As we continue to see science playing a role in beauty content – whether it’s a focus on active ingredients or the ongoing battle over terms like “clean” and “chemicals” – we’re seeing a shift in the other direction on the side of healthcare.
Navigating regional regulations and clinical claims used to be the prerogative of marketeers working with healthcare brands. Now, there’s an added secret ingredient to the formula – the lifestyle factor. Increasingly, healthcare and pharmaceutical brands are having to jump over the counter and into a much more premium, more lifestyle and more appealing space.
What would Gwyneth do?
It’s impossible to look at this new era of health-meets-wellbeing without discussing the seemingly indestructible Goop brand experience. Over the years, Gwyneth and her empire have blurred the lines between science, beauty and alternative therapies to such an extent that your browsing history and online shopping cart is as likely to contain a body butter, as it is a full-body supplements regimen. Love her or loathe her, the Goop team continue to lead the charge, despite semi-regular debunking. And they have managed this by taking the same consistent wellbeing approach to every part of their offering – treat everything from vitamins to vibrators with the same aspirational, lifestyle approach.
Where healthcare meet self-care
Self-care has had a bit of an image makeover lately and is now being heralded by some as the cure to all that ails us. But where does that leave healthcare and pharma brands? What chance does a clinically-proven product have against the promise that a meditation app and a CBD bath oil can cure a lifetime of migraines? Assuming you have a great product at the heart of the offering that will actually help people, it seems a shame that it would be overlooked in favour of trendy buzzwords and pretty Instagram posts. However, with some careful consumer-first repositioning and a sprinkle of lifestyle know-how, this shift in people’s mindset could be a fantastic opportunity to make your brand more relevant and more accessible.
A new competitor set
In the scrolling feeds of Instagram, a threat to conventional healthcare brands has been rumbling away (much like the tummies of the poor Influencers paid to promote it), in the form of health confectionery brands. Everything from hair and nail gummies to detox teas and weight loss lollipops have crept into the mainstream, meaning in addition to competing with a new lifestyle focus, healthcare brands are being pushed out of consumers’ minds by the same branding techniques that FMCG brands have been using for years. As these brands and products remain largely unregulated, it is essential that reputable healthcare brands stick to their credentials, showcase their claims responsibly and find new ways to connect with these emerging consumers, without being dragged into the glitz and glam of these pseudo-scientific, potentially harmful products.