Grow Your Natural Product or Supplement Business: 6 Smart Partnerships For Lean Entrepreneurs

 

Launching your natural product business or new product feels exciting.  But what’s next?

You want to maximize sales and grow your business but you can’t do it alone.  You have limited time.  So choose the right partnerships to maximize your success at the right price.  That way you can concentrate on what you do best.  It feels great knowing others will cover areas where you have limited knowledge.

One main partnership decision involves price.  Look for partners that offer a free or low-cost trial option, or a money-back guarantee.  Utilize these options to ensure the partnership meets your price and service goals.  You don’t want to spend a lot of money unless a service provides value.

Start out small.  Maybe you want a fun animated introduction for your YouTube marketing masterpiece “Vegan Recipe Utopia”.  Start by outsourcing a simple logo animation at a low cost.  If the result delights you, proceed with the full job.  If not, try another provider. Happily, you didn’t waste significant time and money on an unsatisfactory result.  Also don’t hire a business partner that doesn’t have stellar reviews.  Look for the highest-rated provider that meets your budget requirements.

Here are some popular and low cost business partners that specialize in helping companies grow.

1. Fiverr

This website provides creative and professional services starting at $5.  Yes, really.  According to Crunchbase Fiverr offers 3 million gigs from 196 countries.  Some of the services included are:

  • Professional logo and label design
  • Tech pack creation
  • Copywriting
  • Photo re-touching and preparation for sales on Amazon  and  eBay
  • Digital marketing
  • Video editing and millions of other services.

Make sure to hire providers with multiple 5-star reviews for best results.  The top producers may cost more, but they provide high-quality work.  Or take take a chance on an inexpensive new seller.  New sellers with robust sample portfolios can be bargain-basement gems.

I found Asmita, a professional graphic artist in India, on Fiverr.  She was a new seller charging $5 per design.   I can’t live without her now.  She takes a concept out of my head and transforms it for website, book and marketing use.  Asmita has so many glowing Fiverr reviews now that she charges top dollar.  She still gives me good rates because we grew together and formed a mutually beneficial long-term partnership.

2. 99Designs

Do you have a basic idea for graphics but aren’t sure what you need?  99Designs lets you run a contest for:

  • Logos
  • Branding
  • Packaging
  • Website design or other graphics projects.

You provide a loose creative brief to artists or you can get as specific as needed.  100+ artists then submit designs for your review. Also, you can provide feedback to artists you like, and they will repeatedly tweak their designs.  This provides a variety of results you might like.

Don’t love any of the designs?  No problem, the website will refund your money.

99Designs often offers coupons.  Find discounts by typing “99Designs coupon” into your browser.

3. Launch — How To Quickly Propel Your Business Beyond the Competition

Michael Stelzner launched Social Media Examiner with no previous social media experience.  He used his “Elevation Principle Business Model” to give away free how-to content.  This created a loyal business community without the hard sell people don’t like. Then he wrote Launch to share his process.

Launch focuses on how to build lasting relationships that will help grow small businesses into empires,” says Stelzner.  He should know.   SocialMediaExaminer grew to 94,000+ subscribers in less than 18 months.  Also the site received 2.25 million visits in the last six months according to SimilarWeb website analytics.

Launch offers many valuable tips for creating attractive and highly-sharable social media content. So read this book if you want to turboboost sales.  I rate the book 5-stars, and all of his Amazon buyers do too.

4. Quickbooks Online

Maybe your college accounting class made your eyes glaze.  Or you love accounting, but you don’t have time to run all aspects of your business.  Consider letting Quickbooks handle your accounting so you have time to meet with investors.

The Quickbooks website states 5.9 million people use their product for:

  • Income and expenses
  • Invoices and payments
  • Payroll, sales and sales tax
  • Bill management.

The program connects to your bank account and also PayPal and Square accounts.  Plus it sets up in minutes and charges a low monthly fee.  No contract or long-term commitment is required.

5.  RocketLawyer

For businesses without a legal team this website provides the customizable legal documents your business needs.  These documents will protect you and your company.  Some documents you may need are:

  • Partnership agreements
  • Non-Disclosure Agreements
  • Patent Applications
  • Incorporation agreements and more.

Currently RocketLawyer offers a free 7-day trial.  You can then choose a monthly membership fee or a one-time fee per legal document.

Here’s a secret they may not want you to know:  when I tried to cancel my membership they offered a $1 monthly charge option.  I don’t know how long this will last.  For now, I’m enjoying bargain-basement legal document access.

6. MailChimp

MailChimp offers web-based email marketing services.  This helps businesses grow audiences, sell more products and build brands.  The service offerings include:

  • Email and social marketing campaigns
  • Ad campaign creation
  • Social sharing
  • Landing pages and sign up forms
  • Marketing analytics.

The site currently offers free use for lists with 2000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails per month.  Larger businesses pay a monthly fee that varies.  Price depends on total subscribers and number of monthly emails, plus desired additional features, like premium support.

7 Smart Choices: Start a Supplement / Natural Product Business

You’ve made the biggest decision already – choosing to start a supplement or natural product brand.  But what’s next?

There are many decisions needed to determine your success. With limited time and resources, you want to make smart choices.  Use our checklist to make decisions that will transform your dream into a money-making reality.

1. Choose a Problem-Solving Product

The best products safely solve a consumer problem.  For instance, people seeking gastrointestinal improvement will reach for probiotic yogurt.  Vegans struggling to get enough vitamins B12 and D will select fortified foods or supplements offering these vitamins.  But how can you find new product money-making ideas?

Do your research.  The internet makes it easy to discover health and nutrition trends that can be monetized.  For instance, capitalize on the HerbalGram Herb Market Report that states U.S. herbal supplement sales grew 8.5% in 2017 to over $8 billion.  This market has grown every year since 2004.  Why not be the next success story?

Or want to help people lose weight?  Create a supplement with capsaicin. Want to help pregnant women fight morning sickness?  Try mint.

Also turmeric-based supplements and functional foods show new promise due to breakthroughs in bioavailability.   Studies have shown turmeric supports a healthy inflammation response.   A tumeric supplement that helps people suffering from inflammation has potential consumers searching for solutions.

Additionally, seek niche markets to find less competition and eager buyers.    Get creative when selecting niches.  Senior mountain bikers want energy, college students want more sleep, parents want clean-label functional foods.  There are millions of other niches with potential customers wishing for your solution.  Go out and wow them.

Formulate carefully and knowledgeably.  The best products are effective – and also safe.  Your name will be on the label, so it’s ultimately your job to ensure that the product you launch and sell delivers as promised and does no harm.

2.Find Your Natural Product Tribe

After choosing a product define your ideal customer so you can market to them, and not waste money.  Narrow ideal customer profiles by asking:

• Who are your ideal customers?

• Which characteristics do they share?

Conduct market research to verify your ideas and narrow down ideal customer traits, like gender, age and socioeconomic status.  Also verify potential customer’s wants and needs and their shopping habits.  For instance if consumers prefer online buying focus on that.

Next study your competition.  What are they doing right?  How might your product address their wrongs?  How does their product look? What about price? How does your competition use advertising?  What can you do better?

Another idea to find customers is to consult a knowledgeable expert in your niche.  Experts like to share their opinions and might even be willing to mentor a newbie.

3. Select a Trustworthy Manufacturer

Once you’ve chosen a promising product don’t disappointed customers with unfilled orders or low quality products.  To avoid this carefully consider your product requirements and then balance them with manufacturer location, cost and reputation.

Does it add value to your product to use a stateside manufacturer or should you look abroad?  US manufacturers may contract out services to other companies, so be sure to request location information for all players.  Also, what is your price-point?  Offshore manufacturers offer inexpensive prices but longer lead and shipping times, and you cannot easily audit their operation.

After narrowing down your manufacturer list, ask about ingredient sourcing, how suppliers and ingredients are qualified, quality control, laboratory analyses and distribution programs.  Ask for current regulatory compliance certifications establishing that the manufacturer complies with Current Good Marketing Practices (cGMP’s).  Also ask for references and whether the manufacturer has received any of the 483 FDA Inspection reports.  Search online for FDA Warning Letters, customer reviews and potential complaints.  Lastly, hire a qualified auditor to completely check out the operation completely.  This up front effort will bring you peace of mind and save you money and angst in the long run.  It’s priceless to know that you are entering into a relationship with an experienced manufacturer possessing a stellar operation – and equally important, you fulfill your cGMP responsibility by qualifying your manufacturer.  In addition to a supply contract, you and your manufacturer will need a Quality Agreement.  The Quality Agreement spells out which party is responsible for fulfilling the many cGMP requirements; these must be divided between the parties – under U.S. regulations, you cannot delegate every responsibility to your manufacturer.  See item 5 below – Check-off Legal Obligations.

 

4. Create a Fiery Sales and Marketing Plan

Drive sales with sizzling product design and labels.  Brainstorm ideas and then consider hiring a designer who knows your market and a regulatory compliance expert who understands your product, the claims you can and/or must make about it, and how that information must be presented.  Pros can maximize buyer attention and avoid negative surprises, such as FDA non-compliance actions.

Next decide which marketing tools will work best for your product.  Basic strategies include direct sales, media buying, blogging, pay-per-click, and in-person sales.  Do you want to focus on one strategy, such as online sales, or use a combination for best results?  Also create marketing channels through your website and social media presence.

Also, do you have an interesting product story?  Customers buy products based on emotion, so utilize your story to drive sales.  Clif Bars were conceptualized on a 175-mile bike ride when the creator realized “other” bars weren’t appetizing and felt he could do better. The company doesn’t disclose revenue but estimates are $500 million to $1 billion annually.

Maybe you’re a mom of a diabetic child so you create sugarless, kid-friendly functional foods.  Meaningful product stories boost sales by giving people a reason to buy.

Also consider other marketing options.  Start a niche newsletter with updates and information valuable to your customers, offer time-sensitive coupons for return visitors, create a loyalty or referral program, cross sell and upsell.

5. Check-off Legal Obligations

Don’t be surprised by a legal problem after you start selling – get out in front of these issues.  New businesses have legal obligations that vary depending depending on business structure and location, as well as product identity – so consult a business attorney and a regulatory compliance expert prior to entering into a manufacturing supply contract and Quality Agreement to protect yourself.

You’ll need to choose a business structure, register your company name, obtain business licenses and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for tax purposes.   Consult the US Small Business Administration website for tax requirements based on business structure and location.

You may also need business permits and licenses, and trademark advice.  Finally business laws and regulations vary by industry so make sure you understand which are specific to your business.

6. Make Your Supplement or Functional Food and Create a Distribution Plan

Finally it’s time to give the green light to the manufacturer you’ve selected.  Make sure you know of any possible delays in advance so you can plan accordingly.  For instance, Chinese manufacturers close for two weeks during Chinese New Year and this may cause delays of up to one month.  Many ingredients are produced in limited quantity, and planning for supply chain continuity is critical to your success.

Ask about discounts for larger qualities, multiple products and repeat orders.  Communicate clearly and often with your manufacturer to ensure your product is progressing per your expectations.

When your product is ready, both you and your contract manufacturer must subject it to quality control testing to ensure it is safe, pure and meets all label claims for identity, potency and quantity.  Your designated Quality Control expert must inspect the product and the test results against your Product Specification and verify that the product meets all of your standards before releasing it for sale.

Your manufacturer may provide distribution options, such as drop-shipping, or you can arrange your own product distribution.  To create optimal distribution channels, focus on customer needs.  If your customers buy online create an e-commerce website and fulfillment system for direct sales.  For additional sales consider selling to other online resellers or distributors.

Other channels include value added resellers, who add value to your product and then resell it.  For instance a fitness studio might bundle your supplement with functional foods and a gym membership to create a complete weight loss solution.

Additionally, you may choose to utilize catalogues, sales teams, consultants and retail outlets for sales.  You will need to experiment to discover the distribution channel(s) that best grow your market share and revenue.

7. Sell, Sell, Sell

Congratulations, you’ve done the work to successfully sell supplements or functional foods.  You established a legal business, found a promising supplement or functional food,  chose a manufacturer, specified what you want the manufacturer to make, created a label, set up marketing and distribution and verified the quality of the product.  Finally, it’s time to start selling!

Take your website and social media pages live and start your marketing channels (but be aware that everything you or an agent that you control claims about your product is subject to regulation and must be truthful – and you have to substantiate all efficacy claims).  Have your regulatory consultant monitor the claims while you sit back and enjoy watching customers discover your product.  As sales build, evaluate the success of marketing and tweak campaigns as needed.

Entering the supplement and functional food industry takes time and effort.  It’s not easy but making smart decisions will help your business dream come true and drive product success.

 

Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.

 

Susan Ulery utilizes her legal background plus 20 years of manufacturing expertise in the dietary supplement industry to help clients overcome regulatory challenges.

Clean Label Essentials for Natural Product Companies: $180 Bil by 2020

 

Want to understand your supplement ingredients without needing a biomedical engineering degree to decipher the label?  You’re not alone. More consumers are seeking “clean label” products that offer transparent and simple labels. The market research firm Euromonitor estimates clean label global food and supplement sales will rise from $165 billion in 2015 to $180 billion by 2020.  Boost sales by creating clean labels to attract buyers seeking transparency.

What exactly does clean label mean? It’s confusing because no formal agreed-upon definition exists. This stems from consumers desiring a variety of product characteristics: transparency, USDA organic, no artificial ingredients, non-GMO, hormone and antibiotic free, and locally grown.

People increasingly want specific product characteristics for their food and beverages, and they want to ensure products meet their needs or they won’t buy.  Labels information can make or break sales. Make sure your labels are updated to meet the needs of targeted customers so they’ll choose your product.

Target Specific Customer Label Needs

Since there is no government-agency definition of clean label, consumers are just as confused as everyone else as to what this means. Buyers are clear on what they want, though. Discerning consumers seeking clean labels look for organic certification, fresh foods, familiar ingredients and easy to read and understand labels.

Discover your customer’s ideal needs so you can adjust labels to match. The easiest way to discover what people want is to ask.

A Cargill marketing study of 302 U.S. grocery shoppers found almost half would pay more for clean label products for their children.  So if you’re selling supplements for kids, customer feedback may signal a popular desire for an organic-certified version.  Add the organic certificate to your label to attract customers and drive sales.

Besides food consumed by children, Cargill found clean labels most appeal to consumers of functional foods. Marketers of these products can use clean labels to boost sales.

Provide Transparency and Simplicity

We’ve all stood in the grocery store puzzling over a product label bursting with multi-syllable mystery ingredients. People seeking clean foods will put that product down and reach for another item.   These consumers want labels that are easy to read and understand.

This means the label ingredients are familiar and not difficult to pronounce.   Once example of simplifying an ingredient list is to use vitamin B12 in lieu of the vitamin’s scientific name cyanocobalamin. There are 56 names for sugar.  Keep it simple whenever possible.

Natural product companies can reformulate products to meet clean label demand.  Maybe your product can be made with a shorter ingredient list or a more wholesome ingredient.

New formulations can be used as opportunities to create products with simple ingredient lists that appeal to targeted markets. Google natural product trends to find innovative bestsellers. Smart companies can discover new popular ingredient trends and capitalize on buyer needs.

Label Legalities

Make sure claims made on labels have research back up. You don’t want to end up with a supplement labeling class action lawsuit, like Universal Protein Supplements Corporation (which does business as Universal Nutrition, Universal USA and/or Animal Pak) which allegedly violated California law by labeling supplements “Made in USA”.

“Food companies must understand their product, its ingredients and its processing so labeling statements narrowly tailor claims to properly reflect the product,” says David L. TerMolen, partner and member of the food industry team at the Chicago law firm Freeborn & Peters L.L.P.   The Institute for Legal Reform’s The Food Court Paper states food marketing class actions increased from about 20 in 2008 to over 425 active cases in federal courts in 2015 and 2016.  Avoid court by using caution before making label claims.

Customers are paying more attention to product labels as they seek products that meet their individual needs. Although clean labels mean different things to different people, smart companies can use guidelines to target discerning customers.  Why not grab your slice of the projected $180 billion clean label pie?

 

Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.

8 Essential Questions To Ask Supplement Ingredient Suppliers

 

How can you find a high-quality dietary supplement ingredient supplier?   With hundreds to choose from this can seem daunting, but not if you know the savvy questions to ask.

Smart inquiry matters because the FDA implemented cGMP (Current Good Manufacturing Practice) regulations for supplement manufacturers, but regulations aren’t enforced for suppliers, especially for suppliers not located in the U.S.  It’s essential to know what’s in your products because the FDA requires manufacturers, packagers, labelers and distributors to assess the entire operation for safety and quality.

So interview your potential ingredient suppliers to make sure they’re cGMP compliant and that they meet your individualized needs.  Taking time to do research now will save headaches later.  Use our list of essential questions below to get the answers you need.

1) Do you grow your own ingredients?

If yes, ask about food safety standards.  Also what are your supplier’s pest control, shelf-life and storage procedures?  You don’t want dangerous pesticides or expired ingredients to potentially harm your consumers.

2)  What is the origin of outsourced ingredients?

It’s important to find out if ingredients come from growers or wholesalers.   How does your supplier ensure outsourced ingredients are pure and meet safely standards?  Does the company have on-site inspectors?

Large established companies will have tested procedures that test ingredients and ensure safety because they don’t want to risk shut-downs, which may impact their profits.  Smaller suppliers may not have the same level of safety sophistication.  Ask for total supply chain transparency.

3) Are outsourced ingredients tested internally?

How does you supplier ensure ingredients are pure and safe?  What testing methodologies and equipment are used?  Does a company have written procedures to standardize testing?  How are testing records kept?

4) Which documents and/or certifications can your supplier provide?

Does your supplier have Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification?  GSFI was created to ensure confidence in safer foods.  This certification includes compliance with SQF, BRC, IFS, FSSC, GLOBALG.A.P., BAP, and CanadaGAP.  Companies that have dedicated time and effort to earn GFSI certification are a good choice for your company.  Also ask about additional certifications and/or documents that may provide additional layers of trust.

5) Are ingredients artificial or natural ?

With increasing focus on transparency, manufacturers and consumers want to know specifics about ingredients.  There can be a grey area in regard to exact definitions of artificial vs. natural.  Natural ingredients are those produced by nature without human intervention.  Artificial ingredients are made by humans using methods different than nature uses.  Make sure you know how your supplier defines these terms.

6) Which fillers or extract solutions are used and what is their composition?

Food fillers are less-expensive additives used to bulk up the weight of a food, enrich foods or add nutritional value.  Also fillers can preserve appearance and effectiveness.  Fillers may help keep the cost down but you may wish to avoid some additives, such as artificial dyes. Make sure you know which fillers are used and their exact composition.

Extract solutions are used to separate desired substances when mixed with others.  For instance, extract solutions are used for de-caffeinated tea.  Ask which extract solutions are used, and which ingredients are used for extraction.

7) Which special ingredients are offered?

With consumers willing to pay more for special ingredients, more companies are seeking suppliers with these offerings.   Can your supplier provide organic, natural, non-GMO, kosher and/or vegetarian ingredients?

Make sure your supplier’s definition of special ingredients meets your expectations. For instance, organic and natural are not the same.  Organics do not allow GMO’s and antibiotics but these items are allowed for natural products.  Ask how your supplier ensures special ingredients meet specifications.

8) What are the total costs?

A supplier may provide  a quote but make sure to ask about other fees.  You might have to pay a delivery fee, or other fees and you want to know about this up front.  Also ask if payments are negotiable.  Instead of 30-day payment terms you may be able to negotiate 60 or 90 days.  Finally, consider negotiating discounts for up-front payments and high-volume orders.

There are many considerations to think about when choosing your ingredient supplier.  Asking smart questions will help you find a great supplier that delivers safe ingredients hassle-free.

 

Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.

 

 

 

Promising Senior Brain Health Boosters – 99.5 Million Seniors by 2050

 

Do memory loss, multitasking difficulty and changes in attention span concern you?  As our population ages, brain performance ages too; and the growing flood of seniors will want to keep sharp.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population age 65+ will surge from 49.2 million in 2010 to 99.5 million in 2050. As a result, preventing age-related cognitive decline will gain importance.

And the market for Senior-targeted brain-boosters is potentially even larger than expected. For many, cognitive decline begins sooner than age 65. A British Medical Journal study reports age-related cognitive decline is already evident in middle age (age 45-49).  Savvy nutritional supplement and functional food and drink companies can try the promising supplements below to create a better cognitive future.

There are many “brain boosters” currently available, but it’s difficult to figure out which actually work. Few claims show proven results and research can burn hours or days. The supplements below show results backed by science.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Your Scandinavian Grandma was right to chase you around the house with a spoonful of fish oil – or omega-3 fatty acid. Science shows that this oil is good for you. Fish oil, with its’ two primary fatty acids (EPA) and (DHA) is extracted from sardines, and other fatty fish. Many people don’t eat the recommended amount of fatty fish and can benefit from this supplement.

A 2012 study published in Neurology found that higher dietary intake of DHA and EPA resulted in reduced risk of dementia.    The study also found that lower blood levels of DHA in older adults resulted in smaller brain size, signaling accelerated brain aging. Finally, a study published in The Alzheimer’s Association, stated that while DHA did not benefit Alzheimer’s patients or people with normal brain function, those showing mild declines in brain functions showed improvement. .

Ginkgo Biloba

Europeans already commonly use this ancient Chinese medicine to treat dementia resulting from reduced blood flow, although Ginkgo doesn’t actually prevent dementia. The active ingredient in Ginkgo biloba (EGb) is extracted from the leaves of the maidenhair (or yin xing) tree, the oldest surviving tree species on Earth.

For centuries Ginkgo biloba has treated degenerative diseases. These include cerebrovascular and Alzheimer’s disease.

Although there is some conflicting research, most clinical studies show that ginkgo can improve memory, thinking speed and attention span in healthy adults. It also helps with Alzheimer’s symptoms and other dementias.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E slows the progression of Alzheimer’s in patients with mild to moderate disease. It doesn’t prevent Alzheimer’s, but slowing the disease progression allows seniors to live high-quality lives for longer.

A study by the Ican School of Medicine, in partnership with VA medical centers, showed a 19% annual reduction in difficulty for Alzheimer’s patients performing daily activities, like bathing and dressing, when taking daily Vitamin E.  Vitamin E presents a low-cost treatment option for Alzheimer’s patients. It can delay the need for expensive care facilities or full time in-home care, which prevents a caregiver from working.

Acetyl-L-carnitine

Acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is an amino acid (building block for protein) that helps energize the brain, and our peripheral nervous and immune systems. ALC occurs naturally in the body and in foods such as meat poultry and fish, and this supplement is available without prescription.

 Many studies prove the anti-aging benefits of ACL. One Japanese Kagoshima University study, by the Facility of Medicine, that found ACL critical to youthful cellular function in the brain, heart, liver, peripheral nerves and immune system.   No surprise that ACL benefits include improved mood, memory and cognition.

Aging brains will affect us all.  As our senior population booms, brain-boosters using Omega-3, Ginkgo, Vitamin E and Acetyl-L-carnitine can offer solutions to aging woes.  Forward-thinking natural product companies can use these ingredients to boost both brains and revenue.

Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.

Sample Confidentiality & Nondisclosure Agreement For Natural Products & Functional Foods

Want to view a sample  NDA / Confidentiality agreement?  Here’s a template.  You can use it to craft your own agreement by replacing the asterisks with your information.  Next have an attorney review your agreement to make sure it works for your company.

Sample Confidentiality & Nondisclosure Agreement

THIS CONFIDENTIALITY AND NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENT, ( the “Agreement”), is entered into this * day of * 20**, by and between *INSERT YOUR COMPANY NAME, a limited liability company organized under the laws of the State of  *, and *INSERT NAME OF BUSINESS PARTNER * (each a “Party” and collectively, the “Parties“).

1                In connection with the discussions between the Parties and the potential retention of * to provide *INSERT THE SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED *YOUR COMPANY has disclosed, and will be disclosing to * certain confidential or proprietary information regarding *INSERT SERVICES *YOUR COMPANY’s business, all of which information shall be deemed “Confidential Information.” The Confidential Information shall include written, oral, electronic and all other forms of confidential information of *YOUR COMPANY disclosed by *YOUR COMPANY to *BUSINESS PARTNER before or after the date hereof in connection with the Services. Pursuant to this Agreement, *YOUR COMPANY is the Party disclosing Confidential Information and is referred to herein as the “Disclosing Party” and *BUSINESS PARTNERis the Party receiving the Confidential Information and is referred to herein as the “Receiving Party“.
2                In consideration of the disclosure referred to in Paragraph 1 hereof, the Receiving Party agrees that:
(a)         All Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party shall be kept strictly confidential and shall not be sold, traded, published or otherwise disclosed to anyone in any manner whatsoever, including by means of electronic transmission, photocopy or other reproduction, without the Disclosing Party’s prior written consent, except as provided in Paragraphs 4 and 5 below; and
(b)         All Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party will not be used by the Receiving Party except in connection with the Services to be provided by *BUSINESS PARTNER to *YOUR COMPANY .
3                The Receiving Party shall not use or otherwise appropriate or sell the Confidential Information for personal uses or gain (and shall prohibit any person under its control or influence from using the Confidential Information for any such purposes).
4                The Receiving Party may disclose the Confidential Information without the Disclosing Party’s prior written consent only to the extent such information is:
(a)         already in possession of the public or becomes available to the public other than through the act or omission of the Receiving Party in breach hereof;
(b)         required to be disclosed under applicable law or by a governmental order, decree, regulation or rule;
(c)         is acquired independently from a third party that, to the knowledge of the Receiving Party, has the right to disseminate such information at the time it is acquired by the Receiving Party; or
5                The Receiving Party shall be entitled to disclose the Confidential Information without the Disclosing Party’s prior written consent to the employees, officers or directors of *BUSINESS PARTNER  (the “Representatives“), to the extent the Representatives need to know such Confidential Information for the purpose of assisting the Receiving Party with the Services. evaluation and execution of the Transaction, are informed of the confidential nature of the Confidential Information and agree to be bound by the terms of this Agreement.
6                The Receiving Party shall be responsible for ensuring that all of its Representatives to whom the Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party is disclosed under this Agreement shall keep such information confidential in accordance with the terms of this Agreement and shall not disclose, divulge or use such Confidential Information in violation of this Agreement. The Receiving Party shall be liable to the Disclosing Party for any breach of this Agreement by a Representative of the Receiving Party.
7
7.1           The Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party shall remain the property of the Disclosing Party, and the Disclosing Party may demand the return or destruction thereof at any time upon giving written notice to the Receiving Party. Promptly after receipt of such notice, and subject to Paragraph 7.2, the Receiving Party shall return or destroy all of the original Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party and shall destroy all copies, reproductions or extracts (both written and electronic), including all material based on or using the Confidential Information created by the Receiving Party or its Representatives, in its possession and in the possession of it Representatives to whom it was disclosed pursuant to Paragraph 5 hereof.
7.2           The return or destruction of the Confidential Information referred to in Paragraph 7.1 does not apply to:
(a)         the extent the Receiving Party is otherwise required by law to retain a copy of the Confidential Information or any document incorporating Confidential Information or
(b)         the extent the Receiving Party reasonably considers it necessary to retain a copy of the Confidential Information or any document incorporating Confidential Information to defend itself from a claim or potential claim in connection with the Transaction.
8                If the Receiving Party is, or considers itself to be, compelled to disclose any of the Confidential Information of the Disclosing Party, the Receiving Party will provide the Disclosing Party with prompt notice prior to any disclosure so that the Disclosing Party may seek in a court of law or other appropriate body to:
(a)         challenge the obligation of the Receiving Party or any other person to make that disclosure, or to otherwise prevent or restrict that disclosure; or
(b)         secure an order or other ruling or remedy to protect or preserve the confidentiality of the relevant information.
If such an order or other remedy is not sought or obtained (or disclosure is not able to be otherwise prevented or restricted), the Receiving Party will furnish only that portion of the Confidential Information which is legally required to be disclosed, and the Receiving Party will cooperate with the Disclosing Party’s counsel to enable the Disclosing Party to obtain an order or other reliable assurance that confidential treatment will be accorded the same.
9                The Receiving Party will take all reasonable steps to protect and preserve the confidentiality of the Confidential Information, including ensuring that it has effective security measures to safeguard all Confidential Information from unauthorised use, copying or disclosure (and ensuring that its Representatives have the same). In particular, without limitation, the Receiving Party must not (and must ensure that its Representatives do not) enter the Confidential Information (or allow it to be entered) into any electronic system, network, database or program not solely operated and controlled by it.
10             The Receiving Party must promptly notify the Disclosing Party and must promptly do anything reasonably required by the Disclosing Party to prevent or restrain a breach or possible breach of this Agreement or any infringement or possible infringement of the Disclosing Party’s rights arising from this Agreement by any person (and must ensure that its Representatives do the same).
11             The Receiving Party must not (and must procure that each of its employees, officers, directors, related entities, and each of their employees, officers and directors and advisers do not), without the prior consent of *YOUR COMPANY, directly or indirectly solicit, initiate or enter into any discussions or negotiations with any person other than *YOUR COMPANY in relation to any agreement, arrangement, proposal, expression of interest or offer similar to or in connection with the Services and /or the Confidential Information.
12             Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be deemed or construed as creating a relationship of partnership, association, principal and agent or joint venture by or between the Parties. Nothing in this Agreement nor the furnishing of the Confidential Information pursuant hereto shall be construed in any way as creating an exclusive relationship between the Parties.
13             The Disclosing Party, its related bodies corporate, and each of their officers, directors and employees shall have no liability whatsoever for any loss of any kind (including, without limitation, any consequential or economic loss) with respect to any use of or reliance upon the Confidential Information by the Receiving Party or any of its Representatives, including any opinion formed or conclusion drawn by the Receiving Party or any of its Representatives as a result of examining the Confidential Information. The Disclosing Party does not by provision of the Confidential Information to the Receiving Party waive any client privilege in respect of the Confidential Information.
14             This Agreement shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Utah. No amendments, changes or modifications to this Agreement shall be valid except if the same are in writing and signed by a duly authorized representative of each of the Parties hereto. This Agreement comprises the full and complete agreement of the Parties hereto with respect to the disclosure of the Confidential Information and supersedes and cancels all prior communications. In the
event of any breach or threatened breach by any Party of the terms hereof, the other Party shall be entitled to injunctive and other equitable relief, and such Party shall not plead in defense thereto that there would be an adequate remedy at law. Any such relief shall be in addition to, and not in lieu of, money damages or any other legal or equitable remedy available to such Party. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which when executed and delivered shall be an original, but all of which shall constitute one and the same instrument. Neither Party shall assign any of its rights or obligations hereunder without the prior written consent of the other party. Subject to the foregoing, this Agreement shall be binding and inure to the benefit of each Party’s successors and permitted assigns.
Executed as an Agreement
*YOUR COMPANY                                                 *BUSINESS PARTNER
____________________________            ___________________________
Signature of Member                                               Signature of Member
____________________________           ____________________________
Name                                                                            Name

 

Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.

6 Smart Marketing Tips for Food or Supplement Companies

 

You’ve created the natural product or food that everyone needs, but how will customers find it?  An innovative marketing strategy can create viral demand and boost sales.  Use our tips below to create a marketing strategy that sells your brand.

1. Verify Demand With Market Research

You believe in your product, but verifying product demand prior to manufacturing makes sense.  You don’t want to create 100,000 yellow Thneads if people only want blue.  Also don’t waste time and money marketing to the wrong customers.

Choose from a variety of ways to conduct market research.  Use online searches to study products similar to yours and extract sales information, or create a survey and discover ideal customer traits, such as age and socioeconomic status.  If you have customers already, ask them about their wants and needs, or find an expert knowledgeable about your market and ask for an opinion.

2. Wow Customers with Eye-Catching Product Packaging and Labels

Research your competitors packaging and labels before creating your own.  What do you find appealing about competitor products? What might look better?  Next, brainstorm creative ideas that might appeal to natural product or food customers.

For ideas view 50 Insanely Creative and Stunning Packaging Designs by the website Canva.  Take  your ideas to an experienced package and label designer.  It’s worth hiring a pro because your product needs to POP when people scan items on a shelf.

Also professionals know how to avoid pitfalls, such as FDA regulatory non-compliance, or costly mistakes with formatting and materials.  Eye-catching product packaging and an interesting label will launch your product off shelves and onto your balance sheet.

3. Tell An Interesting Story

Why did you create your product?  Maybe you wanted to solve a painful problem for you or someone else.  People love hearing interesting stories because emotions drive product sales.

For instance, Warby Parker was created after one of the founders lost his eyeglasses on a backpacking trip.  Eyeglasses were expensive, and he couldn’t afford to replace them, so he suffered through a quarter of grad school squinting at blurry text.   His friends had similar stories, and this inspired them to find an inexpensive way to offer high-quality eyeglasses.  Did customers like this story?  The company grew to a $1.2 billion in 5 years.

Give people a reason to care about your products.  You’ll boost sales.

4. Hire a Free Sales Force

How can you get strangers to sell your product to friends and family?  Create interesting and timely content that’s easy to share.  This transforms strangers into a free salesforce.

Facebook has recently implemented a policy against asking users to like, comment and share; but on other sites, such as YouTube and LinkedIn, it’s ok to ask users to interact, as long as you provide valuable content first.  Make sure to add clickable social media share buttons for easy sharing.

To boost social shares and likes, use eye-catching photos or graphics.   According to Lifehack, viral posts almost always utilize a unique image that users want to quickly share.   One Lifehack marketing image got 10,000 Facebook shares in less than 24 hours by using an eye-catching image that garnered a strong emotional reaction.

The image was edgy, and wouldn’t work for most companies, but this particular image spoke to their targeted audience.   Use your creativity to think up unique content that will make your own audience eager to share 10000+ times.

5. Create Time-Sensitive Coupons & Special Offers

Who doesn’t love bargains?  Ignite customer urgency with time-sensitive special offers.  You might offer a coupon good for 7 days, or a special offer for today only such as:  buy two products and get one free.  Customers won’t want to miss out on a great deal.

Also utilize cross-selling to offer an attractive package deal your buyers can’t resist, for instance a recipe book to go with your food.  This strategy can result in sales of multiple products instead of just one.

Another idea is to upsell by placing attractive images of a more expensive product (or accessory) next to your product.  Forbes reports Jetblue used an “even more space” legroom upsell to produce $190 million in additional revenue.  For more information view Forbes Upsell Beginner’s Guide.

When upselling, remember to keep your customer’s wants and needs in mind.  Someone seeking a $30 face cream might decide on a $35 anti-aging version, but probably won’t buy a $100 product.

Amazon has mastered cross-sell and upsell techniques.  Browse their site for products similar to yours to get ideas.  Finally, entice customers to buy additional products with a “return purchase” coupon.

6. Reward Customers for Referrals

Few sales pitches can best a personal referral from someone you trust.  The Neilson Online Survey reported people are four times as likely to buy when referred by a friend. Many companies overlook referral programs, but if current customers already like your product, why not utilize them to garner sales?  People are willing to tell their friends and family about amazing products, all you have to do is ask.

The SalesForce reports the best referral programs reward both the referrer and the referee.   So reward both with a coupon or discount to create referral sales opportunities.

Customize one or more of our tips to meet your individualized marketing needs for natural products or foods.  Then create the perfect marketing program to skyrocket sales.


Kendeyl Johansen, a tech geek and award-winning journalist, creates multimedia health and wellbeing content.