Sophie Maxwell: Why People Are Looking For Brands That Will Help Them Thrive

Sophie Maxwell: Why People Are Looking For Brands That Will Help Them Thrive

We are looking to optimize our bodies - and for a new generation of high performance business behavior to help us to do so.

Sophie Maxwell, Pearlfisher
  • 26 may 2013

Our health has never had more of a premium. We live increasingly busy lives in which we want to experience and achieve more. It is no longer enough for us to live regular healthy lives – we want to thrive. We are looking to push ourselves to the limit and optimize every single element of our bodies. And we are looking to brands to create visionary propositions to facilitate this for us.

As a society, we’re in a volatile state. On the one hand, we are seeing increasing rates and degrees of illness – including our ongoing battle with obesity – but, on the other, we have never been so educated and aware about our health.

This dichotomy has created a fundamental shift in the way we now perceive and react to the issue of our own personal health. We no longer think of health as limited and compartmentalized. Instead, our increased knowledge is helping to empower us. And this new powerful attitude has become wholly integrated into our daily life.

Over time we have become dissatisfied with solutions that are either short-term or cater to general or limited needs. A raft of new influences, role models, science and wisdom – like the inspirational achievements of the Paralympics, Felix Baumgartner’s stratospheric free-fall or Tough Mudder – has questioned previous ideals and provoked us to not just look at our bodies in new ways but to look for ways to push them to new limits.

Rather than acting as a deterrent the realization that we are all individuals with different starting points, different strengths and weaknesses and different lifestyles has given us the confidence to seek our own personal best. We are changing shape – both mentally and physically and there is a realization amongst the populous that there is little we now cannot achieve.

The resulting challenge for brands is to react to and adapt their offers to meet this new state of bodily “enlightenment.” Already we are starting to see some boldly arresting and aesthetically challenging new brands and propositions; everything from experience brands to premium body supplements.

Never before has the cause and effect of a cultural shift been so tangible. As such, consumers will look increasingly for direct and effective connections made by trusted sources, brands, and thought leaders. Nike is one of the most recognizable brands that has taken steps to meet changing consumer expectations. Innovations like Nike FuelBand and FlyKnit Racers shows us that they are reacting to these shifts in culture. Even their marketing efforts are increasingly focused on empowering consumers, rather than just focusing on creating incremental innovations.


Strong Vitamins is another new brand with a disruptive approach to their category. The brand adopts an arresting language that is simple and visual – yet truly differentiating, evocative and imaginative – to express the end benefit. The central idea focuses on a bird metaphor for each product. For example, on one pack a swan is the analogy for cell regeneration.

These may just be two category specific examples but they are examples that showcase a new mindset that is reflected in a radical and challenging way. There is a huge opportunity for change on every level: personally, from a brand perspective, and for society as a whole. We are looking to create technology, experiences, brands and products that not only support our demanding schedules but also optimize and inspire new possibilities. Fair warning: our generation is now under construction and redesigning to thrive.

Sophie Maxwell is Insight Director at Pearlfisher


Bicycle Hotel In Norway Makes Commuting A Breeze

Design & Architecture
Technology Yesterday

Umbrella Tells You Whether It's Needed Before You Go Out

Opus One was designed by former Samsung engineers and offers a weather forecast via the flashing LED on top

Sustainability Yesterday

Biocomposite Skateboard Provides An Eco-Friendly Ride

The Uitto is an eco-friendly skate deck crafted from Norwegian wood fibers


Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Retail 2017

See All
Work Yesterday

Hyatt Honors Travelers With A 3D-Printed Statue Contest

The hospitality wanted to celebrate the people who go everywhere for work and make sure their tasks were not forgotten

Syndicated Yesterday

High-Tech Replica Brings Prehistoric Art Within Reach

A £48m recreation of the Lascaux Caves in France will let visitors experience the unique place for the first time in decades

Entertainment Yesterday

Tripod Lets You Make Snapchat Videos Hands-Free

The Camkix kit lets you record wirelessly from any angle

IoT Yesterday

GE Develops An Alexa-Enabled Table Lamp

The first in a line of interconnected home products will integrate Amazon's voice-activated system for smarter home living

Advertising Yesterday

Spotify Mines User Data To Create A Global Ad Campaign

The series of billboards relays the feelings that people express through listening to music


Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Why Personalization Is The Key To Customer Satisfaction

Andrew Blackmon of The Black Tux shares how the company is using machine-learning models to streamline the fitting process

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Food Yesterday

What Material Research In Beirut Bodes For Our Waste Crisis

Might building furniture and lights out of rose petals and coffee grounds point to more sustainable modes of living, as seen in Beirut Design Week?

Social Media Yesterday

This Collar Wants To Be The Bridge Between Human-Dog Communication

Inupathy claims to be world's first dog emotion visualizer

Retail Yesterday

Commerce Expert: Why Brick-And-Mortar Shopping Can’t Be Replaced

Erin Armendinger, SVP of bio, explains the physical need of customers to experience certain products before buying

Fashion Yesterday

Basquiat-Inspired Fashion Line Supports Emerging Talent

The late artist's estate has collaborated with New York label alice+olivia on a new range of designs

Gaming & Play Yesterday

Fidgeting Tools Designed To Help Creative Minds Focus

The DIDGETS Collection helps those who have anxiety or are restlessly moving to focus while they are working


Conference Built Around Report Launch

Children Yesterday

Helpful Robot Teaches People Of All Ages How To Code

The Root has coding expertise designed to benefit a wide range of people

Home Yesterday

Sharing Service Connects Directors With Film Locations

Finding affordable places to film can be difficult, so GETset was designed to help creators easily find good locations

Technology Yesterday

Adobe Is Teaching Machines To Copy Your Artistic Style

A new research project called Stylit uses a camera to mimic a drawing and reproduce the strokes digitally

No search results found.