There’s an argument to say that the appetite for celebrity wellness is waning. For me, it all comes down to authenticity. Among younger consumers, the appetite for influencer brands as a whole is slowing down drastically.
User-generated reviews and content are number one in our ‘add to cart’ process. We’re looking for genuine, grassroots recommendations from other users, reviewers or authentic creators. We’re now truly seeing the power of truthful press coverage as opposed to large ad budgets or glossy advertorials – which I would say are now redundant to Gen Z consumers in particular.
If we look at the wellness industry specifically, it’s very clear to see that consumer attitudes towards wellness are changing. Once upon a time, before the popularity of social media, people were keen to buy wellness items, beauty products, and clothes that had been endorsed by celebrities because it felt aspirational, and as if they were buying into that lifestyle. Once, the fact that a product was created or endorsed by a celebrity may have been enough to warrant trust and even desire by the consumer but I don’t think that that’s the case any longer.
There’s also the fact that in the midst of a cost of living crisis, our spare cash is too precious to throw at celebrity fads. We’re seeing consumers focusing on products that are able to really make a difference to their life and how they feel, rather than simply trying to emulate the life of a celebrity.
Now, consumers have access to a multitude of tools and platforms to gain more information. They are not only more educated, but they’re looking for much more of an emotional connection when making purchases – they’re looking to engage with a product or a brand that is authentic.
My work within the wellness sector supports the notion that the industry is continuing to grow and thrive as consumers seek to invest in their own health and wellness – so this closure isn’t a reflection of a downward turn within this industry. This shift in purchasing habits, for me, is more likely due to the increased awareness and education of consumers about wellness, and the fact that they are now purchasing products that reflect this.
I also think that the definition of wellness is changing too. We’re seeing consumers focusing on products that are able to really make a difference to their life and how they feel, rather than simply trying to emulate the life of a celebrity. Wellness is no longer an elusive concept but a very raw and real emotional connection that consumers have with themselves – and consumers need a certain number of trust markers to let a brand in on that journey. Whilst the role of a celebrity can truly change the direction of a brand and catapult it to a whole new level, celebrity endorsement isn’t enough.