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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Millennial mindset

Imke Schuller of the Futures Company looks at how the health and wellbeing industry can better connect with the opportunities and challenges facing Millennials

By Imke Schuller, The Futures Company | Published in Health Club Handbook 2017 issue 1
Almost half of Millennials find it hard to ‘switch off’ / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Almost half of Millennials find it hard to ‘switch off’ / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
This generation see new possibilities, new approaches to success, new ways of living

Born between 1979 and 1996, Millennials make up a quarter of the UK population. Compared with previous generations, they see the world as their oyster.

“They see new possibilities, new approaches to success, new ways of living that seemingly arrive daily,” explains Peter Rose, executive vp of global foresight and futures consultancy at Kantar Futures.

However, living in a globalised world also brings a spectrum of new pressures into their lives, bolstering the future potential of health and wellbeing brands trying to tap into this dynamic sector.

Understanding how they tick, uncovering their distinctive take on the world, their value system and how they differ from previous generations is at the heart of successful communication and engagement with the Millennial sector.

So, it’s time to explore some key connection points for health and fitness businesses working with this influential and increasingly wealthy group – and those who share the Millennial mindset.

SWITCHED ON
Millennials are always ‘on’. They live increasingly complex lives fuelled by digital technology. Their lifestyles are more fluid, with blurred boundaries between work and play, colleagues and friends. According to Global Monitor – Kantar Futures’ annual values and attitudes tracker of 16- to 34-year-olds – 43 per cent of UK Millennials feel pressured to be ‘always on’, compared with a 32 per cent national average.
They live in a world of stress and opposition – finding (and keeping) a job amid growing international competition, financial woes and the growing fear of not being able to climb the property ladder, let alone the ability to find a partner for life in the brave new world of Tinder and Grindr.

Millennials increasingly feel overwhelmed by choice and the speed of their daily lives: 48 per cent say they find it hard to ‘switch off‘ (compared with a 37 per cent national average). More and more, they lack the energy to do the things in their lives that really matter to them.

APPROVAL SEEKERS
Today’s ‘always on’ culture also means Millennials are always on display: 46 per cent say they feel the pressure to look good (compared with a 33 per cent national average), and looking attractive is seen as a sign of success by 69 per cent of this group. Beauty ideals are increasingly driven by global influences, such as beauty vloggers like Zoella and, as Vogue calls it, the “z-list celebrity culture” (the omnipresence of the Kardashians, for example).

The pressure is on for Millennials to constantly share images of their uniqueness and the progress they’re making in sculpting their ideal physical appearance. Hyper is an excellent example of this: a new social photo sharing app which allows (mainly Millennial) users to rate and rank photos of other users and even leave reviews of others’ hairstyles, tattoos and make-up. While apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Vine tap into the desire to share one’s image, in-app filters and apps like FaceTune (the second top selling paid-for app in February 2016) allow Millennial users to shape their desired self-image.

This urge to share moments and images with others is driven by the need to earn approval and recognition. Forty-six per cent of Millennials want a large circle of friends (compared with a 29 per cent national average), as part of a growing desire to belong to a collective or tribe. Connecting with peers and being part of the community is an important part of Millennials’ identity: 82 per cent of Millennial Global Monitor respondents agree that “having great influence on your community” is a sign of success (compared with a 68 per cent national average).

HOLISTIC WELLBEING
The complexity and speed of modern life, combined with the pressures of digital self-promotion, increasingly leads Millennials to take a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing. This cohort really understands that wellbeing can be influenced by a multitude of factors, not just physical fitness.

Mental wellbeing is playing an ever larger role. Recent BBC research suggests that mental health is the biggest issue among Millennial women, and our research shows that 52 per cent of UK Millennials suffer from stress (compared with a 43 per cent national average). Almost two-thirds wish they had more energy. Millennials therefore take a variety of measures to establish balance in their increasingly hectic lives.

Physical exercise is still the main release mechanism (76 per cent of Millennials engage in physical activities, compared with a UK average of 58 per cent). But Millennials don’t rely on activity alone: meditation (42 per cent) and holistic wellbeing (35 per cent) are coming into the mix more than ever before.

MIRROR BRANDS
Not only is the Millennial attitude to health and wellbeing changing, but so is their interaction with brands – and their expectation of products and services from brands. They’re looking for authenticity in the way brands communicate: knowing what a brand stands for is increasingly important.

Previous generations looked for ‘badge’ brands they could display as signs of success, and as identifiers within their peer groups. But today’s youth looks for ‘mirror’ brands: those that represent the values Millennials hold dear, driving their desired need for identification and belonging.

An authentic health and wellbeing brand clearly communicates that it understands the complexities of modern Millennial life. It gives a sense of purpose, and ideally this is centred on community.

Brands like 26 grains take the idea of authenticity to the next level. Based in Neal’s Yard, London, the concept of 26 grains is to provide its mainly Millennial clients with an authentic vision of grain-based cooking. Based on the Scandinavian ‘Hygge’ concept – which roughly translates to ‘cosiness and comfort’ – 26 grains offers a wide range of ancient grains, alongside the cultural history of the produce and recipes that nurture body and mind.

26 grains taps into many Millennial desires in one fell swoop: the need to be first movers, to learn something new and to share this newly acquired knowledge with friends and the wider social circle; the longing to reconnect with the past, and to express their identity through experiences and experiments; and the aspiration to simultaneously nurture their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

AUTONOMY RULES
There’s also a strong desire to be autonomous. Millennials continuously strive to improve themselves and become the best possible version of themselves; this includes an improved physique as well as a balanced and healthy mind.

The flexibility and fluidity of their modern (most often urban) lives mean Millennials have a natural aversion to rigid, time-constrained interactions, including annual gym memberships and other such subscriptions.

Many London-based boutique fitness studios are drawing on this need for autonomy, providing access to customers’ favourite classes free from joining or monthly membership fees. Tribeca Studios is a good example, with its focus on “doing more of what makes you happy”, and a blog where members’ success stories are shared and a sense of community built. The club even uses high-tech wrist bands for check in and payment activities to maximise this sense of autonomy.

LEADER OF THE PACK
Millennials also desire authorship. The signs of success are evolving, and achievements like being considered an expert by friends or peer groups (87 per cent), being an entrepreneur (77 per cent) or being able to express your creativity (44 per cent) are the emerging markers.

Millennials expect health and wellbeing brands to participate in their desire for participation and their hunger for constant learning and continuous self-improvement – and to let the consumer contribute.

About the author

Imke Schuller
Imke Schuller

Since joining The Futures Company (rebranded Kantar Futures) as director innovation and head of client development EMEA, Imke Schuller has helped clients anticipate change in their operating environment and find new ways of adapting to an ever-evolving business context.

[email protected]
@kantarfutures
www.thefuturescompany.com

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Millennials feel pressured to share images of the progress they’re making in sculpting their ideal physical appearance / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Millennials feel pressured to share images of the progress they’re making in sculpting their ideal physical appearance / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
26 grains taps into Millennials’ desire to be first movers
26 grains taps into Millennials’ desire to be first movers
Tribeca has tapped into the Millennial need for autonomy: no monthly fees and a wristband for quick check-in and payments
Tribeca has tapped into the Millennial need for autonomy: no monthly fees and a wristband for quick check-in and payments
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/534716_462358.jpg
Imke Schuller of the Futures Company look at how the industry can better connect with Millennials
Imke Schuller, Director innovation and Head of Client Development EMEA, The Futures Company (rebranded Kantar Futures),the Futures Company, health and wellbeing industry, Millennials
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features

Millennial mindset

Imke Schuller of the Futures Company looks at how the health and wellbeing industry can better connect with the opportunities and challenges facing Millennials

By Imke Schuller, The Futures Company | Published in Health Club Handbook 2017 issue 1
Almost half of Millennials find it hard to ‘switch off’ / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Almost half of Millennials find it hard to ‘switch off’ / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
This generation see new possibilities, new approaches to success, new ways of living

Born between 1979 and 1996, Millennials make up a quarter of the UK population. Compared with previous generations, they see the world as their oyster.

“They see new possibilities, new approaches to success, new ways of living that seemingly arrive daily,” explains Peter Rose, executive vp of global foresight and futures consultancy at Kantar Futures.

However, living in a globalised world also brings a spectrum of new pressures into their lives, bolstering the future potential of health and wellbeing brands trying to tap into this dynamic sector.

Understanding how they tick, uncovering their distinctive take on the world, their value system and how they differ from previous generations is at the heart of successful communication and engagement with the Millennial sector.

So, it’s time to explore some key connection points for health and fitness businesses working with this influential and increasingly wealthy group – and those who share the Millennial mindset.

SWITCHED ON
Millennials are always ‘on’. They live increasingly complex lives fuelled by digital technology. Their lifestyles are more fluid, with blurred boundaries between work and play, colleagues and friends. According to Global Monitor – Kantar Futures’ annual values and attitudes tracker of 16- to 34-year-olds – 43 per cent of UK Millennials feel pressured to be ‘always on’, compared with a 32 per cent national average.
They live in a world of stress and opposition – finding (and keeping) a job amid growing international competition, financial woes and the growing fear of not being able to climb the property ladder, let alone the ability to find a partner for life in the brave new world of Tinder and Grindr.

Millennials increasingly feel overwhelmed by choice and the speed of their daily lives: 48 per cent say they find it hard to ‘switch off‘ (compared with a 37 per cent national average). More and more, they lack the energy to do the things in their lives that really matter to them.

APPROVAL SEEKERS
Today’s ‘always on’ culture also means Millennials are always on display: 46 per cent say they feel the pressure to look good (compared with a 33 per cent national average), and looking attractive is seen as a sign of success by 69 per cent of this group. Beauty ideals are increasingly driven by global influences, such as beauty vloggers like Zoella and, as Vogue calls it, the “z-list celebrity culture” (the omnipresence of the Kardashians, for example).

The pressure is on for Millennials to constantly share images of their uniqueness and the progress they’re making in sculpting their ideal physical appearance. Hyper is an excellent example of this: a new social photo sharing app which allows (mainly Millennial) users to rate and rank photos of other users and even leave reviews of others’ hairstyles, tattoos and make-up. While apps such as Instagram, Snapchat and Vine tap into the desire to share one’s image, in-app filters and apps like FaceTune (the second top selling paid-for app in February 2016) allow Millennial users to shape their desired self-image.

This urge to share moments and images with others is driven by the need to earn approval and recognition. Forty-six per cent of Millennials want a large circle of friends (compared with a 29 per cent national average), as part of a growing desire to belong to a collective or tribe. Connecting with peers and being part of the community is an important part of Millennials’ identity: 82 per cent of Millennial Global Monitor respondents agree that “having great influence on your community” is a sign of success (compared with a 68 per cent national average).

HOLISTIC WELLBEING
The complexity and speed of modern life, combined with the pressures of digital self-promotion, increasingly leads Millennials to take a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing. This cohort really understands that wellbeing can be influenced by a multitude of factors, not just physical fitness.

Mental wellbeing is playing an ever larger role. Recent BBC research suggests that mental health is the biggest issue among Millennial women, and our research shows that 52 per cent of UK Millennials suffer from stress (compared with a 43 per cent national average). Almost two-thirds wish they had more energy. Millennials therefore take a variety of measures to establish balance in their increasingly hectic lives.

Physical exercise is still the main release mechanism (76 per cent of Millennials engage in physical activities, compared with a UK average of 58 per cent). But Millennials don’t rely on activity alone: meditation (42 per cent) and holistic wellbeing (35 per cent) are coming into the mix more than ever before.

MIRROR BRANDS
Not only is the Millennial attitude to health and wellbeing changing, but so is their interaction with brands – and their expectation of products and services from brands. They’re looking for authenticity in the way brands communicate: knowing what a brand stands for is increasingly important.

Previous generations looked for ‘badge’ brands they could display as signs of success, and as identifiers within their peer groups. But today’s youth looks for ‘mirror’ brands: those that represent the values Millennials hold dear, driving their desired need for identification and belonging.

An authentic health and wellbeing brand clearly communicates that it understands the complexities of modern Millennial life. It gives a sense of purpose, and ideally this is centred on community.

Brands like 26 grains take the idea of authenticity to the next level. Based in Neal’s Yard, London, the concept of 26 grains is to provide its mainly Millennial clients with an authentic vision of grain-based cooking. Based on the Scandinavian ‘Hygge’ concept – which roughly translates to ‘cosiness and comfort’ – 26 grains offers a wide range of ancient grains, alongside the cultural history of the produce and recipes that nurture body and mind.

26 grains taps into many Millennial desires in one fell swoop: the need to be first movers, to learn something new and to share this newly acquired knowledge with friends and the wider social circle; the longing to reconnect with the past, and to express their identity through experiences and experiments; and the aspiration to simultaneously nurture their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

AUTONOMY RULES
There’s also a strong desire to be autonomous. Millennials continuously strive to improve themselves and become the best possible version of themselves; this includes an improved physique as well as a balanced and healthy mind.

The flexibility and fluidity of their modern (most often urban) lives mean Millennials have a natural aversion to rigid, time-constrained interactions, including annual gym memberships and other such subscriptions.

Many London-based boutique fitness studios are drawing on this need for autonomy, providing access to customers’ favourite classes free from joining or monthly membership fees. Tribeca Studios is a good example, with its focus on “doing more of what makes you happy”, and a blog where members’ success stories are shared and a sense of community built. The club even uses high-tech wrist bands for check in and payment activities to maximise this sense of autonomy.

LEADER OF THE PACK
Millennials also desire authorship. The signs of success are evolving, and achievements like being considered an expert by friends or peer groups (87 per cent), being an entrepreneur (77 per cent) or being able to express your creativity (44 per cent) are the emerging markers.

Millennials expect health and wellbeing brands to participate in their desire for participation and their hunger for constant learning and continuous self-improvement – and to let the consumer contribute.

About the author

Imke Schuller
Imke Schuller

Since joining The Futures Company (rebranded Kantar Futures) as director innovation and head of client development EMEA, Imke Schuller has helped clients anticipate change in their operating environment and find new ways of adapting to an ever-evolving business context.

[email protected]
@kantarfutures
www.thefuturescompany.com

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Millennials feel pressured to share images of the progress they’re making in sculpting their ideal physical appearance / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Millennials feel pressured to share images of the progress they’re making in sculpting their ideal physical appearance / Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
26 grains taps into Millennials’ desire to be first movers
26 grains taps into Millennials’ desire to be first movers
Tribeca has tapped into the Millennial need for autonomy: no monthly fees and a wristband for quick check-in and payments
Tribeca has tapped into the Millennial need for autonomy: no monthly fees and a wristband for quick check-in and payments
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/534716_462358.jpg
Imke Schuller of the Futures Company look at how the industry can better connect with Millennials
Imke Schuller, Director innovation and Head of Client Development EMEA, The Futures Company (rebranded Kantar Futures),the Futures Company, health and wellbeing industry, Millennials
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The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Red light therapy improves sleep, aids recovery and enhances focus
Offering red light therapy to your members can create a valuable source of secondary spend, while also supporting them with their recovery and delivering improvements to mobility, circulation and muscle soreness.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: New consumer expectations demand an exceptional customer experience
fibodo believes that providers who meet consumers needs of service, flexibility, richness of content and accessibility will thrive as we build new and different models of working in leisure, health and fitness and across all sports and activities.
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Company profile: Keiser UK LTD
For more than four decades, Keiser has influenced the training of athletes, fitness enthusiasts and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Crown Sports Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers has designed, crafted and fitted bespoke timber furniture for spas, hotels and ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Fitness equipment
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Skincare
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Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
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Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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