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At the end of last month I had the opportunity to attend innovation and research advisory firm Stylus’s Innovation Forum in London on ‘The Business of Wellbeing’.

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that people are placing higher importance on self-improvement and wellbeing; we all know someone who is following a special diet or has recently pushed themselves to complete a physical challenge. And there has recently been a whole raft of TV programmes that aim to give viewers practical tips to improve their diet, such as new show Eating Well With Hemsley + Hemsley; the Hemsley sisters having built up such a huge online following for their healthy recipes that Channel 4 couldn’t resist getting them onboard to host a TV programme!

In fact, a third of people claim to be snacking on healthier food this year compared to a year ago, according to a survey of 2,000 US adults conducted by Mintel. And self-betterment isn’t restricted to health and fitness, “20% of UK consumers said they want more education in their everyday lives” (O2 Business, 2015). And indeed there is social kudos associated with a healthy lifestyle – just think of all those photos of super healthy meals you see on social media.

Some of the insights from the Innovation Forum help to explain this wellbeing epidemic. Stylus talked about how we are living in a VUCA (that’s volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world and that it is important to have a strong sense of self in order to centre ourselves and contribute towards our wellbeing. Managing our diet, fitness, skills and knowledge are all ways to develop this all important personal identity.

When there is madness all around it is no wonder that “60% of people try to appear in control of their life at all times” (Future Foundation).

Consumer appetite for self-improvement, skills and knowledge is certainly an opportunity for businesses.

How can your business act as an enabler, allowing consumers to be the best they can be and to achieve their goals? Does your marketing play to the wellbeing benefits of your product/service?

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