Make Wellness a Brand Priority This Year

January 10, 2024

Table of Contents:

Did you make a new year’s resolution this year? A CBS news poll found that just over a third of Americans did and the top resolutions included: improving health, exercising, spending more time with loved ones and eating better. Through these resolutions alone, it’s clear that wellness remains top of mind for people and they’re looking for brands to meet them halfway in this mindset. As a wellness marketing agency, we work with brands in various industries on strategic initiatives and digital marketing that prioritizes wellness. Our Client Success Supervisor and Wellness Marketing Lead Aubrey Closson recently became a Certified Corporate Wellness Specialist® from the Corporate Health & Wellness Association (CHWA) to further enrich our clients’ wellness marketing strategies and today we’ll be sharing some of those insights with you. Here’s how taking charge of your company’s wellness positioning benefits your internal team and your audience.

Creating Better Well-Being Programs in the Workplace

There are shiny, often trendy benefits that seem good on the surface, but don’t add real value to your employees or their sense of appreciation. An example of this can include unlimited PTO. If it’s not monitored, it’s highly possible that some employees are not scheduling vacation days after all. The same goes for benefits programs, such as gym memberships, that aren’t utilized.

As part of Aubrey’s Corporate Wellness certification, she learned about how the Cleveland Clinic strategically developed and rolled out their voluntary employee wellness program, called “Healthy Choice,” with the goal of reducing healthcare costs and encouraging their workforces to prioritize their health. The clinic focused on improving employees’ health in six key ways, including blood pressure, LDL cholesterol level, blood sugar, body mass index, stress levels and smoking status. Employee participation in this wellness program was imperative to its success along with CEO-led participation and incentives.

Orange Label leadership team Debbie, Wes and Rochelle (from left to right) participating in wellness activities, including running a marathon, hiking a mountain and hiking a trail

This top-down approach aligns with Deloitte’s most-recent “Well-Being at Work Survey,” which states that “Accountability for workforce well-being starts and ends with the C-suite, but requires greater transparency and public commitment.” Taking a proactive approach, the Cleveland Clinic also established no-smoking zones, overhauled their food offerings, developed fitness centers and offered subsidized gym memberships for campuses without a fitness center. As a result of their initiatives, C-suite engagement and employee participation, the organization improved employee healthcare cost savings, sparked great health improvements and boosted productivity.

Recognizing Why Workplace Wellness Matters to Employees

Recognizing the role that upper management plays in monitoring and advocating for employee wellness, Deloitte lays out three ways that organizations can improve workplace wellness:

  1. Empower managers to support workforce well-being. The survey finds that 54% of managers check in with employees to see how they’re doing, 48% ensure people’s workloads are reasonable and 37% make sure employees take time off.
  2. Hold executives and the organization accountable. Seventy percent of managers cite organizational barriers, such as company policies, heavy workloads, unsupportive workplace cultures and not being equipped with the right skills, prevent them from acting in their full capacity to support team members’ well-being.
  3. Embrace the broader movement toward human sustainability, or the “creation of value for current/future workers and society.” The disconnect between executives that believe their company is advancing human sustainability (89%) and employees who agree (41%) is stark. Many employees are looking for employers to provide opportunities to grow their careers and skills, help them feel a sense of purpose/belonging and support workplace health (ex: setting a minimum salary, ensuring equitable pay, piloting a four-day work week).

At Orange Label, our workplace wellness strategy includes wellness reimbursements, team events, healthier snack options and reimbursement for relevant higher education and certification opportunities. Here’s what some of our team members said about why wellness in the workplace is important:

Graphic of Orange Label's Instagram feed, showcasing company culture posts.

Establishing Employee Advocacy Initiatives

Could Instagram be an employee recruitment tool? Absolutely. Five years ago, when I first began my career journey with Orange Label marketing agency, what drew me to apply was how fun it seemed to work here. Orange Label’s Instagram page contained a peek of what life at the office was like – industry events attended, photoshoot excursions, client work and, overall, a team of talented people that seemed to truly love their jobs. I could picture myself working at Orange Label and knew I wanted in! This snapshot of office life showcased the value the marketing agency places on company culture and was an instant draw for myself and many of my colleagues, as well.

This insight shows that LinkedIn is not the only social network for professional pursuits, especially as our time online blurs the lines between creative, professional and personal goals. Ogilvy’s 2024 Influencer Trends Report encourages “thinking beyond LinkedIn,” citing that personal opinions are becoming more integrated with professional ones and that by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be digital natives, or people who were raised since birth with the internet and other modern information technologies.

In addition to maintaining your company’s engaging online presence, you can also attract people to your brand through employee advocacy. Such programs are common in the B2B space, developing in parallel with LinkedIn’s growth, while B2C brands have remained relatively quiet in that regard. This is an area of opportunity for B2C brands and a call to establish a strong employee advocacy program by:

Focusing on Well-Being for Your Consumers

You don’t have to be a yoga brand to make wellness a key initiative for your organization. Studies from McKinsey break the global wellness market into six categories: health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep and mindfulness with insights on how consumers plan to invest their time and money in the industry:

These stats can inform your marketing strategy in a variety of ways including messaging for your product/service, brand partnerships and collaborations, brand initiatives (i.e. a percentage of your products go to a specific cause), event partnerships or sponsorships and even product/service development.

Laptop showcasing the Nékter and Voluspa giveaway collaboration on Instagram.

Looking at Wellness in All Aspects

Brand partnerships are an excellent way to tap into new markets/audiences and showcase your brand’s wellness initiatives. Spotting an opportunity to connect to like-minded brands, we introduced Nékter Juice Bar and Voluspa luxury candles for a fall social media giveaway centered around season-favorite scent and flavor pumpkin spice. The collaborative giveaway was hosted on Instagram and resulted in additional followers for both brands as well as excitement for the chance to win a $250 Nékter Juice Bar Gift Card and Voluspa’s Spiced Pumpkin Latte Candle Collection.

From marketing partnerships to product development itself, Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty brand has established itself as a mental health advocate through its messaging and initiatives. Its latest product launch highlights the brand’s positioning in wellness through its accessible packaging. The brand’s FAQ page shares its positioning on its packaging design noting, “Ease of use and inclusivity are highly prioritized at Rare Beauty and it’s something we’re continuing to test and explore in the future.” The brand also worked with licensed occupational therapist and accessibility expert Dr. Esther Bae on its new “Find Comfort” body-care line.

The choice to release a body-care line itself is telling of what’s to come in the future as Pinterest predictions cite, “Body-care will have a major moment in 2024 with Boomers and Gen Z doubling down on luxury lotions, in-home spa experiences and SPF.” With this knowledge, it may be time to align your brand with a skincare partner!

Choosing Representatives To Stand For Your Brand’s Wellness

In addition to 2024 being a year of skincare, Ogilvy’s Influencer Trends Report highlights the opportunity to leverage “the year of sport” and work with athletes to promote products on social media. “Done right, the traditionally elite and exclusive world of sports can become relatable, authentic and purposeful… letting audiences think about brands in a completely different light,” the report shares. Amateur athletes are a goldmine of opportunity and make impressive spokespeople for mental health conversations, motivation and building brand buzz (with proper research being done to match your brand to the right person). Ways that brands can tap into sports marketing connections for wellness, include:

  1. Building relationships early, such as engaging with student athletes through NIL (name, image, likeness) partnerships and D1 athletes.
  2. Aligning with athletes that embody your brand’s ethos.
  3. Creating change by supporting athletes that are striving to make a difference.
  4. Recognizing and engaging with athletes’ varied interests and talents to create innovative partnership opportunities.

Woman creating mood board with different images, fabrics and colors.

How Wellness Initiatives Impact and Influence Your Audience

One of the experts involved in the Wellness Certification course is UCLA Professor of Marketing & Behavioral Decision-Making Hal Hershfield. His research covers the intersection of psychology and economics, and helps people make decisions that maximize well-being over time. As consumers ourselves, I asked my Orange Label team members how brands can focus on wellness in their marketing and branding, based on what makes wellness important to them. Here’s what they said!

As Orange Label Client Success Supervisor and Wellness Marketing Lead Aubrey Closson shares, “If you understand how wellness works for people in general and at an operational level, then you can apply it to all areas of your company’s marketing and use it to strengthen your internal relationships, build brand affinity and grow your business while making an impact.” Let us help you build your brand’s wellness marketing strategy from the inside out. Contact us today!

Written By: Ashley Ruiz

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