What does the current mindfulness product landscape look like? How can we better understand how people use mindfulness today so that we can better design the mindfulness products of tomorrow? These were the questions underpinning our Future Mindfulness research project, delivered in partnership with Glasgow-based design studio AndThen and supported by Innovate UK.
Here you will find some highlights from the project and you can also request the the full set of research materials.
While many of the people inhabiting and travelling through these territories do share some motivations and beliefs, we found that there were clearly demarcated groups with their own sets of attitudes and behaviours. We called these groups Tribes and refined archetypal members of these Tribes which we called Chiefs.
‘Mindfulness helps me control my emotions and form better relationships.’
‘Sharing my knowledge of mindfulness will benefit my children as they grow up.’
Traditionalists are those who view mindfulness as a way of life. They are set in their perspectives and methods and have strong values. Although they practice alone, they enjoy sharing their wisdom with others.
‘New forms of meditation get me excited, I like to try out as many as I can.’
‘I spiritually believe in the benefits of mindfulness.’
Emotionalists are those who view mindfulness as an attitude towards life. They are mindful of their relationships and emotions. As good listeners, they seek new perspectives and methods in social situations.
‘Mindfulness is the therapy that I use to deal with past trauma and present illness.’
‘Mindfulness is the opposite of abuse.’
Prolonged self-carers are those who rely on mindfulness as a therapy. They view mindfulness as the opposite of abuse: a long-term solution to trauma. They seek ways to connect with others but may struggle with this.
‘I use apps to meditate but I don’t know if I’m doing it right. I have questions.’
‘The thought of going to group meditation is too intimidating.’
In the moment self-carers are those who rely on mindfulness to cope with moments of anxiety or stress. They use meditation apps to seek self-help and are most comfortable when alone. Their meditation practice is irregular.
‘I use meditation to solve problems in my life.’
‘Mindfulness makes me more confident and acceptant of my insecurities.’
Sudden self-carers are those who discover mindfulness as a tool to cope with short-term stress during a sudden moment of crisis. They seek to gain confidence and control.
‘I have exhausted the app material and now I’m looking for the next thing.’
‘I am ‘mindful’ even through I don’t formally meditate.’
The inwardly conscious are those who question their values and place within society. As quiet activists, they are not outspoken enough to voice their opinions. To them, mindfulness represents an alternative perspective.
‘Sometimes I get bored of meditating.’
‘I want people to know I practice mindfulness and to be associated with the brand.‘
The outwardly conscious are those who are absorbed by a media-driven society. They use mindfulness as a way to project an intriguing, alternative image of themselves and gain integrity when voicing their opinions.
‘My mindfulness and fitness practice are separate. They do not influence each other.’
‘I expect to see quick returns from practicing mindfulness.’
High achievers are those whose lives are fast-paced and career-driven. They use mindfulness as a tool to achieve more and maximise their potential. Using apps as guidance they schedule time to meditate.
‘I use mindfulness as a tool to reach my full potential.’
‘I have adopted Buddhist principles without seeing them as such.’
Wise mentors are those who were originally sold by the goal-driven benefits of meditation, but are now looking to understand mindfulness on a deeper level.
An explainer of how to best understand the Isles of Mindfulness.
We believe that everyone gets better when research is shared. Therefore beyond the highlights on this page, we are making available a detailed and rich set of Materials which not only give you the full versions of the Isles, Tribes and Chiefs, but also shares an extensive list of Pain Points, Behaviours and Attitudes found within the mindfulness audience as well as notes on our research process.