Life used to be all about work, work, work. But things are changing. While work isn’t going away, it’s shackles on us have loosened, and we now prioritize and make time for things that provide other types of fulfillment; creative activities, time with friends and family, reconnecting with nature, sharing good food and drink and discovering the world around us. These all ladder up to lifestyle and explain the industry’s meteoric rise over the last few years. Often dubbed “Health & Wellness” this category consists of beauty, fitness, mind, body, nutrition, tourism, alternative medicine and spas – and as an industry has grown 10.6% between 2013-2015, from a $3.36 trillion to $3.72 trillion market. The rise of brands and businesses entering the Lifestyle space is testament to this. As is the rise of micro-influencers specializing in this arena. Simon Moss, CEO of BrandBrief, a platform that connects lifestyle brands to lifestyle influencers, says “The health and wellness industry is booming; we created BrandBrief to be a hub for likeminded brands and influencers to easily connect and generate content”. Here’s why the Lifestyle Movement is only going to grow in the future.
Millennials Want Growth
For Millennials, there’s more to life than work. Their relationship with work is not purely about financials, stability or title. Instead, it’s about impact and personal growth. They want to learn, experience, grow and have a positive impact on the organization that they work for. In fact, 87% site say development is important in a job. With less of a focus on traditional ‘career’ Millennials are paving the way for a work-life dynamic that is genuinely balanced; and one where what they do after hours, can actually make them a better employee during office hours.
Creativity Is In
Creative hobbies, once the realm of housebound sixty’s wives, have hit the mainstream. Thanks to the likes of Pinterest and Etsy we’re all encouraged to indulge in a creative hobby as a way to unwind, and truly express ourselves. Vintage hobbies like pickling, knitting and woodwork are back with a vengeance, and even childhood favorites, like coloring in and pottery are prevalent. The rise of creativity gives even more power to the Lifestyle movement. Especially as the link between creativity and mental wellbeing becomes better understood.
Freelancers On The Rise
The days of working for the same employer for 30 years, from 9-5 are over. Freelancers are on the rise, with the total freelance pool predicted to be at 40% by 2020. This is huge. Freelancers, by their nature, put lifestyle first. They can work remotely, from home, from cafes, from office hubs and even internationally. They can work from 4am-2pm and enjoy the afternoon as they see fit, or put their weekend where they feel like it. Work is play, play is work and the boundaries are purposefully blurred.
Automation Gives Us Time Back
There’s a lot of talk about automation and the subsequent loss of jobs. While this is a very real concern from an income perspective, it also has profound implications for who we are and how we define ourselves. Historically, we have defaulted to wrapping our identity up in our profession. “What do you do?” is still the bedrock of small chat. However, with more of our time being freed up with automation (from driverless cars, to the rise of AI devices like Siri and Alexa) we’re going to have more time on our hands than ever before. This shift will mean we’ll be less concerned with measuring ‘what we do’ and more concerned with ‘what we create’. Once again, all signs point to an uptick in the Lifestyle movement.
The Lifestyle movement, brands and influencers are here to stay. They are here to promote a way of life that is sustainable, purposeful and allow us to feel more balanced, fulfilled and inspired. As Moss says “Lifestyle influencers have left their corporate jobs and are using the power of social to share the products and services they are genuinely passionate about with their followers. It's a win-win - they make money and their followers discover new things, relevant to their interests”. This is in stark contrast to the work obsessed, sleep deprived and creatively starved mantras that dominated the 70s & 80s. The Lifestyle Movement, in many ways, is a reaction against this, with different, more holistic intentions.