Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s highly unlikely that the hygge trend will have escaped your attention this season. Listed alongside Brexit and Trumpism as a ‘word of the year’ by both Collins and Oxford dictionaries, the Danish art of coziness first caught our imagination last autumn and has, in a relatively short space of time, infiltrated our lives. Looking back at the year we had in 2016 it’s not difficult to understand why a trend grounded in comfort has taken such a hold in the UK.
Now, as we head into what is predicted to be an especially long and cold winter, JOMO (joy of missing out) is set to strengthen its grip on our consciousness. For brands – and for lifestyle PR and digital agencies like Wild West – the embrace of hygge represents a great opportunity to connect with consumers in a warm and genuine way.
Successful brands will tap into the essence of hygge as a lifestyle movement. Look to high street window displays and it is clear there is an established look and feel (natural, wood, wool, greys) but brands that jump on this bandwagon are missing the essence of hygge. Remember that the attraction of hygge is not just about the material, but about taking the time to appreciate the simple things life has to offer. Hygge is good food, good company, a relaxed and happy atmosphere. This is no one-size-fits-all movement though, and PR campaigns for food and drink, travel and lifestyle brands, should take note. It’s all about digging deeper and appreciating your target consumer’s motivation.
Trend spotters The Food People have released their annual round-up of predicted trends for 2017-18 and it says a lot that hygge falls into no less than 5 of its 12 predicted trends:
GETTING INVOLVED – foodie chefs at home, meal kits, diner participation, bring your own
PEOPLE’S REVOLUTION – pop ups, channel innovation, delivery, markets and halls, sharing
ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE – theatre, sensory styling, fermented, all things bright and beautiful
SOOTHING COMFORTS – a taste of yesterday, gluttonous comfort, sweet sensation, branded sentimentality
ONCE UPON A TIME – seasonal stories, craft, provenance, tugging on the heartstrings, small guys
Looking at this list, it’s easy to build a picture of how hygge is predicted to become part of the fabric of our lives for the foreseeable future. And a key part of PR and digital programmes for a large swathe of lifestyle brands going forward into 2017.
Living and working in Bristol, here are my top tips for embracing the trend here in the capital of the South West.
One of my favourite Bristol brands, Pukka, creates beautiful blends of organic teas and food supplements that are designed to nourish and nurture both the body and soul. Just feasting your eyes on the sumptuous packaging will put you at ease, but take time to explore the Pukka world of organic herb blends and you will discover a range that is all about creating balance. The brand does an excellent job of telling its story; making the Pukka world a place consumers want to spend time.
Another great Bristol business, Pieminister surely needs no introduction. Not only are the pies fantastic (and the rolling NPD superb) but the team hit the nail on the head when it comes to brand experience. Whether you’re hanging out in one of their pie pubs or enjoying your Moo and Blue (my favourite) at home, it’s always more than a good, hearty meal. Check out their Cruftsmas campaign in which they’ve extended the experience to our four-legged friends.
FEAST WITH A CHEF
A big part of hygge is about living in the moment and, for many of us, enjoying a fantastic meal with likeminded people is where it’s at. National food writer and Bristol-based foodie Clare Hargreaves is passionate about bringing top notch food into communities, and her Feast with a Chef pop-up events are all about ‘fine dining without the starch’ – taking first-class chefs into Village Halls to cook for locals. Collaborations with top quality food businesses, such as Origin, Roddas, Henderson Seafood and Riverford, add another element of interest for guests. If you’re looking for a different kind of dining experience in warm and friendly surroundings, then get signed up.
Words: Laura Tomlinson
Senior Account Director at Wild West Comms