At nutritional supplement retailer Nutrishop, the focus is on growth as the pandemic upends the way consumers think about health and nutrition.
I recently asked Nutrishop CEO Bryon McLendon to tell us how he and his team are meeting these challenges.
Paul Talbot: What are the key elements of your marketing strategy?
Bryon McLendon: We aim to connect with customers and potential franchise owners. Our customer engagement goes through three main channels; in-store experience, digital outreach and word of mouth.
Our clients are simply anyone who wants to look and/or feel better. We reach them through search engine optimization, digital advertising, email and SMS. We also work with sponsored athletes, social media influencers, brand ambassadors and affiliate marketers.
But our customers are our greatest asset. When they see results, they tell their friends about it and their friends come to see us.
We are also engaging with potential franchise owners through our new franchise website and bulletin boards. We are working to create awareness and interest in opening a Nutrishop.
Our key message is that this is a great opportunity to be your own boss and build your career while helping others grow.
Talbot: What notable changes have been made to your marketing strategy since the pandemic hit last year?
McLendon: Our franchisees have implemented door-to-door delivery and curbside pickup so people can always get the supplements they need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially crucial in the past year. We also quickly moved to accelerate e-commerce for our corporate website and individual stores with online shopping and shipping options.
In addition to adjusting our sales strategy, we have adapted our approach to content marketing. We’ve provided customers with more information, including special edition email newsletters full of health and safety tips. Our franchisees were more active on social media to provide helpful nutrition and fitness information.
Talbot: You are competing in a crowded field. What are you doing to differentiate Nutrishop?
McLendon: In addition to our guaranteed low prices and exclusive state-of-the-art products, we also offer a very unique consumer experience. When customers come to our stores, we do more than focus on selling products. We look at the big picture – your sleep, your diet, your activity level and more.
In our stores, we support customers with the help of a body composition analysis device that we offer free of charge. This gives us important data, like body fat percentage and lean muscle mass, to start with when developing a personalized nutrition plan.
Talbot: When looking at how your online platform coexists with physical locations, what works well and what would you like to improve?
McLendon: Sometimes with businesses that operate on a franchise model, the franchisor is a bit in competition with the franchisee for a sale, crazy as that sounds. At Nutrishop we have solved this problem.
Our customers can shop in-store or online and enjoy a seamless experience that also supports our franchisees. We’ve invested in a sophisticated back-end system that tracks all of this to ensure franchisees don’t lose sales to NutrishopUSA.com.
One area we are looking to improve is expanding our market reach. We have stores in 23 states and are actively looking to expand nationally. We also recently partnered with 24 Hour Fitness to place Nutrishop Pro Shops in strategic club locations across the United States.
Talbot: A common observation we hear is that the pandemic has accelerated the execution of online sales capabilities by three years. Is this true with Nutrishop?
McLendon: We have certainly seen an increase in online sales, but our physical locations have remained open as we are considered an essential business. One notable difference is that we sold more wellness products than pre-workout supplements because some people weren’t going to the gym due to temporary closures.
We accelerated our e-commerce functionality, but our in-store sales remained strong.
Talbot: What are you doing to retain a customer and increase lifetime value once the customer has been acquired?
McLendon: Nutrishop is about relationships, and a relationship grows with trust.
We earn that trust by leading a client in the right direction and working with them to achieve their goals. This is how these relationships continue to grow.
Talbot: Do you have any other ideas about your marketing strategy that you would like to share?
McLendon: Our marketing strategy is centered on communication and attention to our customers and our franchisees. We provide the best possible experience, focused on reliable, cutting-edge health and fitness information and products.