Headspace: Wellness in the consumer journey towards self-actualisation
by Tenielle Maris. Trendwatching describes self-actualisation as the future of consumerism and hence the greatest opportunity for brands this year. Simply put, consumers are looking to escape superficial self-gratification and are, instead, looking for something much deeper. The path of self-exploration, and being driven to achieve a higher state of self, has been attributed to more uncertain and stressful times globally: something that has propelled consumers to look inwards, self-reflect and make some meaningful, personal changes.
Transformational consumerism is a concept explored by author Tara Nicholle Nelson and is based on the global movement of consumers looking for products, services and brands that will aid them in living healthier, wealthier, and wiser lives. She goes on to unpack how consumers are more likely to become entrenched in and devoted to a brand or organisation that is able to facilitate their tranformation quest more effectively, easily, beautifully, or joyously than they could do it on their own.
A rising star in the journey of self-actualisation
Health and wellness have evolved from a symbol of status to the imperative and powerful driver in one’s journey towards self-improvement, and the relentless quest towards finding a personal state of self-actualisation.
One only needs to consider the plethora of products, services and initiatives from brands determined to pave the way for consumers to lead healthier lifestyles — from new meat and dairy alternatives making their way onto the menus of top restaurants to urban farming infrastructure popping up in big cities and to big airline and coffee brands incorporating mood-enhancing lighting into their environments to promote relaxation and meditation — body- and mind-awareness are infiltrating every corner of the consumer arena.
The health-innovation wave
This movement has also given rise to unprecedented innovation that has enabled consumers to dive even deeper than ever before: according to Euromonitor’s 2018 trend report, people’s growing curiosity about their genetic makeup and a rising interest in personalised health care are key areas to watch for brand and marketers over the next few years.
The explosion of wellness-enhancing activities from brands is something that has fuelled the ever-growing consumer demand for new-age health and wellness products and services, in place of more-conventional choices.
Fitcations — or holidays geared around health and wellness — are a shining example of this: holidaymakers are forgoing their regular holiday indulgences for yoga, fitness classes and activities like organic gardening to facilitate their quest for some much-needed self-improvement.
Getting it right
The Marriott Group seems to constantly be on the radar as a brand to watch when it comes to matching innovation with understanding what customers want: by leveraging the insight that travellers aren’t always able to follow their regular health routines when on holiday or business, the group has developed partnerships and programmes that provide travellers with the tools they need to stay fit and healthy.
By partnering with celebrity trainer and wellness coach, Nora Tobin, the hotel and resort group will roll out a variety of wellness experiences this year, including a series of fitness videos made accessible to guests, an in-room menu of smoothies and juices, and wellness retreats complete with curated fitness training sessions and wellbeing seminars.
In order to stay ahead of the pack, brands and marketers need to leverage health and wellness is a way that will facilitate their customers’ journey of transformation while simultaneously remaining true to a brand’s purpose. In so doing, this will lay the foundation for that brand to be authentically woven into a personal experience that transcends self-gratification into something far more meaningful — something that cannot easily be matched.
- NewsBlaze: Self-Actualization is the New Carrot Everyone is Chasing
- com: The Best Fitness Vacations to Take in 2018
- Marketing Insider Group: Weekend Reading: “The Transformational Consumer” by Tara-Nicholle Nelson
- Fin24: Top10 trends in global consumer market in 2018
- Travel Market Report: JW Marriott Appoints Wellness Ambassador to Create Health and Well-Being Experiences
Tenielle Maris is strategic director at TTL agency, 34°, in Johannesburg. Beginning her career in branding and communications, she has spent the last decade in the marketing industry where she has worked upon big brands spanning the African continent. Having found her passion in understanding what drives human beings to connect with particular brands, her time is spent getting up close and personal with the people whom brands are trying to connect with. Tenielle contributes the monthly “Headspace” column, which unpacks anything and everything that helps marketers and advertisers understand why people connect with brands, to MarkLives.com.
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