Household Strategy Director Siân Novaković shares the latest Wellness Trends at Live Well London.
Strategy Director Siân Novaković joined a panel of wellness experts at Live Well London to unpack the wellness trends of the moment. Here are her picks of what’s hot, what’s not and what’s next when it comes to wellness trends this year.
Investing in physical experience
Many wellness start-ups take a direct-to-consumer approach to keep overheads low, however the value of face-to-face time should not be underestimated. We are seeing brands using bricks-and-mortar retail to host experiences beyond the product, from classroom retail experiences to Instagram-driven pop ups. For instance, Crabtree & Evelyn’s Townhouse space partners with local talents to host workshops, talks and more. Above all, the physical brand experience is a key opportunity to build an emotional relationship with customers.
Recognising wellness as personal
Rigid definitions of health are losing relevancy and people are defining what wellness means to them personally. We are seeing brands using personalisation to help customers find their perfect product or service, from unique product formulations to tailored advice. This is why Sport England’s #ThisGirlCan campaign has been so hugely successful; it celebrates finding the kind of wellness and fitness routine that works best for you. The key to targeting customers in today’s crowded market is to target a shared attitude or desire – not a demographic.
Collaborating with customers and competitors
Customers today expect to be involved in the brands they buy. So much so that 77 per cent of people favour brands that collaborate with their customers. (Bulbshare, 2018) SoulCycle used this approach and ‘built a bonfire’ with its recommendation-driven marketing strategy where each person was asked to bring a friend, growing from zero to 250 studios in twelve years. Involving customers in brand and product decisions will drive engagement and emotional investment, transforming customers into advocates.
Health and wellness has hit the mainstream and people are educating themselves with a long-term view to their health. Fad diets have reduced in popularity and a new holistic approach sees people changing their lifestyle rather than seeking instant solutions in one area. We are seeing a rise in wellness subscription services, from the Headspace meditation app to Mindful Chef meal boxes, as brands adapt to this long-term approach. While brands promising quick fixes may achieve initial success, this will not be sustainable long-term. It is critical to consider brand building, to create longevity and a relationship beyond an isolated product, so that products and services can develop as the market changes.
Token Wellness Gestures
The desire to ‘live well’ has expanded in popularity and people are scrutinising brands that jump on the bandwagon. We are seeing people dig deeper into the full remit of how a brand behaves. Initial praise for Iceland’s Christmas palm oil campaign turned on its head as it was revealed that instead of removing palm oil from all own-brand products the brand had removed its branding from some items, rather than the ingredient. Brands need to tackle wellness in an authentic and meaningful way that aligns with brand purpose, even if this means making small statements or being honest that wellness is only part of the offer.
Wellness has been firmly positioned in the luxury status camp, with brands and services typically catering to a premium market. The opportunity now is for brands is to create products and services for a broader audience. Joe Wickes’ Lifestyle Lab pop-up in Westfield normalised wellness for families with free cooking demos and fitness classes all designed to fit easily into customers’ lifestyles. We will see more brands move beyond the ‘wellness customer’ stereotype and make wellness accessible to a wider audience.
Inspiring office environments are positively contributing to employee wellness and the rise of WeWork continues to shift workspace expectations. Household worked with The White Company to foster a brand culture in the new HQ that amplifies the brand’s values. We will increasingly see businesses consider the impact company culture has on staff wellbeing, with the Corporate wellness industry (now worth $8bn in the US) expected to grow 7.8% through 2021. (Fast Company, 2017)
The Sleep Economy
Sleep is a hot topic within wellness. People that routinely sleep five hours a night, have a 65 per cent increased risk of dying, versus those getting seven or more hours (The Guardian, 2019). Household designed The Sleep Studio for The White Company to tap into the highly emotive nature of sleep. This sensory service experience encourages customers to craft their perfect night’s sleep through seven steps of tactile discovery. We will see the sleep economy continue to grow as brands capitalise on this desire to improve sleep with new products and services.