Hero State:

Hero State Principle

Well-State: What’s Next for Wellness?

Anxiety and isolation have consumed the global imagination during the shutdown, particularly with younger generations. 65% of consumers said in a recent NPD survey that they believe the worst impacts are still to come. Concern for pandemics, elections, and the environment has put national anxiety levels into overdrive, presenting the wellness industry with the challenge/opportunity of finding new ways to respond to a shifting consumer psyche. Even as shelter-in-place orders relax, a return to social life as we knew it will be a slow process with an evolving emphasis on health.

As consumers look for protection, both literal and metaphorical, wellness brands providing safety and functionality will thrive. With the cosmetics industry taking a hit on beauty-related products, even teen spending on cosmetics dipped during the pandemic (Piper Jaffray), the focus will move toward new health initiatives, including teletherapy, and new immune supplements from brands like Hilma. Digital innovations are going beyond mindfulness to engage consumers virtually. The #selfcare app, for example, presents users with calming everyday tasks to complete in the digital world. Health and fitness apps already saw a 40% increase in downloads during the shutdown and will continue to shift more into the home wellness space. Is Zoom yoga the future ClassPass?

Self-love will also come into play as consumers find escapism in pampering and humor, with an emphasis on togetherness and shared stories. The popularity of The Social Distance Project, for example, or humorous publications riffing on popular TV shows like Sex and the City’s “Carrie’s Covid Columns,” bring irreverent humor to pandemic culture. The “treat yourself” mantra will move into the sensory space, with essential oils, candles, and quarantine baking being seen as wellness staples. Brands can engage in this space by becoming the ideal listeners and offering consumers the antidotes they need, from moments of playful levity to mental health tools.