Kindness – trendy again?

Talking about trends, we have seen many healthy and sustainable trends during the past years that have gone from “trends” to “lifestyle choices”, and we often refer to the generation called “G”.

Generation G consists of people who are environmentally conscious, love Mother Earth, want to stay “clean” inside and outside, and chose to live more consciously due to the many problems that the materialistic lifestyle has been bringing. Gen G is all about generosity, giving, compassion and sharing. A person who has made a decision in life – to make a difference! A person who makes active choices.

This has influenced many of us to search for ways to contribute and help and we really need to “do something” to compensate for the life we are living, through volunteering work or donating blood etc.  A few years ago, the buzzword “Random Act of Kindness” (R.A.K) got a lot of attention and was a huge trend for global marketers and brand consultants. Focusing a lot in digital marketing and social media this act of kindness have been integrated in many organizations and strategies, even if it has not the same attention today as back in 2011. Even though this way of taking action has a kind and great intention, it is also as a business strategy (which means earn more money.)

Kindess picBut as we live in an unsteady world, it often brings forward the true and instinctively good in people. A great example of this is Hannah Brencher (24) from New York that one day just decided to write a letter to a stranger on the train that looked miserable.  She continued to leave letters like that on the bus, the library, the café and so on all over New York City. One year and 400 letters later she started the organization “Write more love letters” that today have 20,000 individuals across 49 different countries leaving letters and writing emails to strangers in need.
The interesting part of this trend that starts to bloom again in 2013 is that it is spread in younger ages and at a personal stage in social media, which is in great need in the digital world that often is quite rough, honest and mean. It is again trendy to be kind, both to your friends, but also strangers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

All these ideas, actions and efforts (like R.A.K) are truly lovely but sometimes they make me a bit confused. I believe kindness is a natural possession for all of us, a part of us as human beings.  To be exact, when someone does something kind towards another, the brain produces dopamine and endorphins, which make you happy.  Face-to-face kindness also produces oxytocin, which may lower the blood pressure ad stimulates the nervous system. This is natural. We live for love and happiness. Our vision at Raison d’Etre is to “Light lights” in everyone we meet or touch, and that is a great daily reminder for me to continue to spread love and kindness.

But, are we really so busy in our lives that we only have enough kindness to share with our chosen people? Either what we answer that question with; if kindness really needs systems and this kind of trendy actions and attention, so be it. If this is what it takes, so be it.

Ps. Have you ever written a love letter? It is absolutely magical.

/Josefin

The”Non-Selection” Trend

Today the market has a wide selection of services and products since and many companies sales strategy is: pick yourself.  Your daily routines includes a never ending amount of choices, everything from choosing what kind of coffee to buy; to what kind of milk to what kind of cup.

Even if almost all people find the wide selection as something positive this is becoming a stress factor in the modern society. Instead of freedom of choice it becomes a loss of time. Even if you save 20 Euros when selecting mobile operator you feel the loss of the several hours you spent on making your decision. And when your choice is made, you still compare with your neighbor to find out if you made the right one and often you get disappointed anyway.

Many people find it time-consuming and tiresome to collect all info needed to make a wise decision. What happens is that we just pick something and not really base our choice on anything particular other than our guts. Daniel Kahneman describes this in “Thinking, fast and slow” as your automatic thinking (System 1) that makes you act fast but sometimes foolish. He describes our intelligence as not suited for the modern life full of selection and this unfortunately leads to many mistakes and unwise decisions based on intuition.

FrågaBut something is happening! The “non-selection” is starting to becom e a trend and since a couple of years ago services have shown up that helps you with your decision. Personal shoppers (not only for fashion, now also for food), all-inclusive hotels, sites such as Price runner is a respond to this phenomena. People want someone else to make their choices. But if the services offering “non-selection” just increases then the questions remains: who do we pick to choose for us? When do we still value the freedom of choice?

/Josefin

Wellness Trends 2013 – Part 2

Last week i touched upon the fitness and health & wellness packaged food, this week the second part – enjoy!!

Beauty industry trends

According to Euromonitor consumers wants when it comes to skin care

  • Understand the benefits
  • Buy organic
  • Buy anything labeled “Anti-aging”

The McCann Group conducted 7,249 online interviews, a conjoint study, and 40+ focus groups in 15 global markets resulted in the very interesting “The Truth About Beauty 2012”. Among the findings were

  • 76% believe that the right beauty products makes us look longer
  • Almost 70% of women in Brazil and Mexico consult a beauty blog for tips and advice at least once a month
  • 63% of Chinese women and 55% of Brazilian women change their beauty routines once every couple of months or more.
  • 70% of women globally think that being beautiful helps them get what they want out of life
  • 70% believes that beauty equals happiness (and vice versa!)

The rise of the WHOLE beauty

Women are looking within for beauty. And according to McCann there are four key components that women think about when it comes to building and maintaining their beauty: Foundation Beauty (skin care), Enhancement Beauty (color cosmetic), Wellness Beauty (food sleep, fitness), and Emotional Beauty (confidence, charisma).

The Whole Beauty Ecosystem is a virtual circle; women around the world believe that if they look more beautiful then they will feel healthier and more confident…and if they feel healthy and confident then this will shine through, making them look more physically beautiful.

 

Retail trends

Retail is the spa industry Achilles. We are always struggling with retail sales and motivating the staff to enhance the guest’s result with products (or why not food!).

McCann researched the In-Store experience and found that there were 3 top things to address

  1. Able to touch and feel the items
  2. Easy to find
  3. Beautifully displayed

PKF’s “Future of retail report 2012” shows that “Shopper to Shopper Service” is on the rise – meaning “help me to decide which one to buy!” with brand fans share their expertise and provide one-on-one advice to fellow shoppers.

 

Spa industry tips!

We have identified that the next trend in spa retail is “Shop Communication”. This is not dependent on the individual, but is a strategic system that can be put in place with moderate effort.Most buying decisions takes place in the actual shop. Therefore exposure and communication in the shop have significant impact on sales.

Yet, do not forget the power of one-on-one recommendation and create a forum for your guests to recommend items and treatments to other guests.

Shop communication purposes

  • Communicating the retail range in an attractive manner
  • Provide information on product characteristics
  • Help the customer to make purchasing decisions on their own
  • Controlling the sale of the goods with the highest profitability and turnover
  • Inspiring add on buying
  • Communicate the retail brand 

HOW?

Exposure affects profitability. Products given more space and clear exposures will sell more. The products that you want to sell most of should have prominent positions at the entrance, near the checkout and the “main shopping street”.

Some tips…

Eye tracking– There have been numerous studies to show how our eye is tracking the retail item in terms of packaging design, placement, preferences and search behaviors. Studies have then shown that the eye perceives the most exclusive products to be on the top shelf, and budget/low cost products on the bottom shelf. Research has also shown that the most effective retail display is the ones that include a face and those products that are repeated in display and in an actual product sells better, as customers like to purchase products the feel familiar with.

Guest round – The way your customer “walks” the shop; studies shows that 80% of the customer walks clockwise and that they are most interested in the beginning in the “round”. Further that the customer best sees an item from knee height up to just above eye height. This gives you hints on how to strategically place retail products to encourage flow and minimize “cold” spaces.

First impression – Eye tracking has also shown the crucial importance of first impression, capturing the customer’s interest to explore the shop further. The goal is to inspire and simplify the first impression.

Final words

The future is truly bright, one of Susie Ellis and Spa Finders trends for 2013 is “The healthy hotel & Wellness focused traveller” showing that hotels are more and more focusing on ensuring that their guest keeps well with healthy food, great sleep and spas and fitness to relax and rejuvenate in.

Embrace the shift and be creative, start small, trial and error and slowly grow and success will be around the corner.

//Anna