CoursesThe Business of Wellness: Marketing and Consumption
MKTG 3530 - 001

The Business of Wellness: Marketing and Consumption

Wellness relates to the active pursuit of activities, choices, and lifestyles that lead to a state of holistic health. The global wellness industry represents a rapidly expanding, multi-trillion-dollar market. The purpose of this SNF Paideia designated course is to provide a better understanding of the marketing of wellness brands, services, and products and the consumer behavior of wellness.

Mondays / Wednesdays, 1:45 PM – 3:14 PM

Throughout the course, we will explore:

  1. The evolution of the wellness industry and its various sub-industries (e.g., fitness, beauty, mindfulness, mental health, food/drink, tourism, etc.), both in terms of brand and product offerings and in how wellness has been talked about and discussed over time;
  2. How organizations “sell wellness” through marketing strategies and tactics; and
  3. “Consuming wellness,” or the consumer psychology and behaviors that contribute to or detract from one’s personal wellness. We will also consider significant ethical and moral issues in the wellness industry, how wellness is differently defined across cultures and communities, and how consumers can be more discerning of wellness offerings. These topics will be explored through the specific lenses of marketing, consumer culture, and consumer psychology.

Students will be encouraged to take a more critical lens on wellness solutions and gain a better understanding of how they can personally define wellness in their own life – as well as how other groups, communities, or individuals define wellness – and how they can continue to renegotiate wellness, or have an internal dialogue about how they define wellness over time.

Students will be asked to consider how wellness brands and services can seek profit while also ensuring they are providing efficacious solutions.

To understand the two sides of the wellness coin and how the wellness-industrial complex can actually contribute to the perpetuation of systemic and structural problems. Achieving this goal will involve deep discussion on the role of different voices in determining what constitutes wellness and who decides what makes us well when it comes to buying and selling wellness solutions.

Related Content

Other Courses of Interest

BENF 2990-001

Health Capability


  • Jennifer Prah


Spring 2023

This course examines the idea of health capability.  Health capability is the ability to be healthy; it integrates health functioning and health agency. Health capability helps us understand the conditions that facilitate and barriers that impede health and the ability to make healthy choices.

Learn More
BIOL 3851

Biology and Society


  • Mecky Pohlschroder
  • Paul Schmidt


Spring 2023

This course uses a biological foundation to explore general issues at the interface of biology and society. We will use both historical and contemporary reading materials, with an emphasis on the primary scientific literature, to inform discussions on often controversial issues in biology as well as the social responsibility of scientists to respond to these issues.

Learn More