There is a broad foundation of design knowledge that transcends all niches. Then there are a few niches that are so specific they have their own design essentials.
The natural health and wellness niche is one of these specific target audiences that has special needs few designers consider.
Why it’s Different
What makes natural health so special?
Let’s look at the shopping habits of two different consumers.
The traditional shopper quickly browses the aisles of the grocery store. He might stop to compare ingredients between Product A and Product B. But when all things are equal, the traditional shopper will usually go with the most economical option.
The natural health shopper is more interested in doing business with companies that match their values, not the ones that meet their needs. That means she will check the ingredients, but she will also scrutinize the label and marketing copy with a fine tooth comb.
The Ideal Situation
Ideally, when you design for a natural health or wellness client, three things will happen:
1. Consumers will come to recognize the name of the company and the products they offer by the design, tag line, or logo you create.
Here is a bad example of designing for a natural health client.
Tiger Nuts does not sell nuts. Confused? Yeah, so are we.
Here are two good examples.
Enjoy Life sells all those yummy things people with food allergies usually can’t have—brownies, cookies, etc. Their name, combined with their logo, pretty much says it all.
Blue Bear Aware sells products that help make other people aware of a child’s food allergy. Most of the products are blue items of clothing. Get it?!
2. Consumers will be able to associate your client’s products or company with a specific thought or feeling.
For example, a vitamin B12 supplier uses their blog to point out the effects their product has on proper brain development. When consumers use these vitamin B12 injections, they will reflect on all the positive things taking place inside their body. In lieu of such a blog post, your design can do the same thing. Help customers visualize their healthy, ideal life courtesy of vitamin B12 injections.
3. Not only will consumers begin to recognize the brand, they will come to prefer it over the competition.
What You Need to Do
Here we go. The put-it-into-practice information you’ve been waiting for!
1. Spy on the Competition
As we mentioned before, you want consumers to prefer this company over all the others. Therefore, it makes sense that you must know what all the other companies are doing.
Identify who the biggest competitors are. What are they doing? How will your design vary from what’s already been done? How can you help your client stand out from the crowd?
2. Wear Your Heart on Your Sleeve
Natural health customers want to find a company that matches their values. Therefore, the company’s values have quickly become its biggest selling feature.
Make sure you design highlights those values. Go past traditional industry buzz words—like fair trade, organic, all-natural, eco-friendly, raw, vegan, etc. Really get to the heart of what the company is about.
3. Be Passionate
People relate to passion. In this niche, passion is what makes the sale. If your client loves something, let consumers know. They’ll want to share the passion too.
4. Choose a Target Audience…and Stick to It
Some of the most successful brands in the world are the ones that have a very narrow target audience. Their ideal customer is so specialized, it seems impossible that anyone actually fits into the mold.
When you try to appeal to everyone, you actually attract no one. Choose your target audience wisely—and stick with that particular audience.
Do you remember that old high school sweetheart? The one you were determined to change? If only he/she would do this, this and this, you’d have the ideal mate. Do you remember how that tactic blew up in your face?
The same applies here. Don’t waste your time and effort on people who aren’t believers.
5. Change Your Mindset
Now that we’ve saturated this article with the word “consumers,” remove it entirely from your vocabulary.
The natural health industry isn’t about mindless consumption. And its members won’t thank you for seeing them as merely a source of profits.
Rather, think of them as participants. Invite these participants to join your client in the natural health revolution. By establishing relationships and encouraging collaboration, you’ll create brand advocates that will do a much better job than you ever could.
If you are ready to design for a natural health client, add these tips to your already fabulous skill set.