SINGAPORE — Last month we presented the third and final instalment of our signature Founder Series: Asia, for 2018. Launching earlier this year, it has cemented itself as the industry favourite for brand leaders and investors to come together and discuss what’s happening in the wellness industry now and in the future.
In partnership with Bird & Bird, Barre 2 Barre, GuavaPass and a host of other leading wellness brands, we welcomed over 150 guests across the two days, at Core Collective and The Working Capitol, for a full programme of panel discussions, dynamic sessions and networking opportunities.
Featuring a line-up of industry-leading brands including Supernova, Amazin’ Graze, Wellteq, Mindfi, Green is the New Black, lululemon and more, we listened, learned and debated issues – from the founder journey and sustainability to leadership and technology. We also gave guests a sneak peek at Welltodo’s most recently released 2019 Consumer Wellness Trends Report; exploring the eight key consumer trends that we predict will impact the trajectory of the global wellness industry, not just now, but also into the future.
Read on to discover some of the key takeaways from the event and some behind the scenes photographs.
On Building A Wellness Brand
Amy Zheng, Co-Founder of Amazin’ Graze discussed the reasons for leaving the corporate world and sacrifices she faced as a result:
“I didn’t realise leaving the corporate world would mean stepping into the kitchen… but my motto is if it’s not hard, it’s not right,” explained Zheng, who shared that this mantra has often been her litmus test when reviewing the business and its growth.
Echoing Zheng’s sentiment in terms of sacrifices, Emily Hamilton discussed her journey surrounding the launch of Supernova and the role of social media in scaling the brand.
“The great thing is that social media has opened up a world where I don’t need a retailer to accept my product, I can just launch a product and start connecting and talking to people so that was really the inspiration behind Supernova.”
Hamilton revealed that she continues to see a huge opportunity in the market, as consumers are looking for brands to connect and engage with, but stressed that brands should focus on markets where the customers show more loyalty.
Discussing getting his business off the ground, Sam Middlehurst, Co-Founder of The Music Run explained that you have to be really focussed on the brand you are wanting to build and the consumer you want to communicate with, but it’s not a one size fits all policy. “If you’re afraid to fail, you’ll never move forward but the key is that if you do fail, learn to not do it again,” he said.
On Sustainability and Credibility In Wellness
Stephanie Dickson, Co-Founder of the conscious platform and community Green is the New Black, highlighted the importance of brands taking ownership of their own story. Being bold with their statements is key when it comes to what brands are doing to combat their own impact on the environment.
Speaking with Theresa Shan, Founder of Madana Yoga and now General Manager of the Absolute Group in Singapore, the duo discussed how small steps can be made across a business to put it in the right direction, and how much management and ownership need to be on board to get these changes over the line.
On Consumer Trends
Kate Sarginson, Welltodo’s Market Director for Asia, shared a brief overview of the trends impacting the wellness industry, drawing from Welltodo’s recently released 2019 Consumer Wellness Trends Report. Touching in particular upon the topics of Healthy Convenience, Inclusivity, Mental Health, Holistic Health and The Boutique Model, she used regional examples to showcase the brands and businesses that are driving these trends forward in Asia.
On the topic of Mental Health, for example, locally grown app, Mindfi has been developed to address the mental health gap, providing a fresh and practical approach for busy people to learn mindfulness meditation.
When it comes to holistic health, Malaysian health coach app Naluri is employing psychologists to help users prepare for lifestyle changes across their health and wellness goals. In addition to tracking diet and exercise, it also offers educational modules to help clients check in with mindfulness, stress triggers and more.
One of lululemon’s Key Leaders, Kim Fisel, shared insight into their in-house leadership practices. Broken down into 12 core principles, ranging from personal responsibility to entrepreneurship, these practices allow Lululemon employees to recognise the characteristics of leadership and to practice them in their daily lives. “We believe that by allowing everyone to have access to these practices, we help them to recognise their leadership potential and live into it more powerfully,” she explained.
Fisel went on to lead an insightful discussion with Mindfi founder, Bjorn Lee and Lifeworkz founder, Cheryl Liew-Chng on expert tips on leadership and how they incorporate it into their lives and help others to create positive practices.
On Technology’s Impact On The Wellness Industry
Emma Harris of GuavaPass together with Jake Anderson, Founder and CEO of One Life Social Media, Jeames Gillet, COO of Wellteq, Alexander Sheperd, Lawyer at Bird & Bird ATMD and Jeremy Rolleston, Founder and CEO of Active8me, discussed some of the sensitivities around data and how businesses can best protect themselves when driving their technology innovations forward.
Social media and software to support businesses to streamline and maximize their impact was a big focus for Anderson, who shared that “most people aren’t capitalizing on sales conversion due to not understanding how to best to communicate with their target customer or how to use the data effectively.”
Meanwhile, regarding the rise of at-home fitness apps, Rolleston argued that: “The rise of apps such as Sweat by Kayla Itsines, Fiit and Active8me has come about because traditional gyms didn’t own that space.” He went on to suggest that the way consumers are engaging with health and fitness is changing thanks to the dominance of technology and innovation and that companies need to stay ahead of the game to remain relevant.
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