Your stress is a great marketing tool
Stress-relief is proving to be a great marketing approach during the pandemic: When the pandemic drove anxiety through the roof worldwide, major companies and brands jumped in with products designed to provide stress relief. Health and well-being has inched up people’s priority list and products that have promised to provide serenity and relaxation now have an even greater appeal. From luxury cars to scents and candles, stress-relief is a new marketing buzzword and shoppers are happy to have their everyday products give them a mental health boost, reports the Wall Street Journal.
Just how stressed are Egyptians? A study published in Community Mental Health Journal aimed to answer that question by surveying 1629 men and women about their level of anxiety and depression during the covid-19 pandemic. Depression was the most cited condition with 67.1% of respondents recording feeling depressed during the past period. Meanwhile, 53.5% reported experiencing anxiety, 48.8% reported stress, and 23.1% of Egyptians said they were sleeping less than six hours a day.
How to combat the stress? Get an orchestra-sound-composed car: US automaker Lincoln is putting stress relief at the forefront of its new Nautilus model, which it describes as a “sanctuary” for riders. Other than the massage-enabled seats, sound-dampening exterior, and vents that emit refreshed air, Lincoln tapped the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to compose soft chimes to play when performing functions in the car. “The door opens and it really feels like a human hug,” says Lincoln’s design director Kemal Curic. (Though the symphonic chimes definitely put a smile on our face (watch, runtime: 02:20), we’re not sure what sort of human hugs Curic has been experiencing if they’re comparable to a car door opening).
Aromatherapy and other ambiance creating products are also making a splash: Scented candles, sprays, and essential oils have been a thing for a while, but our sentimental olfactory system gave companies who sell these products a major boost in sales during the pandemic. Egypt is no stranger to the trend, with brands such as Areej and Nefertari offering scents that help alleviate stress, induce sleep, and increase productivity. Not to mention, they could help protect against covid-19, according to a study that looked at essential oils' antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.
Even our water intake can be stress relieving: In the US, PepsiCo has been rolling out new products that help consumers unwind, such as their blackberry and lavender flavored water Driftwell for pre-bedtime relaxation. In May, the company also rolled out Soulboost, a sparkling water brand that claims its products can support relaxation, among other things. Here in Umm El Donia, the closest equivalent we can think of is Dasani’s antioxidant water bottle line which helps “protect body cells from damage caused by stress” the label claims.
Other Egyptian products targeted towards the stressed-out:
- Relaxation herbal tea from Imtenan.
- Stress relief oil by Noon, sold on Source Beauty.
- Anti-stress coloring books that you can find in Diwan Bookstore, Alef Bookstores, or Virgin Megastore.
- Fidget or squeeze toys from Kassem Stores.
- This scalp massager or this heated neck massage pillow available on Souq.
Our take: While musical cars, nice candles, and fizzy water might not be scientifically sound methods of effectively relieving stress in the long term, it’s always nice to find small things during the day that put a smile on your face or give you a sense of relaxation. That having been said, tacking the words “relax” “zen” or “detoxify” onto an item doesn’t make it a good product, and the prevalence of this trend has us rolling our eyes (as we light our scented candles).