Rethinking The Business Of Wellness

Try This: Does Your Wellness Business Communicate With A Dictionary Or A Poem?

The opportunity: Transform utilitarian, functional, boringly factual communications into customer communications that create an emotional connection while reinforcing the most important points about your wellness center, clinic, health club or yoga studio. (Hey, who wouldn’t want to do that?!)

For inspiration, check out one of the best marketers in the restaurant industry: Sweet Tomatoes.

Here’s why these folks top my list of businesses that are really, really smart and focused about communicating to customers. They never miss an opportunity.

Sweet Tomatoes is an all-you-can-eat restaurant chain that offers customers a salad bar, daily selection of several soups, and a few baked items plus help-yourself ice cream.

But they don’t market like your father’s cafeteria.

As you look at the pix, notice that they are ALWAYS reinforcing their key messages. Not in an obnoxious way, but with graphics and word choices that appeal and excite and make your mouth water.

At the end of this post, you’ll see a side-by-side comparison of their real signage –  with a Photoshopped version that shows you just how blah and ordinary more typical signs would’ve been.

First, let me give you a feel for the restaurant layout:

(You’ll need to click on all these pictures so you can see the large image with all the detail.)

Now, click the picture below for a much bigger version where you can really see the details:

I numbered six specific places in red where they used mouthwatering words instead of bland labels:

We have…”45 feet of farm fresh fare”….”8 made-from-scratch soups”…”unlimited servings, unlimited choices…and so on.  Yum, right?

And notice when you click to zoom that the signs show steaming soup, a baked potato with fresh toppings, with toppings, muffins so fresh they’re still in the tin, and an ice-cream cone. Double-yum.

Click for large image:

But…what if they had just treated the signs like labels, instead of marketing opportunities?

Here’s what that would’ve looked like (click picture for large image):

To help you compare, in the next picture the real restaurant signs are on top, the Photoshopped version’s on the bottom.

Again, look for the six numbered signs in each picture and consider their effect on the customer.

Click for large image:

Think about it: Boring and blah, isn’t it? Yet this is exactly what lots of businesses do. They settle for quick, lazy, functional or factually descriptive labels instead of thinking about what it really means to customers and how that could actually be communicated. Consider these common examples in health and wellness:

Spin Studio
Workout Routine
Diet Plan
Level 1 Yoga
Consultation Room

And so on…every one of those is boringly factual. They don’t reinforce anything important about your business at all. In fact, they make your wellness business sound pretty indistinguishable from everyone else.

Your homework: look at your own business (or your website, if you’re exclusively online).

Where have you given cursory attention to what could be an important customer communication that reinforces what’s most important about your business?

For example, perhaps that sheet labeled “Workout Routine” or “Diet Plan” could be titled “Leslie Nolen’s Individual Action Plan” if your marketing message emphasizes individualized approaches.

Have fun and post your insights or questions in the Comments (your email’ll stay private, don’t worry):

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