“... I say it ’ s high time we broaden our impact , and gratefully , the tides seem to be shifting in our favor .”
More consumers are taking note of products and services that cater to wellness and wellbeing .
A Moment of Honest Reflection
Over the past two decades , my work has largely focused on helping companies of all kinds to define , brand , operationalize and market wellness and wellbeing to industry and consumers alike . With the support of incredible teams , bosses and clients , I ’ ve had the good fortune to author wellness philosophies as well as branding and positioning materials designed to relay the benefits of wellness-related products and services to both colleagues and consumers .
Along the way , a handful of us have helped to establish industryleading organizations that regularly report on the trillion-dollar wellness economy and track its now billion-dollar segments like spa tourism , wellness tourism and wellness lifestyle real estate . It ’ s been highly rewarding work to help define and legitimize this business of wellness , gratefully inspired by early employers like Canyon
Ranch Health Resort and Exhale Spas years ago .
At the same time , when I honestly reflect upon whom this work has ultimately served , I realize it ’ s a relatively narrow , deep pool of highnet-worth individuals . The reality is : I think we , as an industry , have done an excellent job making resourceful people even more resourceful when it comes to wellness , but we often remain out of reach , if not out of touch , with the people who need us most .
I say it ’ s high time we broaden our impact , and gratefully , the tides seem to be shifting in our favor .
Today ’ s Wellness Landscape
Our friends at the Global Wellness Institute seem to agree . Their latest research on “ Defining Wellness Policy ” cleverly makes the case that spending on wellness is highly correlated with longevity and happiness , ultimately setting an economic stage for public policy . That is , if we shift our costly healthcare spend from reactive , medical care to proactive , preventive care , we stand to benefit more consumers and society at large . DUH .
This would be good news for spas and wellness centers of all kinds because so much of what they offer — from massage to fitness to complementary alternative medicine — is proven to reduce stress , inflammation and a host of other health-related risk factors , even though we are not always good at marketing these benefits .
Other recent developments that I think will help to make wellness more accessible to the average consumer include : l 67 percent of U . S . consumers increased their self-care during the pandemic , and 79 percent of those people intend to prioritize self-care into the future 1 l Even before Covid ’ s arrival on the international scene , the World Health Organization identified “ burnout ” as an occupational hazard , making it a more common discussion 2 l The omnipresent discussion of the mental health crisis and a fury of investment and development of products are enabling consumers to take charge of their own self-care 3 l The world ’ s first reimbursable , digital sleep program is about to debut in Germany , thanks to Sleep- Score Labs , as a form of preventive care 4 , and doctors in Brussels are now able to prescribe art therapy via free visits to museums or galleries to patients experiencing symptoms of depression 5 Even though some of these developments may seem far-reaching , they signify — at least to me — growing awareness and demand to democratize access to wellness for greater portions of the population . And our industry can help .
JANUARY 2023 n PULSE 27