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4.Literature review


The rise in mental health issues in The advance in technological fea-

the UK, highlights there are still ma- tures has encouraged UK consum-
jor concerns on how this impacts ers to purchase and begin to see the
the lives of individuals. (The Mental value in wearable devices to track
Health Foundation, 2018) state that fitness. However, wearable tech-
nology is starting to expand its use
mental health problems are a grow-
further, to improve mental wellbe-
ing public health concern, which ing, such as tracking stress levels
currently affects 1 in 6 people in the and sleep patterns (Moss, 2017).
UK. 24% of these experienced more Wearable technology in the UK has
common diagnoses, such as depres- seen substantial growth in value
sion and anxiety (Duckett, 2017). The and volume sold, driven by weara-
number of people with mental health ble devices which embed smart dig-
problems has not changed signifi- ital technologies. Specifically, smart
cantly, however the way people are watches are expected to drive the
dealing with these issues is getting market to reach sales of 34 million
units by 2022 (Euromonitor, 2017).
worse. In the UK, consumers place
This report will investigate how
significant emphasis on the ways to digital technologies can be used to
achieve a healthier lifestyle (Euro- positively impact mental wellbe-
monitor, 2017). Due the emerging ing. According to (Trendwatching,
trend of wellbeing on the rise, these 2016) a rising number of consumers
consumers are beginning to demand will expect brands to embed inno-
products which aid self-help. “The vative health boosting technologies
heightened interest can be attribut- to provoke positive effects . To meet
ed to the growing wellness trend and consumer demands, this report will
consumers seeking to take better care examine how the use of wearable
of themselves in a seemingly, increas- technology is being implemented
to provide positive health benefits.
ingly demanding and stressful world”
With this understanding, this report
(Yee, 2018) . The purchase of wearable will also highlight how the use of
technology by consumers for physical wearable technology can be adapt-
health has grown significantly in 2017.
ed to combat these growing issues.
I have chosen to explore this research topic, as I experience men-
tal health issues, and have found that this has encouraged myself
to spend more time on nur turing my mental wellbeing through the
aid of self-help. The use of wearable technolog y has also grown
in popularit y and is primarily designed for fitness purposes. Ac-
cording to (Morby, 2016) there are not many tangible devices on
the market which are suitable for mental health needs current-
ly. Therefore, the research will focus on how the use of wearable
technolog y can be adapted to benefit those living with these con-
ditions and to find ways of ef fectively implementing innovative
solutions. I have found the significant rise in mental health issues
has been a motivational driver which has enabled the wellbeing
trend to evolve today. The aid of these features is embedded in ex-
isting technological devices, allowing consumers to practice self-
help. Many consumers are aware of wearable devices for physical
health, therefore providing a device for mental wellbeing has the
potential as being just as ef fective. The devices can benefit organ-
isations which specialise in providing treatments, such as talking
therapies for mental health. My intention is to advise consumers to
use these devices in conjunction with these existing therapies, as
it is still impor tant to seek professional help for these conditions
as a first por t of call. I intend for the devices to be used by pro -
fessional for those seeking medical help from mental health ser-
vices. The devices could also benefit brands which specialise in
digital technolog y, as many brands are beginning to acknowledge
consumer demands for wearables with wellbeing specific features .


An exami nat i o n i n to t h e g row i n g t re n d o f wea ra b le de v ices and
how th e y can be u s ed to p os i t i ve l y i mpa ct me ntal wellb eing

1. Investigate how the wellbeing trend has manifested itse lf in the UK

2. Analyse how current brand products implement the wellbeing trend

3.Explore how mental health has impacted the fashion industr y through the
use of business marketing strategies

4. Investigate how wearable technolog y de vices for physical health can be

adapted for mental wellbeing

5. Analyse consumer engagement regarding the effectiveness of wearable

technolog y in relation to mental health
Those faced with mental health issues
in the UK can access free services on
the National Health Service (NHS).
However, referred to as a public health
crisis, the demand for services has in-
creased and exceeded the allocated
funding power of the NHS provided
by the government. Report findings
from Care Quality Commission, show
that 26 per cent of people with mental
health problems, felt they did not re-
ceive the help they required from the
NHS (Bulman, 2017). With these find-
ings, a surge in funding could be pro-
vided through brand collaborations,
which would enable mental health
organisations and the NHS to expand
the care services they provide. With a
range of retail sectors adopting em-
pathetic approaches to mental well-
being, brands can “aim to foster and
exercise empathy for social change,
shifting perspective and providing
creative solutions” (Shin, 2017). This
suggests, that there is a potential mar-
ket which brands can penetrate, to ca-
ter to needs of consumers and provide
an outlet, fostering creative solutions FIG 4.CHROMATIC REFLECTION,2017

The emerging trend for wellness has spread within many aspects of
today’s society, with consumers now beginning to demand more from
brands and products to fit this growing social ideal. According to (Pilzer,
2012) the wellness industry is dealing with one of the most profound is-
sues, as it affects the lives of everybody. This shows a pertinent link be-
tween the demand of the consumers and the way brands can implement
the concept of wellness into products to meet these needs. (Weinswig,
2017) states consumers are starting to place more value on products
which help to positively impact health and wellness, than material ob-
jects. The trend is visible amongst all consumer groups, which has begun
to surface as a lifestyle choice, rather than a short term fad. With the
concept of wellbeing and health conscious attitudes having significantly
grown, it is imperative brands adapt their marketing strategies to con-
nect with consumers by integrating solutions which suit this rising de-
mand. In regards to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory, it could be sug-
gested that brands may need to reexamine the basic physiological needs
of consumers in relation to wellbeing. Safety is one of the fundamental
categories of the pyramid, which health falls into as a subgroup. There-
fore, Maslow proposed that it is a necessary requirement that people
can reach their full potential and progress to attain self actualization.


Self care is the biggest driving force Self care encompasses more than By examining existing products
behind the wellbeing trend, which is beauty products, it also includes per- and platforms, the features that
gaining more traction. Online data sonal care wellness technology prod- are provided by these devices can
shows that the search for self care ucts and platforms that are designed be analysed by brands. The ideas
has been inescapable, as it began to to help support the mind and body developed have the potential to be
expand rapidly in popularity in 2016; in a holistic way (Yee, 2018). With the adapted for wearable devices, which
the largest increase for five years. In rapid increase of mental health apps brands must ensure deliver the same
2017, the trend of self care can be available for smartphone users, well- standard of care. The manifesta-
regarded as the new form of emo- being devices have began to take in- tions of the wellbeing trend could be
tional hygiene (Williams, 2017). Self fluence from these platforms. These deemed as the influential driver for
care is described as being critical for apps offer users a wealth of resourc- the rise in popularity of self-track-
maintaining robust mental health, es, which provide therapeutic based ing. The majority of self-tracking
which holds the same importance as techniques, making self care more is digital, supplied by mobile apps
physical health. The responsibility accessible, portable and cost effec- and more commonly wearable de-
of practicing meaningful self care to tive (Shelton, 2018). “These are not vices such as smartwatches and fit-
“channel your energies into life-pre- alternatives to therapy, but they will ness bands. These new technologies
serving and life-sustaining acts” make the day-to-day struggles of liv- are able to provide consumers with
(Reddick, 2015). As self care is evi- ing with a mental illness a little bit the means to accurately measure
dently promoting positive change easier” (Jacoby, 2018). Alternative health more easier than ever before
for mental wellbeing, it advocates devices such as the Calmingstone, is (Nafus and Neff, 2016). This growing
a need for change in the way men- a hand held device which helps ease social phenomenon suggests con-
tal health organisations provide anxiety with light and sound. Design- sumers now have vast control over
services for those needing support. er Ramon Telfer combined his indus- their health, more so than before
The partnership of these organisa- try expertise with his own experience wearables infiltrated on the mar-
tions and digital technology brands with this issue, which has allowed ket. This is the perfect opportunity
which specialise in wearables, have him to create a comprehensive senso- for brands to implement self-track-
the potential to foster the trend ry experience to help curb the symp- ing featured devices to meet these
of self care within its products. toms of this condition (Morby, 2016). emerging consumer demands.
The health care sector is booming with technological inno-
vations, however the intervention for mental health is pro-
foundly lagging behind. The complex nature of mental health
conditions, is said to potentially play a part in the difficulty of
implementing sufficient technology to effectively to track hu-
man behaviour creating useful measurable outcomes (Utley,
2016). The use of virtual reality is growing as it beginning to
to provide therapeutic use for mental illness. A report conduct-
ed by Wired Health found that an increase in innovative tech-
nologies such as virtual reality headsets are being explored
to aid mindfulness as a self care mechanism (Housley, 2016).
According to (Aboujaoude and Starcevic, 2015) virtual reality
has demonstrated effectiveness in treating mental health con-
ditions. A VR headset was used in a study to reenact a concept
similar to psychotherapy to treat sufferers of anxiety disorders.
Through the method of exposure, those with the disorder began
to notice positive change and able to achieve symptom control.
Renowned brands such as the Fitbit, have a primary focus on
physical wellbeing. The Ionic bridges the gap between fitness
trackers and smartwatches currently on market. This hybrid de-
vice has smart features that include contactless payments, mu-
sic streaming service and the ability to connect to the users mo-
bile phone to receive notifications. The incorporated health and
fitness tracker provides a personal trainer style service. This
includes sensors which have the ability to measure blood and
oxygen levels and initiate tailored workouts (Whitwam, 2017).
The findings suggest that consumers may benefit from wearable devices which incorporate
tracking features. These could be used to measure behaviour to potentially improve mental
wellbeing and help the consumer practice positive self care. The innovation of hybrid devic-
es, means multiple platforms can operate on one single wearable device. Therefore, brands
could adapt existing devices to aid mental wellbeing. This would be more cost effective for
the brand in terms of production and manufacturing. If brands proposed an entirely single
use device for mental wellbeing, it is likely consumer interest would be negatively impacted.
This could be due to consumers having already purchased a device from the brand and reluc-
tant to invest in a new device, as these tend to be high in cost. Therefore, brands could face the
knock on effect of poor consumer engagement, as consumers may also deem the product as
a way of the brand generating financial gain, rather than considering the needs of consumers
as their primary incentive for producing the device. Although the main focus of wearables is
primarily functionality, these devices must now conform to consumer demands which should
provide desirable aesthetic qualities and deemed ‘fashionable’. The opinion on what is consid-
ered fashionable is personal which differs amongst consumers and is reliant on many factors.
Taking these factors into consideration, can potentially conclude that it is cru-
cial wearables encompass these important factors. This includes primary function-
al features, such as self tracking to enable consumers to practice self-care. Fur-
thermore, the devices should consider fashion trends which are appropriate for
the target consumer and remain diverse to adapt to rapid everchanging market.



(Seymour, 2008 p.13).
Seeing through the eyes of the consumer is a criti- 78% of global consumers agreed that it was ‘some-
cal skill for brands to adopt. According to the Glob- what or very important for a brand to be trans-
al Empathy Index, brands which implemented this parent’(Melchers, 2017). Similarly, a brandshare
as part of their business strategy increased in value report by Edelman, found that 87% of global con-
and generated fifty percent more earnings. “Com- sumers also want a “meaningful relationship with
panies are moving from selling a particular product brands” (Cahill, 2015).Furthermore, the key ben-
or service, into providing this idea of empathy and efit of applying brand transparency means there
connection” (Shin, 2017). Likewise, a report pub- is a potential likelihood that consumers will re-
lished by (Owen and Saunter, 2017) found empathy main loyal and continue to buy products (Kline,
is becoming the new business proposition and a way 2016). It could be suggested that it is not enough
of driving sales. The findings propose that brands for brands to just deliver a good product, they also
must connect with consumers on an emotional level need to be trustworthy and represent good caus-
to achieve this shifting notion. Brands can to utilise es. The challenge brands face is creating a good
innovative technologies further to foster an empa- balance to enable a pertinent relationship with
thetic approach to devices and products. With this consumers, but ensuring this will potentially esca-
implementation, consumers may begin to associ- late to attain long term brand loyalty. In the case
ate brands as the means for achieving meaningful of wearable devices for mental health, combining
balanced lives. In relation to empathy and wear- these factors with an empathetic approach can pro-
able technology, it is vital brands are providing vide consumers with not only a tactile device but a
consumers with honest and meaningful products. product which could ultimately change their lives.

With technology granted a rapidly evolving market, it is vital consumer

behavior in relation to this area is analysed. Brands which can inno-
vate and deliberately apply imagination, with real life data to derive
greater value, is the lifeblood to success and positive consumer engage-
ment. The constant stream of innovative devices has the potential to
create problems from a consumer behaviour point of view. With such
a wide array of wearables on the market, the decision making process
may pose one of the most complex issues for consumers. (Blythe and
Sethna, 2016). With this said, it can be suggested that a products life cy-
cle is profoundly impacted by the development of new and competitive
products on the market. Therefore brands which fail to innovate techno-
logical demands from consumers, may end up with obsolete products.


The Diffusion of Innovation theory can be
applied to consumer behaviour through ex-
amining the process of adoption. The theory
can be used to examine how wearable tech-
nology has spread, and why it is adopted by
consumers. According to Rodgers, products

have ‘attributes necessary for adoption’
which positively impact the concept of in- WHERE WEARABLES ARE MOST
novation. The products must have a relative
advantage over other existing products on
the market, and offer the consumer a more NESS-TRACKING PURPOSES
superior range of benefits. It is also impor- AT THE MOMENT, THEY SHOW
tant products are compatible to the consum- GREAT POTENTIAL FOR WIDE-
ers lifestyle, and that it is not too complex to
use. In addition, products should be able to
be tried out, which has proven to make them
far more likely to succeed. Lastly, if consum- (Meola, 2016).
ers are able to see the product in use, it is
has an increased chance of raising inter- Using the attributes in relation to wearables, can help dis-
est. As the health sector continues to grow, sect the device into groups, which helps formulate how they
wearable devices remain the most promising can be used to inform the process of adoption. The find-
area of adoption. This adoption is said to ings suggest that new devices entering the market must ad-
have been informed by emerging consumer here to these standards, to ensure brands receive positive con-
and professional healthcare trends, which sumer engagement. It is crucial that brands market to those
has the ongoing drive to secure interest. regarded as innovators, as they are the catalyst for adoption.

The primary research proposed for stage 3 includes

an interview, survey and a focus group to obtain
both qualitative and quantitative data. An inter-
view with a psychological wellbeing practitioner
will be conducted to gain a professional opinion in
regard to mental health and technology. The sur-
vey will provide an insight into consumer behav-
iours to analyse opinions in relation to existing
innovative wearable technology, mental wellbe-
ing and self-help. It will also allow the researcher
to acknowledge the potential target demographic
which ensures the research remains relevant for
the chosen market. Once the target demograph-
ic has been defined, the focus group will follow.
This will examine the opinions of individuals who
currently or have previously experienced mental
health issues. This will draw upon personal feel-
ings and beliefs surrounding the identified top-
ic which helps obtain more in-depth information.


5.2 R e s e a r c h theories
The theories selected will be used to focus on key areas of the research topic primarily within the next stage of research. This
includes trend awareness, market situation, brand identity, consumer needs and the use of strategic marketing techniques.

This theory will examine where the trend of wearable technology has originated and
helps suggest when the trend will be adopted. This can be used to investigate when
the trend will reach the tipping point and the moment the trend crosses a significant
threshold, when the adoption rate can potentially increase to reach the mass market.

A analysis of the political, economic, social, technological, legal and environ-
mental factors will be used to examine the current market situation of the UK and
the potential impact this has on digital brands and mental health organisations.


The prims will be used to depict similar internal and external attributes of the chosen digital brand and
mental health organisation. The prism identifies six factors that relate to each brand to pinpoint sim-
ilarities and factors which overlap, which suggests the brands would make an ideal collaboration.
This model analyses human needs, starting with physiological basic needs that progress onto the need for safety, social
belonging and self-esteem. The highest level is the need for self-fulfilment, driven by motivation. Therefore once one
psychological need is mastered the next level can be obtained. The model with be used to fulfil the needs of the target
consumer and highlight the motivational drivers for buying wearable technology for both mental and physical health.

A situational analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
will be used to identify ways the chosen brand and mental health organisa-
tion, can utilise factors to benefit from a marketing strategy collaboration.

This theor y will be used as a tool to assess four potential scenarios brands can use, as an objective for achieving growth.
Firstly, market penetration means the brand can still sell existing products within an existing market, to capitalize and
improve profitabilit y using the current market proposition. This group can be fur ther categorised into key strategies,
which includes increasing the number of consumers, the average spend, the margin and improve the product range/
product mixture. Market development can be implemented, by taking an existing product to a new market, such as the
‘Fitbit’ wearable smar twatch. Yet, product development would implement the opposite ef fect, as a new product would
be entering an existing market. Lastly, the diversification process involves developing a new product for a complete -
ly new market. In relation to wearable technolog y for mental health, the proposed device is likely to fall under the
categor y of market or product development. This is based on the understanding, that an existing device can be used
and adapted with new features to help improve the condition. However, it may be more beneficial in terms of profit
and consumer engagement, to create a brand-new device from scratch, for the existing wearable technolog y market.
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