IMG’S Jeff Hilton to Speak at Engredea 2013

Session Focused on Trends and Opportunities in Personalized Health Care

Jeff Hilton, Integrated Marketing Group co-founder and partner, will speak at Engredea 2013 on personalized health care and how manufacturers and suppliers can make the most of this new paradigm shift.

Hilton will present “The Evolution of Personalized Health Care: Trends and Opportunities” on Saturday, March 9, at 9 a.m. PST in the Anaheim Marriott Grand Salon CD in Anaheim, CA. Attendees will learn how to prosper and profit from this important shift in the healthcare landscape.

“Health care is becoming increasingly targeted and condition-driven, especially as costs escalate and obesity is running rampant,” Hilton said. “Manufacturers and health providers will play a critical role in the transition to a more personalized health care delivery, and it’s imperative for channel partners to understand how to best leverage these changes to their optimal benefits.”

About IMG and Jeff Hilton:
Jeff Hilton is partner and co-founder of Integrated Marketing Group (IMG), a marketing consultancy focused in the healthy lifestyles category, and specializing in strategic planning, branding, public relations and Web design and development. Hilton has been recognized by Advertising Age as one of America’s Top 100 Marketers and has more than 30 years of broad-based business experience, including more than 20 years spent within the natural products industry. Hilton is the recipient of Nutrition Business Journal’s (NBJ) Personal Service Award in recognition for his multiple outreach efforts including editorial contributions, pro-bono work and webinar and speaking engagements within the healthy lifestyles industry. Visit the IMG blog for Hilton’s branding articles and educational resources at

About Engredea 2013:
Engredea brings together the community of leading suppliers and manufacturers to source new ingredients, packaging, technologies, equipment, and services in the global nutrition industry. Engredea, co-located with Natural Products Expo West, is the only tradeshow that brings together the full food chain of supply to shelf. Engredea, held March 7-10 in Anaheim, CA, cultivates innovation for tomorrow’s best-selling products across food/ beverage, dietary supplement and nutricosmetic categories by offering hundreds of exhibits, formulation demos, networking events and education opportunities for the industry. For more information about Engredea and its educational sessions, visit

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IMG’S Jeff Hilton to Speak at Wellness ’13

Jeff Hilton, Integrated Marketing Group co-founder and partner, will co-present on understanding and reaching teens at Wellness 13, a conference sponsored by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

Hilton and Barbara Katz, president of Health Focus International, will discuss “Teens from the Top Down: A Consumer Panel” on Feb. 27 during the conference’s General Session Live Stream. A live, moderated panel of teenagers from the Chicago area will join the discussion to speak about their attitudes and shopping behaviors.

The session will focus on the important competing factors in the life of U.S. high schoolers (15-17), including what they think about school, dating, family, finances, health, and nutrition. A key takeaway will be how food manufacturers can realistically formulate and market appealing, healthful products that meet teens’ demands.

“Teens live by eight paradigms, and building marketing strategies around them is critical in reaching this audience,” Hilton said. “For example, teens believe life is one big experiment. They embrace social media and learn online. Manufacturers and marketers need to better understand how teens manage their everyday lives, make decisions relating to health and wellness, and how they may influence what their parents buy.

“Do they pay attention to labels and read nutritional information? Do they eat differently when by themselves or with friends than when they are with family? Food and beverage companies should know the answers to these questions,” he added.

The session is scheduled for 10:05 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. CST, and is part of more than three hours of online curriculum. The General Session Live Stream also includes the opening keynote session and a general education session on child obesity. To register for the live session, visit

About IMG and Jeff Hilton:
Jeff Hilton is partner and co-founder of Integrated Marketing Group (IMG), a marketing consultancy focused in the healthy lifestyles category, and specializing in strategic planning, branding, public relations and Web design and development. Hilton has been recognized by Advertising Age as one of America’s Top 100 Marketers and has more than 30 years of broad-based business experience, including more than 20 years spent within the natural products industry. Hilton is the recipient of Nutrition Business Journal’s (NBJ) Personal Service Award in recognition for his multiple outreach efforts including editorial contributions, pro-bono work and webinar and speaking engagements within the healthy lifestyles industry. Visit the IMG blog for Hilton’s branding articles and educational resources at

About Barbara Katz:
Ms. Katz is a seasoned marketing and consumer research professional with more than 25 years of experience in the health and wellness, food, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology industries. Having worked with brands in many countries, she provides a global perspective on consumer insights and branding. She spent the first 10 years of her career in food ingredient sales and marketing at Sensient Technology before founding a company that focused on developing brands for moms and kids using a unique, in-depth ethnographic methodology for obtaining insights into the needs of young people. She is the president of Health Focus International, a market research and strategic consulting firm that focuses on consumer health and nutrition needs. Ms. Katz applies Health Focus data to support strategic decision making for industry, academia, and government institutions.

About Wellness 13:
Wellness 13 is the leading event for professionals in R&D, brand management, regulatory compliance, sales, and government who are committed to learning what it takes to successfully develop and market healthful foods that resonate with today’s—and tomorrow’s—consumers. It is being held Feb. 27-28 at the InterContinental Chicago O’Hare in Rosemont, IL.

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Ida Baghoomian Joins IMG as Senior PR Counsel

SALT LAKE CITY, January 30, 2013 — Ida Baghoomian, a communications professional with more than 20 years of both agency and management experience, has joined Integrated Marketing Group as Senior PR Counsel.

Ida has a unique blend of industry experience, including geotechnical/environmental engineering, high-technology start-ups, and healthcare manufacturing. Her passion for the healthcare industry and its impact on “quality of life” are what precipitated her becoming part of the IMG team. “Ida’s considerable healthcare expertise, which span both B2B and B2C channels, provides IMG with a depth of knowledge that will greatly enhance our ability to promote and represent our clients in this rapidly evolving marketplace,” said Jeff Hilton, IMG President and Co-founder.

Prior to joining IMG, Ida spent nine years at Ultradent Products Inc. – a leading developer of high-tech dental materials – in various marketing and public relations roles. In her most recent role as lead public relations strategist, she worked on campaigns that addressed healthcare practitioners and two of the company’s premier consumer products, teeth whitening and pediatric dental sealants.

She obtained a M.S. in organization communications from The University of Utah, and has most recently served on the advisory boards for the Journal of American Dental Association and Sealants for Smiles, a non-profit organization that provides school-based oral health education and dental sealants to underserved children.

About Integrated Marketing Group
Integrated Marketing Group is a marketing consultancy focused in the healthy lifestyles category, specializing in strategic planning, branding, public relations and Web design and development. Its principals have created a marketing firm with a diverse background of creative development and strategic planning skills to serve the healthy lifestyles, food and personal care industries. For more information, or for branding resources, visit Follow us on Twitter @IMG_Branding or Facebook.
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IMG CMO Jeff Hilton to speak at upcoming events in natural products industry

Join Jeff Hilton at these upcoming events for insight into current marketing trends and strategic turns.

Wellness 2013 – Feb 27, 2013. “The Total Teen: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Teen Life Choices” This talk will be streamed live on the IFT website for a nominal fee.

Expo West – March 9, 2013.“Trends in Health Practitioner Channel Marketing.”

Healthy Practitioner Marketing Forum – April 4, 2013. “Trends in Health Practitioner Channel Marketing.”

 SupplySide MarketPlace – April 30 – May 2, 2013. SupplySide Why Presentation.

Healthy Beverage Expo – June 8, 2013. “Functional Revolution: Marketing Trends in the Healthy and Functional Beverage Category.”

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How Hard Is Your Packaging
Working for Your Brand?

Trust in packaging

Build Consumer Loyalty & Trust with Cognitive Ease.

In 1999, Amazon redesigned their brand identity in a way that greatly enhanced what psychologists call “cognitive ease.” The new logo includes a graphic device that connects the a to the z. The device forms a cheeky smile with a dimple that pushes up the z. The dimpled smile also shows up by itself on the brown shipper boxes that ship Amazon’s products out into the world.

What is cognitive ease, and how do smiles, and other graphic devices, increase it? Cognitive ease is a state in which things look familiar and feel good. This state, in turn, increases trust and loyalty. Smiles are a case in point. They subconsciously increase positive affect (good mood) and, in turn, prime customers to feel more trusting and loyal than they would otherwise.

To understand how something as simple as a smile can affect mood and purchasing decisions, package designers would do well to read Daniel Kahnemann’s treasure trove of psychological research, Thinking, Fast and Slow. In the book, Kahnemann suggests that we have two different ways of thinking. The first way (what he calls System 1) is fast, automatic and largely unconscious. It can detect hostility in a voice and can effortlessly complete the sentence “bread and ….”. We use System 1 because the other way of thinking, rational logical processing, is slow and feels like hard work.  Just try to multiply 23 by 17 in your head. In order to avoid unnecessary hard work, the brain constantly monitors whether anything is amiss. When alerted to risk or danger, System 2 kicks in (you felt it working if you tried the multiplication problem). This part of the brain results in different customer behavior. It causes us to be more analytical, more vigilant in our thinking. We question stories that we would otherwise unreflectively accept as true because they are facile and coherent. If put on alert, customers become more vigilant about reading labels and comparing ingredients. They do the math and figure out the unit price. They may even notice what’s not included on the principal display panel (PDP).


Incorporating cognitive ease in packaging

To keep shoppers out of System 2 skepticism and put them back in System 1 trust mode, package designers need to remember two things:

  1. Use a clear display
  2. Prime a good mood

Clear Display

When laying out messages you want consumers to believe, make sure the text is clearly legible and easy to read. Cognitive psychologists have conducted research on what they call “Truth Illusions,” which test the believability of statements that vary only in how legible they are. Compare the following two statements:

Product X supports brain health.

Product X supports brain health.

Experiments have shown that the first is more likely to be believed. Additional tests revealed that highly contrasting colors between the copy and the packaging background also increased both legibility and believability.  More muted tones and smaller fonts demand greater cognitive effort and, in turn, made label readers more skeptical.

When designing the packaging for Schiff Nutrition’s new product, Mega Red, the IMG team focused on creating a clear, believable PDP display. The team designed a custom type treatment to increase contrast and emphasize key messages. In addition to the font choice, the team punched up the contrast with a bold red and white color scheme, which it carried throughout all marketing materials. Numbers were also used to give consumers a faster read of key information. These reinforcements proved helpful in building confidence and increasing belief in the product’s efficacy. MegaRed is still one of Schiff Nutrition’s highest selling brands because consumers believe the product works.













Tip: To increase believability of claims, increase the legibility of key messages.

Another factor of a clear display is to boil down information for customers and include the most important messages on the PDP. While this may seem self-explanatory, a simple move like including key ingredients on the front of the label in a large easy-to-read font helps customers feel informed without them having to turn the bottle over and dig out their reading glasses.

When the IMG team designed the LifeSeasons product line, we deliberately placed the key ingredients on the front panel, while removing as many distract messages as possible. After the line launched, sales reps from Whole Foods and Sprouts markets commented that the inclusion of key ingredients on the PDP made it easier to explain product benefits to consumers. Consumer feedback indicated that consumers liked knowing which ingredients to pay attention to when purchasing a joint health product, for example, and used the information on the LifeSeasons labels to compare competing products.  “This one’s got everything I need in it,” represents the most common consumer response to the LifeSeasons product line.

Tip: Maintain a clean template that focuses consumer attention on key messages.

Prime a good mood

Priming works because our memories associate ideas.  For example, if asked to complete the word fragment SO_P, what you see right before that fragment will greatly influence you. If you see the word EAT, you’re more likely to complete it with the word SOUP. If you see the word WASH, you are more likely to complete it with the word SOAP. Primes can influence mood as well as word choice. Positive affect primes include smiles, humor, fun, puppies, babies, play, and flowers. These elements all put customers in a good mood.

So, just how does mood impact shopping? After customers were primed with a smile (even when the smile was forced by making them bite a pencil between their front teeth), they paid less attention to details, anticipated fewer problems, and tended to like products better. On the other hand, induced frowns caused them to question claims and become more analytical in their thinking.

Here’s an example of how IKEA worked both a smiley face (using the negative space under the crab) and a dose of fun into a new package design for this crab food paste.

Tip: Want them to buy your product? Put a smile on their face.

Smiles aren’t the only indicators of good mood. Romance also increases consumer feelings of well-being. When IMG designed the packaging for Sibu Beauty, we romanced the main ingredient, sea buckthorn berries, with a custom illustration that looked much better than the real thing. The berries glow with health and the leaves lend the entire illustration an exotic air.

Tip: Romance consumers into a good mood with illustrations and photos that glow with goodness.


Much more could be said about the wealth of research that reveals the effects of cognitive ease and priming on consumer behavior. Without getting too bogged down in details, packaging designers can do much to improve the believability of their messages by making those messages (1) easy to read and (2) easy to like. After all, getting consumers to fill in the blank is easy as pi_.

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Common mistakes marketers make… And how to avoid them

Jeff Hilton identifies major marketing shifts and key strategies for staying connected and relevant.

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Ever Know Someone Who Claimed They COULDN’T Do Marketing

Your brand message is only as good as it is effective. Marketers can often make mistakes, everything from being socially irresponsible with Facebook and Twitter to choosing creative approaches that resonate with them personally and not the target audience. Join Integrated Marketing Group founder and CMO, Jeff Hilton on Thursday November 8th at the SupplySide Why Stage at 12:15. For 10 minutes Jeff will speak to the live audience at SupplySide Why about the “Common Mistakes Marketers Make” and suggests ways to avoid them. He will show the audience WHY it is important to:

1) Have a tactical social media strategy prior to fishing for “likes” and creating tweets

2) Create a communications and advertising platform that speaks to the target audience and not just yourself

3) Let your audience engage with your marketing and embrace that paradigm shift

Don’t let a mis-step deep-six your marketing efforts. Jeff’s insights will keep you entertained and engaged.

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Nestle & GM to cut sugar and salt in cereals outside North America

Food marketing often focuses as much on what’s omitted as what’s included. The latest announcement about what a food DOES NOT contain comes from cereal giants Nestle and General Mills; they have committed to reducing the sugar and salt content of 20 popular children’s cereals by 2015. The two companies currently market cereals together outside of the US and Canada in a joint venture called Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW). CPW is responding to general health concerns over rising obesity rates in children, noting that many mothers are refusing to buy breakfast cereals for their children because of the high sugar and salt content. What will they add instead? CPW’s Chief Executive Jeffrey Harmening declares the reformulations will boost more whole grains and higher calcium levels. For more information, check out Emma Thomasson’s blog post in the Agricultural Commodities section at

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Illegal claims: What your ad agency doesn’t know could hurt you

Denied? Read about new FDA policies on imgbranding.comOctober 3, 2012 the FDA announced the results of their review of 127 weight-loss and immune health dietary supplement brands. Over 20% were boasting illegal claims and others lacked the scientific evidence to back their legal claims. Companies marketing those brands receive 14 days to remove the offending and/or unsubstantiated claims or face shut down. What kind of claims did the FDA find?

Here’s a few:

  • “Eat all you want! Block the starch and lose weight!”
  • “This advanced dietary-fat inhibitor helps block the absorption of fat calories.”
  • “Say goodbye to sniffles. This herbal blend stops cold and flu symptoms before they can spread.”

Other brands purported to cure cancer and treat HIV, which is strictly prohibited. As for scientific backing? Some referred FDA agents to Wikipedia, press releases, and their own ads. The most distressing aspect of this crack down is not that the FDA is policing supplement companies (most companies welcome the regulation), it’s the effect such claims have on consumer perception of the dietary supplement industry as a whole. Another unfortunate effect is that well-meaning companies read these exaggerated claims and, uneducated as to the exact restrictions, end up making illegal claims themselves.

So, what can you say, and what science is needed to back it up? I highly recommend working with an ad agency that knows how to navigate the intricate maze of guidelines listed in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). As the senior copywriter for an agency that specializes in natural products, my greatest challenge is often how to communicate the real, proven health benefits of a product without breaking DSHEA law. Here’s a few common challenges and possible solutions.

What to say

Regardless of how amazing the product is, if you are marketing it as a dietary supplement, you must tone down your claims to fit DSHEA restrictions. To write FDA-approved claims:

  • First, remove any mention of cancer, colds, flus or diseases.
  • Second, make sure your claims don’t reference treating, curing, or diagnosing anything.
  • Third, make sure your claims don’t purport to improve, enhance or increase anything.
  • Fourth, write about the benefits of your product in structure/function claims.
  • Fifth, make sure all claims are couched in terms of supporting or maintaining the body’s natural processes.

Here are some examples of dietary supplement no nos and their legal work-arounds.

Illegal Wording Legal Claims
Anti-inflammatory Supports inflammation within the normal range
Lowers blood pressure Helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels
Infection Immune challenge
Depression Low mood
Weight loss Weight management

Legal structure/function claims also need an asterisk, which references the FDA disclaimer. The disclaimer must be included on every dietary supplement package, ad and piece of marketing collateral. It must be formatted correctly and the type must be a certain size (basically, your customers need to be able to read it).

How to back it up

To enforce DSHEA guidelines, the FDA monitors labels, marketing collateral, and packaging, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) monitors advertising and public relations activity. When you submit an ad for publication, or when your PR team pitches a story featuring your product, the magazine or journal contacts the agency placing your ad and requests the science behind your claims. And when they say science, they do not mean a url or a Wikipedia entry. They want clinical studies—the placebo-controlled randomized kind that are published in peer-reviewed journals.

What you say about your company’s research is a claim in and of itself and, as such, must follow certain rules. Watch out for terms such as “clinically proven to…” or “research has proved…” While these bold claims are not illegal, they do require extensive backup if called into question. Terms such as “scientifically studied,” and “research has indicated,” may be a better fit for companies who have not yet published their research findings or who reference studies conducted by third parties.


While increased crackdown from the FDA may be worrisome for only a few, growing consumer mistrust weakens the dietary supplement industry as a whole. When writing claims that will appear on labels, packaging, print or digital media, use an agency that knows how to meet FDA requirements so you can tell your story in a way that compelling—and legal.

Sharon Benedict
Senior Copywriter
Integrated Marketing Group

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Growing and Growing…

The natural products industry, to no surprise, is growing and growing! INC. Magazine just released an extensive list of the fastest growing companies in America, and 29 of them are in the natural category, with one of the 29 being IMG’s very own shining sea buckthorn berry star, Sibu. For more on the article, click on the link :

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