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From Stress to Success: Using Wellness to Fuel Outdoor Brand Strategies

Harnessing Escapism in Attraction Marketing

Watauga’s latest research, “Surveying the Outdoors: the 2024 Customer Growth Report,” is a game-changer for marketing leaders for outdoor brands across camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, watersports, RV’s, and other products. With findings derived from an extensive consumer attitudinal research study involving 1,578 participants, the report dives deep into the minds of outdoor recreation participants. This article summarizes one of the many key takeaways uncovered in the research.

Relaxation as Motivation

Understanding the mindsets of outdoor enthusiasts is the first step toward developing outdoor brand marketing strategies to activate and engage these target audiences. Focusing on the Seekers, it is imperative for outdoor product marketing leaders to convert Seekers into participants to maximize brand awareness, market share, and sales.

Seekers believe the top three benefits of outdoor recreation are stress relief, improved physical health, and relaxation. Our study revealed that 1 in 2 Seekers say the potential for relaxation makes them want to try outdoor activities. This group also says that relaxation motivates them to participate in activities like camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, and boating, making it a foundational messaging pillar across all marketing and advertising efforts.

Understanding Participant Mindsets and Customer Lenses

Our research study unveiled four distinct mindsets of outdoor participants:

Adventurous participants who embrace challenge with passion.

Practical participants who are methodical and budget-friendly.

Aspiring participants who seek tranquility amid life’s chaos.

Conventional participants who prefer familiarity and fear the unknown.


Watauga also applied three separate customer lenses named “Seekers”, “Doers,”, and “Lovers” to closely analyze the research data:

Seekers are individuals who have not participated in outdoor activities but express interest in doing so.

Doers are those who enjoy the outdoors and are casual participants in one or more outdoor activity.

Lovers are avid enthusiasts and participants in at least one outdoor activity.

relaxing activity

Engage Seekers with Health & Wellness Driven Messaging

Approximately half of Seekers are motivated to try outdoor activities by the potential for relaxation, making it a key driver across different mindsets. Relaxation should be a foundational element in marketing and advertising messages targeting Seekers. To effectively engage this audience, collaborate with health professionals, fitness experts, or wellness influencers to produce credible and authoritative marketing content that highlights the mental and physical health benefits of outdoor activities.

Use Wellness Events for Marketing Content and Positive Reinforcement

To attract Seekers and capture their attention, organize or sponsor wellness events and challenges. These events not only engage Seekers directly but also provide valuable content that can be leveraged in marketing strategies. By highlighting the positive experiences and benefits gained from participating in these activities, marketers can showcase the appeal of outdoor activities and reinforce the connection to wellness and relaxation.

Target Non-Active Seekers with Seasonal Marketing

When executing marketing strategies and plans for outdoor brands, consider the seasonality of when non-active Seekers are most motivated to engage with health and wellness content. For instance, the period around New Year’s resolutions is a prime time when many individuals focus on improving their health and fitness. In January, marketing leaders across any outdoor brand can develop and run campaigns that encourage engagement and participation such as wellness challenges or fitness programs. This marketing strategy leverages seasonal timing and motivations of non-active seekers to ensure the brand’s message reaches this audience at the most optimal time.

Conclusion: Wellness is Where It’s At

More than half of the Seekers from every mindset cite relaxation as their primary reason to try a new activity. Marketing leaders at outdoor brands across camping, fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, watersports and RV’s can utilize wellness messaging, health and fitness events, and seasonal timing to build targeted marketing strategies that will maximize new participants and first-time customers.

To download a complimentary copy of Surveying the Outdoors: Customer Growth Report 2024 and view an interactive visualization of the research data, please visit https://wataugagroup.com/outdoor-customer-growth-report/.

Contact us to discover ways that Watauga Group can help with your media strategy.

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2024 Outdoor Customer Growth Report

Empower outdoor brands to effectively navigate today’s dynamic customer landscape and maximize sales and marketing ROI.