Living the dream vs. designing our future lives – Life Mode San Francisco opens up the debate

Californians may already be living the dream but what if we could design ourselves a better life, not just in the short-term but for the future? On October 11, Life Mode San Francisco – the third in a series of global events to launch Life Mode, the latest insight report from Pearlfisher Futures, exploring the aspirational lifestyle branding sector – opened up the debate about ‘How brands can design the lives we want to live’ as three of today’s most influential and dynamic challenger brands, uBiome, Roam and VYBES, spent an evening sharing their start-up stories and brand visions.

Hosted by Pearlfisher at their own Studios, the evening kicked off with an introduction from Pearlfisher Futures Director, Sophie Maxwell, who talked about just why lifestyle has become the ultimate aspiration for so many brands today but, more importantly, why the Life Mode Report is showcasing the opportunity, for brands to be change-markers in this highly desirable space.

Sarah Gupta from uBiome, Bruno Haid from Roam and Jonathan Eppers from VYBES then took to the stage, each taking one of the three change areas detailed in the report as coming together to shape the future of lifestyle – optimizing consumers’ needs for personal progression, creating new communities and establishing new and more meaningful legacies – and bringing them to life through the lens of their own brand with the intention of helping inspire and direct others on a mission to become a brand for life:

SHIFT 1: Following to Becoming

The first shift outlined the dissolution of society’s established and expected ‘milestones’ of success and how we are looking for new brands, products and services to innovate around our individual aspiration to constantly progress and optimize every aspect of ourselves as we embrace an increasingly non-linear approach to life.

Director of Medical Affairs from uBiome, Sarah Gupta, talked the audience through the transformative power of our microbiome. Sarah explained that the human microbiome is a unique collection of trillions of microorganisms which play a role in our overall wellness – detailing how uBiome is making the science of harnessing our own biome data accessible to us in the form of products to optimize our entire lives – for example, during travel, or for making life-changing decisions. Sarah also expressed how by being smarter and more informed about our microbiomes we may have the power to potentially connect to, and improve, the state of our health over the course of a lifetime.

“Imagine a future where you plan your travel around the globe in the hope of picking up new microbiomes.”

uBiome is an at-home testing service that uses technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning in order to help patients become more familiar with their unique collection of microorganisms and better manage their health as a result.

SHIFT 2: Fixity to Fluidity

The second shift explored how, as traditional sources of community are eroded, consumers are seeking new collectives to expand their worlds. Ultimately preferring access over ownership and the opportunities this presents for the future as we embrace and reframe communal activities and spaces.

Bruno Haid is the Founder of Roam, the successful start-up that’s renting out co-living and co-working spaces across the world designed for jet setters, digital nomads and itinerant workers. Bruno framed this shift in the context of how focusing on space as a service model can transform the way we live, work, travel and experience adventure – facilitating an eclectic yet desirable new way for people to connect and interact across the globe.

 “Trust your people, put the customer in control, make it really intuitive and then you might have a stage that facilitates a community and builds a brand that people rave about.”  

Roam is a global co-living and co-working community where ‘Roamer’s can sign a flexible lease that gives them access to all of Roam’s locations around the world.

SHIFT 3: Consumer to Citizen

Drawing on a collective awareness of the need for change as we strive to leave a better legacy for generations to come, the third shift encouraged us to rethink our actions as we pursue new sources of influence that can facilitate and provide fit for purpose – and desirable – solutions for our changing lives and our changing planet.

Jonathan Eppers, Founder & CEO of VYBES, highlighted the insights by talking about the philosophy behind VYBES and how, in a stress-induced society, there are natural alternatives that we need to showcase and share for the good of our future health and society. Jonathan talked through his belief and mission that modern medicine isn’t always the answer, but demonstrated how lifestyle choices can be, detailing how through targeted local distribution of VYBES, and by sharing and following on social media, more people are coming together to champion CBD and understand its natural benefits and potential.

“By deliberately putting VYBES into places, like local coffee shops, that people already trust, it’s going to help bring it out into the neighbourhood and bring people on board.”

VYBES is an organic beverage made with hemp-derived CBD (Cannabidiol), helping consumers manage aspects of their central nervous system such as stress, anxiety, sleep, reproduction, memory and more.

To close the event, Pearlfisher Futures Director Sophie Maxwell presented a new lifestyle model to show how we work with brands, concluding that the future-focused and successful brands of the future need to be aware of their changing context and design for our changing world – reframing the question from ‘how do we become a lifestyle brand?’ to ‘how do we design the lives we want live?

If you couldn’t attend Life Mode San Francisco but are interested in finding out about what the insights could mean for your brand, get in touch at lifemode@pearlfisher.com. Or to find out more details or to register for the forthcoming series of Life Mode events taking place in Chicago, Minneapolis and Copenhagen, please visit www.pearlfisherlifemode.com.