The Changing Face of Health & Wellness Shopper Marketing

In today’s world, the term "health & wellness” means something totally different than it did even just a few years ago. Consumers no longer equate health & wellness with solely the prevention or management of chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Instead, they are seeking answers to bigger questions about how your brand fits into a larger, more comprehensive health & wellness lifestyle—one that embraces positive nutrition, sustainability, and a balanced lifestyle, in addition to disease prevention and management. As their interest in a wellness lifestyle grows, consumers are looking to many sources for support and guidance, from health professionals to retailers.

Retailers are working hard to address the evolving health & wellness needs of consumers. Some employ dietitians, others offer biometric screenings, and many are turning to shelf-labeling systems, such as Healthy Aisles and Guiding Stars, or value-added services at the pharmacy to meet consumer demand. Unfortunately, this often results in a mish-mash of tactics available under one roof, but with no unifying theme or strategy. More importantly, a focus on clinical services and disease prevention or management means too many retailers are failing to match the expanding definition of health & wellness, resulting in efforts that don’t meet all consumers’ needs.

As retailers evolve their thinking to match that of the consumer, it’s important to note that successful retail health & wellness strategies need to:

  • Create relevant themes that sync with the breadth and depth of consumers’ health & wellness needs

  • Position the retailer as a positive force in helping consumers meet their health & wellness goals—without attempting to become the be-all and end-all of health & wellness

  • Focus on continuous engagement, avoiding one-off or seasonal executions that fail to recognize health & wellness as a daily factor for consumers

  • Embrace activations that allow consumers to personalize and customize, defining what health & wellness value they need on any given day

Photo credit: Walmart Corporate