Beyond the brand

I found this article I thought was very interesting because it is an example of how a brand not only wants to sell a product but also wants to engage with the audience and consumer by helping them in their diet choices. I thought this is useful in terms of making the best choice and how each person can benefit from it. This is also about establishing a personal connection with the client and persuading them to buy their products even more.

Beyond the Brand

By Alliston Ackerman – 08/08/2012

Consumers don’t just buy products anymore; instead, they are in the market for deeper, more meaningful relationships with brands they can trust. This new marketplace dynamic is challenging consumer goods companies to establish and enhance direct, two-way relationships with target consumers across multiple channels.

For Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (PCH), the challenge of gaining and maintaining consumer connections to its brands is amplified due to the inherent caution consumers practice when purchasing biopharmaceutical and nutritional products. Its market-leading brands include Advil, Centrum, Chapstick, Robitussin and other over the counter (OTC) medicines.

In the dietary supplement category especially, PCH noticed that consumers wanted to do more than just purchase dietary supplements — they wanted help along the way to become healthier.

“Shoppers are confused and overwhelmed by the dietary supplement category because of all the products available and conflicting information,” says Amy McInnis, associate product manager on the Centrum Brand Team. “We also know that consumers want personalized solutions for their health.”

Insights in Action

Armed with these insights, PCH’s Centrum Brand Team set out to engage consumers in a more personal and meaningful way. The project, which would leverage both digital and social media channels, and incorporate expertise from trusted health and wellness resources, would ideally also grow and differentiate the company’s market position in the dietary supplement space beyond multivitamins and calcium.

A program steering committee comprised of leaders from marketing sales, technology, regulatory affairs, advertising and public relations was formed in order to develop this new resource. Led by the Centrum Brand Team, they determined whom they were trying to reach, what message they wanted to convey and how they wanted to interact with the target audience.

The result of this cross-team collaboration was the successful launch of Nutrition Possible ( in November 2011, a unique web site that provides simple tools and personalized information to help consumers make confident nutritional and lifestyle choices.

A Fresh New Channel

At its core, Nutrition Possible provides an assessment tool and content designed to make nutrition information easier to access and understand. It allows consumers to understand their health goals, learn about supplements and receive recommendations for a tailored supplement regimen.

“ allows consumers to buy products and also makes recommendations based on their individual needs,” says Randy Zagorin, director North American Consumer Business Technology. “It is the first web site of its kind to integrate these components into a single experience.”

But that’s just part of what makes the site so valuable for consumers and the Centrum brand. The web site also features content by reputable health information sources, like WebMD and the Mayo Clinic, as well as expert commentary from professionals in the field, like Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., FACN, FASN, CNS; Balz Frei, Ph.D.; Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, MA, CSSD; and Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD.

“We partnered with these organizations because they are trusted sources for health information, and we wanted to develop a truly reputable and useful site for our consumers,” says Zagorin. “By developing relationships with industry experts and key opinion leaders, we were able to enhance our credibility among consumers.”

The site also offers the opportunity to engage with other site visitors through community building and activity challenges.

Building a User Base

To build the web site’s user base, PCH offered coupons for products to the first 100,000 visitors who completed a personal assessment. Also, visitors to the accompanying Nutrition Possible Facebook page ( could access more coupon offerings and nutrition and wellness information. Additional campaigns have followed, like the offering of a $25 Amex gift card from Centrum to one lucky consumer who completed a personal assessment by March 5, 2012.

The combination of a fresh new consumer resource and valuable marketing campaigns has paid off. Since its launch, Nutrition Possible has generated more than 1.8 million unique visitors to the web site and more than 45,000 fans on Facebook.

In addition, Zagorin reports, “both channels are helping build brand awareness by supporting some of our new product launches, like Centrum ProNutrients and Centrum Specialist multivitamins.”

When asked to identify the biggest benefit of Nutrition Possible, McInnis answers, “I think it would be the ability to really connect with our consumers and provide them with solutions that uniquely fit their needs. It also provides us with the great opportunity to form a community around health and wellness by offering the advice and support that consumers need to be healthier.”

Overall, Nutrition Possible is proof yet again that creating direct relationships with consumers undoubtedly helps consumer goods manufacturers to build and maintain brand loyalty as well as market leadership. As for Nutrition Possible, PCH plans to alter the web site as both technology and the ways in which people interact evolve.

“PCH will constantly look to engage directly with consumers through our brands in a meaningful way,” closes Zagorin.“


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