How brands can benefit from supporting consumers' well-being

A study from Edelman found the majority of consumers believe brands can do more to help them achieve stress-free, satisfying lives.

NEW YORK: Brands can resonate with consumers by supporting their overall well-being, as health has become integral in every aspect of life, according to research from Edelman.  

The American Well-Being Study – from Edelman Wellness 360 – revealed that respondents value their health emotionally more than physically, but 63% don’t know how to reach the state of "emotional well being, like relieving stress and increasing self-esteem."

Another insight from the survey, which interviewed 1,053 adults last November, showed how strongly people are alone in their efforts, with 89% indicating they feel "personally responsible" for their own well-being.

The data showed that just 36% of Millennials and Baby Boomers are "very satisfied" with their well-being, with those in Generation X polling at 27%.

Jennifer Hauser, director of Edelman Wellness 360, said people’s "huge sense of responsibility" and excessive self-critiquing has opened the door to the "modern well-being dilemma."

She explained that people are hyper-connected in almost every other aspect of life, so attempting well-being alone may not work.

"We need to surround ourselves with the right people and community for well-being," said Hauser.

Brands and companies may be able to find their place in helping consumers achieve that sense of well-being, she added. According to the study, 65% of respondents say brands "could be doing even more" to facilitate consumers’ in their quest for a stress-free, self-affirming life.

"This is a huge opportunity for businesses and brands to play in this space," said Hauser, who added that the data indicated it’s a "win" for companies to both help customers and have an impact on society at large.

"When companies and brands engage people in their well-being pursuits, [consumers are] more likely to pursue, engage, advocate, or even work for the company," she said.

In fact, the data showed that 85% of respondents would buy from companies which "effectively engage in well-being."

Hauser noted one such example in CVS Health – an Edelman client – which braced for a $2 billion hit after a rebranding effort that pulled all tobacco products from it shelves. Hauser said other companies can find opportunities to boost trust and reputation among consumers, and Edelman plans on sharing the study results with its clients across sectors.

Study respondents indicated that companies could do better in connecting consumers to others and personalizing consumers’ experiences. The participants gave mixed reviews about whether they think brands care about them today and tomorrow, which Hauser said can be better expressed through "consistent and ongoing communications."

Data from the study is applicable across various industries, such as finance, and Hauser explained that a sense of financial security plays a role in achieving "total well-being."

The study also revealed that 53% of Baby Boomers "feel held back by their financial stability."

A number of companies in the travel and hospitality industries are ramping up efforts to help consumers feel better, said Hauser. Some hotels, she added, have "taken it to a whole new level" by supporting better food, exercise, and sleep options for patrons. According to the survey, 54% of people in Generation X struggle with stress, while 51% don’t get enough sleep.

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