How deeply do you understand your consumer?

I hope this edition of MarketWell finds you well. MarketWell is a monthly newsletter for marketers in the wellbeing space, by Felicity.

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said “Change is the only constant” more than 2,500 years ago. It’s a statement that not only reflects our current times but the ongoing state of marketing—particularly wellbeing marketing.

Because we’re in a constant state of learning and progress when it comes to health and wellness, the way we communicate around wellbeing is also in a constant state of flux. There is, however, one element that always holds true: the importance of really understanding your audience. We discuss this in detail in our white paper, Is Wellbeing Washed Up?

It’s important to start with your audience’s needs, and work from there to meet them with your brand. You’ll find more on this from Ann Handley down below with additional examples from Rexall and Hill House Home’s pandemic-perfect Nap Dress.

I’m especially grateful to share with you my interview with Ran Goel, founder of Fresh City Farms. Ran shares how his deep understanding of every person involved in his business—starting with farmers, through fulfillment staff to his customers—has nurtured its growth.

In this edition of MarketWell, we’ll take a look at:

  1. Wellbeing from around the web: Uber takes a stand against racism, Molson launches cannabis beverages and Rexall rewards consumers for healthy behaviour.
  2. Latest wellbeing trend: The Nap Dress craze owes its success to deep consumer understanding.
  3. MarketWell book club: Content Rules by Ann Handley and C.C. Chapman.
  4. MarketWell voices: Ran Goel, CEO and founder of Fresh City Farms discusses how his company used their existing understanding of the online shopping market to pivot during the pandemic and achieve unparalleled growth.

Wellbeing from around the web

Uber’s delete Uber campaign
Don’t waffle when it comes to making a statement on social issues. Pick your stance as a brand and go all the way. Take it one step further, like Uber did, and put the cause front and centre. Your people will follow you.

Molson collaboration launches five new cannabis beverages
Listening to your consumer is key. Truss is launching five beverages and counting on feedback to refine and grow the lineup.

Rexall Launches Be Well™ to bring together health, wellness and rewards
As we outlined in our white paper, Canadians are less than confident in the wellness world and the state of healthcare. Rexall’s new loyalty app aims to help Canadians achieve wellbeing. This is a great example of empowering consumers, while also being good for business.


Nap Dress Hill House Home

Images: Hill House Home

Latest wellbeing trend: How a deep understanding of consumers led to the Nap Dress’s success

The pandemic has changed so many things about our lives, including how we dress. When you rarely leave the house, there’s not much point in putting on a suit. Luxury bedding company Hill House Home launched the Nap Dress last year just before COVID-19 hit North America. Little did they know they’d have a sleeper hit on their hands, setting off a fashion frenzy. The company has since trademarked the term “Nap Dress.” What’s the Nap Dress, you ask? It’s part nightgown, part dress. Opaque enough to wear to the grocery store (and flaunt all over Instagram), but comfy enough to sleep in. In short, it’s the perfect pandemic outfit.

While the success of the Nap Dress could be seen as a lucky coincidence (if you can count the pandemic as lucky), Hill House Home founder Nell Diamond cites her intuition and her deep understanding of her consumers as the reason for her creation’s popularity. As proof, the first collection of Nap Dresses sold out in one day in 2019, before stay-at-home culture set in. “The beautiful thing about growing a business at the pace that we’ve been growing ours is that we got to let the customers lead us a bit,” said Diamond in an interview with Adweek.

Diamond, a millennial, has 42,000 followers on her personal Instagram and Hill House Home has 62,000. Instagram is an important part of Diamond’s understanding of her audience and the Nap Dress in particular has been shared by influencers across the network. Diamond also credits word of mouth in the dress’s success, telling Adweek that consumer sharing in group chats has garnered almost as much attention as posts by influencers.

So what’s the marketing lesson here? Pay attention to your audience. Interact with them where they play (be that Instagram, Twitter or in real life, when it’s safe). Take your time to reflect on sales and look at who’s buying.


“The inherent tension in marketing is that companies always want to talk about themselves and what their products and services can do. Everyone else, meanwhile, wants to know only what those products or services can do for them.”
– Ann Handley & C.C. Chapman from their book Content Rules                             


MarketWell book club: Content Rules

I recently picked up Content Rules by best-selling author, writer and marketer Ann Handley and writer, photographer and educator C.C. Chapman. It’s chock full of great advice, but this excerpt really speaks to the way we at Felicity think about content.

“The inherent tension in marketing is that companies always want to talk about themselves and what their products and services can do. Everyone else, meanwhile, wants to know only what those products or services can do for them. Creating content as a cornerstone of your marketing allows you to truly place yourself in your customers’ shoes to adopt their vantage points, and to consider their thoughts, feelings, and needs. In short, it allows you to get to know the people who buy from you better than any customer survey or poll ever could.”


MarketWell voices: How Fresh City Farms has stayed true to their roots to grow during the pandemic

Ran Goel, Fresh City Farms Founder & CEOThis month, we spoke with Ran Goel, CEO and founder of Fresh City Farms. He opened up about the pandemic’s effect on his business (great and difficult), opening a bricks-and-mortar location during the golden age of online shopping and why people should spend more time, energy and money on food.

Here’s an excerpt. Read the full interview on our blog.

The pandemic has obviously changed the way the world thinks about wellbeing. What are the top three changes you have observed?

Yes. At least I hope so! First thing is that people have noticed the wellbeing of essential workers, or lack thereof. I think there is a profound appreciation for how hard people up and down the food system work from farmers to meat plant workers to cashiers and that they are not getting a fair shake. Second, people are now cooking much more, which is generally a good thing for healthier eating as you have much more control about the ingredients you use. Finally, there has been a resurgence in people growing their own food, which means some physical activity and more importantly, breeding an intimacy with food production.

What have been your top challenges since starting the business?

Top challenge is to compete in a cheap food world. People will buy an expensive car to drive their body around in, they will buy expensive clothes to adorn their body, they will buy expensive creams to make them look younger, but many are still skeptical about the notion that when you cheap out on food, it often impacts your health. And by cheap out I don’t only mean financially, I primarily mean in terms of how much you invest in what you put in your body, whether its how much you learn, how long you spend shopping for the right food or how much time you spend cooking.

You decided to forge ahead with the long-anticipated opening of your Toronto Bay and Gerrard location in the relatively early days of the pandemic, even offering a discount to workers from the several nearby hospitals. Please take us through the decision-making process leading up to that opening.

It was pretty simple actually. The store was ready for opening. The community wanted us to open so that they would have an easy way to access local and organic food. (Our store opening had been delayed because of the inevitable construction issues so there was a live dialogue with our neighbors via social media, email and in person.) And most importantly given the pandemic, the retail team wanted to push ahead with the opening. At the time, Toronto Public Health hadn’t posted best practices yet so we scoured the internet for guidance on how many customers we could let in per square foot of retail space and so forth. It also meant a truncated offering with the meat/fish/deli/bakery cases closed as well as the sit down area. But our retail team did it and a lot of credit to them just a couple of weeks into the lockdown.

“Online grocery or not, pandemic or not, I am a huge believer in the bricks and mortar channel. That doesn’t mean you continue doing what you have always done. But I do think fresh food is not going the way of books or flights, in that most fresh food sales will still be in stores 25 years from today.”
– Ran Goel, CEO and founder of Fresh City Farms


Feeling inspired? 

Share MarketWell with fellow wellbeing marketers and we’ll make a donation to the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA).

As the nationwide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health. The work they are doing is even more important now, than ever.

To your wellbeing,
Amy Laski
Founder and President
Felicity [Inspiring Communications]

Posted on: September 29th, 2020 by

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