Last year Anthem Worldwide, the brand development division of Schawk Inc., released a white paper titled, “What Women Really Want: From Health & Wellness.” Author Kathy Oneto, Anthem Worldwide’s vice president of brand strategy, says that marketing health and wellness to women is about talking with them, not at them. Oneto says, “Marketers have an opportunity to evolve their approach by having better dialogue with women––a dialogue based on a foundation of empathic and deep understanding in line with women’s motivations.”
Anthem Worldwide surveyed women from three different generations—Millennials, Generation Xers, and Baby Boomers—to gain a better understanding of how generational differences affect motivation. “Women are open to—and are in fact seeking—brands to motivate them to be healthy and well so they can reach their goals at any life stage,” according to Oneto.
Millennials, including women in their teens through early 30s, understand health and wellness as “aspirational, idealistic, and broader in context than the other generations,” associating it with terms such as “be my best self.” When it comes to the physical aspects of health and wellness, their focus tends to be on looking good rather than improving energy or feelings of well-being. If you are marketing to these aspirational Millennials, approach them with messages of empowerment and achieving peace in mind and body.
For Gen X women, health and wellness is about strength, productivity, and self-acceptance. Oneto adds that unlike Millennials, “the Generation X woman’s view of health extends to her partner and to her own family, if she has one.” Furthermore, she finds societal (and even her own) expectations to be “unrealistic and challenging” in the realms of health and wellness. When marketing to this group, encourage them to set an example for their kids, stay healthy to fuel their busy lives, and incorporate realistic changes into their everyday schedules.
Baby boomers, according to the Anthem Worldwide survey, want to extend wellness in order to stay “vibrant into their next act” and reach new dreams.
Since they’re older than Generation Xers and Millennials, they define health and wellness as “freedom from physical disease or pain,” “staying out of the hospital,” and “staying alive for my kids.”
“There’s a real need for women to be healthy and well for themselves and for the people in their lives, and there’s an opportunity for brands to help them realize the benefits,” Oneto concludes. The report mentions brands that are doing it well, such as Advil, Nike, Whole Foods, and Bobbi Brown, but you don’t have to be a nationally recognized brand to employ health-conscious marketing. Just identify the age groups of women who shop at your business, learn about the context of their purchasing habits, and check out the full “What Women Really Want” report for more tips, insights, and breakdowns of customer demographics.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for her free TrendCast reports.