Insight

Behind the strategy: Headspace

Taking Headspace from meditation app to mental health app for all.

A globally loved brand with 70 million users in 190 countries. A reputation for making meditation accessible (and even desirable). But now, a new challenge: become the go-to for mental wellbeing and support people through all of life’s challenges.

A strategy to fuel evolution.

Since launch, Headspace’s endearing brand language and clever partnerships had made them instantly recognisable. But they felt they were operating reactively. In order to grow people’s perceptions and show their expertise in the mental health space, they needed to have a proactive plan to get them there.

This move was not only necessary for the brand, but for the world. 1 in 4 people globally will experience mental health issues in their lives. Headspace wanted to show themselves to be the best solution for anyone trying to move towards mental wellness.

We created a new strategy that would guide the behaviours and messages of the brand. We had to build on what people already loved about Headspace, but also open their eyes to what else they offered. The strategy needed to set out a clear direction for the Headspace team; what the brand should stand for, who it needs to speak to and how.

Defining Headspace’s unique differences.

Over the course of 3 months, we worked closely with the Headspace team to get a clear understanding of how they work, the challenges they were facing and what is most important to their audiences. In doing this, we learnt three key things that helped to redefine their strategic framework.

1. The world needs a clear authority figure to speak about mental health

We have seen an increase in the conversation around mental health but Headspace could be the credible voice we need to help society get past the stigmatisation, opportunistic marketing and politicisation that still exists.

In the strategy framework we established their position as a leader and emphasised their expertise in the mental health space, without sacrificing their approachability.

2. Headspace has huge scientific credibility.

Headspace had worked hard to make their platform a robust solution for audiences, from publishing research papers to partnering with the digital mental health coaching platform Ginger. But this part of the brand wasn’t very visible.

As a result, we leant into scientific credibility. The framework highlights Headspace’s scientific prowess so that it can become something they champion as a competitive difference. They should be seen as a clinical authority, as well as a friendly daily companion.

3. Headspace helps underrepresented communities.

Headspace constantly finds new ways to support underserved groups; Free for Youth and Headspace for Educators are just a couple of examples. Yet this aspect of their DNA was only seen through one-off campaigns when in reality it was a driving force for the team.

The brand needed to celebrate how they aim to make mental health support a universal right and so we put this social purpose at the heart of the mission statement.

“Headspace has a genuine connection between product offering, subject expertise and social purpose. But they weren’t recognising the uniqueness of this connection and how it set them apart as a sector leader. Through this collaboration we were able to chart a new, clearer path forward which will see Headspace make their value known to an even greater number of people”.

Claire Langer, Senior Strategist

Establishing mental health as a human right.

With a unified brand framework in place, Headspace had clarity over the unique differences they could own; leadership, social focus and robust scientific grounding.

And using these, Headspace had a true picture of who they are as a brand. It united them internally with a rallying cry; making mental health resources accessible for all.

The new strategy helps to inform decision-making from a united viewpoint; whether it’s finding ways to reach new audiences, connecting with existing fans, assessing which partnerships to engage in or deciding which celebrity ambassadors to bring on board. It gave them the guidance and inspiration they needed to take their brand into the future.