Alana Sandel, Chief Experience Officer, Marketing for Wellness (Chicago, IL)
Alana Sandel, Chief Experience Officer of the agency, Marketing for Wellness, has a deep passion for helping people “to be well.” Her personal health struggles inspired her to create her agency, which focuses on quality of life, healthy foods, and fitness. “better-for-you products” – “to build brands for a better tomorrow” – especially brands with solutions for people with chronic health problems.
Alana notes that 60% of our population suffers from chronic health issues. COVID-19 is dangerous, but even more of a threat to people with diabetes, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, and other ongoing health issues.
Marketing for Wellness works to link “best fit” social media influencers with client brands. Media events have been crippled by the pandemic, so the agency is exploring virtual and augmented reality options (for education and entertainment) to replicate the experiences audiences used to have with high-touch media events, where such events balanced digital-touch social. Alana anticipates an unprecedented expansion of companies’ use of augmented reality and virtual reality technologies to create meaningful experiences for their prospective clients.
Alana believes that the companies that survive will be led by people whose work “resonates to the core,” drives them, and feeds their passion. With the strain of the times, a lot of talent will become more affordable. People will develop common goals to help each other through this crisis. Companies not prepared to go digital will need to act quickly if they are going to survive. And right now, Alana notes, there are some great deals in both digital and traditional format channels.
Today, people’s immune systems are the only protection they have against COVID. When will we get a vaccine? When will we have a treatment? How is this virus going to change? What other viruses are going to plague us? When? Alana emphasizes, “The only thing that we can rely on is our immune system.” Many niche brands, Alana says, are developed in people’s garages or kitchens, out of inspiration or desperation. Because these small-time innovators understand their customers’ “pain points,” their brands come across as being “authentic.” She expects to see a lot of innovative product development, both in foods and beverages, with a strong shift toward healthier ingredients.
For the future, Alana expects brands already in foods, beverages, and wellness will expand their offerings in support of our immune systems. Companies not in those industries may support their communities by investing in health and wellness initiatives. Smaller brands will increase their corporate citizenship contributions and make a tangible difference to society through the products they create.
A lot of people will continue to support their wellness experience digitally, but Alana does not put her trust in health gadgets. Devices may measure some vitals, but the most accurate and complete picture of an individual’s health is in the bloodwork. Simplicity – eating better, thinking of food as medicine, eliminating toxins and artificial ingredients from our diets, and “moving more” are the way to win health, even without the gadgets.
Alana can be found on LinkedIn at Alana Sandel, and on her agency’s website at: marketingforwellness.com.