Brand purpose and wellness

July 28, 2021

How your brand can tap into this rapidly growing $1.5 trillion market? 


The past year and a half has brought with it a new focus on what we each care about most in our lives. A big realisation has of course been that it is absolutely crucial that we take care of our health and the health of those around us.  


But, as remote working and social isolation has taught us, health is more than just how we treat our bodies directly, but what we do to ensure that our mental wellbeing is where it should be. 


We have begun to realise more clearly that consumerism isn’t a sure-fire way to health and happiness, we crave human interaction and experiences. This is what fulfils us and gives us meaningful wellness. 


Services account for roughly 30% of wellness spending, and that number could increase* 


What is wellness? 

Wellness can often be misinterpreted or conflated with the lifestyle of zen-yogis, who from an outsider’s perspective seem to do nothing all day but stretch, eat fruit and drink tea, but that’s not an accurate or accessible definition. 


Wellness simply refers to a holistic approach to health; one that takes into account every aspect of what makes us, well...well. Healthcare is about so much more than pharmaceutical medicines, which although are in many cases essential, do not help us address the causes of ill-health in the many other cases, which are often lifestyle-related. 


It covers every aspect of our lives, from eating and sleeping to our relationship with work and our devices. It encompasses taking part in activities like exercise, walking and mindfulness, for example, but also simply eating more healthily and developing better relationships with food. 


Examples include cutting down on processed foods, reducing our screen-time, getting to bed at a regular, reasonable time, or adopting more sustainable habits that make us feel better in our day-to-day lives. It’s anything and everything that helps to stabilise and improve our mental, emotional and physical health.  


McKinsey estimates that in 2021, the health and wellness industry is worth a staggering $1.5 trillion, with an impressive annual growth rate of between 5-10%*. As this trend of increasing interest in wellness continues to grow, consumer spending trends are indicating that this is influencing the sort of products and experiences that we are purchasing, and businesses are beginning to take notice. Industries from real -estate to tech start-ups, beauty and even the automotive industry, are all trying to tap into this movement.  



How can brands capitalise on wellness and position themselves for success? 


Speak to your customers’ values and experiences

Successful brands tell their stories creatively and authentically while using messages that resonate with their consumers core values and experiences. We as consumers make decisions based on the emotional and mental associations that a product or service inspires within us, which reflects a latent or untapped desire.  


Successful brands show their customers that they truly understand their needs - something that our luxury massage chair client Bodyfriend does tremendously well. Its marketing content speaks to highly emotionally charged and common challenges such as back pain and stiffness, that so many of us suffer from as a result of sitting at a desk all day and neglecting to look after ourselves.  


Through creative, purpose-driven content, Bodyfriend shows consumers how to tackle these issues in a direct and actionable way, and provides hope and a chance of relief by helping them understand the value its products will have on their lives. It’s all about making the aspirational attainable. 


In a survey of roughly 7,500 consumers in six countries, 79 per cent of the respondents said they believed that wellness was important, and 42 per cent considered it a top priority* 


Reappraise your purpose

Adjusting to these new consumer values might in fact make you reflect on what the purpose of your business is. Every business does have a purpose and a value, otherwise they wouldn’t be in business in the first place.  


People need or want your product for a reason. You just need to figure out or remember why that is. What are you offering them, fundamentally, even if they don’t know it themselves?  


For example, if you sell carpets, you’re not just selling carpets, you’re selling warmth, comfort, safety. Carpets protect your children if they fall over, they stop glass from breaking when dropped on the floor, they protect your feet from the cold during winter. Brands don’t simply sell products and services, they sell value. 




Collaborate with brands in other areas 


No one product or company offers a silver bullet for health and wellness. Wellbeing is a multifaceted equation, made up of many different variables. It’s okay to acknowledge that what you’re offering may only be a part of that equation, and that other businesses can also help.  


Brand partnership or brand collaboration between businesses operating across distinct products, services or even industries is a growing trend that can really offer your brand a point of difference compared to your competitors and can really add value to consumers looking to maximise the wellbeing value that they get from their products.  


Consumers respond to creativity, and partnering with a brand within another area that has a common target market is an excellent way to make waves and get noticed. 


Brands and wellness can go hand-in-hand 


The demand for better health and wellness is a trend that doesn’t seem likely to lose steam anytime soon, which is a great thing. People should take care of their bodies and their mental wellbeing, and it’s exciting to see that not only is this a growing trend among consumers, but that brands are responding in kind also.  


This can only be a good thing. Products should serve us and improve our lives meaningfully and sustainably, not by simply providing immediate gratification. The sooner brands start to acknowledge this the better their chances of thriving in this new economy.  


For more on how we can help you with your brand’s wellness positioning, get in touch. 


*All facts are from McKinsey’s 2021 report ‘Feeling good: The future of the $1.5 trillion wellness market 


Get in touch