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CONSUMER TRENDS


Breaking the MOULD


Is your business ready for post-demographic consumerism? Global trend agency trendwatching.com explains why it’s time to throw out the traditional (and tired) demographic models of consumer behaviour


Mandarin Oriental’s ‘Selfie in Paris’ tour for guests is a unique offer


Lululemon announced plans to open its first men’s-only store in New York. The move followed a successful Man Camp pop-up store in North Carolina and the launch of a popular Lululemon Men twitter account. In the UK, women account for the majority of video game players, and there are more gamers aged over 44 than under 18. Meanwhile, in August 2014, luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental launched its Selfie in Paris initiative, offering guests a tour of the French capital’s best ‘selfie’ spots with a private car and driver. Confused? You should be: consumers


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are increasingly behaving in ways we least expect. These examples give glimpses into one of the most important shifts in consumerism of modern times, and one that will require a fundamental overhaul of the demographic-focused approach that businesses have used to understand and predict consumer behaviour for decades. Global trend fi rm trendwatching.com focuses on this topic in its Post-Demographic Consumer briefi ng, and here details what this means for the global wellness industry.


onsumer behaviour can seem increasingly chaotic. In September 2014, Canada- based yoga wear brand


Welcome to post-demographic So what’s driving this shift in consumerism? Well, we’re entering an age of post-demographic consumerism: one in which the traditional demographic segments – age, gender, income bracket, nationality and more – are becoming less meaningful as predictors of consumer behaviour. Instead, consumers are freer than ever to construct identities and lifestyles of their own choosing. This trend will have a fundamental


impact on fi tness and wellness businesses that previously relied on traditional demographic models to target and connect with consumers. But it will also have a far-reaching implication for all consumer-facing businesses: namely, that few new products, services and experiences, if any, will remain the preserve of a single demographic for long. This new era is driven by the


merging of many of the mega-trends that have shaped the economy and society over the past few decades: globalisation, urbanisation, mass affl uence and expanding consumer markets, widespread adoption of digital technologies and increasing socio-cultural diversity.


42 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


Why the change? Four powerful forces are driving the shift towards post-demographic consumerism: the global brain, the decline of old social norms, increased product and service choice, and new ways of accruing and displaying status. The emergence of an online global


brain is seeing consumers from all walks of life buying and using services from the same top brands: think Facebook, Apple, Amazon and more. The worldwide reach of information has caused the emergence of a global shared consciousness and left consumers from Seattle to Shanghai lusting after the same sneakers, smartphones and sushi. Meanwhile, urbanisation has shattered


traditional social structures and values/ norms such as the family unit and gender roles, giving consumers permission to live the lives they choose rather than those determined for them by age, gender, location and other traditional demographic labels. According to JWT Intelligence, 87 per cent of BRIC millennials believe the freedom and exposure of living in the city has widened their world view. The choice and freedom found in cities gives these individuals more opportunities to construct their own identities outside


August 2015 © Cybertrek 2015


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