Chasing the Chill: The New Need State


April 20, 2019      |      3 Min Read

Stressed-out consumers are desperate for tranquility

Are you in the liquor industry? Run a hospitality brand? Market a CPG? Or manage pharmaceutical drugs? Then read on. Actually, whichever industry you’re in, you need to understand that your consumer is having a moment – a stressed-out moment and it’s only going to get worse. Anxiety is reaching epidemic proportions. There is overwhelming worry about the bleak job market, divisive politics, gender wars, and our unhealthy environment.

Our Applied Futurism insights say that consumers will desperately seek relief, via artificially intelligent chill-bots, VR play-spaces, consciousness-altering breathing and soothing wearables.

Gen Next Is Ready to Relax

We’re seeing that Millennials live a Detox/Retox life – they work hard, play hard, and then chill out with yoga, meditation, and marijuana. They look for a natural high, in keeping with their love for all things grounded and earthy. Our team of futurists predicts that cannabis will be widely legalized and adopted by this massive generation, causing the alcohol and pharma industries to feel the pain. Who will go to Happy Hour when they can smoke or vape their way to a laid-back state? And why get an Rx for an anti-inflammatory or SSRI when dozens of weed blends promise relief?

Gen Z will strike out in a different path, seamlessly embracing tech fantasy worlds to alleviate their anxiety. They’ll be turning to soothing, AI-driven psychology bots to manage their moods and kick back with gregarious goblins inside AR/VR hangspaces.

The New Micro-Clans

In a bid to seek calm, humans in the future will seek out their “people like us” (PLU) clan, chill in sound baths, and sit in meditation pods with gender-fluid intergenerational rebels and revolutionaries. They’ll start holotropic breathing for an altered state of consciousness, pick a scientifically-based audio feed, and use brain entrainment wearables to receive electrochemical hits.

Futurized Work Perks

No one cares about the corner office or executive bathroom key anymore. But they do want sanity benefits at work – can you pivot your brand and business to provide these?

Call it whole-life recognition. Parental leave, egg-freezing, relatives’ cancer care, travel stipends,  nurturing entrepreneurial passion projects on the side and providing further education on company time. Student-loan repayment is rising as the hot new lure to get young people to join big corporations. It’s a huge stress-reliever. So are mindfulness-training courses, offered by 22% of companies currently and rising. Another path to on-the-job Zen while we still have IRL workplaces: power-napping, embraced by Silicon Valley, a tool that comes straight from Japan. Can your company provide beautifully-designed chill spaces with Zero-G style pods for ultimate relaxation? 

HR departments are bringing in social sensing and analytics platforms to meld work patterns around existing cohesive networks to increase productivity and the happiness quotient. The big trend? Bosses will let workers sleep through the night without pinging their digital devices. Go ahead, turn it off. The economic modeling of a tired workforce has been quantified and employers are taking note. 

Are You Ready for the Experience Economy?

Transfer your current commodity-based thinking into chill-service offerings. It’s less about products that people will buy to get out of their busy heads; it’s more about what they’ll pay to participate in experiences that make them feel good and stress-free.

The next few decades will see a shift as consumers demand branded products and services that transport them into a sublimely “chill” state. Now is the time to dive in and get creative.

To learn more about satisfying this emerging consumer need state…

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