Researchers confirmed that Americans are more stressed out today than ever before. A recent study reveals that on a scale of 1-10, the average stress level among Americans rose from an all-time low of 4.8 in 2015, to an all-time high of 5.1 in early 2017. The accelerating pace of life, worries about money, work, and the current political climate are contributing to rising stress levels. But there is a bright side—increased incidences of depression and anxiety have brought mental health into the spotlight and consumers are including mental health as part of a holistic approach to health and wellness. Marketers can help by communicating the value of slowing down and simplifying our busy, connected lives, and by offering products and services that help us to do so.
Stress Management Methods
Most Americans are approaching stress management from a healthy perspective. Almost three quarters of all women believe it’s important to limit daily stress to maintain good health—48% said they exercise to relieve stress and 44% enjoy downtime with friends and family. Reading (44%), meditating/praying (40%), and watching TV (39%) are also among the top methods that Americans use find the balance they seek in their daily lives. Wellness brand marketers may develop content that offers consumers healthy ways to deal with stress or provide stress-reducing product benefits.
The #FOMO Backlash
Sometimes, too much of a good thing isn’t good. Twenty-three percent of people who admit to constantly checking their smartphones say their device is a source of “significant stress” compared to 14% of those who don’t check in as frequently. Millennials and GenX’ers say they worry about the effect of social media on their mental health and are taking deliberate steps to disconnect from their devices and connect to the people around them—28% of Americans don’t allow mobile phones at the dinner table, 21% take a periodic “digital detox,” 21% don’t allow devices during family time, and 19% turn off their devices when visiting with friends. Don’t let your marketing add to their stress! Use data to determine when your consumer is most likely to be receptive to email and social content and develop social messages that are positive, upbeat, and inspirational.
The Search for Simplicity
Have consumers reached a saturation point for material goods? Not exactly, but consumers’ desire for experiences over things has contributed to the sharp decline in retail, and ushered in the rise of the sharing economy. This is particularly true for Millennials, for whom quality and exclusivity take precedence over brand name. This trend is impacting all industries as consumers seek to live simpler, uncluttered, and less stressful lives.
Women’s Marketing offers insight into the latest trends that impact marketers. Discover how our suite of marketing services can help your brand strategically reach consumers when and where they are most receptive to your message.
Sources: American Psychological Association Stress in America 2017, Euromonitor Selling Simplicity