Emotions and feelings; a step forward in probiotics positioningby Martin Macouzet, Ph. D. on 01/09/13
Considering the worldwide tightening of health claim regulation policies, the emotion-based-positioning approach comes forward as a suitable strategy applicable to probiotic products.
Defining the positioning strategy and goal is a delicate task that requires a good deal of intuition and multidisciplinary teamwork. Positioning is especially critical and delicate in the case of probiotic food products, given the nature of the potential health benefits. Since food products are not medicines, the benefits attributed to probiotics in foods will generally be subtle. The associated image should therefore also be subtle and compatible with the scope of the intended benefits. While scientific evidence supporting the different benefits imparted by probiotics can be used in the positioning strategy, the nature of the health benefits makes it advisable not to over-emphasize this cognitive aspect, but rather to incorporate affective elements based on emotions or feelings associated with the expected benefit.
Appropriate positioning is essential for determining the success of a new probiotic product. However, due to its soft nature, this concept is often neglected until the final steps of product development, incorporated as final adjustments to product characteristics. In the case of probiotic-containing products, this is a big mistake to be avoided at all costs. Positioning should be defined and clearly stated right from the beginning, making sure that everyone in the product development team has the same understanding, since it will guide development as well as influence and limit choices regarding formulation, packaging, validation and marketing strategy, among others.
It is often said that times of crisis are times of opportunities. If the health claims policies ere giving you a headache, then it is time to adjust your positioning strategy. This might make all the difference!
Macouzet, M. 2012. Alternatives for communicating the health benefits of probiotics. Probiotic Intelligentsia 1(2):15-27
Macouzet, M (2012). Critical aspects of developing novel food products with probiotics. Probiotic Intelligentsia 1(1):1-12