The value chain starts in the mind of the consumer

How HMT was founded to bridge science to consumers

Healthy Marketing Team was founded to bridge the gap between science and consumer understanding, emphasizing the critical role of consumers in the value chain. Our mission is to work with change-makers in bringing health and sustainability to the market. Our guiding principle, the FourFactors® methodology, helps our clients navigate the complex landscape of consumer decision-making and innovation in the area of food, health and sustainability.

This article summarises the podcast interview between HMT’s founder Peter Wennström and the Nutra-Preneur Podcast host Bethany Jolley. See the link below.

The starting point: bridging science to consumers 

In the 1990s, we observed how consumers perceived health in relation to food and pharma. This coincided with the rise of functional foods, which aimed to enrich ordinary products with scientifically proven ingredients that deliver health benefits. However, the functional food stakeholders were very science-driven and we saw how the science focus became a problem, as scientists lacked understanding of how to reach the consumer with their new innovation. Many big companies started to work with functional foods, and many companies failed. Simply because they were not applying the right model. We concluded that there is a territory between food and pharma – health and nutrition. This was the start of The Healthy Marketing Team and our model The FourFactors® – a simple model that explains the mind of the consumer to a professor or scientist to help them understand how to communicate their new science and health benefits to consumers. 

The value chain starts in the mind of the consumer

The FourFactors® were created based on the fundamental principle that “the value chain starts in the mind of the consumer, at the point of purchase” and understanding the decision factors that go through the mind of the consumer at the point of purchase. It is grounded in four key decision factors we identified through research: the need for the product, acceptance of the ingredients, understanding the benefits, and trust in the brand. These factors determine a purchase decision, which often occurs in a matter of seconds. Failing to address these factors can lead to disqualification of your brand by the consumer. 

Moreover, we have expanded our understanding to include how innovation diffuses, which we now call the FourFactors® Brand Acceleration System. This system helps you navigate the complex terrain of innovation and ensures that you position your brand effectively within the market by connecting trends, consumer segments, and brand positioning.

This reinforces our founding purpose, emphasizing the importance of understanding the consumer and acknowledging that there isn’t just one type of consumer. Something many often tend to forget when working on a new innovation, product, ingredient or brand. Because, if the consumer does not get your innovation, you go wrong. You fail. 

Create purpose-drive change, together with our clients

Our mission is to create change in collaboration with our clients. We have always partnered with change-makers, initially in the area of health and now, increasingly, in sustainability. Our clients are the true change-makers, and our role is to provide them with the tools they need to maximize the success of their innovations. We are dedicated to bringing both health and sustainability to the market, recognizing that this often comes with its own set of challenges, such as consumer scepticism, health or greenwashing, and regulatory constraints. To overcome these barriers, companies need to work smartly and efficiently, fostering alignment within their teams. A strong internal culture that believes in the company’s mission is critical to achieving success.

Company culture can make or break a good innovation

The success of an innovation is deeply intertwined with a company’s culture. It’s essential to align your company culture with your brand and market positioning. Mismatches can occur if, for instance, a traditional company culture attempts to create innovations for early adopters as the company culture does not allow this. In contrast, when we work with purpose-driven lifestyle brands, we see their internal culture as the birthplace of change. In these cases, the founder, management team, and all employees play a crucial role in driving innovation and being the change they want to bring to the world. Thus, a company’s culture can either make or break a good innovation.

Benefit laddering to remove the regulatory constraints

To navigate the often-restrictive world of health claims and regulations, we advocate a three-level approach to benefits: functional, intellectual, and emotional. Instead of relying solely on rational health claims, companies can create compelling stories around their products, ingredients or innovations. These stories convey the product’s impact to consumers without the explicit need to make health claims. This approach not only facilitates communication but also fosters alignment within cross-functional teams, enabling sales, marketing and R&D to speak a common language—the language of the consumer.

So how does this now support our clients?

We support our clients in two main ways. Firstly, clients often approach us with specific challenges, seeking assistance in refining their positioning or creating growth platforms, especially when entering new markets. Secondly, we offer training on our methodology, providing clients with the tools, structure, and framework necessary to make strategic decisions. We guide them through a step-by-step decision-making process, referred to as “strategic road mapping,” where we guide them through a number of questions starting from where are you today? Where do you want to go? And how do you get there? Throughout this process, the FourFactors® methodology serves as a guiding and alignment tool, ensuring that every member of the team speaks a consumer-centric language, from sales and marketing to R&D.

“Brands live in the mind of the consumer”

Nutrapreneur podcast successful nutraceutical branding

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If you are curious to know more 
Watch the podcast on “How Successful Nutraceutical Branding Happens”

About Nutra-Preneur:
Nutra Preneur is a business show for the nutra-industry. The podcast features in-depth interviews with the entrepreneurs, professionals and technologists who are enabling the next generation of nutraceutical businesses to innovate and grow.

Maximise the success of your next product launch!

The FourFactors® Methodology is a consumer-centric strategic innovation framework based on >20 years of success and failure analysis in the global healthy foods, beverages and dietary supplements market.

The purpose of The FourFactors® Brand Acceleration System is to give you the tools to connect trends with categories and consumer segments with your brands and products in an interactive model that supports your decisions. Avoid failure, to minimise risk and maximise success!

FourFactors of Success