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Consumers expect brands to have wellness offerings, new study finds

Photo by Chelsea shapouri on Unsplash

The recently released Ogilvy Wellness Gap study has quantified the gap between consumers’ wellness expectations of brands and how they judge delivery against those expectations in seven key sectors, including skincare.

Ogilvy’s chief communication officer, David Ford, writes: “The $4.5 trillion global wellness economy – growing twice as fast as the global economy – is now so pervasive that for 73% of global consumers, wellness is now considered an essential element of a brand’s strategy.”

In its Wellness Gap study, Ogilvy surveyed 7,000 consumers from 14 countries across four continents to gain new insight into how they see wellness in 2020 and to help marketers close the glaring opportunity gaps as they look to growth in their businesses. This global research was conducted in April 2020 at a time when wellness declined rapidly for many, placing an increasing significance on wellness as the world heads into 2021.

As per the study, 77% of people say wellness is very or extremely important to them; 80% of people want to improve their wellness; 75% feel brands could do more for their wellness; and only 46% feel that brands take their wellness as a priority.

Ford continues: “Take major wellness industries like food and skincare, which have innovated and grown around wellness for the last two decades. Yet only 41% of global respondents agree the food sector and 53% agree the skincare sector is doing all it should to help them with their wellness.”

Marion McDonald, Ogilvy’s global health & wellness practice lead, adds: “Every brand can be a wellness brand now. Wellness is in many ways the more tangible benefit of ‘purpose.’ We think this is very good news for brands. It shows that wellness remains an opportunity for double digit growth by meeting numerous consumer expectations to close the gap.”

Discussing the implications of this study, Benoit de Fleurian, Ogilvy’s Global Planning Lead for Health & Wellness said, “Wellness has created new conversations, new expectations, new purposes – both for companies and individuals. It has inspired new businesses, new brands, new products, new services, new experiences. Wellness has seen companies pivot their strategy, business and portfolio. It has started to revolutionise entire industries.”

Wellness washing

Wellness washing is a significantly growing sentiment among consumers, and Ogilvy found that only 41% agree that brands which make wellness promises are usually believable.

Further, 53% say they find it hard to tell the difference between real and fake wellness claims. People want authentic stories, ingredients they can understand, benefits they can believe and most importantly, brands that deliver on their promises to develop a strong competitive edge.

The wellness economy offers some of the most exciting growth prospects in consumer goods marketing, and COVID-19 will only accelerate this phenomenon. But there is a profound and urgent need to reframe the wellness offer and close the wellness gap for consumers. The Ogilvy Wellness Gap study helps brands find their growth opportunities in the new frontier of wellness.

Download the full Ogilvy report here.

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