Can Flicking The Cognitive Switch Boost Focus And Concentration?



The word juvenescence literally means “the state of being youthful or of growing young.”

The biotech company Juvenescence was launched in 2017, and not only has products targeting healthy aging in the pharma pipeline, but a consumer product already on the market: Cognitive Switch, purported to boost focus and concentration through ketone esters, which put the body into ketosis, a state of advanced energy levels.

I recently mixed my first dose of Juvenescence’s unflavored powdered version into my morning coffee before speaking with Juvenescence marketing director Kayla Cobourn.

I told her the drink had gone down fine except for some lumps that wouldn’t dissolve, and, as if on cue, she replied that the brand -- due to customer feedback like mine -- would start selling “little hand mixers” within the next month to make the coffee “fluffy and latte-ish.”

Juvenescence’s marketing secret may just be that it listens to its customers -- and to its own taste buds.

“The taste was horrible,” Cobourn readily admits in speaking about Cognitive Switch’s precursor, Metabolic Switch, which launched in 2021.

That comes as no surprise since, according to Cobourn, ketone ester products have always tasted awful -- she compares the taste to “jet fuel” -- until the launch of Cognitive Switch this past August.

Juvenescence succeeded in making the taste less bitter by tweaking ingredients, Cobourn says.

As for the change of the product name from Metabolic to Cognitive Switch, she cites “more and more emerging science about the power of ketosis for cognitive functions vs. any other benefit area.”

The evidence includes Juvenescence’s own clinical review “of all the benefit areas of ketones,” such as metabolism, athletic performance and appetite suppression (weight loss), with cognition ranking as number one.

As more evidence, she cites the fact that competitors in the ketone ester drink field over the past few years have been “changing their positioning and messaging from athletic performance to cognition and mental clarity," since there’s “just not enough science in the sports performance space.”

Cognitive Switch’s own marketing target is “people who are proactive about their health, or looking to be more proactive about their health, Cobourn says. “We definitely don’t want to market to people who are looking for a quick fix, because we want to help spread the word about an overall holistic healthy lifestyle.”

The target audience ranges from 35 to 65 years with a 50/50 male/female split, although leaning a bit towards females, she reveals.

To reach this audience, Cognitive Switch takes a “grassroots approach” to “make sure they feel they are a part of our community and advocacy group,” leaning on what Cobourn calls the post-COVID “rise of the ‘science influencers’ -- a person who is actually a doctor, medically trained, but has made themselves a platform on social media or a podcast or email, to be able to disperse credible scientific information to people.”

For its partnerships with these science influencers, Cognitive Switch “makes sure they love the product themselves, that they take it, that they agree with the science,” Cobourn says. “When we send a product kit to someone we want to work with in that context, we include our science papers and our clinical study.”

Current Cognitive Switch science influencers include cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf and “Muscle-Centric Medicine” practitioner Dr. Gabrielle Lyon.

The brand is currently sold only D2C, both on the Juvenescence website and Amazon.

“Amazon is a definitely a great discovery platform for us,” Cobourn says, but “it does also mean you’re sitting next to other products that might not have the same efficacy level, [so] there’s some consumer education required.”

Retail stores are in the picture for Cognitive Switch’s future, but they would need to fit the brand’s “psychographic profile: a proactive type of health-minded person,” she states.

And the grassroots marketing approach will continue, she says, because “it’s one thing to do quantitative and qualitative research, and another [thing] to talk to real humans. Our mission is to get out there, get to know the people in the world and what they need, and try to deliver for them.”

One of those real human beings -- me -- wasn’t sure if I felt any increased focus during my talk with Cobourn  But I certainly did when a very-tired me used the powder again a half-hour prior to speaking with Pam Remash, a Haleon marketing director, about TheraFlu’s “Right to Rest & Recover” purpose-driven campaign.

For the results of that interview, see next week’s Pharma & Health Insider.

Next story loading loading..