Is Keto certification worth it?
As more and more household brands are opting to create keto products to meet consumer demand in the burgeoning high-competition keto market, more of these brands are showcasing their keto certification, or “Keto Certified” logo on their packaging. This has led to many questions from other brands considering keto certification. However, the most critical question is whether or not keto certification is worth it. To know whether or not keto certification is worth it requires understanding how consumers make choices, how trust affects consumer decisions, and what the function of keto certification is for brands. It also helps to understand the purpose of a third-party, especially in the context of a high-competition, low product differentiation keto market.
In an increasingly customer-focused food industry, using customer insights to shape products, packaging, and the buying experience as a whole is of paramount importance. According to research from Gallup on Behavioral Economics, brands that leverage customer behavior insights generate more than 85% in sales growth, and greater than 25% in gross margin in comparison to their competitors. Thus, having insight into the behaviors of consumers will improve your growth and sales. Here we offer some insights into behavioral science to explain why keto certification is worth it in the context of behavioral economics. In short, Keto Certification is worth it to brands because of how it affects consumer behavior by improving consumer trust, enhancing product differentiation, and via social proof marketing during key points in the consumer decision-making process which also leads to brand growth and sales.
Three Types of Consumer Decision-Making Processes
Decision-making is an art and a science, and it has been studied by social psychology and marketing fields alike for decades. The secret to effective marketing strategies lies in discovering precisely what the customer wants, and what factors influence a customer to purchase one product over its competition. And, it’s integral to understanding the influence that third-party certifications have, and why keto certification may be worth it for your brand.
Behind seemingly simple decision-making processes, there is a range of thoughts and emotions which are heavily involved in purchasing decisions. Understanding what influences these decision-making processes is what marketing is all about. The three types of decision-making processes are known in psychology and marketing as nominal, limited, and extended.
Psychology of Nominal Decision-Making
Nominal decisions occur most often during the purchase of relatively low-cost products. They include frequent purchases, purchases from familiar brands or products, purchases that require low-involvement or risk, and warrant little research efforts.
What is important to note is that nominal decision-making processes don’t always start off as nominal. Initially, the customer may have to spend weeks searching for a brand that can be purchased in their region that doesn’t contain added sugar or preservatives, or meets the requirements of a particular diet or “diet tribe” such as the keto diet, or doesn’t contain a specific allergen.
Over time, the purchases can become nominal as brand loyalty and trust develops. At this point, the consumer becomes less likely to consider another brand, or choose another similar brand.
This is the exact reason why helping consumers choose your product the very first time over a competitor is crucial because brand loyalty has a significant impact on sales over time. 83% of individuals who trust a brand will be willing to give new products and services a chance, while 93% would recommend the brand to others given the opportunity.
In that sense, the initial consumer acquisition is an absolutely critical step to growing and developing a strong consumer base that pays dividends. Keto Certification is worth it because it plays a vital role in the initial consumer acquisition, and helps consumers choose you over the competitors during nominal decision-making processes via the social-influence heuristic, and the “food tribe” which is a function of the kinship heuristic. In short, the social-influence heuristic and “food tribe” heuristic of keto certification quickly reduce consumer friction in the decision-making process, making their purchasing decision easier for them to choose your product first.
In other words, Keto Certification is worth it because it uses both the social-proof heuristic and the food tribe heuristic to improve the likelihood that a brand will be chosen over its competitors in the critical consumer acquisition stage.
Psychology of Limited Decision-Making
Limited decision-making is a little more involved than nominal decision-making but still does not require a lot of in-depth research. When customers make limited decisions, they take a small amount of time to think over their purchase, and might make decisions based on both logic and emotion. They may compare a brand’s website or social media page for ratings and testimonials, but when it comes to limited decision-making purchases, the customer looks usually at the price differences of two products and makes their decision based on logical inferences about cost-effectiveness, and trust in the brand.
In other words, they may choose a product over another simply because is on sale. The argument could be made that limited decisions are a function of low brand loyalty, and low trust. Therefore, brand loyalty and trust are critical to getting a customer to choose your brand over another, time and time again.
Unfortunately, according to a recent survey, nearly 44% or nearly half of the people in the United States and Canada distrust claims made by manufacturers on their food labels. For this reason alone, food manufacturers benefit from on-label packaging claims coming from an impartial organization that holds a universal standard. Thus, even during limited decision-making processes, Third-party Keto Certification improves trust signaling. And when the competition is high and product differentiation is low as is currently in the keto market, keto certification is worth it because it gives an advantage to high-quality products.
Psychology of Extended Decision-Making
Finally, extended decisions are often those that are made about higher-cost and infrequent purchases. These purchases require a high amount of involvement and center around unfamiliar brands.
These major purchases come with more risk to the customer, and they must, therefore, consider the purchases from a deeper perspective. These decisions require being informed, so testimonials, ratings, and third-party influence are also critical to the decision-making processes. Investing in keto certification, for example, is an extended decision-making process. It is infrequent, and to increase consumer confidence, we offer testimonials and showcase other well-known and well-established brands to ease the worry of potential customers. We do this to use social influence to help increase brand confidence, and to let brands who are unfamiliar know that keto certification is worth it to other brands like theirs, and may be worth it to them, too.
When it comes to influencing extended decision-making, the best thing that a brand can do is work on building their reputation and online presence and work to become a thought leader in the industry who spends time educating and informing potential clients. Third-party social proof not just from keto certification, but from other working relationships also reduces the apparent risk that customers encounter when making extended decisions — this includes social proof from well-known industry influencers.
Conclusion: Is Keto Certification Worth it?
Influencing buyer decisions as a marketer or business for any of the three decision-making processes can be extremely difficult. But it’s one that’s crucial to enhancing brand loyalty and ultimately, your bottom line. The important thing to remember is that the more you understand about who your customers are, and what prompts them to purchase your products the first time—and every subsequent time— the more of an impact you can have on reducing the friction between product discovery, purchase, and brand loyalty. And, the more you understand these factors involved in the decision-making process, the more you understand why keto certification is worth it because it increases consumer trust and increases sales not just in a short time, but over a longer time. Making the value of keto certification for brands far more than its cost.