The transformation economy. How your brand can tap into it.

It’s no secret that millennials love an experience to write home about. One they can tweet about and hashtag to death on Instagram. When it comes to spending their hard-earned gig economy pounds, it’s experiences rather than material possessions that see the lions share of the money. It is too simplistic however to assume that any experience will do for millennials.


According to research, 72% of young consumers prefer to spend money on experiences rather than possessions. But what they want these experiences to be is transformative. What we mean by transformative experiences, are those that enhance the emotional or physical well-being of the consumer.  To tap into the transformative economy, brands need to sell the promise of personal achievement over and above material possessions.


So, what brands are taking this approach and what can we learn from them?


Selfridges’ Body Studio.


Department store Selfridges have come up with a cool little concept. The body studio located on their premises, offers a space where shoppers can visit the clean eating cafe, get some fitness advice and hear some motivational talks. Cynics will tell you that this is simply just a marketing ploy and a way for brands to associate themselves with the cult of wellness. Many will argue that there is no transformative experience on offer for the consumer and they may have a point. That said, although consumers may not leave feeling any different, they will be armed with new knowledge to help them in their quest to feel better physically. The consumer may also start to associate wellness with the Selfridges’ brand, or the particular brand they were viewing prior to visiting the body studio. Arguably, a savvy marketer would position their product in close range of the body studio, to plant the idea in the consumer’s conscious that they are a brand associated with transformative experiences.




Nike have always been manufacturers of apparel and equipment designed to aid a healthy lifestyle, but lately, they have tapped into the wearables market to produce a range of products, similar to the popular Fitbit that provides consumers with a truly transformative experience. Their Nike + apps, allow consumers to locate via GPS their nearest running club and of course track weight loss, calorie consumption and goals. The customer offers their data to Nike via the app- data such as BMI etc, in order for the app to perform more accurately and tailor solutions to meet the individual needs of the consumer. All in all, the app makes getting and keeping fit a much richer personal experience.




Tapping into young people’s obsessions with mental wellbeing, Headspace is all about mindfulness. Mindfulness is the concept of staying focused, staying in the moment and through this being more aware of one’s individual needs. Headspace is a subscription based service which offers unlimited access to a series of meditation seminars through an app and has generated over 50million pounds. Consumer demand for wellbeing apps is on the up.  With an increase in technology and Social Media use in our society, anxiety is on the rise and now a part of the national conversation about mental health. An app which mitigates the effects of anxiety is nothing but welcomed.


The transformative economy is set to rise. As we have seen, there is so much demand out there for products which provide an experience that can transform an individual physicality and mentality for the better. In order to tap into this, brands need to come up with ideas for apps and products that fall under the banner of wellness. Offering interesting new concepts and ideas that allow consumers to feel they are gaining a healthy and beneficial experience, is the way forward for many brands.