Outside Fun Made Simple

Outside is an everyday playground, not a remote proving ground.

The outdoor industry is taking on a whole different meaning. And they owe it all to the aging workforce-bound Millennials who just aren’t as impressed with the “go-for-the-summit” ethos that’s been stamped across outdoor brands for years. According to Outside magazine, this generation sees the outdoors not as a proving ground in the backcountry to be attacked with ice axes and Gore-Tex, but as a playground in their backyards to be enjoyed with portable sound systems and beer koozies. Millennials are going outside simply to be outside. 

A new wave of startups have had success reaching this younger consumer by speaking directly to this new outside lifestyle. Hipcamp, the Airbnb of camping, is making getting outside fun and easy. And Rumpl, an activity-agnostic brand, is providing cozy blankets to ease you into your après-activity.

To make a more effective connection with this audience, outdoor brands should strongly consider carrying an “outside” position that allows consumers to feel prepared for anything — but also able to enjoy outside in new, meaningful ways that bring the outdoors closer to them, wherever they are.

Key Takeaways
  • An outdoors lifestyle is no longer a limits-pushing ideal but a fully integrated and easily attainable way of life.
  • Millennials are opting for “micro-leisure” — moments that allow them to capitalize on leisure activities that are closer to home.
  • The real emotional draw is simply being outside and having a good time.
Let’s Get Meaningful
  • Assess: Is your brand communicating a meaningful or different value proposition that enhances Millennials’ new take on life outdoors? If not, how can it?
  • Examine: What part of your brand DNA — what’s most true to your organization or product — can connect to today’s casual, fun-loving, “outside” mindset?
  • Express: How can your brand signal your unique stance — visually, verbally, and behaviorally — on what an “outside” lifestyle really means?


Additional Reading

The Outdoor Industry Is Old and Tired. Will It Change?

Sneakernomics: How The ‘Outdoor’ Industry Became The ‘Outside’ Industry

The Outdoor Industry Has a Millennial Problem