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Figure 1 The appeal of holistic health


Above 70%


South Korea Japan Thailand


60-70%


South Africa Russia Colombia Germany


50-60%


Poland China Italy Mexico Turkey Spain India Brazil


Percentages of national populations


feeling ‘tree’ best describes their body – something to be nurtured as part of an ongoing holistic approach to health


Below 50%


Australia UK France USA Canada Argentina


Understanding consumers’ approaches


to health can be complicated, as they’re often very personal and heavily infl uenced by cultural nuances. Global MONITOR uses a metaphor to explore this complexity and visualise the potential strategies people may use. We ask consumers: ‘How do you think of your body?’ and offer them three options. The Car is the metaphor for those people who see their body as a machine in which the component parts can be fi xed. Among this group, strategies towards health and wellness tend to be short-term and reactive. Those who identify with the Fortress see their body as something they have to strengthen and defend against external attack. This is also short-term, but predomi- nantly a proactive approach. Finally, the Tree is for those who see their body as something they nurture, taking an ongoing holistic approach to managing health. This is a much more long-term, proactive strategy. It’s this final option, with its holistic approach to managing health, that’s here to stay: the percentage of Global MONITOR respondents identifying with the tree rose


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from 50 per cent in 2006 to 56 per cent in 2013. In comparison those in the car category fell from 20 to 15 per cent, while fortress went up just 1 per cent, to 29 per cent. This growing interest in a holistic approach


is evident across all markets, although there remain big differences. In countries such as Thailand, Japan and South Korea, over 70 per cent of people picked tree; and in South Africa, Colombia and Germany, tree came in at 60-70 per cent (see Figure 1). Meanwhile in countries such as Spain, Italy, Brazil and India, tree registered between 50 and 60 per cent, but with fortress also important; in China, tree was also 50-60 per cent but car came out above average; and


markets including the UK, US, Canada and Australia remained below 50 per cent for tree, with car above average. Interestingly, tree logged above average responses in Russia. One of the big shifts registered in the above


fi ndings has occurred in some Asian markets, where a holistic approach was traditionally more of a culturally embedded behaviour. We’re beginning to see movement towards a more defensive strategy, however: a 10 per cent shift from tree to fortress in India, for example, indicates that there’s a more mixed approach to self-health management in that country. We suspect this could this be a response to recent risks of contracting foreign-derived viruses such as bird fl u.


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