The presidential race is over, and a new era of American leadership now begins. As with most change, an initial level of uncertainty exists, and many questions will remain unanswered for some time. However, one question that may have more immediate relevance: How will the Donald Trump presidency affect the future of health and wellness in America?
Based on extensive custom, quantitative consumer interviews conducted by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) of more than 3,000 American adults, insights surrounding the changing health and wellness landscape and the impact of the election are revealed. These insights are brought to life by NMI’s Health & Wellness segmentation model.
In summary, the segments showing the greatest support for Democrat presidential nominee Hilary Clinton are the most “health proactive" segment of the population, the Well Beings (48 percent pro-Clinton) followed by the “health-striving" Fence Sitters (42 percent). The Well Beings continue to set the bar for healthy behaviors and strive toward healthier ideals. They are a consumer segment to watch as they are influencers, trend setters, and early adopters. And Well Beings help define the healthy standards and provide the benchmarks for the more aspiring mainstream segments, such as the Fence Sitters. These two NMI segments are vital to driving the health and wellness movement, and represent 109 million Americans (44 percent of the adult population). Will they be able to get behind a new Trump health care plan?
Interestingly, the least healthy group (Magic Bullets) is equally split across candidates with 36 percent indicating they are pro-Clinton with 36 percent for Trump. This segment is looking for a quick fix or a “magic bullet" to solve their health issues. Unconcerneds remain true to their name, and are significantly less likely to vote, in general, compared to all other segments. The only segment that leaned toward Trump (47 percent) was the Food Actives (more traditional, conservative Americans)—perhaps a segment that now represents a new focus for many companies, government, advocacy groups and public policy organizations, among others. As the Trump administration repeals and replaces Obamacare, consumers may feel a twinge of apprehension about what is to come next. What impact will this have on the 30 million Americans on Obamacare?
Combined with the uncertainty of a future health care system and continued economic challenges, consumers are starting to look for better solutions to stay healthy; solutions that may require an increased self-interest and management of their own health. As shown through the NMI segmentation, segments of the population approach health differently. In effect, each segment compartmentalizes information and takes the pieces that apply to their beliefs and lifestyles to formulate their individual plan towards health. Marketers will need to understand consumers’ differing desires and provide the features, benefits, and communications that have greatest relevance to their target.
Steve French ([email protected]) is managing partner at the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI). NMI is a strategic consulting, market research and business development firm specializing in the health, wellness and sustainability marketplace.