How to responsibly promote the health and wellness benefits of your products.
With the rise in consumer demand for so-called health and wellness products AND sustainable solutions, every company wants to say they have the answer—and every shopper wants to believe they can find simple, affordable and easy solutions to their challenges. But, unfortunately, unsubstantiated claims run rampant in the sleep industry and beyond. There are credible, do-good brands too, and the market for authenticity is holding companies more accountable to their statements—but factors like limited regulation on claims, social platforms that obscure brand names and other marketing tactics can easily obscure the truth. This story aims to establish why so many claims fall through the cracks, while also highlighting brands and companies doing the hard work of conducting real research and developing products and solutions based on data.
First of all, how do so many false or unsubstantiated claims slip through the cracks?
Essentially, in the US there are two government agencies that are responsible for reviewing products: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Because there are so many claims products out there, both entities have to prioritize ensuring that no product, food or drug will physically harm someone. They simply don’t have the bandwidth to police every product that says it will stop snoring but doesn’t—as long as no one is physically harmed by the product, it’s not likely to be a huge priority. This can kind of leave the consumer to fend for themselves when it comes to determining if a product is worth their money or not. Which is why Mashable recently started a column called “Does It Work?” where editors do just that: decide if products actually work. It’s the first editorial product of its kind and it speaks to the need to cut through the noise and find the authentic products on the market today.
Today’s consumers should not be underestimated and the value system is shifting big time.
The consumer of today is resourceful and a little better at seeing behind the curtain. They are much more intent on living out their values with their wallets, avoiding companies that spread false claims and investing in brands that do align with their values. Most brands are aware of this and while false claims continue to proliferate, so too do more authentic companies utilizing research to back up their claims. More companies are bringing sleep scientists and dedicated research teams on board, or at the very least developing clear and transparent reports to back up sustainability claims.
Here are a few companies that are delivering transparent, data-backed claims in compelling ways:
Naturepedic has long been a leader in delivering a truly organic, safe and sustainable products, but in recent years the brand has gotten increasingly skilled at advocating for safer sleep in creative ways and delivering comprehensive and approachable information for consumer audiences. Using safe sleep campaigns and partnerships, teaming up with brand aligned organizations and reporting on its sustainability efforts, Naturepedic is marketing its products in an increasingly authentic way that is more likely to convert than a marketing strategy that uses vague claims to attract consumers.
Takeaways – what is Naturepedic doing best?
- Choosing a clear and specific niche that makes sense for the brand. Naturepedic is really true to itself and is extremely consistent with its values and that resonates with conscientious consumers.
Sleepscore has its own sleep improvement app, but the company also identifies itself as an applied sleep company that partners with brands to strengthen the science behind products and limit the unsubstantiated claims floating around the market. The company boasts a full slate of sleep scientists and researchers that help inform and evaluate sleep products.
The company is very blunt on its website with a button that reads “Why Trust Us” and details its mission, vision as well as the credentials of its leadership.
Takeaways – what is Sleepscore doing best?
- Emphasizing science and research. Sleepscore has positioned itself as a sleep advocate rather than simply an app company. It’s more of a research organization that anything else and that gives it credibility.
Sleep Number Corporation (SNBR) recently announced new studies using its 360 smart bed at World Sleep 2022, the international meeting of the World Sleep Society in Rome. First, Sleep Number presented results a study showing the potential of an algorithm to detect sleep stages in real-time using cardiac data gathered from its 360 smart bed. The company also presented results of a prediction model for influenza-like illnesses and a study to potentially detect sleep disorders like insomnia. These studies further demonstrate the potential research capabilities of the 360 smart bed to accurately assess and monitor sleep in a non-invasive, longitudinal way, while also delivering effortless, proven quality sleep. SNBR is taking its capabilities and using them for interesting and important research ends that could make a real difference and that’s commendable.
Takeaways – what is Sleep Number doing best?
- Being creative and practical with its research. SNBR has a product that can gather valuable information and seems to be working hard to use that data for broader good. It’s also interesting work!