start going into retailers and finding out what they are hearing from customers. Send out surveys to people on your email lists. Go out and talk to the consumers directly! Do whatever it takes to gain insight into wants and needs. Stop drawing ideas out of a hat to start implementing. Just go right to the source for your answers!