PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine wellness as a means of self-branding. The phenomenon is addressed through the introduction of a new concept – wellness branding – and by identifying those wellness practices that are currently most valued.Design/methodology/approachA series of focus group interviews were conducted in the USA and Finland. Altogether, 12 discussion sessions (N = 57) were carried out, 6 in each country.FindingsBoth wellness and self-branding represent current forms of identity and lifestyle construction and self-promotion. Moreover, they represent an entrepreneurial view of the self, which emphasizes self-governance. The findings indicate that wellness has moved beyond the merely physical dimension, to significantly involve emotional/mental, spiritual, social and intellectual aspects. This further strengthens the transformational nature of wellness and the increasing need for balancing one’s life in order to reach one’s optimal self. The logic of wellness branding involves the creation of one’s optimal, balanced self while communicating it to others.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper makes insightful contributions to the branding literature by broadening the scope of self-branding to a new and timely context. The paper further adds to the consumer research literature by addressing wellness as a form of transformative consumption and an essential part of the current self-care culture.Originality/valueTo the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to discuss self-branding in the context of wellness, introducing a new concept of wellness branding, thus offering a novel area for research.
Journal of Product & Brand Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 15, 2019
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