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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Avatar

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

Comment Form

New: 2014 iPad App

The Brazil Opportunity

Updates

Sign up for Email Updates

JWT AnxietyIndex

Things to Watch

  • Brands + Google Glass
    July 15, 2014 | 6:09 pm

    SPG

    As Google Glass makes its way into the hands of more people (last month it became available in the U.K.), brands are experimenting with the new possibilities that the platform affords. In March, Kenneth Cole became the first to launch a marketing campaign—the “Man Up for Mankind Challenge”—through a Glass app. Users were challenged to perform and document good deeds for the chance to win a prize.

    Starwood’s new Glass app, billed as the first such app from the hospitality sector, lets people voice-search its properties, view photos and amenities, get directions and book rooms. An array of other marketers have turned out apps for early adopters, from Sherman Williams’ ColorSnap Glass (easily create a paint chip that mirrors anything in view) to Fidelity (delivers daily market quotes for Glass wearers). —Tony Oblen

    Image credit: SPG

  • Ugly produce
    July 10, 2014 | 2:45 pm

    Intermarche

    Ugly Produce, on our list of 100 Things to Watch in 2014, is proliferating in Europe, thanks in part to government efforts to reduce the 89 million tons of food wasted in Europe each year. In France, Intermarché has been getting buzz for creating a produce section dedicated to “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables”; a whimsical ad campaign reportedly drove a 24 percent rise in store traffic.

    U.K. supermarket Waitrose recently began selling packs of tomatoes that are misshapen or have fallen off the vine naturally. And in Portugal, Fruta Feia (“Ugly Fruit”) is a cooperative launched in late 2013 that sells unsightly produce that would have gone to waste. Per The New York Times, the group already has a waiting list of 1,000 customers. In line with one of our 10 Trends for 2014, Proudly Imperfect, watch for ugly produce to catch on with both retailers and shoppers. —Jessica Vaughn

    Image credit: Intermarché

  • The $1.25 Cube
    July 3, 2014 | 12:30 pm

    As we outline in Immersive Experiences, one of our 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond, entertainment and narratives are becoming more enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention. An immersive project from JWT Israel, a winner of the Cannes Chimera challenge, aims to help people experience what it’s like to live in extreme poverty. Once it’s created, the cube will create a multisensory experience that uses tools like augmented reality to simulate sights, sounds and smells and elicit certain feelings. Participants can exit only when the person in line behind them inserts $1.25, a metaphor for the collaborative efforts needed to fight poverty. The aim is for the cube to travel to international events like the Davos conference in order to influence global leaders. —Hallie Steiner

    Image credit: JWT Israel

  • Google’s Android Auto
    June 26, 2014 | 3:00 pm

     

    Android

    The connected car is rapidly becoming a reality. Fast 4G LTE connections are turning vehicles into hot spots that come with a data plan, while Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android are making their way onto dashboards. This week Google introduced Android Auto, with the first compatible cars expected by year-end. Apple’s similar CarPlay, which turns the car into a platform for an iPhone’s content, was announced in March and is included in new Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo models.

    Car-based app ecosystems will provide relevant info (traffic, maps, vehicle diagnostics, restaurant suggestions) and entertainment, combined with safety precautions like voice control. As we outline in our mobile trends report, connected cars—complete with Internet hot spots, a suite of apps and sensors that communicate—will eventually link up with drivers’ homes, mobile devices and other gadgets to form a seamless system. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Android

  • American Eagle Outfitters’ recycling boxes
    June 19, 2014 | 3:45 pm

    American Eagle

    In a bid to create a more closed-loop production cycle, retailers including Puma and H&M are partnering with I:CO, a Swiss reuse and recycling firm that sets up collection points in stores for used clothing and shoes. The latest retailer to link up with I:CO is American Eagle Outfitters, which has added collection boxes in all its North American stores. Customers who participate in the “Live Your Life. Save Your Planet” initiative get a $5 credit toward AEO jeans. Any proceeds gleaned from the program will be donated to the Student Conservation Association.

    “The vision is for all products to be designed with future uses in mind, so materials can be 100% reused in a truly endless cycle,” explains a post from I:CO on American Eagle’s blog. An array of brands are taking steps toward a similar vision, as detailed in our upcoming report on the circular economy. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: American Eagle Outfitters

  • Marriott’s #LoveTravels
    June 11, 2014 | 1:45 pm

    Americans are now largely open to seeing LGBT characters or couples in ads, as recent JWT research confirmed, and thus “advertising is coming out of the closet, with visible and innovative LGBT Pride campaigns from a diverse range of brands,” writes GLAAD’s Rich Ferraro in Brandchannel. One of the more notable campaigns this Pride month is Marriott’s #LoveTravels, featuring portraits of people including gay NBA player Jason Collins, transgender model Geena Rocera and two dads with their kids. The campaign includes print and display ads and building wraps at five Washington, DC, hotels; a microsite details the individual stories.

    “This is one of the most diverse and inclusive campaigns to have ever run in mainstream advertising,” writes Ferraro. Meanwhile, rival Hilton has revamped its LGBT-focused site and is hosting a wedding reception at the Beverly Hilton for the co-plaintiffs in California’s Proposition 8 gay-marriage court case. —Marian Berelowitz

  • Vogue’s shoppable Instagram
    June 4, 2014 | 2:36 pm

    As we outline in Everything Is Retail, one of our 10 Trends for 2013 and Beyond, shopping is shifting from an activity that takes place in physical stores or online to a value exchange that can play out in multiple new and novel ways. Instagram, a platform ripe with potential, is among those new ways. Vogue’s Instagram feed is now shoppable for consumers who have signed up with rewardStyle’s Like to Know service; liking certain images triggers an email with instructions on how to buy featured items.

    RewardStyle tells DigiDay that more magazines will be signing up shortly. Other firms helping brands monetize Instagram include Soldsie and Hashbag. —Marian Berelowitz

  • Ethically sourced electronics
    May 29, 2014 | 10:45 am

    Last year’s launch of Fairphone, an ethically sourced and produced mobile phone, put a spotlight on the raw materials in our digital devices. Currently taking orders for a second batch of 35,000 phones, the Dutch company ensures that minerals come from conflict-free areas so they’re not helping to fund armed groups. Now a two-minute spot from Intel showcases the company’s commitment to using conflict-free minerals in its microprocessors. Intel’s website delves into the issue, and CEO Brian Krzanich also spoke on the topic at this year’s CES.

    Alongside sourcing sits labor issues, another ethical consideration that Fairphone addresses. Expect more tech companies to start improving their track record when it comes to how their products are made. —Will Palley

  • ‘Look Up’ and the ‘Heads-Up Movement’
    May 20, 2014 | 3:45 pm

    As noted in our new mobile trends report, people are developing a love-hate relationship with our phones. We’ll see a “heads-up movement”—something we forecast in our 100 Things to Watch for 2014—as people try to become better attuned to their real-life environment. The video “Look Up” from Gary Turk, a British writer-director, dovetails perfectly with this idea, with lines like “Look up from your phone, shut down the display, take in your surroundings and make the most of your day.”

    After its release in late April, “Look Up” quickly went viral; it’s now accumulated some 38 million views, approaching the numbers racked up by last year’s similarly themed “I Forgot My Phone,” and inspired a few parodies. —Marian Berelowitz

  • RIFT’s immersive ‘Macbeth’
    May 15, 2014 | 1:00 pm

    As we explain in Immersive Experiences, one of our 10 Trends for 2014, entertainment, narratives and brand experiences will are becoming more immersive and enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention. An upcoming production of Macbeth, created by British theater company RIFT, puts the audience in the middle of the drama via an unusual overnight performance that runs from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

    Located on the top floor of an east London tower block, the show assigns audience members to rooms, where they settle down to sleep following the first several scenes. Overnight, characters visit the rooms to enact events from the play, with the final act taking place at dawn. Coincidentally, one of the best-known immersive theater pieces, Sleep No More, also takes inspiration from Macbeth. —Will Palley

    Image credit: RIFT

  • RSSArchive for Things to Watch »