Amway India's Ajay Khanna talks about the impact of COVID-19 on the marketing and perception of wellness products amongst consumers.
The need for healthy living has gained a significant momentum owing to the pandemic situation, with nutrition taking the center stage. Consumers globally have moved from a ‘nice to have’ to ‘need to have’ mindset for a preventive approach to wellness. This reflects in the way wellness brands indulge in marketing.
With health, immunity, and nutrition-based searches are registering a massive uptick in the last few months, brands have also realigned their marketing strategies to meet current evolving consumer needs. This irrevocable shift centred on holistic wellness has led to the rise of new trends in the domain. Inevitably, it has also given way to innovative and interesting marketing strategies to engage with consumers in ways that resonate with them and appeal to them.
Self-care gaining prominence
Pursuing holistic health along with a strong immune system has emerged as one of the key trends during the current global health crisis. Today, self-care has become the new essential. This is evident from a recent report by Facebook and BCG stating that even as 54% of Indians expect reduced income, they still intend to spend more on health products. Consequently, today, consumers across age groups and regions are seeking optimum nutrition through a balanced diet, quality dietary supplements coupled with regular exercise to maintain a healthy life.
Consumers’ attitude has also evolved towards food purchases in consideration of social and environmental sustainability, as well as health. The trend of going ‘back to local’ is soaring as consumers, especially the millennials, increasingly embrace traditional ingredients and products to maintain health and immunity.
Seed to shelf story
In a safety and sustainability-conscious COVID-19 world, ‘seed to shelf’ journey of a product is likely to become critical to consumers. This is especially relevant for nutrition and wellness brands. Today, brands, through their traceability story, connect with their discerning consumers on safety, quality, and authenticity aspect of a product, to build trust and recall. Consistent and transparent communication builds trust among consumers, a strong attribute that needs to be reinforced by brands in the current times.
Smart social selling is becoming cooler
From entertainment to work and hobbies to education, everything has moved online. Though digital isn’t new, the universal adoption of digital and social platforms, across economies and age-groups, is unprecedented. The sheer time spent by people online, especially the younger generation on social media apps, has led to the emergence of online communities built around common passions such as health, fitness, beauty, lifestyle, etc. This wellness trend helps in targeted marketing, allowing the brands to reach out to relevant communities sharing common interests. Consequently, it has also positioned social commerce as the indisputable market breakout trend for brands in the coming years.
The advent of social commerce has led to interesting concepts such as virtual storefronts, creating a personalized experience for the customers.
What’s more, gamification again can be another way to engage with younger audiences. Remember how Mario used to get superpowers by collecting the right power-ups? With the scope of AR/VR technology available today through immersive games, it will be exciting to see some wellness brands leveraging this domain for marketing.
Furthermore, the social selling ecosystem also provides an excellent opportunity for the people engaged in the gig economy, which is currently on the rise. The gigsters, mostly the millennials, are connected, well-informed, and the idealistic generation who are more proactive and health-conscious and can be excellent endorsers for smart healthcare. These young entrepreneurs can be brand ambassadors and help increase brand awareness in the best possible way and drive sales for the brand.
Customization for building connections
With social media putting the spotlight on wellness trends and reaching a wider audience, brands must customize content across social channels. This approach entails creating relevant and compelling content coupled with great virtual experiences that will make consumers’ lives easier and purposeful.
In the context of nutrition, health, and wellness, brands today are experiencing a never-before-seen inflexion point. Health and wellness trends tend to change over time. However, the current trend of making progressive changes in one’s daily routine to lead a healthier life is here to stay.
Hence, to be at the forefront, as a brand, you need to be closer to the audience more than ever. And, let’s be honest, nothing is sexier today than a simple, comfortable conversation about how to remain healthy!
This piece has been authored by Ajay Khanna, Chief Marketing Officer, Amway India.