What Happened to GNC? 10 Marketing Lessons
What Happened to GNC? 10 Marketing Lessons
Whenever an iconic business goes down and files for bankruptcy, questions have to be asked, and that was the case when GNC started to decline. As per discussions on the same over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, the company is known for selling health and nutrition-related products, and as such you would expect them to be doing well given the current trend towards wellness. However, this is not the case, and to understand why this is the case, here are 10 lessons we can learn from them.
Current trends as far as mall foot-traffic is concerned
As revealed in discussions over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, the days when the mall was the go-to place for Americans are gone. The last couple of years has seen a reduction in the number of people visiting malls around the country, which has badly affected business linked with mall foot-traffic, such as GNC, in which 28% of its locations are located in malls. The importance of keeping up with the latest trends is an important lesson we can take from, particularly as far as marketing is concerned.
Increase in online competitors
Like many brick-and-mortar businesses, the growth of online retail has been among the reasons behind GNC’s decline, something the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com agree with. Most of their products can be accessed by their customers at cheaper prices and conveniently in the comfort of their homes online, such as vitamins and supplements, which has placed lots of pressure on them and has contributed to their decline. An important lesson to learn here is how crucial digital marketing is in the current business climate.
Poor attempts at rebranding
Many companies try to rebrand if they fall into hard times, the problem is, not many of them get this right, and that was the case for GNC. There attempts to relaunch their brand want well received and resulted in the revising of their rating on the stock market from a neutral to sell rating. A marketing lesson we learn here is the importance of being careful when relaunching your brand, making sure you get things right.
Amazon expanding in the wellness sector
Although this is an extension of the “online competitors” point, it deserves to be discussed in its own merits, as Amazon has been one of the main reasons why brick-and-mortar companies such as GNC have been struggling of late. As discussed over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, the fact that Amazon has been focusing more and more on the supplements and vitamins space has played a part in GNC’s problems. They have just not been able to cope with the pressure, particularly the fact that such products are cheaper on Amazon.
GNC has also been badly handicapped by bad PR, particularly due to the lawsuit that was brought against them in 2015 by the state of Oregon accusing them of knowingly selling products that contained unlawful dietary ingredients, with a more detailed write-up on the same to be found over at runrex.com & guttulus.com. This badly damaged their reputation, an important marketing lesson as it shows the damage bad PR can do to a brand.
An out-of-date go-to-market strategy
With about 8,900 stores countrywide, their primary method of serving their customers is through the brick-and-mortar channel, as per discussions over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, with their online presence being very insignificant in comparison. The problem is that this go-to-market strategy is out-of-date and doesn’t make sense in the current business climate, particularly because nutritional supplements have a long shelf life and as such there is no need to test the product before purchasing, making the perfect product for online ordering, which is something that has affected them and led to their decline, an important lesson worth learning.
Customers can now get nutritional knowledge online as well
To counter the above point, GNC could argue that their brick-and-mortar stores still provide value as their customer service and knowledgeable staff provide invaluable advice on which nutritional supplements to buy. However, as per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, their online competitors now also tools through which consumers can access related knowledge and even gain access to experts. This is yet another reason that has led to their decline and is yet another lesson worth learning.
Issues with their products
As revealed in discussions over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, while GNC manufactures 50% of its products, the other 50% are sourced from third-party suppliers, which has led to reliability issues as far as their products are concerned. They have had to remove a number of their products from the market, which has hit their sales badly. Such issues also damage more than just their revenue as it also damages their reputation.
Poor reaction to setbacks
Another issue that has plagued GNC and has also led to their decline is the fact that they have usually chosen to be reactive when dealing with any incidents rather than being proactive and trying to prevent such incidents from occurring again by carrying out audits of their suppliers and operations and cutting off suppliers who are not delivering the required quality. This, as per the gurus over at runrex.com & guttulus.com, is the wrong way to go about things as it doesn’t cultivate confidence among consumers, another marketing lesson we can learn from them.
Failure to adapt to the times
A key theme as far as GNC’s operations go is their stubbornness, as they have remained stuck to their ways, even though it has become apparent that they needed to make changes to remain relevant. This is yet another marketing lesson we can take from them, as it shows the importance of adapting to the times and current trends otherwise you risk sinking rather swimming.
Hopefully the above lessons will aid your marketing efforts and your business operations as a whole, with more information and advice on the same being available over at the ever-reliable runrex.com & guttulus.com.