You have made the exciting decision to [sell private label supplements]. Congratulations on expanding your practice into the dietary supplement space! As a practitioner, you may not be as familiar with the ins-and-outs of marketing and selling a consumer good, so we have developed this check list to help ensure that your supplement product launch makes a splash!
But before we strategize your big debut, let’s begin with a good old-fashioned pep-talk. Yes, developing a profitable supplement line can feel daunting. There are some pretty scary statistics out there that show how few product lines actually succeed. But don't take these naysayers to heart. You are a shoo-in for success, and here is why:
You own a healthcare practice
Getting products into retail stores is probably one of the hardest tasks for an emerging brand. Finding retailers to sell your supplement line can be challenging and time consuming. Luckily, because you started your own private practice, you already have prime real estate for selling your supplements: You have an established brick and mortar and/or website where you can showcase your supplements line and start making sales.
You have a head for business
You have become a successful practitioner because you are a good business owner. You have worked to make a name for yourself in the healthcare industry, and you are making an income practicing your healing art. The fact that you are making moves to enhance your business by selling your own branded supplement line just proves that you are on the road to success!
You have established patient trust
There are so many supplement companies on the market, it is hard to stand out. New brands have to establish themselves as trustworthy by funneling big bucks into marketing campaigns. But you are in a unique position because you have a built-in consumer base. You have already established trusting relationships with your patients, and they will be your biggest supporters. Don’t forget, word of mouth goes a long way for brand awareness.
The risk to reward ratio is in your favor
When partnering with a private label supplement manufacturer, you hurdle over the massive investment required to create a product line. When private labeling pre-formulated blends, your only overhead is the wholesale price. Plus, when partnering with Western Botanicals, you can order as few as 12 units (one case) of any supplement. This allows you to test out products in your practice without the financial risk.
You define your success
Most healthcare practitioners start selling private label supplements to complement their services, build brand recognition, and bolster their profit margins; all of which are easily attainable in a very short window of time. From there, the sky’s the limit. In the words of the late Anne Sweeny “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you're proud to live.”
Product Launch Strategy
Your initial launch is the golden moment; there is no better opportunity to engage your potential customers and generate brand hype. Now is the time to pull out all the stops, bring focus to your product, get people excited, and establish a dedicated customer base.
Here are some key places to focus your efforts for a successful product launch (from IMNAR):
1. Identify your target consumer
Identifying your target consumer gives you a clear direction to aim your energy and marketing dollars. Because you own a healthcare practice, and work closely with your patients, you already know who is compliant with your supplement recommendations. Make a short list of these patients; they are your target consumers.
You can still send out email campaigns announcing your new supplement line to your whole network, but give a little extra TLC to those patients that will be quick to convert, as in, quick to start purchasing your products.
2. Create marketing incentives
The goal with a successful launch is to get the product in as many people’s hands as possible. Motivate your network, and especially your target consumers, by offering discounts, samples, and giveaways across all your marketing channels.
Use these incentives to get more patients in for services as well: offer a free supplement for anyone who makes an appointment within a certain window of time. This gets more people in the door to see your products on the shelves, where they can take advantage of other launch incentives, like a storewide sale. Chances are, they’ll leave their appointment with their free product and then some.
3. Build brand awareness
"There is a certain design aesthetic that allows even startup brands to have the same subconscious familiarity as the market leaders.”1
Now that you have a branded supplement that compliments your services, you present your business in a more holistic and professional way. Perhaps without realizing it, you’ve just made your practice “appear” more trustworthy to your community.
Leverage your newfound identity to build brand awareness. Update all of your marketing tools to reflect your brand aesthetic, and introduce your community to your new look by inviting folks in for wellness events, lectures, fundraisers, etc. The more you put yourself out there, the more the word will spread. Pretty soon, you’ll be fully booked and your supplements will be flying off the shelf!
4. Determine key seasonal periods for your brand (make an offer)
What is the best time to launch a new product? Many emerging brands are advised to launch at a certain time of the year for the best visibility and highest sales. Using seasonal upswings in consumer spending is always a good bet. For example, offer some incentives during the mid-to-late November holiday rush.
As a supplement and wellness brand, you have many other opportunities to utilize seasonal shifts to create special offers. Every season comes with its associated health issues: winter cold and flu, spring allergies and cleansing, summer burn out, and fall prevention. These are all prime opportunities to develop a marketing campaign that focuses on the seasonal shift, and identifies the best supportive supplement products. Share recipes and therapeutic protocols to support seasonal transitions, and offer discounts on the supportive supplements of the season.
4. Regularly engage with your consumers
Consumer engagement is built into your business model; these are your patients we’re talking about here, they literally come right to you! But don’t stop there. Be sure to keep the conversation going at a steady clip on all of your marketing platforms.
You’ll see all kinds of recommendations online for the number of Instagram posts or email blasts you should be generating per month, or even per week. Do what you can; the goal is to gently and frequently remind your patients that your shelves are stocked, and your door is always open.