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Health Club Management

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features

Meet the Millennials

Vera Kiss of The Futures Company unmasks the Millennial generation, explaining what you need to know to be relevant to this population group

By Vera Kiss, Futures Company | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 3
For millennials, health and wellness, and personal responsibility for these, are at the forefront of their awareness

uch has been said and written about millennials, a 2.2 billion-strong cohort that spans people who are in their late teens today to people in their early 30s. They have been described as an open, socially conscious, optimistic and technologically connected generation. What could not have been predicted is the profound effect of recent economic trends on their outlook and behaviours. In today’s stagnant developed markets, many young people have had to recalibrate their horizons as the affluence of their parents and grandparents may no longer be in their reach. On the other hand, in emerging markets, many millennials now enjoy unprecedented incomes and opportunities for new experiences.

Despite these differences, there are three key trends shaping the lives of millennials that open up opportunities for spas, health clubs and wellness facilities to connect with them.

Firstly, millennials across the world are facing new types of pressures, whether from the bleak job market and sluggish career ladders of the developed world, or from the rapid urbanisation and social transformation of emerging markets. This places a premium on experiences that help them switch off and relax, even if it’s a small treat or affordable luxury.

Secondly, millennials have come of age alongside growing public concern about alarming obesity rates and the rise of healthcare costs. This means that health and wellness, and personal responsibility for these, are much more at the forefront of their awareness. This opens up many opportunities to connect with them through holistic health and wellness propositions.

Finally, many millennials want to be collectors of experiences rather than simply focusing on accumulating possessions. They increasingly define themselves by what they do, rather than what they have. Social networks give them ample opportunity to gain validation and status through sharing these experiences, whether that’s a special journey or an exquisite meal.

It has to be said that material status markers still remain important for many millennials, especially in the developing world, but even in these markets we see seeds of a post-materialist mindset on the rise. A generation that increasingly seeks validation through experiences presents a unique opportunity for operators who are able make an impression on their imagination.

Millennial tribes
Millennial lifestyles and perspectives are as diverse as those of any generation before them. In order to unpack some of the nuances of this generation, understanding how to engage with their passions and needs, The Futures Company has created a global segmentation based on two unifying millennial characteristics.

The first is the way they use technology in their lives. Technology is essential for the way millennials engage with the world around them. What sets them apart is whether they value its functional aspects or the creative connections digital technology allows. The second dimension is the way they express their identity and the extent to which they prioritise meaning and experiences over material pursuits. Looking at millennials through these two dimensions highlights four distinct tribes:

Striders
These individuals maintain their confidence and enthusiasm and are still riding the wave of materialism. They have been relatively unscathed by the recent economic downturn and are keen for success and all the material status markers that come along with it. Predictably, this segment is more likely to be found in fast-growing emerging markets such as China and India.

Steppers
This group is cautious and treading carefully. The economic downturn affected them strongly, leaving them price-conscious and less optimistic about their future. They’re taking things step-by-step, considering each purchase decision with care and trying to choose wisely. This tribe is much more likely to be found in recessionary markets such as Spain and France, where many young people have seen their opportunities narrow in recent years.

Satellites
Millennials in this tribe are all about number one for the moment. They are technology-mad and always keen to have the latest gadgets and shiniest software. Their world-view is both narrow and performance-focused. Green issues simply don’t float their boat – they’re flying solo and tend to have few responsibilities. Our segmentation shows that the Satellite tribe is important in the UK and is also well represented in China.

In China, we can explain this by the high pressure on young people to perform and strive for economic prosperity. This also drives a more single-minded pursuit of the technologies that both facilitate and express the achievement of these priorities.

In the UK, the story behind Satellites is different. UK millennials face tough economic times in a previously prosperous economy. With a squeeze on jobs and rising prices just as they’re coming of age, ‘looking out for myself’ becomes important to a greater number of people, as well as their need for getting things done both faster and safer.

Spirits
Spirits are poster children of the millennial generation. They are open, connected and socially conscious, directing their attention and purchasing power towards the things they’re interested in. They move through different spheres comfortably and are more likely to seek out fluid lifestyles that enable them to succeed in life while also exposing them to a variety of experiences and personal passions.

This tribe is important in the Americas – in the US and Brazil in particular. It’s also significant in Europe, where the recent rise in a tempered economic optimism is likely to help the Spirit mindset come more to the forefront.

Connecting with the four tribes
The four tribes have different needs and aspirations – a ‘one size fits all approach’ will not be enough. However, there are opportunities to appeal to all four, and successful millennial brands have the ability to combine marketing modes that resonate with each segment differently.

Satellites get excited over technology and performance and will seek out services that deliver against this. In the fitness space, Nike has been very successful with reaching this group through its diverse performance tracking innovations, from Nike+ to the Fuel Band. Operators can engage with this segment if they’re able to spark enthusiasm over new and shiny technological solutions.

On the other hand, Striders will be looking for services and experiences that enable them to express their achievements and status. Premium and luxury propositions are most likely to resonate with them, as much as experiences with a show-off factor. Nike has also been successful in connecting with this segment by designing iconic and must-have items, such as some of its Airmax range, and by launching these through savvy social media strategies that pique the curiosity of this exclusivity- and appearance-conscious tribe.

Just because Steppers are financially constrained, it doesn’t mean they’re out of range. Nike has also been able to connect with this group in the height of the recession, marketing some of its ranges as more durable and giving longer guarantees to reassure value-conscious Stepper shoppers. This tribe is unlikely to indulge in luxurious splurges, but they will look for ways to disconnect from daily pressures and anxieties, seeking out much-needed boosts. Small beauty treatments or day passes to spa facilities are some concrete treats they would be willing to give themselves. Operators that show solidarity with this group, by guaranteeing value for money and access to much-appreciated small luxuries, will find a grateful audience among Steppers.

Spirits, the most connected and socially aware tribe, are the most likely among all tribes to give a strong priority to seeking experiences and exploring the world around them. This means that operators have an opportunity to connect with them through novel and meaningful experiences, including more holistic wellness treatments. They are also the most engaged with social and environmental issues, hence sustainability-driven propositions will also resonate well with them – as also seen with Nike’s numerous Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that build credibility among the Spirits tribe.

Mix and match
Each tribe has distinct characteristics that require different approaches to marketing and service design. Businesses that are able to mix and match their strengths to appeal to the millennial tribes will be more successful in connecting with the next generation of spa and health club audiences.

Methodology

The millennials segmentation is based on data from Global MONITOR, The Futures Company’s annual global tracking survey, which covers 26,000 respondents in 22 markets. The segmentation was based on 20 countries across the globe, drawing insight from the responses of more than 8,500 millennials (people aged between 16 and 31).

The Futures Company is a global strategic insight and innovation consultancy, with expertise in foresight and futures.

Its teams in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia unlock new sources of growth for clients through consultancy, global insight and a range of subscription solutions.

To discuss how to better connect with millennials, contact The Futures Company:
Tel + 44 (0)20 7955 1800
Email [email protected]
Web www.thefuturescompany.com
Twitter @FuturesCo

Millennials want to collect experiences rather than be the accumulators of things / © www.shutterstock.com/
Millennials want to collect experiences rather than be the accumulators of things / © www.shutterstock.com/
Businesses should know which or how many of the four tribes they’re targeting / © www.shutterstock.com/
Businesses should know which or how many of the four tribes they’re targeting / © www.shutterstock.com/
Spirits are the most connected and socially aware tribe – and more open to wellness offers / © www.shutterstock.com/
Spirits are the most connected and socially aware tribe – and more open to wellness offers / © www.shutterstock.com/
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_3marketing.gif
Vera Kiss of The Futures Company unmasks the Millennial generation and explains what you need to know to be relevant to this market
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features

Meet the Millennials

Vera Kiss of The Futures Company unmasks the Millennial generation, explaining what you need to know to be relevant to this population group

By Vera Kiss, Futures Company | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 3
For millennials, health and wellness, and personal responsibility for these, are at the forefront of their awareness

uch has been said and written about millennials, a 2.2 billion-strong cohort that spans people who are in their late teens today to people in their early 30s. They have been described as an open, socially conscious, optimistic and technologically connected generation. What could not have been predicted is the profound effect of recent economic trends on their outlook and behaviours. In today’s stagnant developed markets, many young people have had to recalibrate their horizons as the affluence of their parents and grandparents may no longer be in their reach. On the other hand, in emerging markets, many millennials now enjoy unprecedented incomes and opportunities for new experiences.

Despite these differences, there are three key trends shaping the lives of millennials that open up opportunities for spas, health clubs and wellness facilities to connect with them.

Firstly, millennials across the world are facing new types of pressures, whether from the bleak job market and sluggish career ladders of the developed world, or from the rapid urbanisation and social transformation of emerging markets. This places a premium on experiences that help them switch off and relax, even if it’s a small treat or affordable luxury.

Secondly, millennials have come of age alongside growing public concern about alarming obesity rates and the rise of healthcare costs. This means that health and wellness, and personal responsibility for these, are much more at the forefront of their awareness. This opens up many opportunities to connect with them through holistic health and wellness propositions.

Finally, many millennials want to be collectors of experiences rather than simply focusing on accumulating possessions. They increasingly define themselves by what they do, rather than what they have. Social networks give them ample opportunity to gain validation and status through sharing these experiences, whether that’s a special journey or an exquisite meal.

It has to be said that material status markers still remain important for many millennials, especially in the developing world, but even in these markets we see seeds of a post-materialist mindset on the rise. A generation that increasingly seeks validation through experiences presents a unique opportunity for operators who are able make an impression on their imagination.

Millennial tribes
Millennial lifestyles and perspectives are as diverse as those of any generation before them. In order to unpack some of the nuances of this generation, understanding how to engage with their passions and needs, The Futures Company has created a global segmentation based on two unifying millennial characteristics.

The first is the way they use technology in their lives. Technology is essential for the way millennials engage with the world around them. What sets them apart is whether they value its functional aspects or the creative connections digital technology allows. The second dimension is the way they express their identity and the extent to which they prioritise meaning and experiences over material pursuits. Looking at millennials through these two dimensions highlights four distinct tribes:

Striders
These individuals maintain their confidence and enthusiasm and are still riding the wave of materialism. They have been relatively unscathed by the recent economic downturn and are keen for success and all the material status markers that come along with it. Predictably, this segment is more likely to be found in fast-growing emerging markets such as China and India.

Steppers
This group is cautious and treading carefully. The economic downturn affected them strongly, leaving them price-conscious and less optimistic about their future. They’re taking things step-by-step, considering each purchase decision with care and trying to choose wisely. This tribe is much more likely to be found in recessionary markets such as Spain and France, where many young people have seen their opportunities narrow in recent years.

Satellites
Millennials in this tribe are all about number one for the moment. They are technology-mad and always keen to have the latest gadgets and shiniest software. Their world-view is both narrow and performance-focused. Green issues simply don’t float their boat – they’re flying solo and tend to have few responsibilities. Our segmentation shows that the Satellite tribe is important in the UK and is also well represented in China.

In China, we can explain this by the high pressure on young people to perform and strive for economic prosperity. This also drives a more single-minded pursuit of the technologies that both facilitate and express the achievement of these priorities.

In the UK, the story behind Satellites is different. UK millennials face tough economic times in a previously prosperous economy. With a squeeze on jobs and rising prices just as they’re coming of age, ‘looking out for myself’ becomes important to a greater number of people, as well as their need for getting things done both faster and safer.

Spirits
Spirits are poster children of the millennial generation. They are open, connected and socially conscious, directing their attention and purchasing power towards the things they’re interested in. They move through different spheres comfortably and are more likely to seek out fluid lifestyles that enable them to succeed in life while also exposing them to a variety of experiences and personal passions.

This tribe is important in the Americas – in the US and Brazil in particular. It’s also significant in Europe, where the recent rise in a tempered economic optimism is likely to help the Spirit mindset come more to the forefront.

Connecting with the four tribes
The four tribes have different needs and aspirations – a ‘one size fits all approach’ will not be enough. However, there are opportunities to appeal to all four, and successful millennial brands have the ability to combine marketing modes that resonate with each segment differently.

Satellites get excited over technology and performance and will seek out services that deliver against this. In the fitness space, Nike has been very successful with reaching this group through its diverse performance tracking innovations, from Nike+ to the Fuel Band. Operators can engage with this segment if they’re able to spark enthusiasm over new and shiny technological solutions.

On the other hand, Striders will be looking for services and experiences that enable them to express their achievements and status. Premium and luxury propositions are most likely to resonate with them, as much as experiences with a show-off factor. Nike has also been successful in connecting with this segment by designing iconic and must-have items, such as some of its Airmax range, and by launching these through savvy social media strategies that pique the curiosity of this exclusivity- and appearance-conscious tribe.

Just because Steppers are financially constrained, it doesn’t mean they’re out of range. Nike has also been able to connect with this group in the height of the recession, marketing some of its ranges as more durable and giving longer guarantees to reassure value-conscious Stepper shoppers. This tribe is unlikely to indulge in luxurious splurges, but they will look for ways to disconnect from daily pressures and anxieties, seeking out much-needed boosts. Small beauty treatments or day passes to spa facilities are some concrete treats they would be willing to give themselves. Operators that show solidarity with this group, by guaranteeing value for money and access to much-appreciated small luxuries, will find a grateful audience among Steppers.

Spirits, the most connected and socially aware tribe, are the most likely among all tribes to give a strong priority to seeking experiences and exploring the world around them. This means that operators have an opportunity to connect with them through novel and meaningful experiences, including more holistic wellness treatments. They are also the most engaged with social and environmental issues, hence sustainability-driven propositions will also resonate well with them – as also seen with Nike’s numerous Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that build credibility among the Spirits tribe.

Mix and match
Each tribe has distinct characteristics that require different approaches to marketing and service design. Businesses that are able to mix and match their strengths to appeal to the millennial tribes will be more successful in connecting with the next generation of spa and health club audiences.

Methodology

The millennials segmentation is based on data from Global MONITOR, The Futures Company’s annual global tracking survey, which covers 26,000 respondents in 22 markets. The segmentation was based on 20 countries across the globe, drawing insight from the responses of more than 8,500 millennials (people aged between 16 and 31).

The Futures Company is a global strategic insight and innovation consultancy, with expertise in foresight and futures.

Its teams in Europe, North America, Latin America and Asia unlock new sources of growth for clients through consultancy, global insight and a range of subscription solutions.

To discuss how to better connect with millennials, contact The Futures Company:
Tel + 44 (0)20 7955 1800
Email [email protected]
Web www.thefuturescompany.com
Twitter @FuturesCo

Millennials want to collect experiences rather than be the accumulators of things / © www.shutterstock.com/
Millennials want to collect experiences rather than be the accumulators of things / © www.shutterstock.com/
Businesses should know which or how many of the four tribes they’re targeting / © www.shutterstock.com/
Businesses should know which or how many of the four tribes they’re targeting / © www.shutterstock.com/
Spirits are the most connected and socially aware tribe – and more open to wellness offers / © www.shutterstock.com/
Spirits are the most connected and socially aware tribe – and more open to wellness offers / © www.shutterstock.com/
http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_3marketing.gif
Vera Kiss of The Futures Company unmasks the Millennial generation and explains what you need to know to be relevant to this market
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Featured supplier: GLL chooses Ethitec’s Tiara9 system for its exercise-based public health referral schemes
The Tiara9 system has been selected by leisure trust, GLL, to support the nationwide rollout of its Healthwise GP referral programme.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Not all functional training areas are created equal
In the last few years, the rise in popularity of functional training has been significant and operators are providing more space for functional training, both on the gym floor and in group training and studio settings.
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Harlands Group testimonial
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Harlands Group - Testimonial from 'Unity Leisure'. Read more
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Company profile: Matrix Fitness
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Company profile: Xn Leisure Systems Ltd
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Diary dates
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tbc, Fort Lauderdale, United States
Diary dates
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Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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