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Strategic thinking

A supplement short of great. Your five a day disappointments.

By 10/10/2014January 11th, 2023No Comments

Creative Director, Sam, shakes things up as he explores the lack of disparity in sport supplements nutrition branding and visual identity.


Without a doubt, the sports nutrition market is beyond huge, along with some of the guys and girls you might associate with it. With such a rich history in the UK and across the globe, the sport supplements market is a vast mix of different brands, all offering a range of products from powdered supplements to pills and tablets. Each brand has its own target audience and this directly effects their visual identity and the brand image. It’s also one of the funniest markets in my opinion, with typical cliché product names all ending in ‘ex’ or ‘max’, along with the imagery and false promises of rock hard 6-packs in only 5 minutes.



My background growing up in the sports and supplements scene (mainly down to dropping some serious weight. Sorry, no fat photos will be shown) has always been a passion of mine and was a major part of my life, so I like to think I know most of the ins and outs of this game, health, scientific and marketing wise, through experience and research. I am by no means a ‘meathead’ but I did take quite a bit of this stuff growing up. Recently I introduced a friend into it and we took a trip into a supplement store to try and find a suitable product. The packaging and branding was beyond a joke to say the least.

There are a lot of brands that do however market themselves well, and there are others that I have no idea how they even make it into the store.

The good:

The good guys in my opinion are the ones that keep it neutral. Their packaging is clean and the information is clear. They don’t have ripped up guys on the labels, ambiguous claims or the word ‘viper’ in their product names. They stand out in the store because they look professional. At the same time, they’re hard to spot against all the reflective and neon glowing colours on all the other brands but at least you get the feeling they know what they are doing.


PHD keeping it clean and clear.

Bulk powders with their striking minimal packaging and clear information.

The Bad:

The bad guys are borderline, the names are bolder and more aggressive, or, just don’t make any sense whatsoever. There are a lot of brands that slot into this and some of them are worse than others. Usually they keep it fairly neutral and every now and again you find a terrible product name.



Jodie Marsh own brand. I don’t even know where to start….JFLEX? JSOUP? Oh god.

The Ugly:

Where do I start? Hilarious branding, aggressive colours, ridiculous product names and the most extreme false claims of all. I don’t even know how these guys are legal. How does ‘Viper Xplode’ not sound like it’s going to make you blow up?





Nitro, fury, grenade, muscle milk? I don’t even know how this stuff makes it out there. Im scared.

With such a massive market, it’s hard not for brands to have such disparity in their identity, but let’s just reign it in a little hey. I don’t want to have an epileptic fit when I walk into a store because your labels are reflective and I’m not going to look at a bottle of pills called ‘Mega V12 Max’ that will make me turn green. I’m not even sure the serious body builder would either, so who is this marketed at?

It’s dangerous in my opinion and somebody with no prior knowledge to supplements who is interested in getting started might be tempted by these massive false claims and fancy packaging and end up in really bad way. I’ve seen it before and it’s not cool. You are dealing with a huge mix of ingredients that are going into your body, so there are health implications involved, the ‘good guys’ are totally transparent with this and you can tell that their company ethos is health orientated by providing you with good quality and carefully mixed products. The ‘bad guys’ are less so and could probably learn a lesson or 2, whilst the ‘ugly guys’ have no hope at all. They look like they will turn you radioactive overnight.

To the gym!