Fit-Festivals - The next Athleisure frontier?
This weekend marked the inaugural Sweaty Betty Live festival, and our Studio manager Cherry was there to get in on the active action. A new venture for the company, the 'fit-festival' has been gaining momentum in the athleisure market for some time now- with no signs of slowing down.
The festival was a combination of healthy food, pampering and of course sweating. Lined up were trendy fitness classes and motivational talks. Outside food was served; Pip and Nut served up delicious nut spread toast with toppings and The Coconut Collaborative were serving pots of their coconut milk yogurt. Inside Origins were treating people to a mini facial or hand massage, WAH London was there to give mini manicures and Hershesons where there with their braid bar. Overall a really good morning in the name of health and fitness, hopefully Sweaty Betty will return next year even bigger and better.
Sweaty Betty isn’t the first active wear brand that has created an engaging event for their consumers. Puma launched their Social Club in 2010, the idea is pushing real-world socialising with the store-come-nightclub.
The increasingly-omnipotent Adidas has opened its first “holistic wellbeing centre” The Runbase Berlin, where the focus is on running, knowledge, nutrition, kit and physical health. Swedish brand Casall hosts different fitness classes, such as TRX, yoga and running.
Even Lululemon has got in on the action and created their own festival. Sweatlife in London is packed with fitness classes, inspirational workshops and healthy food, all to inspire its ambassadors and yogi following. The festival ends with none other than a yoga rave party. Social media stars such as Zanna Van Djik are also putting their names to fitness experiences, the internationally renowned fitness blogger is headlining/ collaborating with Active in Style and other key influencers at Balance festival this October.
So why do these brands create these engaging experiences for their consumers? It’s about infiltrating the consumers’ leisure time. Free time is more valuable than ever, with Millennials in particular choosing to spend their time and money on experiences over material goods. Consumers are no longer satisfied with functional value, they want to be entertained, socialise (affiliation & belonging) and learn things.
In these examples the value-added offering goes straight to the end user; it creates a genuine dialog between brand and buyer, forging a connection that boosts brand loyalty and credibility. The brands are realising that letting their products speak for themselves, but providing social, emotional and entertainment value through experiences will ultimately create brand advocates, one of the hardest things to achieve in the age of the sceptic consumer.