Cutting Through The Noise With Health and Wellness Branding
Wellness is exploding. It’s rise as a goal and a lifestyle has involved a shift in mindset—to not just on how well a person is but also on how well a person feels. It’s a more holistic, aspirational and integrated idea, reflecting our personal narratives of self-care, image and overall well-being. Per Mintel, 77% of U.S. adults report that they are “actively trying to improve their health in some way.” Forecasts show no sign of the multi-trillion dollar wellness industry slowing down and all brands (even those with no prior connection to wellness) want in. Key to building relevance with wellness-minded consumers begins with a firm foundation of health and wellness branding.
Wellness Industry Evolution
To quote global wellness industry platform Welltodo, the wellness industry has evolved into a complex ecosystem of overlapping and converging categories that are being reimagined and repackaged through a wellness lens. Depending upon how you view the industry, this complex ecosystem can be seen as being made up of 20+ individual wellness industry sub-segments. And in each, there are a vast number of brands defining a new era of “everything wellness” for the modern wellness consumer (who we’ve written about previously and refer as the active health and wellness explorer).
Brands Winning With Wellness
The brands that will be most valued as catalysts for wellness will find simple ways to inspire and support consumers and seamlessly integrate the four dimensions of wellness (physical, mental, social, spiritual) into consumer’s everyday lives.
This increasingly includes brands not immediately associated with wellness, but who’ve found ways to leverage its multidimensional nature and enter the wellness conversation – propelling consumers forward in their quest to live better and healthier lives. Susie Ellis, Global Wellness Institute CEO, states “any brand can look at how they might be able to help consumers with their wellness.”
Wellness Consumer Trends
There are some general health and wellness trends that brands should tap into in order to build relevance with todays health and wellness consumers. But keep in mind, these are just general trends.
In order to breakthrough, it is essential for wellness marketing teams to first develop wellness branding strategies that:
- are driven by a big energizing idea (what you might call a unifying brand idea)
- reflect how their brands are different through their stories, positioning and messaging
- demonstrate through design and brand experiences how they’re putting customer’s well-being front and center
- align internal words and actions with external delivery to maximize future health and wellness outcomes
The six general wellness trends are as follows:
1. Holistic Self-Care
Seeing that spending more on traditional healthcare doesn’t necessarily equal better health and a higher quality of life, people are taking the matter into their own hands. They’re taking charge of their health and adapting a 360-degree “prevention rather than cure” view that emphasizes balance in mind, body and spirit and living well in all aspects of life every day.
By simplifying the process and breaking down barriers to entry, leading brands are showcasing what the future of healthcare can look like. Parsley Health blends cutting-edge testing, nutrition and wellness with conventional medicine. Kindbody is democratizing women’s health services. The Wellness Way (a Trajectory client) offers an alternative that is changing lives, restoring hope and getting results when traditional medicine isn’t working.
People are viewing health as more than a state of being. It’s a way to express who they are, the values they live by and how they structure their world. These expressions don’t necessarily encompass one large action or behavior, but a series of small, incremental actions and behaviors that accumulate to result in better health and wellness.
One example is the inextricable link between health and beauty (e.g. natural ingredients, eco-friendly practices, functional properties, clean brands, sustainability). Kinship targets younger audiences by taping into their cultural values, including sustainability, wellness and inclusivity. Vintner’s Daughter practices a sustainable approach to skincare, with “a fewer philosophy, responsible sourcing, better packaging, testing without harm and supporting earth advocacy.”
3. Health and Happiness
Because a happier person is a healthier person and, in turn, a healthier person is a happier person, expect to see more brands demonstrating how they can become catalysts for healthy, happy lifestyles (i.e. well-being). And as the definition of health evolves and grows more holistic, so too will the definition of a health brand – to include those that help consumers along on their search to find happiness or in their efforts to sustain it (providing evidence of the benefits they bring over the long haul).
One example is Happify, allowing building of skills for lasting happiness through science-based activities and games. Then there’s Shine, a self-care solution that sends daily motivational texts that feel friendly and conversational in style to create a more accessible and “non-shamey” approach to wellness.
4. A Personal Journey
From DTC vitamins and supplements (like The Nue Co.) to made-for-you beauty products (like Evolution_18 and Vital Proteins) and self-guided meditation apps (like headspace and meditopia), personalization is taking over.
More and more brands are putting the individual consumer front and center to deliver an elevated experience and strengthen consumers’ relationship with their brand, enabling more data collection in the process.
5. Cultivating Community
An effective route for brands is to cultivate connections and create unique spaces where communities can be built (think forerunner WW [Weight Watchers]). While COVID-19 has grounded live experiences, an increase in demand for online experiences (for community) demonstrates a strong appetite still exists.
Community give us the accountability and inspiration that motivates us to meet our goals. We sign up for an offering (things we think we need, e.g. the tools, training, information), but stick around as a result of feeling part of something. Witness brands like Wanderlust, Goop and Soulcycle.
6. Convenience Is Key
If it isn’t accessible, easy to navigate, or time-saving, consumers aren’t interested. Taking convenience a step further, consumers expect almost everything to be on-demand. Even things that are inherently inconvenient like making time for exercise, meditation, or a spa day are being stripped down, repackaged, and served to us in a more convenient form. Witness fitness brands like Mirror (purchased by Lululemon) and Tonal, and men’s wellness empowering brand Roman.
Successful Wellness Branding
Susie Ellis, CEO Global Wellness Institute sums up the wellness opportunity this way – “It’s about feeling better, sleeping better, looking better. It’s not just physical. It’s mental, it’s spiritual. Feeling less stressed, making better decisions, being more creative.”
To help move customers forward in their quest for a wellness-focused lifestyle, brands need to be built on propositions that are authentic, inspiring, helpful, transparent, trustworthy and empathetic. Simplifying and breaking down barriers to entry. Creating personalized propositions that put health and wellness-seeking consumers in the driver’s seat. Dialing these characteristics up or down by certain degrees depending on who your target audience is.
Since 1999, New Jersey marketing agency Trajectory has worked with clients across the United States health and wellness continuum, helping brands rise above the noise to reach their full market potential. Reach out for a no-obligation consultation.