Is your brand on the pulse of circadian health?

Welcome to the July issue of MarketWell, a monthly newsletter for marketers in the wellbeing space, by Felicity.

We hope this finds you and your family well, and that you are making the most of this very unique summer in which we find ourselves. While we hold out hope that COVID-19 will be behind us soon, we are trying not to wish away the summer!

The wellness world has seen a lot of trends come and go over the years. As we highlighted in our white paper, Is wellbeing washed up?, doctors used to advertise cigarettes and fat-free snacks became the go-to for guilt-free eating in the 1990s. It’s to be expected. As science evolves and new studies are done, “facts” can quickly become fads.

On the other hand there are many truths that hold timeless. For example, the benefits of exercise have been known since Roman times, Aristotle wrote about the restorative nature of sleep and circadian rhythm was first observed almost 300 years ago and is, as you’ll see below, seeing a resurgence.

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

  1. Wellbeing from around the web: Canada’s most trusted brands pre- and post-pandemic, why the Facebook boycott is a turning point and why social entrepreneurs struggle with wellness.
  2. Wellbeing marketer’s tool of the month: A journal to help you reflect and grow, personally and professionally, during and after quarantine.
  3. Fact or fad: Forget sleep apps and fighting insomnia, the Global Wellness Summit predicts circadian health will be the new focus in wellness.
  4. Best practices: These early-riser brands are already adopting circadian health into their businesses.
  5. MarketWell voices: How cloud-based home health software company AlayaCare is supporting their employees and their clients to thrive through the pandemic.

Wellbeing from around the web

Canada’s most-trusted brands, pre- and post-COVID-19
In our post-COVID-19 country, Canada Post remains the most trusted brand—and this has held true despite some mail delays. This article outlines a study done by University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business comparing the most trusted brands pre- and post-pandemic, noting that general brand trust was at an all-time low before COVID-19. How do you increase brand trust? The findings say to simply deliver on your promises. Good thing Canada Post specializes in delivering.

The CEO of a major advertising trade group says the Facebook boycott is a turning point
Advertisers are turning away from Facebook ads—which have been shown to decrease new customer acquisition costs by 73%—because of Facebook’s history of allowing “racist, violent and verifiably false content to run rampant on its platform.” A cultural shift is underway. If companies and marketers don’t catch up, they will lose out.

Wellbeing may motivate social change movements. But at what expense?
Almost half of social entrepreneurs report struggling with burnout and depression. Imagine how much more of an impact these changemakers could have, if they were not paying a hefty price—their health and wellness—for their passion. This article examines the interdependency between wellbeing and well-doing.


Wellbeing marketer’s tool of the month: My Q&A (quarantine and after) journal

Albert Einstein said, “in the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity.” With this in mind, executive coach Rachel Weinstein created the “My Q&A (quarantine and after) Journal” to help professionals reflect on this unique time and capture insights they can turn into actions post-pandemic. It’s a guided, interactive e-journal available to leaders for free on her website.

Bonus: Journaling has many wellbeing benefits. It’s been proven to reduce stress, sharpen your memory and improve your mood. For business, it helps grow good ideas, unearth bad ideas and allows you to reflect on successes and figure out how to replicate them.


Image: @moritz_photography on Unsplash

Fact or fad: Why light and our circadian rhythms will rule the wellness world

Western culture is so obsessed with sleep that a new mental wellness condition was coined a few years ago. Orthosomnia is a fixation on having the perfect night’s sleep. But, it turns out that all those apps that promise to help (and the blue light that emanates from our many screens) may be causing us to stay awake.

The Global Wellness Summit predicts that, starting this year, our obsession with sleep will shift towards true circadian health. Their report on the subject includes insights from Dr. Steven Lockley, associate professor of medicine at Harvard and one of the world’s top experts on circadian rhythms and sleep.

So what is circadian health? “The absolute key to healthy sleep and circadian rhythms is stable, regularly-timed daily light and dark exposure—our natural daily time cues,” says Dr. Lockley in the report. People need bright blue light during the day and dark at night to tell our brains and bodies to sleep and recover.

The report forecasts that:

  • People will start to incorporate circadian-supporting lighting in their homes
  • Jet lag solution apps will be based on personalized circadian rhythms
  • The hospitality industry will incorporate customized lighting systems to accommodate traveling guests
  • Intermittent fasting will give way to circadian eating—meaning that people stop eating when it’s dark

Circadian health basics:
Circadian rhythms dictate so much more than sleep, which is only an output of your circadian clock. “Circadian rhythms are much wider and more complex than sleep, as they impact and orchestrate all of our organs, our brain, and cellular activity,” reads the report.

Everyone with sleep issues has been repeatedly told to wake up and go to sleep at the same time everyday—even on weekends. This is essential in achieving circadian health.

Circadian biology is all about light. You can’t reset your rhythm any other way.

How can you incorporate the trend toward circadian health in your business and marketing? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Drop us a line and we may include your insights in a future issue of MarketWell.


Best practices: These early-riser brands are already adopting circadian health into their businesses

Last year Crowne Plaza was the first in the hospitality industry to trial circadian task lights in hotel rooms so its guests could get a better night’s rest. And going forward, experts foresee circadian lighting being pre-set for guests based on their travel itineraries.

Dyson has launched a light (image, right) that tracks local daylight and adjusts the light temperature and brightness of its LED bulb accordingly.

Brilli makes light bulbs for different times of day. There are bulbs for bright daytime light to use in the kitchen and office, for instance and bulbs for relaxing to use in the bedroom and nursery.

A new app called Social Rhythms helps users track their potentially disrupted circadian clocks in a post-COVID-19 world.


MarketWell voices: How cloud-based home health software company AlayaCare is helping their team and their clients through the pandemic

We interviewed AlayaCare VP of Strategy & Corporate Development, Neil Grunberg, about how the pandemic has affected the cloud-based home health business. Read on for his take on the company’s growth and challenges, as well as what it’s been like to transition to a virtual team structure. Here’s an excerpt. Read the full interview on our blog.

As an organization that enables care-taking, what were some of the ways you “cared” for your own people, prior to the pandemic? How about during/currently?

Prior to the pandemic, we had weekly Wine Wednesdays in our Toronto office, weekly Friday Beer o’clocks in Montreal and in our Sydney, Australia offices, board game nights and social brunches for all our staff. We also had ongoing yoga sessions, unlimited access to a meditation/quiet room, and an endless supply of snacks for all staff.

During the first few weeks of the pandemic, a workforce of 400+ that traditionally worked together in offices in New York, Montreal, Toronto, Victoria, Peterborough, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne came together weekly for town halls led by Adrian, our CEO. To keep morale up and maintain social interactions, we introduced virtual challenges on Slack (Formal Fridays, Rate my Setup, Weekly Step Count, etc.), instituted virtual workouts, cooking classes, art classes, mindfulness sessions, and converted our in-person Beer o’clocks to virtual. We also hosted numerous virtual sessions for employees with kids to give our parents a break, hosting Zoom sessions with magicians, Doo Doo the Clown, and dance lessons with ViBE Dance & Fitness Studio. Informally and organically, initiatives sprouted up: several employees from different offices around the world gathered weekly over the lunch hour for a virtual cycle session. Similarly, we created a run/walk-a-thon on 24 hours notice raising $5,000+ for social justice while mapping activity across four countries.

AlayaCare underpins companies in a sector that has come under sharp scrutiny during the pandemic. What risks did you identify as a business given this operating environment? How about opportunities?

Fortunately, the home care and home health care market did not receive the same level of scrutiny as the long-term care market, as they were well equipped to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. AlayaCare supported our clients and the home care market during these challenging times by rapidly building virtual care tools, contact tracing and mandatory screening into our core offering, to ensure that those who needed care, and those providing care, were doing so safely. The home care market responded incredibly well and has rebounded from lost revenue through excellent care and coordination. The pandemic has forced necessary progress to the home care industry. As a company whose mission is to empower care providers to achieve better health outcomes through transformative technology, we fully embrace this fast progress.

“There will continue to be challenges, however we have embraced the upside. Many of us travel and commute to work, and have appreciated time with family, making room for these challenges and our own personal growth.”

– Neil Grunberg, VP of Strategy & Corporate Development, AlayaCare


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: July 27th, 2020 by

Is wellbeing washed up?

Thank you for requesting our white paper.

How can I take my brand’s wellbeing story from languishing to flourishing?

Thank you for requesting our checklist.