Most leisure organisations are aware of the need to ‘trend watch’. For some, it will be a strategic imperative, while others will treat it more as a ‘nice to do’ at an annual planning event. What follows is an overview of some of the key consumer trends relevant to leisure operators. Fad or Trend?
Before rushing out and building a business around the ‘next big trend’, we need some confidence that this new future is where our consumers are going to be. Obviously, there is no certainty to our newly formed insights, but it helps to know whether we are backing a short-term fad or long-term trend. Consequently, in forming these trends, I have focused on consumer behaviour that seems set on a long-term trajectory, rather than something temporary.
Consumers are increasingly seeking honesty, integrity, personalisation and transparency when choosing their preferred brands. Mutual trust flows from an authentic brand positioning. Everything a company stands for (enriching the lives of gym members; creating an unforgettable dining experience), and all its actions are consistent and build a deep sense of unquestionable credibility with consumers. Innocent Drinks run the annual Fruitstock music festival and offset the Co2 emissions by planting trees. Customers expect this type of corporate behaviour from Innocent. You gain a better sense for the meaning of true authenticity, if you imagine a company that is the opposite – misleading product claims, short-termist behaviour, inconsistent actions and focused on a single stakeholder.