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Gamification and the spa industry


Eloise Keightley, consultant


Spas could use the carrot and stick approach that’s prevalent in the gamification of the health and fitness industry, to improve


loyalty schemes. An app designed to reward clients for purchases would replace physical loyalty cards, for example. Businesses could incentivise clients – especially those who don’t make regular visits – to return for more treatments by offering points to trade for discounted or free treatments and trials, as well as spa- related online games. Tracking features, which are common among apps focused on more goal-oriented aspects of health such as diet and exercise, could be used to help


The middle class opportunity in Brazil


Rebeca Dreicon, director


Brazilian poet Vinicius de Moraes made an apt reflection on the country’s culture when he said “May ugly women forgive me, but beauty is fundamental”. The desire to look good has deep cultural roots and means that Brazil has long been fertile ground for the health and beauty industry. The cosmetic industry is flourishing and Brazil is the second largest plastic surgery market in the world behind the US.


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clients record and comment on treatments they’ve enjoyed. Social gaming offers a means of enriching client relationships. Facebook has already been used by many brands looking to better educate and engage with clients and staff through social gaming, while Clarins’ Spa Life game (see Spa Business 12/2 p80), allows Facebook users to manage virtual spa clients in search of treatments to redeem points for Clarins products. More recently, pharmaceutical group Boehringer Ingelheim


Brazil has experienced rapid economic


growth in the last decade, overtaking the UK in 2011 to become the sixth largest global economy in terms of GDP. This growth is amplifying the aspiration to be beautiful. Optimistic consumers are keen to stand out and display their success in life through their appearance. Yet the spa industry appears to be missing a trick in connecting with increasingly affluent middle- class consumers who have huge purchasing power. Brazil’s middle class was expected to spend BRL1 trillion (US$490bn, E369bn, £306bn) in 2012 with 52 per cent of the 1.9m population defined as middle class compared with 38 per cent 11 years ago. While the spa industry has seen rapid growth over the last five years, with an


Clarins is already


using Facebook and gaming to enrich client relationships


created Syrum, a Facebook game in which players must solve global pandemics and diseases by discovering cures, creating a stable drug, and


then testing it through clinical trials. It’s easy to imagine how this type of immersive social gaming might be used to educate spa clients about treatments – especially treatments and technologies that are new to the market. Gaming can help to deliver a higher level of client engagement which can only benefit the industry and consumers.


increase from 400 to 1,000 locations, spa culture has not been mainstreamed. There’s still a perception that they’re places for wealthy, high-profile people rather than for normal people looking for moments of indulgence. Engagement is hampered by a lack of clarity around the benefits and services on offer. At a recent spa and natural products exhibition, 10 per cent of consumers said the biggest barrier to them using spas was lack of awareness and understanding.


Brazil is ripe for growth, but only if spa culture becomes more accessible. Appearance-centric consumers with increasing disposable incomes are prime targets, but without clearer communication on what they stand to gain from a spa visit,


LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014 121


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