It’s not unusual for consumers to telegraph their success with material goods—a flashy car, a designer handbag, or more recently, a coveted spot in a Saturday morning SoulCycle class. For Millennials and Generation Z, wellness has become the new status symbol, replacing traditional status symbols as a luxury to be enjoyed and flaunted on Snapchat or Instagram. In fact, more than 80% of those 18-34 are spending a quarter of their disposable income on health products and services.
Meet Me at The Barre
Millennials and Generation Z consumers are exercise enthusiasts—90% typically participate in some form of exercise each week—but they’re not just going for workouts, the gym has become a social hub. Almost 70% of younger consumers say that working out is a great way to keep fit while socializing and agree that they want their workout to be as fun and interactive as possible. Specialized fitness classes including ballet-inspired barre workouts, small group high intensity training, and non-traditional adventure programs are inspiring young people to get fit and share their experiences with friends both in-person and on social.
The Evolution of the Gym
As consumers look beyond for new fitness experiences, traditional gyms must evolve. Seventy-seven percent of Millennials believe the gym experience should be personalized to meet individual goals. Traditional gyms should consider how to evolve their environment to become more interactive, client-oriented, and fun, perhaps offering premium group classes, nutritional counseling and coaching, or exclusive event-style classes, with great music or other distinctive elements.
Pics or It Didn’t Happen
Social media has upped the ante when it comes to working out. On Instagram alone, there are more than 196 million posts tagged #fitness and more than 57 million with the hashtag #health. These hashtags linked to images of users’ training activities, food, apparel, tips, and motivation. For achievement-oriented Millennials, posting a photo on social validates the experience and establishes their credibility as trendsetters among their peers. Although Millennials say that status symbols aren’t important to them, the clues in their spending habits and on social media feeds convey something entirely different—51% of activewear shoppers say they are willing to spend “more than they can afford” for the clothes they want, 41% splurge on classes, and 36% spend more for healthy food/drinks. Health and wellness—and the lifestyle associated with it—is the new status symbol. Need further proof? More than one third of Millennials say they have reduced spending in other areas to make more health-related purchases such as food, activities, and apparel.
Younger consumers are opting to spend their dollars and social capital on wellness-oriented experiences and products and we anticipate continued growth in this area. Brands have an opportunity to reach these consumers with products that promote a healthy lifestyle and offer transparency in both production and sustainability. Women’s Marketing offers a suite of marketing services that help brands identify and reach their target consumer. Contact us today to learn more.
Source: Fung Global Retail & Technology Wellness as a Luxury/Living Well July 2017