Purity Products has long sold its wares with radio ads and other messaging modes and has stuck to a subscription model for its wide range of products. For some a recurring, slick, ad blitz might bring back unwanted memories of the days of the ‘Smiling Bob’ ads for bogus erectile dysfunction products. But Jason Kam, director of business development for Purity Products, said to succeed long term at the game, the products actually have to deliver.
“We’ve been around since early to mid 1990s. I’ve been with the company almost that entire time,” Kam told NutraIngredients-USA.
“Up until very recently we were mostly focused on our direct to consumer model. We were doing a subscription model long before it became popular, and we have gotten very good at it,” he said.
Subscriptions only work if products do, too
Kam said setting up a delivery cycle based on subscription reorders forces a company to focus on providing products that really work. While the glitzy radio ads for which the company was known for in the past might lead to an assumption of a fly-by-night approach, just the opposite is true, he said.
“With a subscription model you are better off with products that consumers are willing to commit to long term. Weight management products, for example, are often tough in a subscription environment. People who order a weight loss product have expectations that are not deliverable by a dietary supplement, or really by any option out there. If their expectations are not met, you can expect them not to be using that product moving forward,” he said.
“Customer acquisition is so expensive today it becomes a lifetime value play. We make every effort to earn the consumer’s trust. The products have to deliver within the bounds of what you tell people they are going to do because if they don’t, the consumers won’t stick around,” Kam added.
Branded ingredient focus
Kam said Purity Products has focused on using a broad array of branded ingredients in its formulas because they come with clincal backing. The higher prices are more than offset by having a better shot at building long term loyalty among end users, he said.
For example, the company’s Flexuron joint care formula, which is based on krill oil, features Valensa’s Zanthin brand natural astaxanthin. The PS Brain Health formula features Sharp-PS Green PhosphatidylSerine, a brand now housed under the Frutarom umbrella. And a multivitamin/omega-3s formula branded as the ‘Super Pill’ includes Lutemax 2020 lutein from OmniActive and OptiZinc, a higher absorption form of the mineral made by Lonza division Interhealth Nutraceuticals.
The company has also been careful in how it spends money on influencers, Kam said. Some brands in recent years have focused on signing up spokespeople who bring social media followers to the table. But Purity Products has concentrated on individuals who might have something to say about formulation choices or efficacy, rather than the ‘Look at me!’ vibe of the social media stars.
For example, Purity Products has licensed the use of herbal expert Chris Kilham’s name for a couple of herbal formulas. Kilham, who bills himself as The Medicine Hunter, has collaborated on herbal ingredient discovery and formulation with a number of companies over the years. The company also brands its vitamin D products after Dr John Cannell, MD, founder of the nonprofit Vitamin D Council.
The company has also recently linked up with Dr Ken Redcross, MD, a concierge physician and health care educator based in Southern California, to bring awareness to the Flexuron product.
“One of the complaints I often get from my patients is about joint problems. I’m kind of a holistic guy. My whole goal is to not to have to pull out my prescription pad. I started using Flexuron and felt the effects for myself,” he said.