The growth of the digital health and wellness sector is affecting the marketing approach of brands outside the category, some of which are integrating health and wellness into their offerings.
Writing in the current issue of Admap (topic: digital strategy in healthcare marketing), Richard Yao, Manager, Strategy & Content at IPG Media Lab, observes that the “consumerisation of wellness” – a development made possible by easy access to information and the explosion of biometric data – has “democratised the tools, services, and above all, led to a mindset of nonstop self-care”.
While this provides a new branding angle for fitness and health brands to explore, brands outside the health category are also integrating the trend as consumers pursue better health using everything from Peloton indoor cycles to subscription-based nutritional supplement plans.
In his article Wellness 2020: As the market expands, brands need to take notice, Yao notes that wellness, by definition, is a state of being that needs to be experienced first-hand and that millennial consumers are increasingly focused on “experience”.
“While wellness-oriented services can be additive to many endemic brands in healthcare and adjacent industries, it also now serves as an inspiration for many other brands looking to upgrade their brand experience and establish customer relationships beyond transactions,” he says.
“Starting as an affiliate to the fitness industry with yoga classes and meditation apps, the wellness economy has now infiltrated a wide range of lifestyle categories such as fashion, beauty, food, and home goods. Brands such as Goop, Honest Company, and Anthropologie have all embraced wellness as a core part of their brand identities.”
The ability to prioritise customer experience and facilitate a stress-free lifestyle is now emerging as important innovation territory, Yao suggests. It’s an area that digital-native D2C brands are especially well positioned to exploit: D2C perfume brand Scentbird, for example, has launched a $15/month wellness subscription for products focused on boosting energy and reducing stress.
And the same technology that contributes to rising stress levels – social media adversely affects emotional and mental well-being as well as politics and personal relationships – will also play a key role in the spread of the wellness economy, he adds.
“As we retreat from the increasingly toxic social platforms to semi-private groups and private messaging, there exists a huge opportunity for brands to tap into this ongoing shift in social media and provide wellness-oriented services through these emerging intimate channels.”
This article first appeared in www.warc.com