At the recent HEALING SUMMIT in Portugal, I led a discussion about a new consumer movement who is leading the healing way. It was all about putting the spotlight on the current global shift in awareness.
In short, I talked about the transition in focus – from status to meaning – and how brands ignore “spirituality” at their own peril.
I pointed out that purpose, interconnectedness and creativity mean more than ever before. Fact is the wealthier consumer has already surpassed the Maslow pyramid of needs that encompass material security and social belonging. Many are now moving on from a focus on ego and status. They realize that “Double H” namely health & happiness is the new wealth. Leaving behind old habits of accumulation of material goods, they welcome minimalism and de-cluttering!
A trend today is Marie Kondo’s focus on material de-cluttering, but looking to tomorrow it is about de-cluttering our belief systems and self-images.
The other two panelists joining this HEALING SUMMIT session, Claudia Wagner and Jane Kitchen, added some great food for thought:
On marketing to the spiritualized consumer
Claudia Wagner is the Managing Director of FIT Reisen, Europe’s biggest tour operator for health and wellness. Her focus on the panel was on how to market to the spiritualized consumer. Meaning in essence to “people who are seeking ‘something’ but don’t know what it is exactly”.
She concluded that, ultimately, people crave fulfillment. This seems “fluffy” and means that messaging has to be firmly based on factual knowledge and insights.
The tone of guest engagement must be sincere and authentic, as always, but key is that age, income, etcetera are less important than personal values. Trust for example is the new major decision-making factor in an era of information overflow.
When talking of trust, authenticity is key. It’s truly beneficial if the marketer her/himself “walks the talk”. Claudia Wagner certainly does. Convinced that holistic healing methods work, she started to include already back in 1995 Transcendental Meditation in the FIT Reisen health package offering. And she personally practices Yoga, Qi Gong, and such in her own free time.
What is that elusive “something”?
The other panelist, Jane Kitchen, is the editor of Spa Handbook, author of Spa Foresight and contributing editor to Spa Business Magazine. She stays in touch with some of the most influential people in the business, constantly examining shifts in the market place and reporting on new developments. She spoke about the rise of the solo traveller and what it means for marketers active in the luxury/wellness/healing sector.
Agreeing with Claudia Wagner that people are looking to connect with an elusive something, she stated that “it is all about a longing to connect on a deeper level”. Be it to other similar-minded people, to the people and the place visited, or to oneself.
Giving examples of trends that can foster connection between people, Claudia Wagner mentioned the rise of the communal table at hotels. Jane, on the other hand, talked about the ‘Wellness-sing’ retreats, a new program that aims to bring the transformative power of group singing to the world of spas.
‘Wellness-sing’ is not only an example of a natural way to connect on a group level, but also proof of another marketer “walking the talk”. Why? Jane is developing ‘Wellness-sing’ in her own spare time. This allows her own personal interest to bring an edge to her professional life.
Reflecting on the session, I concluded that another aspect had been added to the definition of the spiritualized consumer: S/he is someone who sees themselves as part of the offering. It is no longer you – client; I am also you – the client.
Download the Soul Luxury Insight Report “Spotlight on the Spiritualized Consumer” HERE.
Food for your Soul is a regular column featuring short articles for moments of reflection – to look at life from a different perspective (should you choose to!). Invest a few minutes and allow your thoughts to ponder. Awareness creates choice.