By Michelle Du-Prat, Executive Strategy Director at Household
Wellness is emotional, it’s holistic, it’s the next big thing in hospitality. The concept of wellness has grown from the basics of leading a healthy lifestyle – eating well and obligatory gym membership – to playing a role in all areas of people’s lives. As such, the global wellness industry is experiencing a dramatic period of exponential growth, valued at $3.72 trillion in 2017 alone. As the wellness market continues to expand in size and scope, brands are moving beyond the sector’s traditional dimensions to offer wellness in all areas of customers’ lives, from sleep to work to state of mind.
The new wellness focused customer sees travel as a chance to take regular wellness routines to the next-level and is seeking brands that offer elevated wellness experiences – 82 per cent of travel experts say guest priority is maintaining wellness goals. Therefore, the hospitality industry is perfectly placed to reap the benefits and opportunities of this growing sector.
When it comes to hospitality, wellness experiences must involve products and experiences that are good for guests, good for the planet and fit effortlessly into everyday health, beauty and wellness routines. Take sleep for instance, it’s a bestseller! The sleep-health industry is now worth $30-40 billion, growing over 8 per cent YOY and showing few signs of slowing down.
We know that living well starts with sleeping well, so Household invented the Sleep Studio for The White Company, to move away from a traditional bedding category into an emotive, benefit led destination in store. Customers are invited to craft their perfect night’s sleep with a tactile, seven step experience for selecting sheets, pillows, duvets and mattresses.
Luxury spa company Six Senses has created whole resorts centred around sleep, with rooms equipped with lamps to regulate circadian rhythms and a bespoke sleep programme built in partnership with healthcare professionals. Indeed, brands don’t need to be the universal expert, but instead should collaborate with trusted partners to provide an expert touch. Six Senses consult experts on everything down to selecting the perfect bedding to provide the optimal rest and relaxation experience.
From individual experts sharing knowledge to large-scale brand partnerships, wellness provides a great opportunity for cross-sector collaboration. Take the emerging legal cannabis market. Covering everything from edibles and dispensaries to pet and spa, the market is exploding through multiple categories. Currently, the US is leading the way, with Med Men, the ‘Apple of cannabis retail’, combing product provenance and accessible expertise to create a contemporary experience for loyal fans and first-time customers alike. With 82 per cent of Brits supporting legalising medical marijuana there is a clear opportunity for hospitality brands to incorporate this emerging sector into their wellness offer.
As the growing marijuana market exemplifies, the wellness opportunity is no longer just about luxury hospitality brands; there is plenty of scope to make wellness accessible to new audiences. And where better to start that with a brand’s own employees. The Breakers resort champions wellness for both guests and staff, ensuring staff culture aligns with guest experience and transforming employees into brand advocates in the process. At The Breakers, 95 per cent of employees participate in the resort’s wellness programme, which encompasses everything from fitness programs to mental health support. The scheme’s implementation has led to a significant reduction in staff turnover which is now half the average industry rate.
This holistic approach to wellness acknowledges the link between mind and body, a key aspect of any wellness offer. 75 per cent associate mental health with health and people want to look after both. Taking a holistic, 360-degree approach to wellness for successfully delivering personalised guest experiences.
Indeed, forward thinking wellness brands are increasingly acknowledging customers as individuals, and therefore providing personalised products, services and experiences. Take Anatome, an all-encompassing Wellness destination that offers everything from protein supplements to essential oils. The London boutique takes an inclusive, empathetic and individual-led approach with a pressure free service model. Experts are always on hand to offer advice tailored to customers’ life goals, from emotional wellbeing to nutritional support.
With people striving for self-improvement, mind, body and soul, the opportunity for Hospitality brands is to take a holistic approach to wellness. Building trust via genuine offers of support can extend a one-off interaction into a relationship to remember, enabling the brand to play a greater role in all areas of guests’ lives.