The world is embracing health and wellness at a scale never seen before. Increased focus on eco-friendly causes, sustainability, healthy eating, and fitness means people are more conscious of living a lifestyle that’s good for them and everyone around them. And it’s no different in the marketing industry.
At the forefront of communications between brands and consumers, there’s no industry that picks up trends faster than the marketing industry. Food fads, lifestyle trends, living ethically — if the marketing industry doesn’t embrace these concepts before consumers do, then brands miss out on a chance to connect with their target audience.
In our current state of the world, we’re seeing health trends dominate the marketing industry as consumers grow more interested in their health and wellness. Here are 3 examples of these trends that are happening right now.
1. The conscious consumer
Consumers are growing increasingly conscious of their consumption, and the marketing industry is listening. In the last few years, the industry has seen a "real shift in behaviors with consumers wanting to do the right thing with their shopping." If your marketing isn't responding to that increased consciousness, then you could be missing out.
The media is honing its focus on issues of climate change, obesity, and healthy. In response, people are growing increasingly interested in what they consume and how it impacts their health and the environment. For brands to have long-term success, they have to start marketing their products through the lens of the conscious consumer.
The conscious consumer doesn't just look at their own values and practices, they scrutinize the brands they consume just as much. In the age of social media, consumer engagement with brands is on the rise, and it's easier than ever for them to make or break a brand.
With higher engagement means a louder voice in expressing their opinions, so if consumers disapprove of a brand's practices, they will shout it loud and clear. An example of this is the consumer outrage after Coles supermarket reversed its plastic bag ban in Australia.
The Brands In Motion study found that the "vast majority" of consumers would "join in the public shaming" of a brand under attack. This means that marketing has to be aligned with consumer values, and brands need to self-regulate to identify potential issues before they arise and cause destruction.
2. Healthy packaging
It seems as though allergies and intolerances are becoming a food trend in and of themselves. Increasing amounts of consumers are shopping in supermarkets with dietary restrictions on everything from nuts and gluten to dairy and meats.
At the same time, more consumers are looking towards products that are natural, organic, antioxidant, cruelty-free. In a sea of choices, the consumer with dietary restriction is scanning shelves to quickly identify those products that they can eat — usually a small percentage of what’s available.
And brands are responding by packaging their products to reflect this increased desire for healthy foods by focusing on healthy consumer pain points.
Nutritional information has become a form of marketing that makes products stand out amongst the sea of processed, unwise, unhealthy food choices. The healthy consumer doesn't have time to read every label and ingredient, and sometimes a simple health claim is all it takes for them to be convinced a product is good for them.
3. Work hard, play hard
Marketing and advertising agencies have always embraced the ‘work hard, play hard’ ethos. Now, this concept has become ingrained in the very culture of marketing itself. Late nights and 5 am starts to video conference teams across the globe are no stranger to agency life.
Neither is Friday drinks, team building days, free gym passes and indulging in freshly cooked catered meals. Marketers are working harder than before, especially with the addition of digital, data, and increased media channels. But they’re also rewarding themselves for their hard work more than ever before.
Marketing companies are selling the ‘work hard, play hard’ concept to create a work culture that embraces fun, creativity, and social connections as much as it prioritizes productivity.
It’s about building an atmosphere that actually makes people want to be working in office round-the-clock. When employees feel valued, they respond by working harder - and it’s been shown that the ‘play hard’ trend increases profit and productivity in companies overall.
4. Being healthy is marketable
While there was once a time that “healthiness” was frowned upon as being bland, boring, and dull, it’s fair to say that healthy living is having its time in the spotlight.
Being health-conscious is more popular than ever before, and marketers need to embrace that trend to keep their brands front and center in the eye of the consumer. Whether it’s in the office or in the marketing strategy, feeding that “healthy living” trend is key to success.
Luke Fitzpatrick is a Forbes contributor and a guest lecturer at Sydney University—in his past, he worked for startups in both South Korea and Australia.