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Trend report lowdown: Active Lives

Digitally overwhelmed consumers are craving active experiences that make them feel human again. Our new Macro Trend uncovers the big, bold opportunities this poses for brands.

Are our lives becoming more active?

They are, and for a simple reason: we’re feeling digitally overwhelmed. Consumers are craving experiences that make them feel human again. In the words of Joel Runyon, founder of US consultancy Impossible, “People are thirsty for adventures that seem big, daring and have real risks.”

So getting active doesn’t exactly equate to more time at the gym?

No. We’ve discovered that consumers – in a bid to feel truly alive – are pushing not only their physical limits, but their mental and emotional fitness too. A case in point: in 1990, there were 72 successful summits of Mount Everest. In 2017, there were 648. We live in an era where our eyes and ears are constantly stimulated; now, people are going extreme to reclaim their other senses.

Does this represent an opportunity for brands?

Absolutely – a very big, very bold one. It’s no secret that consumers want more interactive brand experiences – the riskier and more mind-expanding they are, the better. In Active Lives, we explain how products and services should take consumers out of their comfort zone and away from digital overload. Find out more in the video teaser.

How many reports are there within Active Lives, and what else do they cover?

Eight. Aside from looking at what’s fuelling consumers’ increasingly fast-paced lifestyles, we examine how brands can reinvigorate their values, why retail is embracing a spirit of adventure, and how the active sector is driving material innovation. We also profile the travel sector’s new explorers, uncover how cannabis is driving product innovation in the sports industry, and reveal the lessons that can be learned from sports marketing. Phew.

One of the most revelatory reports, Designing Amplified Experiences, looks at the products giving superhuman powers to people of all abilities, the stadiums that switch gear to suit the cities of the future and, crucially, how brands can banish boredom for consumers seeking thrilling experiences. It’s a riveting read.

What impact is technology having on our ability to get more active?

It’s changing the character of exercise by creating a more engaging experience for highly competitive, thrill-seeking consumers of all abilities. For example, now it’s possible to go downhill skiing without having to step outside – while feeling the wind against your face and the snow underfoot, thanks to haptic feedback.

Then there’s Icaros, a gyroscopic, floor-mounted home trainer, which gives users the sensation of flying while suspending them in mid-air. It’s paired with the Icarace virtual reality flying game, which enables people around the world to race against each other in real time.

In Active Lives, we uncover the far-reaching impact that developments like these have on high-performance product design.

What else will Active Lives teach me?

How, by following the NBA’s lead, your brand can engage with hyper-distracted audiences across multiple platforms. And how a reinvigorated retail landscape can teach you a thing or two about building long-term customer loyalty. You’ll also discover the potential of cult sporting communities in terms of boosting your brand’s visibility. Oh, and how to run a marathon in Antarctica.

If you’re a Stylus member, you can read Active Lives now. If you’re not, and you’d like to discover the benefits of joining, get in touch.