As the wellness revolution continues to gain traction, the $3.7 trillion industry has become a hotbed for entrepreneurs with ambitions of launching and growing a successful business.
From nutrition and fitness to workplace wellness and travel, for disruptive startups with market challenging ideas, the opportunities are abundant, with the potential payoff well worth the risk.
But for every lululemon or SoulCycle of the world, there are hundreds of new businesses that never make the cut. The brutal truth is that nine out of ten startups won’t succeed, with heightened competition being one of the main reasons for failure.
Standing out in such a crowded market is never going to be easy, even if you believe your product or service is going to be the next big thing. So what can you do to differentiate your brand and engage with your market more effectively?
The organisations featured on our Business Services Directory know only too well just how challenging growing a business in the wellness industry can be. Whether you need support with communications, PR, content creation, web design, legal advice or something else, these high-quality and specialised providers offer services designed to take your wellness business to the next level.
Here, these experts share their proven tactics to help you cut through the noise and communicate your message more clearly………….
It’s not what you do, but how you do it
According to global creative agency DS Creative, the defining element that separates a good brand from a truly great one is the virtue of belief.
To bring absolute value — be that via a product or service — a brand has to communicate from a foundation and confidence that arises from believing unequivocally in why they are there.
By stepping away from selling what they do and differentiating themselves by how they do it, brands are able to create true meaning in the words that shape their story. Their story becomes the framework from which they are able to establish authentic and meaningful relationships with people. Not their clients, not their staff, customers or audiences – their people.
By taking this holistic approach to communicating their brand and its voice, business owners will ensure the right type of message is used to not only reach their audience but to emotionally engage and inspire them to believe there is a need for what they do.
Let your packaging tell the story
Not Another Design Agency’s Founder Tim Heard who has worked with Protein World and Free Soul, says there are so many interconnecting factors required to create a stand-out brand, but the two areas that are often rushed or under-budgeted for, are packaging and product photography.
He argues that startups should think of their packaging as their primary advertising and try to avoid the standard, go-to packaging solutions for their category. “Be creative; use different materials, shapes, print finishes, type styles, colours and words, and add a twist wherever possible. It takes time, it costs more, but the benefits are tangible – and will separate your brand from the competition on a busy shelf.”
He also suggests that startups invest wisely in high-quality, specialist product photography.
“Remember that for much of your target audience, their first introduction to your product is likely to be a fleeting glimpse of a 3cm square picture on a mobile phone. Again it takes time and costs more, but if you plan to invest in both online and print advertising, beautiful photography will stand out and position you above the rabble.”
Understand your competition
Indigoeight, communications specialists in wellness, travel and design suggest that many startups measure themselves against businesses with the same offering and miss others who are not such obvious competition, but steal their share of the market.
Hayo’u Method, a startup Indigoeight works with, sells a jade face tool which has a number of competitors selling cheaper options. It would be easy to focus on these, argues Indigoeight, however, Hayo’u sees its competition as going well beyond the natural products realm. Instead, positioning itself alongside some of the best-selling electronic brands such as Clarisonic. This impacts its entire strategy.
Luxley, which undertakes brand and profile management: for lifestyle, fitness and wellness brands and individuals, argues that as the wellness market has boomed, so too have businesses that lack credibility. “This ‘Pseudoscience’ has tarnished the industry and the quality of information available to consumers has been mixed, leading to a backlash,” says Founder Katie Marshall.
According to Marshall, startups need to cut through this and endorse their credibility from the outset by providing studies, data and research to back up their offering. In addition, they need to be clear and concise in their communications with customers because today’s wellness consumer is savvier than ever before.
“We work with an incredible business called WellSpoken – created to ensure there is credibility in the wellness industry. It works with wellness brands and ambassadors to ensure that they provide consumers with the highest level of credible, authentic, evidence-based information on fitness, nutrition and emotional wellbeing. Have a look at the work they do for inspiration and guidance on how to ensure your business ticks the super important box of credibility,” suggests Marshall.
Head back next week to read more tips from our experts, from creating a compelling story to having a clear purpose.