Nature’s Way finds the truth about Omega-3s

The supplement brand's custom displays and lie detector tests enforces a "transparent" brand positioning in 250 specialty stores.

Health care and supplements brand Nature’s Way is trying to differentiate itself in a crowded category by finding unique ways to promote its selection of Omega-3 products in store and enforce its trust-based brand positioning.

Nature’s Way is attempting to stand out by setting up in-store displays made of transparent plastic to demonstrate that it has nothing to hide about its Omega-3 products’ ingredients or testing. There will also be a Nature’s Way brand ambassadors on-site, sporting clear lab coats, to further play on the transparency concept.

Launching at the beginning of March, the brand will roll out roughly 250 activations across Canada at specialty channel retail stores, such as Noah’s and Whole Foods. The brand partnered with Fuse Marketing Group for this activation.

Further to the points of purity and transparency, the ambassadors will be engaging customers with an in-store polygraph machine, innocuously asking questions about consumers’ health and fitness routines. They can also sample the products and look up their “Pure Check” test results – a platform that posts third party test results for all of their products, including Omega 3 items..

Geoff Wills, VP of marketing at Nature’s Way, says this concept is “just playing with this notion of, ‘let’s put transparency through the test. Let’s hook you up to a polygraph,’ in a very playful, non-threatening way, to re-inforce the message.” He says that plays into the Nature’s Way’s brand’s overall positioning of the theme of trust, also seen in the brand’s “trust the leaf” tagline.

Wills describes the polygraph aspect of the activation as a “fun, light-hearted way” to get consumers to be honest and open with them, and then, for Nature’s Way to segue and discuss how their products are transparent. Pivoting to the test results, Wills adds, adds some science to the claims, as it demonstrates the products are free from toxins, safe to consume and validating their label claims

“Instead of us just telling you our products are pure, you [can] check for yourself. I think that’s evidence of being a leader.”

The supplement and vitamin category is “extremely crowded,” Wills notes, which is why Nature’s Way is looking to differentiate itself. “Believe it or not, not a lot of [health] brands do things that are a little bit head-catching, head-turning and unusual in retail,” he says. “By putting yourself out there and being creative, I think helps us stand out.”

While Nature’s Way has 8% market share of Omega-3 products in food and drug stores, it has a 25% share in specialty retailers. But in addition to performing well in specialty, Wills says having a strong relationship with specialty and independent retailers helps it create more excitement for its brand among health-focused consumers, which will not only differentiate Nature’s Way, but also create excitement among customers at store level..

“We’ve been in business, there, longer than any other channel,” he says. “But even as large, major, national retailers expand their supplement and vitamin sets, the independents have to continue to evolve to stay relevant. When we see brands that are successful, it’s because they’re adding value. They’re not just transacting supplements, they’re creating educational opportunities. That’s really our approach to build a program that can help us connect, one-on-one, in-person with consumers.”

Wills says that Nature’s Way has 230 total products – 50 SKUs for Omega-3 products.