Marketing “Something More” in the Experience Economy

LAURA CONNELLYDear Wellness Lifestyle Marketer ,

Give me something more! Wow me! Enchant me! Entertain me! Impress me! Reassure me! Engage me! Thrill me! Restore me! Entice me! Fix me! Soothe me! And oh yeah…make sure you educate me too.

Your “one and only” customer
P.S-Just wanted to remind you it’s all about me!


 How Do You Market “Something More”?


 “Give me something more” and “it’s all about me” is the mantra of today’s consumer. The ability to contextualize, synthesize and emotionalize has become increasingly important to marketing success for wellness purveyors. To meet the market demands of today’s experience economy, savvy wellness and spa purveyors need to understand consumer trends and how to serve the customer individually in a customized fashion.

 How do you market “something more”? How do you differentiate and distinguish your brand and business? How do you create customer centric dialogue? How do you create brand loyalty in an increasingly short fused and competitive marketplace? These are all genuine challenges for wellness purveyors. The most successful brands are those who have mastered the art of storytelling and create an on-going interactive conversation with their target customer.

 Romancing Your Customer…

Welcome to the Experience Economy!

Products fulfill needs but experiences fulfill desires. How do you develop your unique business story and create intimate and customized experiences for your customers? In a highly competitive marketplace you must engage authentically and develop personal narratives with your customers.  In a world where bio-individuality is becoming increasingly revered and no one size treatment fits all, it is difficult to assess what will be embraced by your customers individually. This is why paying attention to macro trends and social networks is important. Forecasting the next big wellness trend is a start but learning how your customers will embrace the trend is really the key to marketing new products and services uniquely to your core customer base. Know thy customer intimately is your key mantra in the experience economy. Synthesizing trends and understanding what it means to your customer is crucial to the growth and success of your business.


What’s New and What’s Next?

 The macro trends of the consumer market are important to pay attention to when it comes to serving your customer and anticipating their needs.  Taking a long view of the culture and community you are serving while also developing a deeper understanding of market drivers affecting your customer is a smart approach to working with an experience economy that thrives on constant change and improvement. Four years ago I produced a business event called “Inside Beauty—Cultivating the Beauty Market from the inside…out. In efforts to introduce the traditional cosmetic and personal care markets to the changing mindset of consumers and the new emerging naturals market, I spelled out the trendscapes for them in promotional literature.  This information reflected changes already happening in 2005 and the future trends we could anticipate ahead.  Let’s look at the Trendscapes of 2005 and see how much has already transpired and continues to manifest today…

 Right now in 2005…

 Consumers demand healthy and natural products

  • Natural and organic trends change focus to “health and safety” in the cosmetics and personal care markets.
  • Convergence of beauty, health and wellness has begun
  • Natural Beauty products steadily creep into the mainstream markets
  • Mass manufacturers produce natural product lines promoting ingredients fused with nutraceuticals and botanicals
  • Anti-aging movement accelerates with core group of baby boomers turning fifty
  • Wellness trends gain momentum and specialty and high end spas respond to the call
  • Mass Market Retailers recognize hidden profit centers in supplements, personal care products and spa services

 What’s Ahead?

 Blending of health and beauty becomes main stream

  • The next big idea for beauty is all about health, wellness and longevity
  • Mass marketers and merchandiser jump into market aggressively
  • Natural grooming sections in mass stores are poised to spread
  • Specialty stores present food products containing natural ingredients along side of beauty Products
  • Traditional health & beauty aid stores and pharmacies go through transformation and create new models to meet new consumer demands
  • 21st Century health centers integrate the health, wellness and beauty concept into one stop stations
  • Day Spas and Wellness Centers will grow and proliferate as more consumers seek healthy lifestyle

 As we can see, most of the trends have played out and are still driving wellness culture today in 2009. Culture is a key word to embrace and understand. Wellness Culture is here to stay and will grow and respond to the changing needs of society as we learn more about wellness, longevity and prevention of disease.

 Market Drivers

Find a Need and Fill it!

 The key market drivers for spas and wellness centers are everlasting beauty, preventative health, wellness and longevity. These drivers put the focus on anti-aging, anti-stress, anti-obesity, anti-disease, vitality and energy management. With a health crisis in full swing in the U.S it is clear that “wellness” is the main objective for our society. Being pampered is a wonderful experience but living a healthy lifestyle and achieving longevity is the main focus for wellness consumers in 2009 and beyond.

 With a struggling economy and the biggest recession in history you can be sure that “stress management” will be a core need and appeal for most of your customers. What services do you provide that can address and fight the damaging effects of stress hormones and chemicals running wild in our bodies? If you can convey the value of unique treatments and how they can help manage stress while also teaching customers how they can function at optimum levels and possibly avoid cancer, they will have great motivation for bringing you business regularly. “What’s in it for me and what am I learning from you” is a consumer’s key call to action in the experience economy. Yet in recessionary times, you will also have to convey value. If you can convey the value (price points plus benefit) of service in a real authentic educational voice, you will have not only their trust but their repeated business.

 Food and Agriculture have taken center stage in the news as we learn more about where our food comes from and understand the organic movement more intimately. Attention to safety, diet, nutrition and energy management are all macro trends that tie into the organic and eco—green trends effecting the beauty, health and wellness industries. The products you sell and the ingredients they carry matter and this market driver presents a great opportunity for you to differentiate your retail line from your competitors. The more you can educate and be transparent in your business operations, the more likely you are to gain credibility with your customer base. Let your customer know what you are doing in terms of sustainability and protecting their interests when it comes to safety and ingredients. Romancing your customer is about showing interest for their concerns and their needs. Learning what is most important to them personally is your job!

 It’s all About Me!

Why Psychographic Research Matters to your Business…

 We are back to “how do you market something more” to each customer individually and keep their business? The simple answer is  knowing your customer’s needs intimately. Now is just about the time you throw your hands up in frustration and say…how do I do that? Plant a secret chip in their ear as I give a massage! We won’t be too long away from that, but for now using psychographics research is your best marketing tool and your secret arsenal to marketing personalized custom experiences. The simple definition of Psychographics is the study of personality, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. When you develop and construct a person or group’s psychographic makeup this is called a psychographic profile. Psychographic research has been used for market segmentation for decades and relied upon heavily by the advertising world.  With technological advances our research tools have become more sophisticated and more accurate in capturing intimate information about your target customer. Check in next week as I explore how to utilize psychographic research and be your own market research specialist.

 Capturing the hearts and minds of your “one and only” customers will become your main business objective and your distinct competitive advantage…

Laura Connolly

Wellness Communications Specialist

Trendscapes Media

Serving Wellness Lifestyle & Culture

Laura Connolly



One Response

  1. “Youth would be an ideal state if it came a little later in life.” – Herbert Asquith

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