Internationally, consumers have been showing an emerging interest in having a healthy body, spirit, and mind befittingly branded as the general state of wellness. The concept of wellness has not been a new idea but can be traced in ancient Rome, Europe, Greece, and Asia. A spa business looking to open shop in India should use Travis’s Illness-Wellness continuum to identify wellness opportunities in areas where the Spa business is evidently defined in relation to supplementary wellness services. The Illness-Wellness continuum encompasses broad consumer sections that range from persons that seek health solutions after getting sick and those who approach well-being proactively. The spa business should be built step by step beginning with the core values while defining emotional and functional benefits offered by those values and lastly identifying the channel that would communicate those benefits. Evoe would keep affordability and accessibility as constant foundations of the business. Moreover, the business focus was to reduce stress for their customers, pamper their customers, and ensure consumers left the spa happy. Furthermore, they would focus on making the customer feel they were making time for themselves, looked beautiful and were improving their physical fitness. Therefore, a business should have a core value statement which shows what they stand for.
The business has to understand the consumer, identify consumer segments, and develop a consumer value proposition (Halkias, Georgios, Vasileios Davvetas, and Adamantios Diamantopoulos 3621). After that, the business had to find concepts that they would use to sell their services ideas to consumers. Moreover, the right position to put the business should be located. Qualitative research should be carried out to find the right place to put the business. The primary challenge is choosing the right sections and finding a significant and robust placing for the brand. The brand should understand its consumers hence should interview potential and uninterested consumers employed in private or public companies, homemakers or self-employed potential consumers (Halkias, Georgios, Vasileios Davvetas, and Adamantios Diamantopoulos, 3622). Lastly, the business should focus on understanding the consumer and research on comparatively new categories of products and services.
The basic proposition for Evoe was Indian’s growing need to de-stress and their acceptance that Spa visits could become part of consumers’ routines if Spa services could be availed at affordable prices and address cultural obstructions. They decided to research about Spas from regular Spa visitors and those who did not visit Spas to broaden their scope. They would find how frequently consumers visited a spa and the benefits they sought when visiting a Spa. Historically, Indians had well-respected systems of yoga and Ayurveda which focused on mental and physical whole being. However, Indian consumers were becoming more conscious and proactive towards a preventive approach to wellness and health. Indians had a preference for natural and organic products though there were other treatment based products.
Spas appeared to be the best option for people to relax because they offered time-tested therapies and an ambiance which improved mental relaxation. Some challenges that faced the spa industry include: massage services provided by most cross-gender spas were culturally unacceptable. Additionally, the massage parlors that posed as Spas generated negative publicity. This caused men not to admit enjoying spa therapies as they feared that their joy would be misunderstood especially by their families. Moreover, the fact remains that a large population of people think of Spas as massage parlors or beauty salons. Another negative publicity was the fact that women were uncomfortable using common shower areas of spas because it would compromise their privacy. Another problem was that only a few people were aware of Spas, and those knowledgeable were relatively convinced. Moreover, the large segment was looking for affordable Spa experiences but had less information on Spas.
Moreover, spas were seen as intimidating places because of the high charges and most people who attended were wealthy. They were seen as places where aspiring models and socialites would go because they focused on their image and appearance. However, Evoe is trying to make spas affordable to many people and remove this notion. Moreover, it was always a concern to find a genuine Spa as many massage parlors featured themselves as spas. Another finding was male inhabitants in urban areas, and imminent cities had a positive approach to spa services. The cause of this was that they needed to relax and rejuvenate themselves after hectic work lifestyles and long working hours. Frequent traveling, working for long hours, working on laptops for long durations, stressful commutes and inadequate rest were factors contributing to their fatigue.
The emerging trend saw men become image-conscious as a result of increased peer pressure as well as the requisite to look virtuous and neat. This shift in awareness stemmed from an increase in consumption of health and grooming merchandises and services from males. However, men remained unwilling to spend much on the spa experience. Additionally, time constraint affected them because they were free on weekends which they chose to stay with their families other than visit spas. Therefore, to solve this time constraint matter, the creation of day spas where people could pass through in their normal workday was considered.
The younger generation put their trust in brand names. Moreover, young consumers wanted to try new products and were less tentative to experiment. Furthermore, they were visiting spas as a way of self-indulging, treating themselves, improving their appearance or having a body massage or facial. Concerning younger women, they saw spas preferable to salons because they could provide better beauty solutions and treatments. Moreover, working women had time constraints just like most men, and they also suffered from fatigue due to their jobs. Trying to accommodate both health and wellness obligation in their busy lifestyle was a struggle. Creation of day spas could solve this as consumers could visit them any time.
Homemakers, on the other hand, were unaware of the distressing benefits of spas and turned to Spas for their beauty solutions. Most of these women were wary of the rapid growth of Spas hence had preferential brands. Moreover, most stressed their preference for organic and natural products. Additionally, they preferred traditional products and services because they were well-established, trusted, and had no side effects. However, their attitudes were still shifting with other types of body massages gaining popularity. Moreover, consumer acceptance was rapidly increasing concerning the fusion of Indian and Western therapies. In respect to these findings; social recognition for spas was still a worry. For businesses to stay relevant, they had to invest in advertising and marketing to communicate their proposition to consumers.
Women and men that sought beauty benefits from spas were becoming aware of the wellness benefits and willing to explore them. People’s perception of wellness was based on the importance of wellness in their lives and if they were willing to spend on it. People consumed wellness services by how they approached the role of wellness and health in their lives. There were variances in consumer behavior as some engaged in activities to feel good while others were reactive to health needs. Dedicated consumers not only knew about these concepts but also accepted them. To create the Evoe business they had to find a place with high wellness and affordability because it was empty and uncluttered.
The position of the brand would resonate with consumers to motivate them to come to the business (Avery & Gayle, 52). The positioning is to ensure that first-time consumers should become repeat visitors. Evoe should put into consideration on viewing hotels and resorts as good locations to be put. Moreover, spa businesses can be set up in malls and high-end public spaces to ensure they give quick spa services on the go to their consumers (Avery & Gayle, 52). The position of the business should be aptly located to ensure it can be communicated through media easily for people to find it. Moreover, the brand should be conspicuous from others to build its own identity over some time. The brand needs to develop its consumer value proposition. They do this by using the brand ladder concept that involves creating their brand step by step, beginning with the core values of the business, after which they should define the emotional and functional benefits of what they offer. Eventually, they should identify service elements which they can use to communicate those benefits. Moreover, a business should know what their target consumers value the most. Affordability should be precarious because it symbolizes the brand. However, factors to be considered when creating the brand and sustaining it include learning income and age of target consumers, knowing the rate at which average nuclear families grow, learning the evolution of consumer lifestyles and knowing how often consumers like to experiment with different brands.
After the research, consumers were categorized into four. They classified the first set of consumers as snails because this group was guided by habit, affordability, and convenience. The snails were reluctant to make significant lifestyle changes which could compromise their habits. Thought they highly regarded health and wellness information, they seemed to make changes to their lifestyle only when they got sick or had an apparent medical condition. Their consumption decision was highly determined if they could afford a service. The climbers, the second group, had different behaviors across age groups. The younger liked to experiment on new items principally swayed by movie stars. They looked for instant results and gratification. The third group is racers who showed a high brand affinity and were conscious of the brands they bought. They were inclined to spend on wellness if they were persuaded about the benefits. Finally, the sprinters are the group who had significant levels of mindfulness on wellness and had an eye on global progression on health as well as awareness.
In essence, the growth of spas has been gradual as people learn more of it. Previously, the social acceptance for Spas was a concern in accordance with the problems previously stated. The ability of businesses to differentiate the Spas and massage parlors is essential for the growth of spas. The location of a Spa is crucial in making it a profitable business. The best location can ensure consumers frequent the Spa.
Avery, Gayle C. “Positioning the business for a sustainable future.” Strategy & Leadership 46.6 (2018): 52-53.
Halkias, Georgios, Vasileios Davvetas, and Adamantios Diamantopoulos. “The interplay between country stereotypes and perceived brand globalness/localness as drivers of brand preference.” Journal of Business Research 69.9 (2016): 3621-3628.