Extreme Experiences

Written by trendbible

12 February 2016

Image 1Spencer Seabrooke walking a 300m tightrope without a harness 

As trend forecasters, we continually monitor change in consumer attitudes and patterns in behaviour. A growing trend we have seen emerging over the past 5 years is an increased desire for experience over consumption, resulting in a rise of people participating in extreme experiences. In this post we explore several of the most outrageous experiences and take a look at how brands and retailers are responding in order to gain commercial success for 2016 and beyond.

Society is now more overworked than ever and many describe their current lives as monotonous and uninteresting. It is because of this that people are turning to extreme experiences to take back control and add a touch of excitement to their everyday lives.

“When people set extreme challenges for themselves they get this feeling that they’re in control of what they’re doing, and with that comes a sense of freedom and liberation”
– Dr John Perry, Leeds Trinity University 

Drawn to adrenaline, these thrill seekers are changing the way we see outdoor recreation.

MountainsLeft Natura Vive Skylodges, Peru; Right Portaledge Hotel, North Wales 

The £500 a night Portaledge Hotel on the North Wales Coast offers experienced climbers the chance to sleep 200ft above the crashing waves on a canvas platform attached to the sea cliffs. Natura Vive Skylodges in Peru offer a similar experience. Fearless travellers can now spend the night in a ‘luxurious’ clear glass pod dangling 400 ft over the magnificent views of the heartland of The Inca Empire.

huntedHunted, Channel 4 

As well as outdoor adventure, people are turning to extreme role play and live theatrical performance to feed their adrenaline needs. A second series of the Channel 4 programme, Hunted is due back on our screens in 2016, allowing ordinary people to live as an alter ego and experience life on the run.

Due to this growing desire for experience over consumption, particularly amongst millennial consumers, retailers are beginning to rethink the design and purpose of their physical stores in order to gain commercial success.

“I don’t want to be sold to when I walk into a store. Don’t sell, because that’s a turn-off. Build an amazing brand experience, and then it will just naturally happen.”
– Angela Ahrendts, Apple

Star WarsCarrefour, Romania 

In Romania, to celebrate the cinema release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens hypermarket chain Carrefour set up an interactive billboard inside its stores to enable people to use The Force and shop like a Jedi. Kinect Technology was used to simulate having ‘the force’, with the billboards able to track shoppers hand movements as they browsed through various categories of products, adding them to a virtual trolley which they can physically collect and buy at the end.

As consumers increasingly seek thrilling experiences in their everyday lives, retailers and brands must explore ways to heighten the customer experience in order to gain commercial success in 2016 and beyond.

Click here to read more about what’s motivating consumers in 2016 and beyond.

For an in-depth look at the key shifts affecting consumer over a year ahead, our Future Insight Reports are available to buy from our online shop.



Overall a great day which involved getting everyone's thoughts, ideas and reservations down on paper. I am looking forward to seeing how this information will be overlaid with the vital trend insights we need to drive new product development and long-term business growth.

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