A Model for Naturopathic Brand Development

Over the last month we have had the pleasure of spending some time with possibly the world’s best known naturopath, Dr. Peter D’Adamo, and his lovely wife Martha. The D’Adamos visited Revive’s headquarters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is just a hop, skip and a jump from his newest venture, his first Personalized Nutrition franchise store, on the rapidly gentrifying Metropolitan Avenue. In fact, Dr D’Adamo is no stranger to Brooklyn, having grown up here and witnessed the development of his father’s practice in their Bay Ridge clinic.
 
When his trademark work ‘Eat Right for Your Type’ came out in the 1996, it was not a huge hit straight away. However, unlike most health-themed books, the sales increased in a very organic manner, consistent with a book based on successful principles, rather than through manufactured publicity. Over the next 16 years, the book has sold over 6m copies and ranks higher than any other natural health or even medical book on Amazon.
 
Over the last 6 years I have met a lot of holistic physicians who would say ‘Well, its not as simple as just blood type’, but having spent time with Dr D’Adamo, I now know that he wholeheartedly agrees. In fact, he even ventured that the book would be an even bigger hit had he concentrated on just blood type for his life’s work.  But Dr D’Adamo’s research since has taken him to areas only now getting widespread recognition, like epigenetics. The sheer brilliance of his mind coupled with his dedication to inspire others left an extremely strong impression on me, so much so that I got my blood tested. Turns out I am an AB+, pretty rare.
 
The story of Dr D’Adamo should be inspiring to naturopathic doctors all over the world.  The D’Adamo brand has touched tens of millions of people, and is making a difference in the lives of it’s devotees. The next step is an ambitious franchising of his business model, something that natural medicine has so far been unable to do, but several of his unique business features lead us to believe this might be the one.
 
However, for this column, the purpose is to share best practices in the field of naturopathic business development. There are so many good business-building principles that come from this that are relevant to the modern naturopath.
 

  1. Have a Vision: Perhaps because Dr D’Adamo is a second generation naturopath, his vision has always been a lot bigger than building a practice. Through the platform of his book, the passion that gets him up every morning is to change our health paradigm. Visionaries like this are the only way we will get past the significant roadblocks to optimal societal health. What is your vision?

 

  1. Get the Right Positioning: Although by his own admission, Dr D’Adamo could have done more to drive this point home, his positioning as ‘The Blood Type Guy’ has allowed his message to flourish. Over 90% of people in Japan know their blood type and have blood type specific products, but not here! It is a lot easier to build a business and reputation in a niche, so where is yours?

 

  1. Develop Systems: You cannot build a practice, never mind a supplement business and a franchise operation without effective systems. Everything from clinical protocols to inventory management needs to be organized and written down so they can be effectively replicated. How replicable are your systems?

 

  1. Execute Your Business Plan: Having a big vision is once thing, but creating a plan and executing that plan are fundamental to any sort of concerted effort. Building a strong team around you is absolutely key, and Dr D’Adamo has surrounded himself with passionate, capable people. Who is on your team?

 

  1. Use Technology to Improve Communication: The D’Adamo brand has been supported, and in turn allowed to flourish in the world of digital media, initially on the back of independently started blood type meetup groups and now a strong Facebook presence. What are you doing to build your online presence?

 
Above all, Dr D’Adamo has realized that “It’s Now or Never” and we hope that his brand takes the next step and forms a more solid platform of empowered men and women taking responsibility for their health, starting a chain of results that will take us to a more sustainable health paradigm. If one was looking to start a global trend, there might not be a better place on earth right now than Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 2011 could be to Personalized Nutriton what 2009 was to plaid shirts!
 
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James Maskell is CEO of Revive NYC, a Brooklyn based digital media and branding company that helps holistic practitioners bring their message to life. To connect with Revive, please visit our website at www.revivenyc.com

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