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Consumer vs industry trends – part 1

In this step we’ll focus on consumer trends, before moving on to industry trends in the next step.
© Welltodo 2020 Consumer Trends Report

In the previous step, you learned the difference between industry trends, impacting the competitive landscape and how businesses operate, and consumer trends impacting the values, behaviours, and lifestyles of potential customers. You also explored your assumptions about their impact on the wellness industry and the businesses operating within it.

That’s a great start, but to form a deeper understanding of the differences between the two types of trends and their potential to shape the wellness market, let’s take a look at some specific examples and examine how brands have altered their approach in response.

In this step, we’ll focus on consumer trends, before moving on to industry trends in the next step.

Consumer Trends

Diversity-Driven

In 2020, the fight against systemic racism and inequality reached a tipping point and the role of brands in wider society was brought into sharper focus.

Within the wellness industry specifically, values and belief-driven consumers propelled race and diversity to the top of the agenda. Not only did this expose the blind spots that existed within specific brands, but it also led to demands that brand action move beyond paying lip service or passive allyship, towards demonstrating real, meaningful and lasting change.

For the 60% of consumers who claim they will now buy or boycott brands based on how they respond to calls for diversity and racial equality, [1] – it seems there’s no going back.

Since then, brands across the wellness industry have adapted the way they approach, represent, and embed diversity into their products and services.

Sportswear brand, Gymshark, for example, quickly recognised it needed to go beyond performative actions.

It utilised its no-nonsense and progressive voice – something its community identified with – not only to speak out about its own shortcomings, but to boldly challenge any critics of its stance.

Elsewhere, beauty brands like Glossier, Kosas and Sunday Riley were hailed for their sizable donations to Black-owned beauty businesses, which had been largely under-represented in the past. Huge numbers of wellness businesses followed by committing to increased representation of Black and minority groups in marketing campaigns, social content, and advertising.

This consumer-led shift saw wellness brands, some for the first time, entering the conversation about race and diversity unapologetically and with purpose, not just driving greater representation of difference, but celebrating it.

Today, the impact of this trend continues to force wellness brands to own their position on race, diversity and inclusion authentically, in order to connect with today’s hyper-informed and vocal consumer. If they don’t, they will be held accountable.

Purpose-Led

Looking beyond the idea of personal wellbeing, a new generation of conscious consumers are thinking about how the decisions they make are impacting the wider world, especially when it comes to the businesses they engage with.

Demanding that brands demonstrate real engagement with sustainability, these changemakers are driving the idea of purpose over (or at least alongside) profit, and the philosophy that wellness brands should ‘practice what they preach’.

Welltodo-branded consumer statistics

In response, wellness brands are being forced to demonstrate constant action, offer genuine tangible solutions, and live and breathe purpose throughout every facet of their business.

Take consumer goods giant, Unilever. In recent years, it has shifted its focus towards purpose-led brands such as Dove, Vaseline, and Ben & Jerry’s, to demonstrate its commitment to making a positive difference. In doing so, it has proven that brands addressing environmental or social issues can experience huge returns.

In 2019, the brand announced that its purpose-led, Sustainable Living Brands, were growing 69% faster than the rest of the business and delivering 75% of the company’s growth.

Elsewhere, established brands like Lululemon, L’oreal and Nike have unveiled ambitious plans to tackle their own environmental impact in an attempt to create relevance, drive ‘talkability’ and build market share. We’re also seeing businesses within the purpose-driven B Corp movement, such as Allbirds, Rebel Kitchen and Beautycounter, continuing to grow faster than the national average [2]. This is primarily driven by consumer demand for authentic, purpose-led brands.

In response to this trend, today wellness brands, big and small, are finding themselves having to embed sustainability into every channel and consumer touchpoint to prove they are giving back more than they take.

References

[1] A Universal Demand for Change

[2] To B or Not to B

[3] Three Categories In The Health And Wellness Industry That Venture Capitalists Are Betting Big On

[4] Driven by Pandemic Demand, Mental Health Startups Surpass 2019 Funding

© Welltodo 2020 Consumer Trends Report
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