February 6, 2020

“As a purpose-led organisation, it’s crucial to bring substance to our work.” Q&A with Georgia Castleman.

Georgia Castleman is Director of Marketing Communications at Prevayl. After 17 years of experience in the luxury fashion industry working with brands including DKNY, Donna Karen, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Pringle and recently heading up global marketing for Ralph & Russo, she joined Prevayl in September 2019.

We caught up with her to find out what first attracted her to the company and where she thinks Prevayl will have the biggest impact.

Your background is in luxury fashion and your previous experience has seen you lead marketing and communications for global brands, why the switch to wearable technology?

Having lived in London, New York and spent time in Asia with work over the last 17 years I started to become increasingly aware of the impact the daily strain of work and the pace of life was having on people.

We’re not talking about a fashion industry trend. This is an epidemic that transcends all industries and ages globally. You can see how people are starting to carry themselves is changing. The effects of long haul travel, sitting at a desk for a prolonged period of time, screens, blue light omittance, being online 24/7 and the impact of social media. This is having a real effect on people’s mental and physical health.

I started believing as a global community we were beginning to lose sight of our health and mental wellbeing or were just unaware of how to gain the correct insight into it. It’s no surprise that people working in London suffer the worst mental health of anyone in the UK. Watching people hit burn out where it could have been avoided was what led to my interest in Prevayl and the health-tech movement.  

I’m also a full-time working mother. I have no intention of slowing my pace of life, as I love what I do. To ensure I don’t burn out, I needed to start gaining the right insights into my body and mind.

I’m not the only one. The global wearables market is set to be worth nearly $60 billion in the next five years. It’s clear that people want to engage with their bodies. The difference with Prevayl, is that we don’t just tell you how you are doing. We give you insight into how to be better, healthier and happier.

What first inspired you about Prevayl?

I got to a time in my life where to believe in the business of fashion again I needed to know it was just more than selling pieces that covered people’s skin every day.

The global apparel industry is projected to grow to $1.5 trillion in 2020. The time has come to call the C-suite accountable not just to the damage to our planet, but to the function of the industry. The business of fashion now more than ever needs a further sense of purpose. It’s time for the industry and clothes to give back. Wearable tech is how.

When Adam approached me with the concept of Prevayl, it was clear where the opportunity was.

Do you want to try and bring a revolutionary product to multiple industries and mass market? Do you wish to benefit the next generation so they can fully understand their bodies? Do you want to change the industry?

Why wouldn’t I want to be part of the health-tech revolution?

You talk of revolution, where will Prevayl have the biggest future impact?

As a purpose-led organisation, it’s crucial to bring substance and real benefit to our work.

Ownership of data is fundamental to this. We’re already seeing ownership of personal data for Gen Z in a commercial context – the younger generations are all too aware of the value of their data and the importance of ownership.

The democratisation of data in this manner certainly plays its part.

Secondly, Prevayl’s impact will be felt by bringing to market something that will provide an undoubted positive benefit for current and future generations.

Through our ‘people-powered ‘platform we are not only educating people about themselves, we are providing them with actionable insights about their bodies and minds. It’s too easy to think of wearable technology in the context of elite performance, but this is about day-to-day human life.

We’re not just talking about past performance either. Our technology helps to signpost people towards better future health, specifically mental health, by proving pre-emptive insights.

Over 75% of employees have experienced mental health problems. Understanding how your body and mind react to stressful situations could be integral to having a longer and more nurtured career, as well as knowing how to achieve a better work-life balance.

Mental health issues also cost UK employers up to £42 billion a year. Consider the implications that a step-change towards community wellness underpinned by health insights could bring. 

Where do you think Prevayl can have the most influence for brands?

Prevayl will make a huge impact for brands.

Firstly in bringing wearables to the mass market, through Prevayl-enabled wearable solutions. This will see Prevayl becoming the wearable technology arm for brands, providing the infrastructure, solutions and insights.

When responsible technology underpins a consumer product in this manner, it’s about brands giving back to their loyal customer base. By offering Prevayl-enabled solutions, there’s no question of consumers giving up their customer loyalty. They will continue to buy into the brands, but in return for that loyalty, the brands are able to give back in terms of their health and to also give them the option to own their own data.

For corporations, brands, enterprise, businesses, and individuals, this is just the beginning.

For brands, Prevayl’s impact will also be felt in the area of biometric research.

So, what impact could biometric brand research have on marketing? Or is it just the next buzzword for 2020?

Understanding physical, cognitive and emotional responses delivers unequivocal and essential insight.

Measuring response to products, consumer journeys and customer experience will provide a detailed and in-depth understanding of the impact your product will have on consumers. Brands will now have this information pre-launch.

Not only does this have the potential to rejuvenate brands and change their market placement, it could actually become a more sustainable way of working.

Will it just be the next buzzword? Not when it’s done properly. Anything can be a buzzword without the infrastructure and capability to deliver. Market education is also fundamental for biometric data being used in this way to become the norm for brands. When this occurs it will remain one of the most valuable forms of consumer insight.