In a time of major societal challenges, dietary concerns, and sustainability worries, it’s no surprise that people everywhere are looking for ways to get fitter, healthier, and happier. It’s more than just idle curiosity, too — and they’re willing to part with a lot of money to get results, and this has created an environment in which great wellness businesses can reliably flourish.
But what exactly goes into a great wellness business? What sets the rapidly-expanding brands apart from the small wellness stores struggling to make ends meet? We could point to numerous factors, but the core element is undoubtedly branding. Build the right kind of brand, and it’ll give you a serious edge over your rivals.
Doing that isn’t easy, though. It takes a lot of work to create a compelling brand. To help you on your way, here are 5 branding lessons that every wellness brand needs to think about:
Now more than ever before, people are drawn to companies that show true authenticity. Such companies don’t pretend to be anything they’re not, or blindly go along with whatever happens to be in vogue. They’re open, honest, and forthcoming about how they operate, what they want to achieve, and what they care about.
This is particularly important In the wellness world because health (regardless of whether it’s mental health or physical health) is a serious issue. It’s actually one of the few issues that everyone cares about — after all, it affects us all. Snake-oil sellers were once able to flourish very cynically, but people today are far better at sniffing out the disingenuous.
Note that this isn’t really about efficacy: studies have shown crystal healing to be completely ineffective, but crystal healers can still get a lot of business if they truly believe in what they’re offering. If you believe in your business, others will believe in it too.
Whether you sell products (or simply use them for your services), you’ll need to source them somehow: either in whole through third-party suppliers, or in part as your ingredients. Either way, there are ethical concerns: are any animals hurt along the way? How sustainable are the components? Many skincare items are tested on animals, after all, and/or contain animal parts.
And then there’s the matter of working conditions. If your wellness brand is all about mental health and work/life balance, but your workers are unhappy in their roles, that situation is likely to leak to social media and cause you major problems due to perceived hypocrisy.
In everything you do — how you source your products, treat your workers, treat your clients, and even choose brand partners — you need to create and follow a clear ethical code. That way, people will be able to follow and support your brand without feeling guilty that they’re supporting an immoral company.
As noted, wellness is consistently important, so it makes sense that people would want to deal with consistent wellness brands. Every facet of your business needs to be steady and reliable so your customers know that you’ll deliver whenever called upon to provide a great product or an effective service — if you offered a fantastic aromatherapy service, for instance, but couldn’t be trusted to show up on time, stressed and time-poor clients would look elsewhere.
If you’re a service provider, then offer some kind of guarantee of quality, and ensure that you live up to it. If you sell products, take the plunge to set out a generous no-quibbles return policy, and possibly offer free samples so people can test things first. Either way, make sure your business website is rock-solid by ensuring that your website is memorable and doesn’t go down when a lot of people try to access it.
To achieve this, you’ll want to pair a solid domain name (ideally something short, easy to type, and memorable) with a scalable ecommerce solution. Shopify’s scalable system is a popular choice because of its wide range of specially designed templates. Fully customizable, website templates like these make it simple to create a consistent aesthetic throughout your website and introduce the features wellness customers expect to see, including dynamic product displays, drop down menus, newsletter integration, and mobile compatibility. Helping customers to feel more secure with their buying choices, this is the approach that highly successful wellness brands have taken, so it’s certainly worth a look.
Fail to achieve consistency, whether in your products, your service, or your website, and your customers will lose interest in you and look elsewhere instead — so don’t take this lightly.
As brands grow, they can all too easily make the mistake of spending too much time thinking about winning new customers, and not enough time considering how they can better serve the loyal customers that enabled their growth in the first place. A loyal customer is always worth more than a new customer — it costs more to win a new customer than to retain an existing one, plus loyal customers spend more on average.
The connection between a wellness brand and its customers can be quite close, in a sense, because the customers rely on that brand to help them get fitter, become healthier, and feel better. If a brand starts to move in a new direction that loyal customers wouldn’t be happy with (for instance, radically changing its product line to attract new audiences, or lowering the costs of its services for new customers only), it can throw away all that established goodwill.
So if you manage to grow your wellness brand to a point at which you can count on the support of a loyal base of customers, don’t take those loyal customers for granted and put all your effort towards wooing new customers. Keep them happy, or your business will suffer.
Driven by the near-endless options provided by the internet, consumer preferences can change extremely quickly — this is particularly likely for anything pertaining to foods or beverages, and since many health products are comestibles, it’s something you need to monitor very closely. Just note that you need to stand by your loyal base, but that doesn’t mean being completely resistant to change: after all, your base will likely want you to keep getting better.
For example, as new products (or wellbeing techniques) enter mainstream awareness, you’ll likely fall under pressure to add them to your business. While taking time to think about possible changes is understandable, flat-out refusing to give people what they want because you’d prefer to keep your business as it is could be just as bad as being too quick to change.
In short, then, keep an open mind about what your business does and how it operates. The health and wellness industry is an ever-changing field, with old methods falling out of favor and new methods appearing to be tested by the populace. Provided you wait for consensus to be reached before you adapt, you’ll have a much better shot at enduring as a business if you’re occasionally willing to make some changes.
Let’s recap what we’ve looked at, then: if you’re going to build a thriving wellness brand, you need to be authentic, operate ethically, achieve operational consistency, look after your most loyal customers, and be ready to move with the times. No matter whether you’re providing protein powders or selling fitness wear, these tips will help your brand stay ahead of the game.