Physical and Mental Well-being to Become Key Ingredients of Next-Generation Experiences

As lifestyles become more fluid and nonlinear, brands have opportunities to become well-being partners with their customers, addressing emerging needs.

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The focus on customer well-being has increased dramatically, putting more attention on personal health. We already have seen a proliferation of self-care in mainstream activities, even the emergence of new industries such as “wellness tourism,” well-being services, and digital nutrition — all proof of the importance of this trend in future experiences. We truly are entering an age of “centrality in well-being.”

For many people, the pandemic fueled a realization that well-being must be a much more important part of their overall digital experiences. As boundaries between work and personal life blurred, and the drive to be productive took over, people started to recognize the importance of disconnecting. For example, when remote work started in the spring of 2020, the primary concern was that there would be lower productivity. However, that did not happen.

Productivity in many businesses rose, but other problems occurred. Burnout from overwork became endemic. Well-being suffered as the stress of work permeated waking hours. Being fully digital customers did not align with well-being. The constant push for transactions, with barrages of targeted advertisements, led to stress. Intensity levels were just too high.

The result is that experiences for both employees and customers will start to include more focus on well-being, moving beyond performative wellness on social media. For example, when the Danish concept of “hygge“ first gained mainstream attention in North America, the quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality this concept engenders around feelings of contentment became more common. Since then, the trend has peaked, and now is common on influencers’ channels.

However, the pandemic has provided renewed momentum as consumers crave returns to self-care. The support for well-being must be more than a new type of “bait” used to drive transactions. Another new concept driving improvements to the experience will be “longevience,” combining longevity and convenience.

Focusing on changing the experience will foster both physical and mental well-being. How each is handled may be reflected by the environment, how each is manifest in the experience, and where there is more to be gained. Many experiences will feature gamified and personalized well-being solutions tailored to the audience. This may involve the inclusion of wellness or well-being partners. On the employee side, expect a great deal of activity around work/life balance.

Improving the well-being aspect of experiences should be a priority. Aging baby boomers are becoming more aware of well-being; that, coupled with the existing focus on well-being by generations X, Y, and Z, makes experiences with improved well-being essential.

Mazzon Nature, a hair-mask kit, addresses hair needs according to lunar phases: crescent (growth), full (shine), waning (smoothing), and new (strengthen). This focus on a simple concept, the well-being of hair, is an excellent example of how brands are elevating self-care into the wellness space by leveraging a parallel trend around the return to nature. On the B2B side, eQuoo uses a platform designed by psychologists and distributed by Unilever to support young people’s mental health by teaching them how to communicate and manage their emotions using gamification. For more information on “centrality in well-being” and other new experiences discovered by Cognizant Digital Experience, go to https://www.cognizant.com/digital-experience/future-of-digital-experience/wellness-tourism.

Coming next:

Comfort in multiplicity: None of us fits easily into one simply defined category. Experience must move away from rigid definitions of customers and the use of highly structured and singular customer personas. Going beyond predefinition, which is static, to a more fluid and dynamic self-identification that will change across many different individual attributes or beliefs will be common in the future. Think about it as a change from “lasting tribes” to “designing for the multiverse.”

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