Since 2020, we have looked for tips and ideas on how to live slower. Turning the pace down and directing awareness towards the inside is a major ‘side effect’ of the pandemic. We call this trend Mindful Living: involving an entire spectrum of phenomena related to mindfulness, positivity, self-improvement and mental well-being. So, how does this longing for calm and harmony in our lives translate to the market and brand communication?
People long for less noise and more meaning.
The overconsumption and overstimulation of our environments has been causing the rising levels of anxiety disorders and depression, which got significantly exacerbated by the pandemic. As a counter-power, the focus on mental health and self-care has been growing, too. One keyword here is mindfulness: a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations (Oxford Dictionary). We see that the mobile apps proposing different techniques of practicing mindfulness have been growing in popularity: downloads of the relaxation app Calm, the current market leader, have grown from 40 to 100 million downloads between 2019 and 2020. At the same time Headspace, a meditation app founded by an ex Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe, is also making it to the mainstream. Headspace reached a milestone in 2021, when their animated series got launched on… Netflix. Yes, the show on meditation techniques is now featured on the platform considered by many to be the epicentre of mindlessness because of its binge watching setup.
Consumers on their path to self-betterment are going to look for brands that will be their allies and helpers.
The trend has also a very functional side to it: we see products that stem directly from the insights related to mental well-being and the growing demand for relaxation. Lego releasing a botanical collection with floral bouquets and bonsai trees is one of such examples. Another is PepsiCo’s sleep and relaxation drink, Driftwell, that offers not only a sleep-supporting beverage but also an entire brand universe focused on quality rest.
The need for a counterbalance is clear: people long for less noise and more meaning. We can interpret this in many ways when it comes to branding, from exploring clean and minimal design aesthetic to shaping customer relations focused on care, inclusion, and understanding. We can only expect that consumers on their path to self-betterment are going to look for brands that will be their allies and helpers in that regard.
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