The Welltodo 2019 Business of Wellness Trends Report takes a look at the trends impacting wellness businesses and industry leaders. This excellent report highlights many points fitness operators may wish to consider to maximise success in 2019 and future proof their business, we’ve pulled out the most pertinent points right here:
Transparency Gets Radical
Sustainability and transparency are more important than ever for brands. In the fitness industry, we spend a lot of time considering customer experience, product, and journey. The latest marketing campaigns champion the individual and their individual reasons for being active, but according to the report, we may be missing a trick. In 2019 and beyond it will become more important to build fitness brands on values with which the consumer can identify, ‘the opportunity lies in building more authentic and profitable relationships with customers. Meaningful relationships that shift the customer dialogue form ‘give ME what I want’ to ‘support the ideals WE believe in. Long-lasting relationships grounded in a common purpose and built around a collective sense of brand belonging.’ We are already seeing this with large consumer brands such as Nike, Lululemon and Clif Bar, perhaps it’s time for to operators to follow suit. After all, according to the report, ‘64% of consumers find brands that actively communicate their purpose more attractive.’
It used to be that the only competitors for fitness operators, were other operators. With the massive proliferation of health, wellness and fitness experiences this is no longer the case. Everyone from retailers to supermarkets are vying for the fitness pound and operators must diversify their offerings and experiences to compete. The Welltodo report highlights services such as Waitrose new in store nutrition consultation and shopping packages as well as Westfield’s wellness vision for the future.
In addition, more consumers are taking care of their health and fitness needs at home with services like DNA or blood testing for health, and online workouts. Operators would do well to shore up against the growth of home-wellness, by expanding their own range of services which extend beyond the four walls of the gym. According to the report, when experiences are done well, there is room for everyone, ‘customers are looking for wellness concepts in every environment across every category. The end game will be a mix of environments and delivery options.’
New Realms in Marketing
It’s fair to say that fitness operators are still to fully embrace working with influencers, historically success has been hard to quantify, and costs can quickly rack up. Now a clearer pathway is emerging for how to work with influencers to enhance your fitness brand. We all know that the best influencer partnerships are those which are authentic and credible but the report also highlights the value in harnessing the influencers own market knowledge to have a greater impact on consumers. ‘Brands can also benefit from the unique knowledge influencers posses when it comes to consumer trends, pain points or gaps in the market – to that end influencers are becoming a more valuable business tool than ever before.’
When identifying potential influencers with whom to work, brands can do well to start with their own talent pool, ‘Recognising just how powerful a weapon influencers can be, in 2018 two of the industry’s leading fitness brands made a pioneering move to harness the power of influencers they already have at their disposal – their own employees.’
Rebranding For Wellness
The report raises an interesting question, should operators think more in terms of ‘wellness’ than ‘health and fitness’ when it comes to their overall proposition. We have seen a diversification of the offering of gyms and health clubs over the past few years to include more holistic experiences such as spas, meditation and health assessments, but broadly speaking, consumer still think of gyms and health clubs as places to get fit rather than as wellness destinations. Bannatyne recently began positioning themselves as wellness business. Perhaps it’s time for more operators to revisit their overall proposition?
With the wellness industry worth $4.2 trillion dollars global, it’s definitely worth some consideration. If you need further convincing I’ll leave you with this stat from the report, ‘According to a recent survey by Ketchum, three quarters of consumers now believe that achieving wellness is as valuable as achieving financial stability.’