In this day and age, maintaining a healthy, fitness-themed lifestyle seems to be the norm. Not surprisingly—as a result—many new health-related products and services are being research, developed, manufactured, and marketed. These products and services all claim to combat an array of conditions ranging from vitamin deficiencies to skin abnormalities, and of course, aging, among other things.
However, I think it is safe to say that these products and services are enveloped within a cloud of mystique. Do these products really possess such miraculous qualities? Regardless of whether a hot new product works or not, they still seem to fly off of store shelves. The reason for this is quite simple. Clever marketing!
Unfortunately, many health-product manufacturers employ “dirty” marketing tactics, playing on the consumer’s naivety and lack-of-knowledge. If we dive deeper into the realm of health-product marketing, a grim truth reveal’s its ugly face; and trust me, it’s not wrinkle free!
Twisting Medical Terminology
This is when a seller or manufacturer uses a select set of words when describing a product. Sometimes the words describe the product accurately, but typically there is a “bending of the truth” employed somewhere in the description. It is easy for marketers to do because most consumers aren’t medical professionals. Therefore, as long as the descriptions sound legitimate and professional, most consumers will follow blindly.
Take the common body cleanse (sometimes referred to as a “colonic.), for example; most people are under the impression that these are legitimate medical procedures, administered strictly by professionals. Think again! In many cases, absolutely no medical knowledge or skill is necessary to properly perform these so-called “procedures.” In fact, most medical professionals would advise against this type of procedure.
However, because those peddling body cleanses and colonics are clever when they describe their products and services, many buyers are unwittingly lured in. The same concept applies to the vast array of new health products hitting the stores each and every day.
This Includes Pet Owners Too
Many pet owners want their animals to live the same healthy lifestyle they think they are living. Unfortunately though, there are many manufacturers putting out pet foods that are described as being healthy, when in fact they are no different than the average brand. A stroll down any pet-food aisle will reveal an overwhelming number of different brands. The average price for a regular bag of dog food can range anywhere from $15.00 to $30.00, while a “healthier” brand can be priced as much as $40.00 higher.
Blue Buffalo is a dog food brand that would be considered healthier; “All-Natural” to be exact. However, in recent news, pet food giant, Purina, has called the brand out for false advertising. According to an article on SFGATE, Purina’s chief marketing director states that Blue Buffalo’s healthy food claims are based on lies. He touts the company further by saying that their, “key ingredient claims aren’t true, and they have a history of exaggerating what their products do.”
Is this true or not? I suppose the opinion is yours to make. The average dog food contains beef, poultry, or pork. A “healthier” brand may include more exotic meats such as turkey, lamb, or venison. However, if you look at the ingredients you may notice they also contain substantial amounts of beef, poultry or pork. In the end, it is a judgment call. The best thing to do before purchasing any one brand of pet food is simply to consult a vet.
What These Product Promise
What do these new health products promise consumers? Surely they must offer something, right? Their exponential rise in popularity of new health products can largely be attributed to the marketing tactics employed when they are sold.
New health products like body cleanses or colonics promise a “whole, new you.” You might be familiar with their promises to help you feel better, look better, or even feel younger. Other advertisements might say that these procedures help with a plethora of illnesses.
Naturally, most of these promises might seem too good to be true. Not surprisingly, that is because they are. In all honesty, most claims made by marketers have not been vetted by any organizations or federally-regulated institutions.
Linking Their Products to the Health Craze
Arguably the most successful health tactic by far, is linking all these new health products to the recent health phenomenon sweeping the United States and beyond. Advertisers say that these new products and procedures promote better overall health. However, in a world obsessed with being healthy, this can be a very powerful claim.
Some advertisers even claim these all-natural products and treatments can help consumers avoid medications or costly medical procedures. Scare tactics about traditional medications or treatments might also be employed. Ultimately though, if important medication is foregone in place of an exaggerated health product, serious medical complications (including death) can result.
There is Truth to Some Marketing
After reading this article, you may think that behind every product there is a shady marketing campaign shoving lies down your throat. However, in most cases, there are legitimate and truthful marketing firms that won’t even bother with a shady, unknown product. Koeppel Direct for instance, has conducted effective marketing many pet-related manufacturers including PetSmart, Nature’s Recipe, Innotek, Science Diet, and Peticure. Likewise, there are many reputable marketing campaigns for useful, medically-sound health products.
Ultimately, before you purchase any product or service package, you should do your research—not only on the product itself—but the manufacturer or seller behind the product as well. There are many sites online that house reviews (both positive and negative) as well as consumer reports too!