When you consider that 73% of all consumers fall into the category of either “first choice is a transparent supplement brand,” “look for transparent brands,” or “consider transparency as a buying variable,” when it comes to the product they purchase, there are two bottom lines. The first is that transparency is on the forefront of consumer’s minds. Second, make sure your brand is as transparent as daylight. 

Here’s why. In addition to rapidly growing consumer awareness, retailers are catching on and are implementing policies that require brands to have certain third-party certifications in place before being stocked and sold. For example, many mainstream retailers require suppliers to have third-party certification like Non-GMO certifications to back claims, and more recently, the ISO 17025 general requirements. (If you’re not up to speed on these, learn more here). Not only that, but consumers as well as retail buyers are increasingly encouraged to search for products that have been third-party tested, which means you could potentially be out of the game before it’s even started, losing your chance to showcase your innovative product. 

So, let’s dive into what transparency looks like and how third-party certifications can help bring your supplement to market and even position you ahead of the competition. 

What does transparency look like? 

If one thing is for sure, it is that transparency has huge positive implications for brands. Any sales rep will tell you that in order to get someone to buy from you, they need to know, like, and trust you. This is referred to as the aptly named know, like, and trust factor and transparency fits right in there by solidifying trust and creating an open line of communication between your brand and your ideal customer. Remember the 73% of consumers earlier? Well, 39% of the whole group surveyed said they’d switch to a new brand if it meant greater product transparency. 

Transparency occurs when a brand goes out of their way to demonstrate which business decisions they’re making to align their values with those of their customers. It doesn’t matter which part of the process you are transparent about, whether it’s sourcing, processing, or manufacturing (in an ideal world it would be all three!)–the more you share the more positively perceived you are in the eyes of the consumer and ultimately the more likely you are to be the product in their hands as they leave the store. 

Shoppers appreciate brands that go out of their way to prove the quality of their product. Don’t be fooled, customers do their homework and they’re looking for more than ingredient breakdowns. In fact, consumers are so concerned with quality over price that they’re willing to pay up to 30% more for the supplements that are “third-party certified to ensure they contain the contents listed on the label.” In a report from the International Probiotics Association, 20% of probiotics users are willing to pay a premium of 30% or more, and 45% of users are willing to pay between 5-20% more. As you’ll notice later, this trend can be observed across most product categories. 

Certifications benefit your brand 

If having third-party certifications is a driving reason that you’re the lucky selection our consumer friend makes (which we see in the figure below), then the main benefit is pretty obvious. 

Understanding the U.S. Adult Probiotic User, IPA, 2019

But there’s more to it than generating sales. Being a transparent brand builds customer loyalty because now, not only do they trust you, but they’ve invited you to become a part of their daily routine. Throw in some great email marketing and reach out to your consumers and you’ve got a great relationship growing. 

With new natural health products and dietary supplements coming to market every day, it can be difficult to stand out. Brand differentiation is something every marketer spends enough time working on to know that it’s worth every last effort. When it comes to certifications, the more the merrier and as mentioned earlier, without certifications you are limited as to where you can sell your products.

How to be more transparent

There are many simple actions you can take to be more open and honest with your customers. A great starting point is communicating with them the choices you’ve made and sharing more about the certifications you’ve invested in and why they matter so much to your brand. 

How you do this is really up to you. There’s social media, email marketing, print marketing, influencer marketing–the list goes on. The key is you want to get this message across to your consumers so that first and foremost, you get them to realize you’re the brand that cares most about their values and start educating your consumers on the importance of third-party certifications. At minimum you have the certification on your label which customers immediately recognize and understand.

The value it brings to the consumer

The biggest thing here is assurance that the consumer is getting quality for their money. We know that consumers are concerned about the integrity of claims: 64% of total US adults are concerned that some supplements are based on false claims of ingredient content and up to 55% of total US adults are worried about how a dietary supplement is made and if it contains tainted or illegal ingredients. Plus, when retailers require brands to have certifications in place, it emphasizes the concern.  

Knowing that the natural health products they are purchasing have been tested for safety, purity, and quality adds a level of trust and security to the consumer’s buying decision and allows him or her to be confident in the product or supplement.

Take the next step, get certified (or add to your certifications!)

Being certified, at this point in the game, is crucial for the success of your brand. That is non-debatable. Who you get certified with, debatable. However, you want to position your brand with certification companies who are well known and reputable in the industry.

Certifications by Nutrasource provides third-party laboratory-based certifications for non-GMO, CBD products, omega-3s, and probiotics. We are the science-based, consumer-facing division of our parent company Nutrasource which provides global regulatory services as well as clinical trial design and execution. 

We do not not rank products against each other but rather enable brands to demonstrate their superior quality and aid them in achieving compliance with several regulations and retailer requirements.

Our team would be more than happy to assist with your certification needs and, if required, with label reviews, regulatory filings, and even claim substantiation. Connect with us today and work toward a brighter, more transparent future, tomorrow. 

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