The Boston, Massachusetts-based company launched its first product (Force Factor for the sports nutrition sector) in April 2009, and now has over 100 products available online and in more than 40,000 retail stores including GNC, CVS, and Walmart. The key to success has been the company’s paid-for online campaigns that put billions of ad impressions in front of consumers, which generates wholesale demand.
“Most natural products companies are not tech companies, and most tech companies are not in the natural products space,” explained Daniel Wallace, CEO of NutraClick. “We play at a unique intersection.”
Wallace explained that the company prides itself on educating consumers online about products in a way that is unusual for a natural products business. “We've found that creating long-form educational content before we even get to the point that we're trying to sell our product, is really beneficial, particularly from a direct response standpoint.” Consumers need to be educated need education not only about a specific product, but also about an entire product category, he said.
“We’re not waiting for people to go to Google to type in a search term,” said Wallace, “we’re advertising in places like Yahoo News.” The company has sought to tailor its strategy to find the best places to put its online display ads. Making that decision is done with the aid of the company’s proprietary technology that measures audience metrics, and every aspect of the ad is scrutinized, from image selection, to copy, to placement.
“Once someone clicks on that ad we’ll talk to them in general terms about natural solutions to a select health condition, and then we’ll walk them through the advantages of the product,” he said. “We take a very informative position, and only later in the sales process do we talk specifically about the product.”
It all adds up to billions of impressions a month and a highly agile platform and decision-making process, Wallace said.
“We undoubtedly built a unique platform. Some smaller companies are trying to replicate the success, but we don’t think we have any significant competitors.” The company is almost exclusively in the digital space, but is also currently exploring the potential of radio and television.
The company was recently ranked #58 on the “America’s Most Promising Companies” list by Forbes magazine, and Wallace was named as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 Award in the New England Region. The company’s product offerings (Force Factor, Peak Life, Stages of Beauty, Femme Factor, and ProbioSlim) extend into multiple health and wellness categories.
NutraClick products are available direct-to-consumer throughout the US, and also in the UK, Australia, and Canada, he said. Many products are also available through GNC franchise stores in a number of different markets.
So what’s next for this five year old company? “We’re building a multi-product, multi-channel, multi-geography platform,” said Wallace. “We’re expanding internationally and expanding domestically into new channels. The entire system works cohesively resulting in widespread consumer awareness of our branded products.”