How Trust Transparency Sells Supplements

November 13, 2019

Trust transparency is at the top and bottom of every communication and blog our group posts, but we rarely talk about what the phrase really means to us in the context of dietary supplements. Trust transparency is the intersection point of trust and transparency. It is a proactive and top of mind strategic approach to create a process and value system that aligns organizations and their supply chain partners to create tangible, quantifiable ROI. In short, trust transparency is the action of making trust apparent and believing in the power of transparency. The two words are often used with an ampersand or “and” between them.

Too often, we only think of trust when it is lost or damaged, but the time to think of trust is as it being built, not when it is destroyed. One effective tool to build trust is transparency. Transparency is a tool to achieve trust and trust transparency is the action of building and maintaining trust.

Few industries can benefit from trust transparency as much as the dietary supplement industry. The industry as a whole is built upon good intentions and products aimed to promote health and wellness. All too frequently, headlines associated with the industry seems to gravitate towards the outliers and negativity. Fortunately, the majority of users believe that dietary supplements work and many understand their perceived benefits. We as an industry now have the opportunity to build upon that belief and trust to provide greater transparency explaining how and why products work. Of all the purchasing decisions consumers make, those involving supplements are some of the most important. Consumers are purchasing dietary supplements for very personal reasons, whether it’s to meet a health need or to fill nutrient deficiencies or to promote overall vitality. These products are not widgets that can be objectively reviewed against performance specification or even clothes which can be measured against actual physical measurements. These are ingestible products which make them one the most intimate purchases a consumer can make. The imperative of trust is paramount to both our responsibility and opportunity. From concept to ingestion we always, as a category, have the ability to more completely explain not only the benefits but the science and production behind the products we sell.

Consumers want to trust dietary supplement manufacturers or providers to relate and exceed their expectations, needs, wants, concerns and in some cases, have faith to alleviate their fears. They want to know how their personal concerns are being met by product and brand, and want education beyond what is found on the label or box. Consumers want to know that the promises provided by the product or service meets or exceeds expectations and is valuable – to them. Purchasing models reported by various survey organizations summarily cite three primary decision process drivers: Relate, Educate and Deliver. Fundamentally, consumers want to know they are receiving an improvement to their lives.

Trust begins with communication and connection. There needs to be a relationship established between the consumer and the product and perhaps most importantly, the brand. Consumers want their needs understood and the problems/risks solutions easily communicated, and this then translates into trust in the brands they buy. Learning what customers want has never been easier as social media now provides real-time learning opportunities ranging from Facebook to peer reviews post sale. A recent Shopper-First Retailing Report by indicated 87% of shoppers begin their product searches on digital channels. 46% of those shoppers prefer to make purchases at retail outlets for first time product buys.

Consumers want facts and education to support the solutions provided by the product or service. The establishment of trust to gain customers is well founded in almost all purchase decisions regardless of the product. The reinforcement of that trust through facts and education in the dietary supplement industry lends itself to even greater brand loyalty. Some of the most successful supplement companies focus on honest and ample consumer education with loads of additional information, presented simply and accurately, for the truly curious and discerning consumer. Another key factor is to provide free advice without any pressure of a sales pitch. Natural Factors displays their farms and provides visuals and invitations to visit them. Doctor’s Best provides a downloadable Scientific Fact Sheet for every product including Scientific references to support the claims. Bluebonnet Nutrition provides directions and actual pill size for each product. None of these companies sell product on their website. Their website’s purpose is to educate.  They get this point and do it well.

Buyer’s expect and evaluate the product performance as well as the experience of the purchase. You must deliver full promise to build loyalty. Transparency of supply chain is one of the largest opportunities to accelerate trust transparency to your consumers. The internet has provided a seemingly never-ending quest for information by the consumers. Consumers now go far beyond reading labels and care about not only what the product does but how it is made and where ingredients are sourced. Amazon Elements displays test results, country of origin and discloses the contract manufacturer. Now Foods addresses the question of Country of Origin of ingredients head on with a direct promise to test every inbound ingredient and not rely on geography to determine an ingredient’s quality or lack thereof. Companies that make credible information accessible, that are transparent and ultimately accountable will succeed. Companies that try to hide information or make it difficult for consumers will breed new ‘distrust’.

As an industry, and as individual companies, we are in one of the best categories possible, with dietary supplement consumer demanding more than just a promise in a capsule accompanied with beautiful packaging. This consumer has even higher expectations but the risk/responsibility exchange representing the trust paradigm is held in higher regard between the consumer and the manufacturer in the dietary supplement industry on the positive side, that emotional connection at purchase and beyond, and on the negative side, the possible severity of a breach of trust. Trust is an asset to all of us, and it is up to all of us to keep that value proposition top of mind in all that is promised and all that we create and communicate. While each person may define trust in the dietary supplement industry differently, the industry must define it with consistently higher value and application because that is what our consumers expect and need.


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Lori Diez

Lori Diez combines compassion and excellence to lead organizations to their next level. A small-town Texas childhood taught her the value of hard work and relationships, which she uses to foster teamwork that brings results that have transformed cultures and programs to their highest potential. Her successful career in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sales leadership and event hosting has prepared her to deliver results as the COO of TrustTransparency, where she uses her industry knowledge to ensure that the company’s operations run smoothly as they support nutraceutical companies in their mission to help others. Lori’s passion for charity reflects her belief that individuals working together can change the world, no matter how small their contribution to the effort. This year, she looks forward to continuing over a decade of service at the Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo, where she will be the Chairman of the Livestock Committee.

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Glynnda Steinford

Glynnda Steinford, Trust Transparency Consulting’s Director of Customer Relations, brings over four decades of healthcare experience to her vital role in client engagement and relationship building. Her diverse background spans from administering medical groups to impactful stints in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sales, all underlined by her degree in Healthcare Administration.

At the heart of Glynnda’s work is her talent for nurturing long-term connections, a skill she leverages to enhance client experiences and partnerships within the consultancy. Beyond her professional commitments, she enjoys life’s simple pleasures, whether it’s her love for cats and cooking or her ventures into golf, always prioritizing cherished moments with family and friends. Her personal interests echo the dedication and warmth she extends in her professional network, making her an invaluable asset to the team.

Caiti Dowden

Caiti Dowden stands as a crucial pillar at Trust Transparency Consulting, bringing invaluable insight and expertise to her role as Senior Executive Assistant’ since her start in 2018. With an academic background from Sam Houston University and a career shift from education to the nutraceutical sphere in 2010, Caiti has cultivated a sharp acumen for dissecting industry trends and bolstering strategic decision-making.

Her transition from Data Analyst reflects her growth and deep understanding of the business landscape. Caiti’s commitment goes beyond professional excellence; she thrives on balance, drawing from her rich life outside of work to enhance her organizational contributions. Whether it’s family time, volunteering, or rooting for Houston’s sports teams, she believes in embracing experiences to fuel her professional creativity and insight.

In her current role, Caiti’s dedication to dynamic business analysis and operational support proves her to be an irreplaceable asset to our team, embodying the synergy of personal enrichment and professional success.

Pam Hilpert

Pam Hilpert, Chief of Staff at Trust Transparency Consulting, has been instrumental in the firm since its inception, leveraging her 17 years of accounting experience, including a significant tenure in the nutrition sector. Her collaboration with Scott Steinford spans various successful ventures, emphasizing her integral role in the company’s financial and strategic initiatives.

An alumnus of Sam Houston State University, Pam holds degrees in both Business Administration and Accounting, as well as an MBA, adding academic heft to her practical industry insights. Beyond her professional prowess, Pam is passionate about family, enjoys live music, delves into quilting, and volunteers at her church, reflecting her well-rounded life.

Her multifaceted expertise and longstanding dedication make Pam a cornerstone of Trust Transparency Consulting’s operational strength and team unity.

Scott Steinford

Scott Steinford, a trailblazer in strategic leadership, boasts a certified M&A background, having navigated companies from their genesis to industry prominence. His brainchild, Trust Transparency Consulting, born in 2007, stands as a testament to his dedication to ethical business practices and strategic foresight, offering industry stakeholders invaluable guidance.

Beyond founding and steering companies, Scott has enriched the business landscape with his insightful keynotes and prolific written contributions, emphasizing his commitment to elevating industry standards. His executive tenure shines in roles as CEO or President of for-profits like ZMC-USA and Doctor’s Best, extending to significant contributions in non-profit sectors.

Notably, Scott’s influence is a driving force in the CoQ10 market, where his leadership has significantly bolstered the ingredient’s global presence. His roles in various capacities, including as a New Hope Ambassador, keep the community informed, providing in-depth industry reports and insights.

An active advocate within professional associations and an Editorial Advisor for leading industry publications, Scott’s expertise is both recognized and sought after. With academic roots in Pre-Law and a Master’s in Law, his journey transcends textbooks, embodying real-world business acumen and transformative leadership.

Scott Steinford merges visionary entrepreneurship with principled leadership, creating a legacy of innovation, growth, and unwavering commitment to industry excellence.