How To Create An Honest & Trustworthy Brand: The Health And Wellness Industry Edition
The health and wellness industry has got enormous potential. Think about it: almost every single person on planet Earth requires some sort of product or service from this sector. That is why you need an honest & trustworthy brand. The industry reaches so wide that:
- 77% of U.S. adults take daily supplements.
- One in five U.S. adults uses wearable fitness trackers or apps.
- In 2019, there were 64.2 million gym members in the U.S. alone.
Yet, regardless of how willing the population is to invest in their wellbeing, the health and wellness industry doesn’t seem to enjoy a good reputation.
Recent news reports have brought attention to the fact that most supplements don’t contain the ingredients they claim they do. Moreover, the FDA exercises no control over these products. And, even more than that, novel scientific evidence is becoming so quickly available that even universal truths about health and wellness face the risk of being debunked.
So, are you still interested in entering this market? If that’s the case, then it’s clear that you’ll have to work hard to create an honest and trustworthy brand. Here are a few tips on how to do it.
Branding Is Everything
Regardless of your industry, you will want to ensure you project a desirable image of your company and products. A solid branding strategy is going to be key in this regard.
Most people think that branding is just about their name, logo, and tagline, but it’s actually so much more.
Branding also pertains to the way you communicate your mission, how you uphold your values, how you communicate with your consumers, and how you organize the internal workings of your company. Yes, visuals are going to be important, but not just because you want to be memorable. They also need to show that you value transparency.
One of the best ways to support your branding efforts for building trustworthiness would be to invest in your content.
Ideally, you should:
- Give potential customers honest and clear data regarding your products and services.
- Educate them on how to make the most of your offer.
- Give them resources that will empower them to make the best possible purchasing decisions.
- Show off the unique benefits you offer, backed up by scientific and empirical data.
For example, you can take a look at Nike’s NTC app. Not only is it a great way for the brand to release relevant content for their target audience, but it’s also an educational resource for fitness enthusiasts of all levels.
Along with a multitude of workouts, the NTC app also offers the opportunity for users to create their custom training plans. There are numerous ways to customize these plans, from workout types, equipment available, even intensity and length.
This type of app works great on its own when viewed as a content marketing channel. However, it’s also a branding medium, cementing Nike’s position as one of the world’s leading resources on all things fitness-related.
Of course, you don’t have to go so far as developing an app. You can easily use more traditional content marketing strategies, like in the case of Zoma. The website’s primary focus is selling mattresses. However, they also have an insightful sleep health section packed with good quality information. By making science-based information easy to consume, the company provides value to all website visitors, including those who are still only in the higher levels of the marketing funnel and looking for information rather than products.
You Must Use Social Proof
You’re probably aware of the power word-of-mouth has on the status of your brand. In fact, reviews are so important nowadays that they can make or break your business:
- More than 50% of global consumers don’t trust online ads.
- 82% of consumers read online reviews.
- 59% of consumers will look at two to three review sites before making a purchase decision.
From these stats alone, it becomes clear that social proof should be one of your go-to marketing strategies. The great thing is, you can easily add it to your website.
You can add a widget such as TrustPilot to your website. It’s easy to implement, offers multiple features, and gives consumers peace of mind that the reviews aren’t fake (a growing issue for most e-commerce sites, primarily Amazon).
Secondly, you can show off any mention in online publications. If your company happens to be featured in a trusted magazine, make sure to share a clipping or quote with your potential customers. An “As Seen In” section is easy to add to any website, and it is an excellent way to show that trusted resources in your niche regard your business as a trustworthy resource.
Lastly, don’t forget the power of user-generated content. Encourage customers to give you feedback on their social media accounts, ideally followed by a visual and a hashtag. You can then show these off on your website, or your feed, as done by Fitbit in their Instagram stories.
Build A Sense Of Community
Another excellent way to brand your health and wellness company as trustworthy is to make sure you’re introducing consumers to the people behind the logo and name.
Feature an insightful About Us page on your website. Here, you can include your origins story, and perhaps more importantly, give your experts a chance to present themselves. A photo, short bio, and credentials (as shown here by ExerciseScienceGuide) can go a long way, as it shows even the most skeptical people that you are genuine.
A great example of a company doing this well is Ultimate Meal Plans. In addition to their regular meal planning services, the company also has an online community where users can connect with experts and ask questions or share their progress. Again, this type of approach offers value, but even more, it shows that the brand’s mission isn’t just a collection of empty promises, but is backed up by a willingness to go the extra mile to connect with their customers.
One thing to keep in mind when competing in the health and wellness industry is that, nowadays, things change at a rapid pace. And that includes your customers’ needs as well.
If you’re looking to establish your brand as the go-to for trustworthy information, you need to stay up to date regarding all trends. Then, you need to create products and content that are in line with those trends.
This doesn’t mean jumping on every bandwagon without a second thought. However, it does mean trying to predict and meet your audiences’ needs. Medical Alerts Buyers Guide provides a fantastic example for this case – their products are created for the elderly, so they’ve put in the effort to address common issues like money scams on their blog. The information they provide to the reader is extremely useful, relevant, and up to date.
To be able to provide highly relevant information, keep in mind that scientific discoveries happen much faster than they did two or three decades ago. Additionally, with the internet, consumers have easy access to all publicly available data, including scientific research papers. This means that you can expect your consumers to be informed regarding health trends.
One of the best examples of how this type of rapid information sharing works is the rise and fall of charcoal toothpaste.
A couple of years ago, health-oriented websites started writing about the benefits of charcoal toothpaste on teeth-whitening. As a natural alternative to costly treatments, it seemed like an easy fix. After all, activated charcoal does have its use in medicine. However, as it turned out after a few research studies, this type of product, although efficient for tooth whitening, also came with health-hindering side effects like wearing down enamel and making teeth appear yellow.
So, when working to build an honest & trustworthy wellness brand, it’s not a bad idea to plan for instances when things don’t go as intended.
Understand that scientific evidence changes, and try to be as diligent with your research as possible. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
However, also keep in mind that you won’t always be able to prevent misinformation. In these cases, do your best to react quickly. Change any practices in your operations and inform your customers about the reasons behind your decisions. This way, they’ll know that you’re not just selling snake oil, but that you’re genuinely concerned for their wellbeing and unafraid to make tough choices.
Creating a business that’s resilient to ups and downs takes a lot of hard work. Fortunately, if you aim to build on the core value of transparency, you’re on the right track to make it in the health and wellness industry.
Our last word of advice for budding entrepreneurs in this field would be to stay consistent and to always go back to those core values.
Yes, branding strategies, content marketing, and communication with consumers do determine how your organization is perceived from the outside. But for any of those attempts to come across as genuine, the internal workings of your company need to be just as focused on the core values you’ve promised to uphold.