I write this post-Tracy Anderson, still wearing my Outdoor Voices leggings and watching my heart rate return to 74 BPM on my Fitbit (though I would love an Oura Ring, more on that later). This is my interpretation of Wellness. I am by no means alone.
As society increasingly places a higher value on health, wellbeing, and self-care, the focus has shifted from unplugging, eating healthy, and working out to plugging into more holistic, technology-driven approaches.
With high expectations, the growth of luxury in this sector is not surprising. After all, we can derive the meaning of the word Luxury from ‘Lux’ in Latin, meaning ‘light’. So if Luxury means ‘enlightenment,’ and enlightenment is tied to ‘wellbeing’, Luxury and Wellness are inherently linked.
I’m naming this emerging movement “TechniLuxe Wellness”. Emphasizing a technology-forward holistic approach to physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, TechniLuxe Wellness comes complete with a supporting cast of new products and services. In this article, I’ll explore exactly what this means for brands.
MINDFULNESS MEETS HIGH-TECH
Moving at the speed of light, technology and science continue to permeate every aspect of our lives, including innovative ways to be more mindful. Take, for example, the aforementioned Oura Ring.
Building on what Fitbit took to a whole new level, the Oura Ring has elevated personal tech and fitness tracking. With its foundations in the important role that sleep plays in wellness, these stylish pieces of jewelry monitor sleep, activity, and recovery data. They tell you when you need to rest, provide guided meditation sessions, and a whole lot more.
The tip of the spear of TechniLuxe Wellness, Oura has been collaborating with luxury fashion brands like Gucci to extend its presence into every facet of high-end consumers’ (mindful) lives.
MINDFUL MOVEMENT MEETS HIGH-TECH
More than just being mindful, wellness is also about moving your body to maintain physical and emotional health. TechniLuxe Wellness adds function to fashion.
Stoko, for example, is an emerging brand leveling up supportive apparel. Engineered with high-strength cables to provide medical-grade joint support, Stoko’s running tights and shorts are proven to help overcome injuries, eliminate pain, and accelerate recovery in style. With a $400 price tag they won’t be replacing my go-to workout pants or the hideous knee tape I begrudgingly use during ski season just yet, but this brand offers a great example of how even functional innovation can have a luxe twist.
Beyond TechniLuxe activewear, brands like Tonal are using tech to provide premium workout experiences in the (luxurious) comfort of your own home. Leveraging Nordstrom’s affluent customers, Tonal’s partnership has helped propel its triple-digit year-on-year growth.
Collaborations with high-end brands like Gucci and Nordstrom are just the beginning for new TechniLuxe Wellness brands in finding their footing, and helping to elevate their status.
MINDFUL HOME MEETS HIGH-TECH
You might have a Nest thermostat or a Ring doorbell, but do you know there are more luxurious at-home upgrades that support your wellness goals, too?
HigherDOSE is a brand that is solely about plugging back into the healing power of nature and prioritizing feeling our best, from the inside out. The brand offers luxury devices such as infrared sauna blankets, LED light face masks, and red light neck enhancers, all aimed at helping you achieve that glow and welcome you to the ‘high life.’
Yes, these products aren’t particularly new or novel. I remember tagging along to Bed, Bath & Beyond with my mother as a kid where she might pick up a Homedics paraffin wax machine. HigherDOSE, however, isn’t touting a BB&B $29.99 price tag. Far from it. Using the power of branding, their products offer a luxe experience and command a price tag to match.
4 PRINCIPLES FOR TECHNILUXE WELLNESS BRANDS
Whether you’re launching a new product or elevating an existing brand into the TechniLuxe Wellness space, consider the following principles to grow your audience:
- Technology is table stakes: Everyone has an app, and technology enables brands to integrate wellness into more aspects of consumers’ daily life. Ask yourself, ‘What is the role of technology in your offering?’, and ‘What makes it luxury?’.
- Luxury is synonymous with quality and exclusivity: How can your brand deliver a 360 luxe experience? From a visual and verbal perspective, what would this look like to substantiate a $400+ price tag? No luxe-washing here, the quality needs to be in the product AND the experience around it.
- Your brand purpose may need to evolve: Stepping up to luxury may require you to re-evaluate your brand purpose. What does that mean as you cater to a new consumer who is willing to pay a premium price? How will you deliver against new rituals and expectations?
- Data-Driven Personalization: Luxury is all about creating a personal, high-touch experience. How can you harness data to consider each consumer as an individual with unique 1-1 needs? For example, with the Oura x Gucci collaboration, how can Gucci use consumer data to target unique collections or personalized pieces that connect with individuals?
All that being said, I’m off to read the reviews and conduct a personal qualitative study to understand if the Oura Ring is really worth that $660 price tag.
Nicole Prefer, Strategy Director