Flex Lifestyles call for Flex Marketing



14 January 2020

It’s not only January, but it’s also the month of Dry January and Veganuary, two challenges that encourage consumers to alter their lifestyles for the course of a month.

We’re all for a challenge at Unlimited Group – in fact, we know many of our staff are participating in Dry January or Veganuary, and in some cases both. The reason we find these challenges so interesting, however, is because they’re reflective of the profound societal change we’re seeing towards the flexibility of choice.

Gone are the days of respecting restrictions and rules, living by traditions and social norms, buckling to peer pressure and conformity, tolerating judgement and criticism, and living according to labels, defaults or habits.

Instead, consumers today want the freedom and flexibility to make their own choices, they want to act on impulse, to take control, driven by self-confidence and assertiveness, and they expect those choices to be tolerated by others.

As Phaedra Patrick, author, says in her book “The Library of Lost and Found”: “Sometimes there’s no right decision. Just the one you make at the time.

We’re calling this approach Flex Lifestyles and we see the proof everywhere – in how we eat and drink, in how we work, in how we buy and even in how we define our very identity, for example:

  • Only 1% of the UK are vegan, 3% vegetarian, while some 14% describe themselves as flexitarian
  • While 20% of the nation say they are teetotal, nearly 50% are in the middle ground – either they have low consumption or are trying to reduce their consumption. We characterise this as being TeePartial
  • Of 30.2m people in work, some 4.2m or 13.9% were homeworkers.

Consumer demands for more flexible lifestyles have profound implications on the kinds of products and services they are looking for, and the marketing messages they are the most responsive to.

Flex lifestyles demand flex marketing. After all, even such a genius as Einstein recognised that “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.”

So, what does flex marketing look like?

Well, of course, the specific configuration will depend on the nature of your business and the lifestyles of your audience.

However, you might consider allowing consumers to experience your product without having to commit to long-term relationships (think of Giffgaff or PayasUGym for example.) Or, you could allow people to dip into and out of your product, along the lines of Dry January, Movember, Stop 4 October, Veganuary or the 5:2 diet.  You could also allow customers to offset “good” and “bad” behaviours – if you want them to be healthy, for example, don’t expect that they will be healthy 24/7. Expect them to lapse and give them support and encouragement that when they do, they are being perfectly normal.

Flex lifestyles are here to stay, so please, review your marketing. The days when you could expect consumers to flex their lives to fit in with you and your products are long gone. The onus is on you to flex to accommodate them. If you don’t someone else will!

Hear more about Flex Lifestyles from Unlimited Group’s Head of Trends, Nick Chiarelli, here.

If you’d like to discuss how Unlimited Group can help you to capitalise on this growing trend, please get in touch.


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