When it comes to everyday living, there is nothing more important than taking care of your health and well-being. Instantaneous media connectivity, constant technological updates and the work week lifecycle can leave many feeling burned out. In today’s culture there is an increased shift towards fostering a sense of wellness — personally, socially and professionally.
What does the process for working on a brand in the wellness category look like and how do consumer interests and needs drive our work at invōk brands? When creating differentiation and high consumer awareness, we consider today’s drivers in wellness and how they influence our approach to brand and package design on a strategic and creative level. Our process at invōk allows us to be introduced to the consumer, establish visual guidelines based on their interests, conceive work that responds and adapts to these interests throughout the process, and ends with the creation of a brand that is authentic and true to their lifestyle.
01. Self Love
Celebrate a holistic approach to beauty; where self-care is the driving force. This notion of wellness from the inside out embraces the natural look and champions mental health. The notion of “radical self-care” is now valued as a necessity as opposed to a luxury and is manifested through practicing mindfulness, self-love rituals, wellness retreats and curated, sensory experiences which are shaping the retail, dining and entertainment landscape.
The shift towards self-care is now seen as an essential part of daily life to manage stress, reduce anxiety, increase focus, boost productivity and support immunity. Google has reported that searches for “self-care” have increased by 25% within the last year. Many people are finding comfort in the simplicity of meditation, yoga, connecting with nature, embracing mindfulness, treating with better-for-you food and beverages, practicing breathwork exercises and even going to bed earlier. What does this mean for brands? Companies like Restival and Wanderlust Festival are hosting wellness retreats that aim to nurture an intimate group in search of authentic experiences of culture and self. How can brands leverage wellness to focus on accommodating changing consumer needs?
02. Less is More
This year has seen a dramatic increase of practicality, minimalism, and finding balance. Countless books and podcasts about managing wellness, living with intent, buying less and practicing minimalism have skyrocketed in popularity. Focusing on simplicity allows for more present and meaningful interaction, productivity and stability. As minimal gurus The Minimalists say in their podcast, “the shortest path to freedom is appreciating what you already have.” For brands like Package Free and The Light Phone, who aim to reduce physical and digital waste, the minimalist movement helps improve the lives of people on an environmental and mental level.
Brands are seeing the value in focusing on redefining success beyond financial merit, reducing their global footprint on local and global scales and decluttering to allow for more freedom. The Package Free store, for example has kept approximately 3,300,000+ plastic straws, 4,700,000+ plastic bags and 811,000+ non-recyclable cups out of landfills since opening. How can brands help clear the clutter to make room for more of what’s important in life?
03. Radical Transparency
Transparency is about a brand staying true to their values and expressing them through all brand touchpoints. Studies have shown that consumers are more brand-loyal to companies that take a stand for a cause or own up to their mistakes. In a time when fake news is rampant, transparency is now seen as a tablestake attribute for brands. Without transparency, there is no truth.
Brands like Everlane, Public Goods and Unilever are endorsing radical transparency in garment manufacturing, ingredient listing and product formulation. Companies are favoring ethical practices, authenticity over perfectionism, pure and natural ingredients, and personalization to craft niche markets that make a difference. Transparency enables the brand’s true north to shine through to create strong, long-lasting resonance with consumers. How can brands leverage transparency, authentically, to connect with audiences while simultaneously working towards the greater good of society?
04. Hyper-Functional Foods
As we enter the second half of 2018, it’s time to reflect on the wellness goals we may have set for the year. People are rediscovering the power of ancient foods like matcha, kombucha, kava and fermented foods as well as health benefits of probiotics, anti-inflammatory diets, plant-based nutrition and eating good fats like coconut, avocado and nut oils. The food and beverage industry has seemingly exploded overnight with wellness remedies and new ways of eating well.
Some brands on the do-gooder bandwagon include LA juice brand, Moon Juice, who started selling Moon Dust, dried and blended super herbal supplements to aid 6 different health ailments; Dirty Lemon who make activated charcoal beverages to remove impurities in the body and Daily Harvest, who deliver the convenience of pre-portioned superfood eats without compromising on quality or nutrition. If we are what we eat, how can brands harness the power of hyper-functional foods to not only nourish our bodies but also our minds?
05. Digital Domination
Whispers of a total tech takeover are swirling through Twitterverse, raising concerns of privacy and job security. Despite this somewhat negative perspective, technology is constantly improving our everyday lives, from assisting us to achieve our health and wellness goals, and increasing job productivity, to making transportation more comfortable and efficient. Technology is helping us to learn and understand more about our bodies, guide and increase our productivity and continue connecting us with each other in new and innovative ways.
Brands like Headspace, Fitbit and Vinaya have become integral parts of our lives in aiding physical and mental wellness. Vinaya, for example, trains the brain to focus, helping users learn to listen to their body to improve work-life balance, understand what triggers stress and determine when they’re the happiest. They aim to push past the noisy pixels to embrace presence above chaos. With all the wonderful things technology is helping us achieve, how can brands help us navigate the digital divide and define what it means to be human in the digital age?