Why It's Time For Brands To Do Their Homework On Wellness

Make an impact with wellness travel experiences

As our culture changes, so do our lifestyles. With technology dominating our professional and social lives, a growing dependency ratio and a tough economic climate – it’s no surprise that people are seeking new ways to escape the pressures of modern life and address their wellness.

The emergence of wellness as more than a just a side-thought or hobby has been extremely influential on consumer buying decisions over the past decade or so.

Dwelling on wellness

As our understanding of wellness advances, the travel experiences that fall into this category have diversified and wellness tourism continues to expand at a phenomenal rate.

The industry, which has synergies with a number of other travel sectors including cultural, adventure, eco, sports and culinary, has grown by 14% over the last two years (Global Wellness Institute) – with new experiences permeating the wellness category all the time.

Tourists are identifying fresh ways to get away from it all.

“We all live in a more complex, and interconnected, world where the interest in personal wellbeing and in travel are both at all-time highs. The fact that these two relatively young industries, each with incredible power and potential, are now intersecting should be of interest to every country, industry and person in the world.”
Susie Ellis, Global Wellness Institute

Exponential growth in the industry signals incredible demand. Wellness tourism is projected to grow by more than 9% through 2017, nearly 50% faster than overall global tourism (The Global Wellness Tourism Economy report).

What does this mean for brands?

There’s never been such a unique, worthwhile opportunity to reach out to consumers with desirable, beneficial, meaningful experiences that offer something more.

Brands can enhance their future promotional marketing campaigns with creative wellness promotional prizes that align with consumer demand.

It’s important for marketers to make sure they’re fulfilling their consumers’ needs. For some audiences a UK spa break is just what the doctor ordered, while others may be attracted to more sophisticated and/or alternative wellness prizes that focus on the ultimate in escapism.

In fact, 59% of wellness travel is now non-spa related. Those who turn to wellness experiences are no strangers to stretching their budget either – on average spending 130% more than the average tourist (SRI International). This represents a real willingness to go that little bit further in order to find the perfect experience.

There should be no half measures.

Finding synergies, staying on-brand and maintaining relevance is always important, of course – but as demand swells, so does the scope of experiences. From meditation to adventure sports, and even indigenous rituals, there’s every chance you’ll find the right fit for your campaign; the perfect cohesion between brand, consumer and prize.

It’s not a trend. It’s a way of life.

For many, wellness has become a way of living – rather than an occasional excursion or last-minute holiday. Consumers are putting themselves first, pursuing self-preservation in a world of diminishing health and artificial experiences.

“A profound shift in the way people consume wellness is underway: once a luxury or add-on, it’s now being infused into every aspect of daily life, from how people work to how they travel.”

Katherine Johnston, Global Wellness Institute

There’s no ignoring the worth of wellness – but brands need to get creative and deliver desirable prizes that incorporate this contemporary demand and then some.

Brands must do their homework

Those who are serious about living well, tend to know their stuff. So making absolutely certain you’re offering experiences of real worth is a do-or-die practice.

In a recent article for Ad Age, Kathy Delaney notes that brands can avoid out-dated notions of wellness and even "redefine the conversation by becoming more inclusive, celebrating all body types, offering realistic ways that these bodies can be healthier, and embracing the idea that 'well' is the new skinny."

Offering a wellness prize should be less about making a quick buck and more about positioning your brand as one that cares about consumers and their health. Don’t risk promoting an old school experience or patronising your audience with misleading, or simply untrue, messages about wellness.

Finding the right balance

Whichever wellness prize you opt for, it’s vital to ensure it receives your unique brand stamp, it aligns with your message and appeals to your audience.

Be realistic about who you’re trying to market to – identify their perfect prize and deploy your creative team to dream up something that stands out in even the noisiest of industries.