A healthy change – a depth-psychological perspective

„Health is our greatest treasure“ – What’s the German approach to it?

Germany is undergoing profound cultural change in many areas: digitisation is progressing at a rapid pace, transforming consumer behaviour, education and parenting. Demographic change requires society to adapt increasingly to the needs of elderly people, and – not only due to but also because of climate change – Germans are becoming more and more environmentally conscious.

The way we see our own health has also evolved over the years. In the past, people tended to think of illnesses and diseases rather as “fate”, but today, there is a trend towards considering them as a self-inflicted consequence of an “irresponsible” lifestyle. The fact that Germans feel a growing responsibility for their own health becomes evident when looking at the plethora of health magazines and the visible trend for physical fitness and a balanced diet.

Last year, concept m conducted a large-scale study on health styles. A total of 1,570 Germans were interviewed about their attitudes towards various aspects of their personal health. The segmentation was based on directly health-related areas like prevention, diet, and exercise, but also indirect aspects like career orientation or price sensitivity regarding food, to give just a few examples.

Using this data, we were able to identify seven segments reflecting the health attitudes among Germans:

• The Carefree Type
• People Seeking Relief
• The Relaxed Type
• The Perfectionist
• The Content Type
• The Health-conscious Environmentalist
• The Routine-loving Traditionalist

We further examined these segments in depth-psychological interviews aiming at revealing the psychodynamics of the respective groups. This makes our study the most up-to-date holistic study on health in Germany that does not only explain this topic based on quantitative and qualitative research but also translates the insights into marketing-specific deductions.

It has become obvious that there are huge differences among Germans when it comes to their approach to health. Differing lifestyles and convictions manifest themselves in different opinions on exercise, diet, and beauty.

Most segments care a lot about their well-being. The “Perfectionist” and the “Health-conscious Environmentalist” are very mindful of all health-related topics. They work out more than the average and pay close attention to eating food they consider good for their health, for example fresh produce, and are ready to spend more money on it. These segments also go to regular medical preventive check-ups, although some perfectionists show the tendency to think these appointments are superfluous.

On the other side of the spectrum are the “Carefree” people: they have a particularly low awareness of health and diet issues. For them, it is more essential that meals are easy to prepare and are tasty, for example. Compared to the segments that deem health particularly relevant, the “Carefree” type is more prone to medical conditions, especially to hypertension and depressive disorders.

While one part of the German population thinks health is their greatest treasure and believes that they have to maintain it proactively, the other part enjoys the benefits of an indulging lifestyle, even at the expense of a good health. From a strategic marketing point of view it is definitely worth taking a closer look at these differences in order to address the various health types in a targeted way. For every one of the segments, concept m offers a comprehensive explanation and specific deductions that help address the implicit and explicit needs of the respective target groups in the best way possible.

For further questions please contact:

Thomas Ebenfeld concept m

Thomas Ebenfeld
Managing Partner

Dr. Martin Schultze concept m

Dr. Martin Schultze
Research Director Quantitative