By Holly Ashby
Smoothies, spiralizers, countless exercise trends – fuelled by bloggers and lifestyle gurus, the health and wellness industry has become a ubiquitous part of our cultural wallpaper. Often evoking ideas of physical and spiritual transformation, the wellness market utilises everything from ancient wisdom to cutting edge nutritional science to solve modern problems. Combining themes like the lifestyle benefits of meditation, the cleansing nature of a good diet and the physical prowess gleaned from exercise, wellness is becoming ever more compelling for people stressed out and exhausted by the digital age.
The global wellness industry grew 10.6% between 2013-2015, from a $3.36 trillion to $3.72 trillion market. Products like the NutriBullet, protein powders and various diet books – from Deliciously Ella to Lean in 15 – are tangible signifiers of this growth. While health is hardly a modern concern, the more holistic concept of “wellness” is something that’s really taken hold in recent years – where looking good is a natural consequence of feeling good.
The Appeal of Transformation
The rise of the wellness industry can be linked to changing consumer tastes. Many people feel that modern life is particularly stressful, with the technology that has enhanced their lives in so many ways also keeping them socially and professionally “plugged in” at all times. The fast-paced nature of this lifestyle – and the fact that nearly half of UK adults aren’t getting enough sleep – are causing persistent problems, like exhaustion, low immunity and unhappiness.
Rather than providing the transitory pleasure of buying a new product, wellness offers something long-lasting and transformative, improving people’s lives in a way which goes beyond the material. This is particularly relevant to young consumers, who are becoming well known for prioritising experiences over cluttering up their lives with more stuff. Buying some time on a detox retreat promises a better you, one that looks and feels at its absolute best – something that undeniably appealing.
Even the products associated with the wellness industry – the kind of “stuff” that Millennials appear to becoming less interested in – retain their allure. Products like smoothie blenders or spiralizers evoke the idea of a complete lifestyle overhaul, small purchases that will enable a profound transformation that inevitably results in health and happiness. In fact, many people feel that in order to embark on a healthy lifestyle they must first buy these products, strengthening the market.
Some Key Tips for Entering the Health & Wellness Market
If you want to enter the wellness market, whether it’s with a new business or by extending your existing business, there are some key tenants of the industry that are important to consider.
You have to sincerely believe in your product.
Whether you’re offering meditation classes, innovative merchandise or diet advice, cynically selling something you don’t believe in is both morally questionable and bad for business. Advertising products you aren’t genuinely enthusiastic about will be difficult, and people may sense your insincerity.
As much as is possible, you should look and feel at your best.
As the face of your business, if you appear stressed, tired and washed out, you will have difficulty convincing people that your product works. This is particularly true in the fitness sector, as can be seen in the healthy and glowing public persona’s of fitness bloggers.
There’s a huge amount of scientific evidence confirming the benefits of meditation, fitness and various foods and supplements, so there really is no need to dip into the world of pseudoscience. One of the biggest criticisms of the “clean eating” movement is that it uses dubious science (and subtle evocations of an almost religious ideal of cleansing) to trick people into parting with their money. Some of these diets are even thought to be inadequate and exacerbate eating disorders.
It’s important to ensure that you don’t (perhaps in enthusiasm for your idea or product) neglect proper research. Never take second-hand information at face value – look up the original studies and cite these sources wherever you can.
Know your audience.
Wellness is a wide-ranging concept, encompassing consumers with a variety of goals. At one end of this market, the customers will be deeply spiritual, and interested in philosophies relating to their immaterial life. Others will be suspicious of this kind of language, with their interest in wellness being purely secular. Knowing where best to position your business will avoid the potential to put customers off by poorly communicating your core values.
The wellness industry allows businesses to become successful while directly improving people’s lives, and with interest in wellbeing only getting stronger, it’s one that’s bound to grow.
Holly Ashby is a content creator and social media manager who has worked with various start-ups on their brand and content strategy. She works with the rapidly growing meditation company Will Will Williams Meditation, who help people lower their stress and improve their performance through meditation, as well as managing the social media profiles of not-for-profit companies.