"Know Me, Love Me, Make Me Happy": The future of leisure

The term luxury was once used to describe rare, high-quality or unique products that often came with an eye-watering but reassuringly expensive price tag. Although this definition is still relevant, in our latest report we address how consumers are redefining luxury with it becoming less about the value of the product and more about the value of the experience.

In 2014, Etihad Airways introduced ‘The Residence’ cabin to their Airbus A380 which features a living room, separate double room, minibar and en-suite shower.[1] Passengers that book ‘The Residence’ will also receive VIP concierge services, an on-board butler and an in-flight chef. It becomes more than a journey from A to B; it is a truly luxurious experience from beginning to end. And yes it comes with a hefty price tag but for the right experience people, who can afford to, are willing to pay the price.

This focus on experience is nothing new to the retail industry. Across our high streets a vast range of digital solutions are being implemented to help retailers attract, engage and transact with customers more effectively. But as leisure catches up, retail is taking influence from leisure by focusing on entertainment. As a result, the divide between the two industries is becoming increasingly blurred.

As explored in our latest industry report this trend is called ‘Retail-tainment.’ During the 2014 London Fashion Week TopShop provided customers with virtual reality headsets giving them access to a 360° virtual display of the show complete with a view of the live runway, backstage images and behind the scenes footage. And this approach is working, with 55% of 16-34 year olds saying they enjoy going to shopping centres for a fun day out.[2]

So what other consumer habits are driving these changes? What other examples are there of these trends in action? What can you do to prepare your business for the future?  Read our report to find out.

What does experiential mean to you? Tweet me @carolinegorski

[1] http://www.etihad.com/en-us/experience-etihad/flying-reimagined/the-residence/

[2] All statistics in O2 report from Future Foundation nVision research:  http://futurefoundation.net/nvision/