by Matt Weik
When you think of legacy supplement brands, names like MET-Rx, Gaspari, Labrada, and MHP probably cross your mind. These brands have been around for what seems like forever, but many consumers aren’t purchasing their products or even prefer them today. Why is that? Have legacy supplement brands lost their luster or their creativity? Maybe both? Maybe there are other reasons? Let’s discuss this.
Note: The brands I’m going to mention and seemingly pick apart I have no personal issue with. They are simply being used as an example as to what I’m trying to get across. There is no ill-will and I hope they can look at my viewpoints and opinions as constructive criticism.
Legacy Supplement Brands Are Missing the Boat in Many Areas
There are many areas I feel legacy supplement brands are completely missing their mark and it’s costing them sales and relevancy. Below are some of the issues I see (in no particular order).
Social Media Relevancy
The first thing all legacy supplement brands need to do is grow not only their following on social media but also their engagement. If brands are not building a community surrounding their brand, they WILL be left behind. In today’s age, EVERYONE is on social media and it’s where most people get their news and updates regarding changes in the industry.
Looking at Gaspari and their Instagram page, they have a total of 143K followers at the time I’m writing this article. To be honest, that’s a good number of followers for a supplement brand. Are there brands with a larger following? Absolutely. But then again you have brands like MET-Rx who only have 23K (which is quite horrible for a brand that size). Heck, even MHP (another old-school brand) has 116K followers.
But getting back to Gaspari and their Instagram page, with the number of followers they have, their engagement is terrible. Of their 143K followers, they’re only getting around 300-400 likes per post and their comments are in the low single-digits. They need to make some changes to get people (followers) more involved with the brand and excited to see their posts pop up in their feed.
With social media and branding relevancy, it’s out of sight out of mind. You need to do whatever you can to continually build your community on social media which in turn can help build sales.
There are newer brands out there building their brand from the ground up using social media (without needs to spend thousands on marketing campaigns). Look at what Ghost Lifestyle is doing with their platforms. They are building a community of diehard fans and followers who actually engage with their social posts and have drastically grown their brand simply by leveraging social media.
Maybe the best example is what 1st Phorm is doing. 910K followers on Instagram and they are getting thousands of likes and hundreds of comments on their posts. Think social media isn’t worth your time if you’re one of the legacy supplement brands? Think again.
Innovation and Industry Authority
This one pains me to no end. I mean, it hurts me to my soul. Some legacy supplement brands are sitting back with their feet up on the desk like they’re still relevant these days. That simply their name is supposed to keep selling their brand. I know firsthand that this is accurate with at least one brand.
When I worked for MET-Rx (for nearly a decade), I would speak with retailers and sports teams and they’d look at me like I was a ghost. Most of the time when I would introduce myself the response I would receive would be, “You guys are still around?” That’s never a good first response following an introduction. So, why is that? It’s because they aren’t doing anything to innovate, create excitement surrounding the brand, or maintain their authority in the industry like they once had. They think their brand name still means something – unfortunately, it doesn’t and in the health and fitness (specialty) space their brand is on life-support.
Back in the ‘90s, everyone knew who MET-Rx and EAS were. Well, MET-Rx seems to be following in EAS’ footsteps and we all know how that ended for EAS. There’s no innovation. Their newest “innovation” and hype was a new protein powder called MET-Rx Metamyosyn. Sure, it tastes good, but that’s it? That’s the best you got? A boring protein product that mimics a Metamyosyn blend you used 25 years ago? *facepalm*
Look, I’m not saying that every month legacy supplement brands need to be launching new products. But the fact is, many of them when they DO release something “new” it’s just another me-too product that is currently on the market and overly saturated. It’s like someone told them, “Hey, did you forget about egg protein? You should probably launch your own.” Cool idea – 10 years ago.
There are so many brands launching new pre-workouts with new and innovative patented ingredients, new products with ingredients backed by new research, and it’s leaving legacy supplement brands in the dust. It’s time these legacy supplement brands step up their game or they could be walking down the same path and result that EAS found themselves in. And that’s closing their doors – for good.