Resources / The secret to this best-selling supplement label? A second chance

The secret to this best-selling supplement label? A second chance

Beyond Yourself owner Sean Kent keeps the bottom line top of mind.

That’s why he stopped doing business with A1 Label in early 2015. Although the Toronto-based press produced flawless labels for Sean’s growing supplement brand, inconsistent invoice cycles often left his young business strapped with cash-flow problems.

“We didn’t leave because of the labels or the quality. It was just really a financial thing,” Sean said. “I was trying to pay bills for a long time and when some finally came in, it was a huge amount. It just rubbed me the wrong way.”

The timing was unfortunate.

Later that same year, Resource Label Group acquired A1 Label. Buoyed by RLG’s vast network, the press could return to what they do best: making high-performance labels that outshine competitors.

Thanks to the tenacity of Austin McNamee, a 10-year sales consultant for A1 Label, Sean eventually gave them (and thus RLG) a second chance in 2021.

We coordinated with Beyond Yourself’s design team on their newest flavor line, Grape White North. This included finishes and embellishments that elevated their already unique concept from good to great.

The result? A best-selling label that Sean can barely keep on the shelves, and iconic new branding that encapsulates his broader mission to honor Canada and Canadians.

But designing the label was the easy part.

The real win of this project was winning back Sean Kent’s trust — and keeping it.

Here’s how we did it.

Overview

Location — Sainte-Eulalie, Québec

The problem — Deliver a flawless label to recapture lost business

The solution — First-class service tailored to the customer’s unique needs

Result — A top-selling nutrition supplement

Bonus — A fresh new label concept that maintained brand continuity

“Since RLG took over … I could see that a lot had changed.”

A1 Label’s acquisition by Resource Label Group in 2015 brought many positive changes and much-needed support, allowing for the restructuring of business operations without interrupting day-to-day services. This included:

  • Hybrid press capabilities — Combines flexographic and digital printing technologies to produce affordable labels that never sacrifice quality
  • Pre-press services— Working directly with clients to engineer brand consistency and quality into every step of the process
  • Custom accounting — A favorable terms plan allowed Beyond Yourself to stay current in billings and pay with their corporate credit card

But some strategies remained the same, including the crucial retention of sales consultant Austin McNamee on the A1 Label team.

When it came to Sean and Beyond Yourself, it would take another five years for Austin to win his business back.

He first met the Beyond Yourself team at the Toronto Pro Show in 2014, allowing him to open the door to the possibility of future projects. As he recalls, those projects were just beginning to gather steam when Sean turned to a different label provider.

“But I continued to work with Sean to gain his trust,” Austin said. “When we put the Mark Andy (MA) hybrid press on the floor, I knew we had a better — and regionally, the best — mousetrap.”

The speedy MA hybrid press is ideal for supplement labels because it can print them so fast. Along with better machines, Austin was also proud of the improved prepress process. That was just the bait he needed to win Sean’s confidence back.

“He’s very, very good — and he was chasing me for a long time because we’ve grown our brand significantly since we stopped doing business with them,” said Sean. “He showed me the quality of the things that he’s done since RLG took over. I could see that a lot had changed, obviously.”

For Sean’s needs, what mattered most was:

  • The MA (Mark Andy) hybrid press — Because sports supplement labels tend to be large, HP digital presses are seldom capable of handling the orders, and their smaller run sizes make flexo cost-inefficient. But hybrid presses strike that perfect balance — printing superior labels at an ideal price point
  • A continental network of backup presses — Should Sean’s Toronto-based press go down, RLG could leverage dozens of other presses without interrupting business

Most importantly, Austin pledged that Sean would never experience unpredictable billing cycles again if he returned to A1 Label under Resource Label Group’s guidance.

“He reassured me that there wouldn’t be any of those situations where nobody takes payment for three months and then I just get a huge chunk out of my cash flow.”

That’s exactly what Sean needed to hear. He decided to try A1 Label’s revamped capabilities with his latest product flavor: Grape White North.

“Austin actually drove six hours to bring me a print sample,” Sean recalled. “He came in, did a 20-minute meeting and drove back. It was huge. I appreciate those things because if somebody’s willing to do that, then they’re going to be responsive when you need them for other things as well.”

That initial meeting set the bar — and we never dropped below it again.

For Canadians, by Canadians

Sean’s background is in finance and marketing, but he’s also passionate about fitness. Early in his career, he sold health supplements at GNC as a side job. That time helped him observe the market and develop his own philosophies about unmet consumer needs.

In 2011, he launched Beyond Yourself. Though his supplements brand is famed for its flavors, its underlying mission is to support and celebrate positive lifestyle choices with high-performance products.

“We take big-time pride in what we do,” Sean said.

Today he employs 40 people at his manufacturing facility in Sainte-Eulalie, Québec — a site that also includes a state-of-the-art gym where the team can test product performance themselves.

“I know Beyond Yourself looks like a fitness brand. We obviously do well in fitness, but we’re not targeting a bodybuilder or a specific type of athlete,” Sean said.

In fact, he says, some of his clients aren’t even athletes — but barbers or even hockey moms. Whatever their energy and nutrition needs, Beyond Yourself supports them all.

“We’re really just there to validate and reward hard work,” Sean said. “We don’t promise the impossible with our products — we just allow people to go beyond themselves.”

Sean is proud of his brand, but he’s also proud to be a Canadian making Canadian products for fellow Canadians. As his business expanded, he began seeking ways to pay homage to his compatriots in the Great White North.

“We’ve been wanting for a while to honor the fact that Canada is freezing from October through May. It takes a lot of dedication and persistence and resilience to get up and go to the gym in icy conditions or whatever.”

When his team formulated a colorless grape flavor in early 2020, everything just clicked.

“It had basically no color. It was a white grape,” Sean said. “I was like, ‘Grape White North.

And just like that, an opportunity emerged.

Collaboration across design teams key to bringing Sean’s vision to life

Before partnering with Resource Label Group, Beyond Yourself’s creative team developed the initial art concept: frosted fonts paired with winter Rocky Mountain imagery that appeared etched in ice. But to make the design a reality, they needed a consultative label manufacturing partner — and Austin’s persistence was about to pay off.

“I said, ‘Okay, you know what? We’ll send you this new project and do the print samples with you,’” Sean recalled.

In the highly competitive nutrition and supplement market, Beyond Yourself couldn’t risk being a wallflower. Austin’s initial sample featured heavily foiled mountains and super-saturated colors that demonstrated RLG’s range and capabilities.

As Sean remembers it, that first sample wasn’t perfect — that’s normal — but he was blown away by Austin’s in-person delivery.

“I was like, ‘Okay, this guy’s committed.’ And he told me how we could work on it together. Honestly, the end-product is amazing. We’re very pleased,” Sean said. “Austin wanted to show us what RLG could do with the digital press, so he came with a label that was loaded. They took our design and showed us the different effects that we could put on the label — and made sure that we knew what special effects would work where.”

This included sharing other RLG-produced supplement labels so Sean could see and touch design elements he didn’t even realize were possible.

But perfection isn’t always about adding more bells and whistles. Sometimes it means taking things away.

“My designer worked with RLG’s designer, and then my VP of sales went with my designer to A1. They printed on the spot to get the label exactly the way we had it in mind. It was awesome to work together because we had the time to understand each other — and the print samples really turned out amazing.”

Two revisions later, we had a winner with subtle effects that included:

  • Metallic BOPP — A classic facestock that offers premium durability and color vibrance
  • Cold foiling — Strategic use of foiling and gradients to depict snow-capped mountains
  • Raised ink — Not only did the hybrid printer allow for inks that provided a tactile and glossy finish, it mimicked the pricy effect of raised varnish for reduced cost

“We were all about achieving that ‘cold’ feel on the shelf — and we did that with some of the metallics and mattes. It has that effect of an almost icy, wet look. And it almost feels like you’re touching ice.”

Once launched, they couldn’t keep the product on the shelves.

“We sold out on day one. And then we made a second emergency production and sold that out within a week,” Sean said.

Success hinged on the big three: service, pricing and lead time

“For me, it really came down to two things: the pricing and better lead time,” said Sean. “And then Austin’s customer service really hooked us.”

For one thing, Austin quickly learned that email didn’t work for Sean. He quickly shifted into text messaging, making it easier for Sean to manage the project and keep it moving. And whenever Sean had questions for Austin, he never waited long for a response.

But beyond the medium was the quality of the communication itself. Sean was impressed by Austin’s attentiveness throughout the entire process.

“I need to make sure that when I talk, I’m being heard. It irritates me when I take the time to explain something and somebody just obviously wasn’t paying attention. But Austin has never done that to me. That’s huge.”

The key to competitive pricing

“I said what I needed and how I needed it and they were able to be flexible enough to come to the table,” said Sean.

Sean had two big asks: he wanted to pay with a credit card and equivalent payment terms.

Beyond Sean’s primary requests, Austin also offered added value by:

  • Reducing per-label spend with a hybrid press instead of flexographic or digital printing
  • Running six SKUs at once to maximize cost savings

On-time, every time

Global supply chain woes never affected Sean’s initial launch. That’s because he worked with us.

Austin kept Sean updated on label-specific supply chain patterns, advising how and when to hedge extra inventory stock. And so far, so good.

“Austin has told me a few times now that when there are updates, he’ll give them to me. I definitely appreciate that because I don’t want to always have to ask suppliers what’s going on. There’s so many different components in these projects. And other label providers aren’t great with communications outside of PO placement and bills.”

This kind of big-picture planning with a label printer helps reduce supply risks and cut costs. It’s also crucial for scheduling stress-free debuts months in advance — and ensuring the ongoing success of Sean’s business.

“My customers expect things in stores at certain dates. Lead times are a huge one for me, and my concern is just being able to launch on time.”

When Sean tries to imagine how the project would’ve turned out without RLG’s partnership, he thinks the label would’ve been far less effective — and more expensive.

“It’s really nice that I’m able to add effects and stay competitive with pricing. It has a much more impactful look on the shelf,” he said. “The working relationship, the synergy between our two companies — it turned out exactly the way we wanted. We knew what we wanted, and they knew that they could make it. Trust doesn’t come easy for us, but we just trusted the process and they delivered. It was a very positive experience.”

Why RLG’s network benefits customers like Sean

Diversifying vendors helps businessmen like Sean reduce risk.

But thanks to RLG’s unique structure, he can depend on us for all his label needs.

“I think it’s important to have multiple suppliers for things. When a press goes down, I like the fact that RLG has that network.”

With multiple locations primed to serve Sean’s unique needs, he plans to devote more of his annual label spend to RLG in the future — including a planned expansion into the drinks sector. He envisions minimalist labels, not wrap-around, and will be consulting with RLG’s label and packaging design team about peel away options and other smart ways to maximize label real estate.

This is RLG’s unique consultative approach in action, and what you get with a company that’s ready to work as your label partner and not just your label printer.

You don’t just deserve quality labels — you deserve quality service, too

Do you want a supplement label experience as successful as Beyond Yourself’s Grape White North?

Whatever your stage in the process, our team can advise you on supplement and nutraceutical label solutions. At Resource Label Group, we don’t just focus on cost efficiency and delivering on time. We are expert collaborators who provide the design-related guidance and engineering prowess needed to achieve your vision.

And we do it all with prestige customer service whether you’re across the street or across the country. That’s our National Reach, Local Touch promise.

Ready to make the supplement label of your dreams?