Every summer the global wellness group, Welltodo hosts its annual Summit, an industry event that brings together brands, business owners and experts for a highly anticipated conversation about the business of wellness which is now worth over $3.7 trillion US globally.
The line-up of speakers included forward-thinking leaders from global brands such as Les Mills, UK Active and Technogym, who covered all the latest wellness news and trends. There were also talks from famous wellness brands, sharing their start-up story, inspiring guests with ideas and insights to help grow their brands in an increasingly thriving market.
As the resident fitness expert at Mongoose, I automatically put my hand-up to go along and to get inspired… and I was! Here are my key take-aways of what to expect from the industry over the coming year.
Consumer consciousness is forcing brands to look at the bigger picture
Consumers are increasingly interested in brands’ business ambitions which go beyond the product or service. They are interested in a brands overall story, wider purpose and authenticity. An increasing number of companies are starting to adopt the behaviours of ‘challenger’ brands – this means thinking deeper and more mindfully about everything they do. For instance, consumers want information about a brands supply chain, where they source their ingredients/parts from and what they are trying to achieve to help the planet and the community beyond sales. Businesses then also need to think about how they communicate this information openly in order to tell the brand story and reach a consumer conscious millennial market.
Take it outside
Innovation research agency, Stylus, revealed its Active Lives study which presented opportunities for the wellness industry.
Outdoor recreation is rapidly growing with 81% of teens in the US believing that it is important for people their age to spend time participating in outdoor sports such as hiking, rock climbing and kayaking. The outdoor recreation economy in the US is worth $373 billion with this increasing 3.7% annually – posing a huge opportunity for brands.
The active brand landscape is transforming a new generation of consumers that are hungry for a challenge. Extreme experiences and urban adventures are appealing to those wanting a more physical challenge to push themselves to their limit. Brands are looking for ways to offer consumers more thrills and awaken their senses. Brands such as Lululemon and Virgin Sport are bringing mass participation to the outdoors with fitness festivals – being dubbed as the ‘Coachellas’ of the fitness world. Luckily one of our favourite brands, The North Face is ahead of the game with active adventures such as Mountain Festival already attracting thrill-seekers from all over the world.
Age of the Female
It has become more critical that brands champion women if they are to succeed in the active lifestyle space as well as other industries. In the wake of #TimesUp and #MeToo we are living in the age of the female.
To target this increasingly empowered group, brands need to promote their products or service with messages that support gender parity. When it comes to championing gender equality, brands are challenging gender stereotypes, supporting female active movers irrespective of race, age and size.
Digital platforms are also emerging and amplifying female’s voices around sports. Channels such as Relish are delivering content to an underserved 10 million millennials a month, providing content specifically focussed on events in female sports.
Body positivity is high on the agenda with 68% of girls globally wishing the media showed more diversity across ethnicity, shape and size.
Beauty, fitness and fashion labels are leading the way with more relatable and appropriate role-models from all backgrounds to be the face of their campaigns. An example of this is adidas’ recent Originals campaign with representation from body positive activist Barbie Ferreira. The ‘inclusive’ strategy is clearly working with adidas’ womenswear sales growing by 77% in 2017.
VR takes fitness to new heights
Emerging technology is said to change the way we exercise. 44% of people in the UK who use, or would consider using, fitness facilities are interested in virtual reality (VR) exercise classes. These VR environments will beat the boredom of exercising solo and allow users to exercise or compete against each other in digital arenas. Imagine exercising in a tropical jungle or amongst the stars and planets in outer-space. Exercise doesn’t stop with running and cycling as developing technology from VR fitness brand ICARACE will also allow users to suspend from the ground and make them feel that they are flying. Brands will look to incorporate new technologies to provide consumers with a more memorable, immersive experience.
Give Insider Access
Finding new and unique ways to expand content is essential in today’s social media world. The key challenge brands are facing is being able to provide information hungry consumers with consistently engaging content.
The NBA mastered this with its partnership with Snapchat, creating a six-episode show called ‘Chasing History Over the NBA Finals’. The series gave fans exclusive behind the scenes content and generated an astonishing 17.1 million unique views.
Consumers are also expecting more interactivity. Deodorant brand, Degree Menmanaged to do this very effectively with the use of 360 degree videos, letting users choose their own angle of focus. They ran a Twitter campaign to use this technique and put consumers on the court with basketball star Stephen Curry which was viewed over 13 million times.
The Welltodo Summit provided a fascinating insight into trends we can expect to see in the thriving world of wellness. The next step for us here at Mongoose is to consider how we can apply these new ideas, new perspectives and new trends with the exciting brands we work with to launch fresh campaigns that cut through. Stay tuned!
Got a question, enquiry or fancy joining Team Mongoose? We’re always looking for new additions to the Mongoose burrow. Are you a hungry & motivated sales person or passionate & energetic activation specialist? We’d love to hear from you.