December 5, 2011

10 trends that will shape the world in 2012

Posted by: in North America

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.

6 Responses to "10 trends that will shape the world in 2012"

1 | dave

December 5th, 2011 at 1:56 pm

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Here’s another trend:

Marketing Trend studies and reports that would have cost hundreds of dollars a few years ago will be given away for free, in the name of transparency and engagement!

2 | Will Palley

December 5th, 2011 at 4:14 pm

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Hi Dave,

Thanks for your comment. For your convenience, we offer all of our monthly reports at no cost, which you can find on the Trendletters, Etc. page.

Look out for our 100 Things to Watch for 2012, which will be released within the next few weeks.

3 | Babar Khan (CMO @ Sociality360)

December 6th, 2011 at 8:15 pm

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Pakistan and similar developing markets can be seen as the developed world five years ago. If you want to see or experience something that happened or was believed to be the norm in the business culture or best practices five years ago, you need only book a flight to Nepal, Pakistan, India and similar countries. While mobile phone usage is nearing 99% penetration in these countries, these devices are used just to text and make calls .. online buying has quite made it here yet as an acceptable habit of everyday life, neither has online advocacy.

We have too many digital agencies cropping up that sell half baked solutions … the exposure of these idea’s negates the value of the digital emergence as a whole.

My own agency (co-owned with a former GroupM strategist) is barely 6 months old and we manage the Kraft Foods portfolio in Pakistan. Our clients asked for 15k ‘likes’ on the Facebook page in 3 months time … its been 6 weeks and we’ve reached 50k likes. We also operate with full transparency with our clients, going so far as teaching them how we achieved our results. Mainstream media has dubbed our niche or USP to be ‘honesty and integrity’.

What we see as a future trend for Pakistan, is the a favorable stance from B2B and B2C markets towards suppliers and partners that behave outside of predestined norms and perhaps display somehow honesty and commitment towards long term benefits.

We also find that a great deal of social media savvy Pakistani’s insist on brands that recognize political and environmental chaos … siding with the ones that participate in bringing a change. This is something very clear with consumers preferring Omore (product of Pakistan owned Engro Foods) over Cornetto (of Unilever Walls) simply b/c the former is more socially involved than the former on the issues that personally impact the everyday citizen.

4 | Will Palley

December 14th, 2011 at 10:54 am

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Hi Babar,

Thanks so much for sharing your insights on Pakistan and social media. We hope you’ll continue participating in the conversation!

- JWTIntelligence

5 | Sam Douglass

December 19th, 2011 at 4:50 pm

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Great work here, and thanks for sharing.

Do you think that trend #6 (Marriage Optional) is a result of women reflecting on societal values on the whole or a result (or combination) of how men’s value-shift fits into this equation?

Also, trend #7 seems accurate, but to what degree are people comfortable with exploring the unknown? I’d figure that people are comfortable within some tolerance but that ‘discovery’ still can’t be too far from their current value set.

6 | Will Palley

December 21st, 2011 at 12:51 pm

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Hello Sam,

Thanks so much for your comments and questions.

We believe that Marriage Optional is driven by a combination of factors, including improving education and career opportunities for women, and shifting attitudes towards motherhood and dating.

In regards to Reengineering Randomness, while many people welcome the extraction of irrelevant or less interesting information and options, most people recognize when they are in a rut. As such, many will find surprise and delight in the unknown.

For more information, our full report is available for purchase here:

http://jwtintelligencecatalog.com/10trendsfor2012.aspx

Thanks!

- JWTIntelligence

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New Trend Report: The Future of Payments & Currency

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Things to Watch

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    November 19, 2014 | 4:54 pm


    Disruption in the payments sphere is opening the way for social media brands to act as intermediaries between consumers and their money, as we note in our report on payments and currency. Facebook is said to be planning a P2P payments feature for Messenger, South Korea’s KakaoTalk announced a PayPal-like service in September, and Line is creating a mobile service that will let users make on- and offline purchases. Now, Snapchat is partnering with Square to enable payments between users, as explained in this video’s energetic retro musical number.

    After users (U.S. only and 18-plus only) enter debit card info, they simply send a cash amount within a text. While Snapchat’s recent data breaches may give some users pause, the P2P payments space is a smart place to be as young consumers get accustomed to services like Venmo that make it easy and even fun to pay friends. —Marian Berelowitz

  • Payment in a heartbeat
    November 11, 2014 | 5:26 pm

    Nymi-paywith

    Our recent report on the future of payments and currency spotlights the rise of biometric payments—using a unique physical characteristic to authenticate transactions—which promise to greatly improve security and help remove friction. So far we’ve seen systems that rely on fingerprints (e.g., Apple Pay) and the palm’s unique vein payment (see Quixter). Now, the startup Bionym is exploring ways to harness its Nymi wristband, which uses the wearer’s unique cardiac rhythm as authentication, for payments.

    Bionym is linking with MasterCard and the Royal Bank of Canada for a test in which an NFC chip in the wristband enables contactless payments. The company, which is looking to license its technology into other wearables, recently raised $14 million in a Series A funding round and has racked up 10,000 preorders for the Nymi. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Nymi

  • Vegetable co-stars
    November 4, 2014 | 6:31 pm

    veggies_4

    “Vegetable co-stars” is one of our 100 Things to Watch in 2014—the idea that veggies are gaining a higher profile on restaurant menus—and more star chefs are indeed embracing this trend. José Andrés and his ThinkFood restaurant group plan to open Beefsteak (as in tomatoes), a vegetable-focused fast casual eatery in Washington, D.C., next year. The Washington Post also points to chef Roy Choi’s new greenhouse-like Commissary in L.A., which says it serves “good food and drink based around plants as the foundation.”

    “Chefs around the country, and the globe, are pushing meat from the center of the plate—and sometimes off it altogether,” notes The Wall Street Journal, citing examples like Alain Ducasse revamping his menu at the posh Plaza Athénée in Paris. Catering to a growing group of diners looking to eat less meat, vegetable-heavy dishes also offer new opportunities for creativity. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Plaza Athénée

  • Xiaomi zooms ahead
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    Xiaomi, which we included on our 100 Things to Watch in 2014 list, is now the world’s third-largest smartphone maker, according to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. The young company has seen triple-digit year-over-year growth in smartphone shipments, per IDC, surging ahead of both LG and Lenovo. Often described as the “Apple of China,” Xiaomi released its first phone just three years ago; its latest, Mi4, is an iPhone clone that runs on a modified version of Android.

    The company is expanding beyond China into India and Singapore, and planning to enter a slew of other growth markets, including Russia, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico. For more on whether Chinese brands can succeed on the world stage, see our report Remaking “Made in China.”Marian Berelowitz

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  • Money & messaging apps
    October 23, 2014 | 11:13 am

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    Given the primary function of mobile messaging apps and their technical capabilities, money transfer and payments are an alluring proposition, as outlined in our new report on payments and currency. Snapchat filed two trademarks in July that indicate a potential move into peer-to-peer payments. The recently announced Line Pay will let Line users make purchases through their Line accounts, send funds to each other, and split costs using a “Dutch Pay” feature. Line Pay will launch in Japan and, as Tech in Asia reports, serve as “an entrance to new industries” thanks to integration with the new Line Taxi service and Line Wow, for food delivery. In South Korea, KakaoTalk launched the PayPal-like Kakao Pay in September, and a remittance service, Bank Wallet Kakao, is in the works. —Marian Berelowitz

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  • The #TimsDark Experiment
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    To entice customers into tasting its new dark roast, Canadian fast food chain Tim Hortons, with the help of JWT Canada, created a surprise immersive experience. A store in Quebec was wrapped in material that blocked all light from the outdoors. Patrons entered warily and, once inside, heard a staff member (who was wearing night vision goggles) guiding them through the dark. At the counter, customers were handed a cup of the dark roast—the brand’s first new blend in 50 years—with the darkness heightening their sense of taste. When the lights came on, the patrons saw they were on camera.

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  • Bitcoin bank Circle
    October 7, 2014 | 4:40 pm

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    In late September, the startup Circle launched a web app that effectively functions as a bitcoin bank. Using a debit card or bank account, users transfer funds to Circle, which converts the money to bitcoin at no fee. Circle also insures this money at no cost. The company aims to make bitcoin more accessible via consumer-friendly design and is aiming to take on traditional banks and companies like PayPal, as The Guardian reports. Next up: Android and iOS Circle apps.

    Circle co-founder Jeremy Allaire gave a keynote at the Inside Bitcoins conference in April, citing the need for a “killer app” to bring bitcoin into the mainstream. Now Circle seems to be taking the lead, and others are sure to follow. —Nick Ayala

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  • High-tech tasting
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    Meanwhile, advanced technology can also create recipes: IBM has touted how Watson, its “cognitive computing system,” can analyze the components of ingredients to come up with novel ideas for dishes; find a few of them here. —Marian Berelowitz

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  • Marriage gets marginalized
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    Europe is seeing a similar move away from marriage, driven by “austerity, generational crisis and apathy towards the institution,” notes The Guardian. It says weddings are at historical lows in some nations; last year Italy recorded the fewest since World War I. For a look at how changing marriage patterns are affecting families, see our report Meet the New Family. —Marian Berelowitz

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  • Room-sharing service Breather
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