GREEN THUMBS IN THE JUNGALOW: HOW CAN BRANDS TAP INTO THE WORLD OF THE LUMBERSEXUAL?
One of the articles we shared in our new monthly email update ‘UNION THUNK’ explores the burgeoning love of houseplants amongst millennials. It’s a kind of sharing, caring, touchy-feely thing. It’s nice to think of the bearded millennial hipster (who Union’s Planners refer to as ‘lumbersexuals’ – more later) going home after work to lovingly tend to his aspidistra. For brands, it’s also an opportunity.
Lumbersexuals – a hybrid of lumberjack and metrosexual (think thirty-something chap in checked shirt with carefully groomed beard) are all around. We believe that the ‘lumberjack’ part of the hipster phenomenon taps into a kind of malaise – or anomie – brought about by alienation from the means of production (Marx). Hardly any of us actually make anything tangible at work any more – no loaves, candles or carriage wheels. Avoiding physical toil and perspiration used to be seen as an achievement, but that’s changed. We have seen a phenomenon emerge called the ‘fetishisation of labour’, where folk – especially millennial folk – enjoy working with their hands outside of work – making things. Craft beer. Homemade bread. Woodwork. It makes a satisfying change from swatting incoming emails. As does lovingly and painstakingly tending a large collection of houseplants.
So, how can brands make a meaningful (and profitable) contribution to this strand of millennial culture? There’s a whole stack of nifty opportunities to test, learn and add value to your brand and your users, from communications to product innovation. Whether it’s using your bar or retail space to run hands on classes or demonstrations out of hours, sharing ‘How to’ guides on your website or social channels around a craft that your brand’s users are interested in or simply curating relevant content, there’s a way to create more meaning. And sweat! This can be a powerful way to increase a brand’s relevance, which is a focus for us in The Union’s Planning team. If you want to discuss this topic further, please send me an email (or leave a missive under my aspidistra!). firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicci Motiang – Head of Planning, The Union
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