How do you become a post-pandemic wellness business?

category - strategy
sector - beauty
type - features
Features
sector - health & wellness
The pandemic has radically changed the dynamic between healthcare and self-care, highlighting that every business could be a wellness business. Rachele Simms, head of strategy, and Victoria Buchanan, futures director at The Future Laboratory, unpack the key strategic take-outs from our new macrotrend, Synchronised Care

At our Beauty, Health & Wellness Futures Forum 2021, we presented our latest sector macrotrend, Synchronised Care, which examines how Covid-19 has taught us that taking care of ourselves is also a way to care for those around us.

As the virus has accelerated, so have our existing anxieties. This has led to a global mental health crisis. In 2020, consumers looked to brands to play a personal recuperative role in their lives, but now the foundations of wellness are starting to be rebuilt. In the future, it will be crucial for all organisations to prioritise our collective mental, emotional and spiritual needs. As Joe Holder, founder of The Ocho System, says: ‘We need to take a more proactive stance in the areas that truly impact our overall health, mental state, environment and culture.’

As health becomes a personal and public priority, a wider, more sustained and accessible narrative is taking shape. Consumers are beginning to reject the unlikely pairing of capitalism and wellness, and personal welfare practices are now becoming interconnected with every aspect of our lives and the world we live in.

As we move through 2021 and beyond, the beauty and wellness industry will need to transcend its aesthetic definition to represent something far greater. A key focus for wellness businesses will be how they can view sustainability as about more than environmental impact, and something that includes ethical, social and human impact.

Younger consumer attitudes are already shifting to be more inclusive and carefree, with Gen Z leading this reframing of beauty and wellness as more democratic pursuits. As Poonam Dhuffer, founder of YSM8, explains: ‘Black and people of colour (POC) communities understand that wellness is deeply connected to spiritual collectivism and that it is separate from capitalism.’

As enjoyment becomes a political act against the mechanisms of capitalism, brands must also move beyond static definitions of self-expression and self-actualisation, and instead start to appeal to this new-found hedonism with intersectional ambassadors, optimistic brand language and products to boost happiness.

Importantly, the role of wellness is breaking out of the industry’s traditional categories and becoming a more fundamental brand pillar, bringing with it new expectations and opportunities for all businesses to represent wellness. The goal will be to reflect the interdependencies between planetary, individual and intersectional values.

Published by:

22 June 2021

Author: Rachele Simms and Victoria Buchanan

Image: Co-Healing by Serina Tarkhanian

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Open meditation, design and branding by Some Days

Key thought-starters:

1. Decolonise the narrative
The wellness sector must consider historical wellness practices of people of the global majority. How can your business engage and support diverse communities beyond sponsorship or marketing to celebrate their lived experiences without appropriating their culture?

Look to fitness clubs like Blaque, which puts the Black experience at the heart of its services – from the music played to the beauty products available – and shows how being fit and healthy is no longer the preserve of affluent white people.

2. Create a new framework for hope

In an increasingly uncertain future, hope is emerging as a radical form of resilience and a new pillar of wellbeing. How can your brand help people to confront life’s challenges, build emotional resilience and accept human vulnerability?

Look to Madhappy, a Californian streetwear label that was launched in 2017, which recently unveiled The Local Optimist, a digital platform that aims to spread optimism and openness around mental health.

3. Build a bio-contributing brand

With an unprecedented awareness of how sustainability is linked to wellness, brands have an opportunity to preserve and provide equitable access to nature. How can you establish a dynamic between personal and ecological wellbeing?

Learn from brands like Haeckels, which demonstrates regenerative practices such as aquaculture and shows how this could help close the gap between health and sustainability in the future.

 

Our team of strategists have developed a wide-ranging set of strategic decision-making tools to help provide future-first solutions for our clients. If you would like to know more, or have any questions about embedding our macrotrends into your business, drop us a message at hello@thefuturelaboratory.com. We look forward to accelerating into the future with you.

‘In an increasingly uncertain future, hope is emerging as a radical form of resilience and a new pillar of wellbeing.’
 

Want to learn more about how you can apply these key thought-starters to your business?

Strategic foresight is the most valuable tool you can adopt to identify and chart a course for future growth and long-term prosperity. Our strategic services employ this future-first approach.

Members of LS:N Global can read more about the strategic implications of Synchronised Care as well as new downloadable strategic worksheets.

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