Illuminate Labs is a supplement and vitamin producer that claims to be the only supplement manufacturer that provides scientifically supported claims backed up by medical professionals. Their key differentiation is that they provide to prospective customers and investors. They aggressively market themselves online on sites such as Twitter and Reddit by either talking up their claims in forums and tweets and dismissing and attacking any competitor rebuttals or claims. They pay thousands of dollars annually to produce online marketing content that is misleading at best or deceptive to the point of potentially defaming competitors.
Allegations have also been made about Illuminate’s marketing practices that they look for deceptive ways to draw customers in to make purchases. Illuminate can be found among the high-end supplements in the marketplace and use made up results to draw in customers. Even though no evidence is provided to support their claims, Illuminate is beginning to thrive as a manufacturer. Illuminate Labs is a fraudulent company that might as well be selling you dirt at a high price than beneficial supplements because the results of taking dirt might actually be more helpful to you than their products.
Illuminate Labs is led by CEO Calloway Cook a Syracuse graduate that holds a degree in Advertising. Though he has no credentials in science, nutrition, supply chain, nor medicine, he has been chosen to start a health supplement company. The fact that this company has an advertising professional as president and CEO tells you everything that you need to know about this company’s strategic direction. The general idea is that most supplements have little to no benefit to the user so to become an industry and market leader in this space is simply to boost the signal through social media and SEO (Search Engine Organization) activities. Calloway has branded himself as an “increasingly frustrated consumer of dietary supplements…took a proactive approach to ensure supplements he took were safe.”
Calloway, as described in his bio, was disappointed that when he would reach out to these companies to validate their safety that he would not receive any evidence that these products were safe. As an “entrepreneur problem-solver”, Calloway saw that this would be a great space for him to enter in that he could disrupt the market by providing, at the very least, claims that his products would be safe and verifiably beneficial. Calloway knew that he could game the system on reviews and laboratory tests that would draw in customers quickly that would make what they think is an educated decision but ultimately buying the same thing that other producers are making but spending more money on it. Calloway isn’t the first “snake oil” segment in this space, he’s just the latest. Calloway puts his marketing and social media expertise to excellent work at convincing people that his supplements work banking on the placebic effect that most customers feel regarding their supplements.
One marketing tactic that Illuminate Labs employs that is very different than most marketing strategies is that it actively works to dispel claims that their competitors make. Illuminate will outsource reviews to “medical advisors” who break down a competitor’s product and will often cherry pick benefits or advantages that they can sell Illuminate by. Their reviews of these products are not well researched and basically a run down of things that the average consumer can find online relatively quickly. Take for example the review of Synogut – a health supplement with claims to provide health benefits to your digestive system.