What determines if they will be early adopters of the emerging products

Market and Strategic Overview

GymHugz (previously branded EarHugz), is an international brand operating within the fitness industry. The company, which was founded in 2017, predominately sells a range of unisex sweat-resistant headphone covers. Despite tremendous success within the market over the last 3 years, the demand for protectors stagnated in March 2020, following the outbreak of COVID-19.

As COVID-19 spread and lockdowns were enforced, people were forced to change their exercising habits, as gyms around the world were closed to help contain the virus. According to Sport England (2020), 45% of people switched to regular home workouts, which resulted in an 1000% increase in the sale of home gym equipment in March 2020 (Corr, 2020). To adapt to these changes GymHugz quickly pivoted and in early April, launched a range of home gym equipment including free-weights, adjustable dumbbells and resistance bands.
Background and Role of the Research

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On the 25th July 2020 gyms in the UK were allowed to reopen in accordance with the new guidelines outlined by the Government (GOV.UK, 2020). However, with some countries still dealing with large epidemics and others preparing for a second wave (Gallagher, 2020), experts remain divided, on how the virus may impact the way we exercise in the future. Some believe individuals will continue to exercise at home following the pandemic, whilst others anticipate that social interaction will prompt people to return to their local gyms (Hayes, 2020).

As a consequence of this uncertainty, GymHugz are now looking to expand its existing product range, by introducing other fitness and fashion accessories. Although the company would like to manufacture headbands, technical socks and other fitness related apparel, the company is unsure whether there will be sufficient demand within the market. Before proceeding, the company needs to identify emerging product trends within the fitness industry over the next 1-3 years, in addition to establishing which of their existing segments have the greatest demand for these products. This will enable the company to only manufacture products which meet the needs and wants of consumer and help them determine which segment of the market should be targeted.

As no prior research has been conducted outside of the headphone cover market, GymHugz have limited knowledge on how much customers are willing to pay for other fitness and fashion accessories. Identifying a price range will enable the company to launch new products at a price favourable to consumers. To ensure the new products are launched successfully, exploring the social networks used most frequently by high demand segments will enable GymHugz to maximise their return from marketing initiatives.
Research objective (s)

Identify emerging product trends within the fitness industry over the next 1-3 years.
Identify which market segments (out of those researched) have greater demand for the products identified.
For consumers within high demand segments, explore:
If they are likely purchase the products identified
What determines if they will be early adopters of the emerging products
What characteristics will they be looking for in the product.
How much would they be willing to pay for the products identified.
Which social media platforms do they normally use.
Suggested Approach & Research Target(s)

Various sources can be used to identify emerging product trends within the fitness industry. Suggested sources include Mintel and Euromonitor. Secondary data can also be collected from Twitter.
Use the Google Analytic data provided to identify and justify which market segments you will be researching (e.g. females in the United States aged 18-24, 25-34 and 35-44).
Interviews or surveys may provide some useful insight into the demand of individual segments, their willingness to pay and social media usage.
You must obtain ethical approval from the module tutor before any data collection

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