December 5, 2011
10 trends that will shape the world in 2012
Today we released our seventh annual year-end forecast of key trends that will shape or significantly impact consumer behavior in the near future. Continued economic uncertainty is at the center of or driving several of these trends; another theme is the rising idea of shared responsibility. As always, new technology is a key factor as well.
The economy will push brands into opening up more entry points for extremely cost-sensitive consumers as the “new normal” becomes a prolonged normal in the developed world. At the same time, tough times will generate an unprecedented entrepreneurialism among the so-called Lost Generation, with today’s youth becoming a uniquely resourceful group that creates their own opportunity.
Two years ago we forecast that packaging would become a much bigger environmental issue; this year we believe the next big eco-issue will be the impact of our food choices on the environment, with various stakeholders—brands, governments and activist organizations—driving awareness around the topic and rethinking what food is sold and how it’s made.
On the tech side, more flat surfaces will become screens, and more screens will be interactive—touching them, gesturing at them and talking to them will become part of our everyday behaviors. And as technology makes our individual worlds more personalized and niche—and narrows the types of content, experiences and people we’re exposed to—greater emphasis will be placed on reintroducing randomness, discovery, inspiration and different points of view into our worlds.
For more on our “10 Trends for 2012,” see the Executive Summary below.
The full report—in which we cover each trend in detail, highlighting what’s driving the shift, how it’s manifesting and what it means for brands—is available here.