The Future of Payments & Currency
The payments and currency systems are on the verge of disruption. Payments are getting digitized and going mobile, wearable and biometric, while the rise of cryptocurrencies is prompting new ideas about what currency can be. Millennials, not wedded to the status quo when it comes to money, will drive this shift. This report takes a look at the myriad new ways to pay and how the concept of currency is evolving to encompass everything from bitcoin to social media shares. We also spotlight how disruption is opening the way for new players to act as middlemen between consumers and their money, along with results of a survey exploring U.S. and U.K. consumer attitudes toward payments and currency.
Meet the New Family
The notion of family is rapidly evolving, but many brands aren’t yet portraying the new reality of today’s families or fully speaking to their needs. Marriage is no longer a given in many parts of the world, nor are children; at the same time, gay couples are embracing these milestones as attitudes and laws change. Meanwhile, as people live longer, more are forming new families in later decades, and households are expanding to include multiple generations. On the other end of the spectrum, more people are living in households of one, forming families out of friends or even treating pets as family. This report spotlights what’s driving these trends, supporting data and examples of how marketers are responding.
The Circular Economy
Among some of the world’s top corporate leaders, there’s a growing understanding that traditional business models—built on the presumption of unlimited and cheap natural resources—must be reworked for 21st century realities. The circular economy represents a markedly different way of doing business, replacing established practices like planned obsolescence with new approaches to generating profits. This report examines how brands from Puma and Ford to Ikea and Starbucks are becoming more circular, why this concept is gaining more adherents now and implications for brands.The circular economy is an important topic not only because the approach is far better for the planet but also because tapping into its principles may well be essential to long-term competitiveness.
10 Mobile Trends for 2014 and Beyond
As we hurtle toward a world steeped in and vastly impacted by mobile technology, mobile is driving fundamental changes in the business landscape and in consumer behaviors and expectations. JWT’s third annual report on trends in the mobile sphere spotlights key themes that came out of this year’s Mobile World Congress, Consumer Electronics Show and South by Southwest Interactive, and builds on trends spotlighted in earlier reports. The report covers significant drivers and manifestations of these developments, and their implications for brands.
10 Overriding Themes from SXSW
With thousands of sessions, a packed exhibit hall floor, hundreds of party and networking opportunities, and dozens of ancillary activities, this year’s SXSW Interactive, which took place March 7-11 in Austin, Texas, was a place ripe for curiosity and exploration. To paraphrase one panelist: SXSW is a living, breathing manifestation of the Internet and culture.
This report highlights 10 overriding themes from the 21st annual festival, based on on-the-ground reporting, input from JWT and Digitaria colleagues in attendance and secondary research.
100 Things to Watch in 2014
Edible Packaging, Heads-Up Movement and Haptic Technology—just a few items from our annual list of 100 Things to Watch for the year ahead.
It’s a wide-ranging compilation that reflects developments surfacing across sectors including technology, television, food and spirits, retail, health care and the arts. The list also includes new types of goods or businesses, new behaviors and ideas with the potential to ladder up to bigger trends.
The Brazil Opportunity: A Guide for Marketers
In the decade-plus since the BRIC moniker was coined, the expectation that Brazil would emerge as a robust new market for brands has been borne out. Yet many international brands are absent or only starting to eye the terrain.
This 82-page report serves as a comprehensive guide for marketers looking to enter Brazil or expand their footprint. It is a wide-ranging introduction to a complex culture, consumer mindset and media landscape: a look at the forces that have shaped Brazilian society and how it’s evolving in tandem with massive political, economic and social shifts. Throughout, we include takeaways for brands and examples of how domestic and international marketers are connecting with Brazilian consumers.
“The Brazil Opportunity: A Guide for Marketers” is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. Specifically for this report, JWTIntelligence conducted research in Brazil, including expert interviews. Colleagues at JWT São Paulo, JWT Porto Alegre and JWT Rio de Janeiro, as well as Ampla Comunicação in Recife, provided invaluable assistance and insights. The report also includes data from quantitative surveys conducted using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.
Meet the BRIC Millennials
This wide-ranging report examines the generation that will define the future of the dominant emerging markets. It spotlights findings from a July 2013 survey of 18- to 35-year-olds conducted in Brazil, Russia, India and China using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.
“Meet the BRIC Millennials” explores themes we’ve examined in the context of Millennials globally—including personal finances and employment, stress, changing gender roles, social good and social media—as well as issues especially relevant to BRIC nations, including tradition vs. modernization, urbanization and national pride. The report includes case studies that show how brands in BRIC markets are responding to these increasingly influential young consumers.
“Retail Rebooted” bundles three trends JWTIntelligence has outlined in recent years that spotlight how retailers are evolving for an increasingly sophisticated digital and data-centric world: Retail As the Third Space, Predictive Personalization and Everything Is Retail. We’ve updated and revised these trends since their initial publication.
The report also maps out 20-plus Things to Watch in Retail, spotlighting a range of developments, from innovative business models to shifting consumer behaviors to the latest tech developments.
This report is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. It includes input from experts and influencers in retail and data from a survey JWTIntelligence conducted in the U.S. and the U.K. in November 2012, using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.
The Future of Correspondence
It’s only in the last few decades that cheap and easy alternatives to the post have proliferated, radically reshaping the way in which we correspond. But postal services are here to stay. We still need packages delivered, for one thing, and we’re also developing a greater appreciation for the act of sending and receiving physical mail.
“The Future of Correspondence” assesses the role of mail in the digital age, delving into the rise of “slow communication” and the fusion of digital and physical. It examines what’s driving these developments, the ways in which they’re manifesting and what they mean for marketers. The report also spotlights eight innovative direct mail campaigns and takes a look at how email is evolving, the advent of delivery lockers and new approaches to stamps and addresses.
This report is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. For this report, JWTIntelligence interviewed relevant influencers and experts, and surveyed 1,200 adults aged 18-plus in the U.S. and the U.K. from Feb. 1-4, 2013, using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.
The State of Men
Masculinity was more clearly defined when “men were men,” as the phrase goes. Today, as gender conventions blur, men are formulating more nuanced ideas of what it means to be a man. The household in particular is becoming more gender-neutral as men both embrace a more active role and get pushed into it out of necessity.
“The State of Men” examines shifts in male roles, behavior, attitudes and mindsets, focusing on how masculinity is being redefined circa 2013, how men’s role in the home is changing and how men are navigating the new gender order.
The report is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. For this report, we surveyed 1,000 adults aged 18-plus in the U.S. and the U.K. from April 29-May 2, 2013, using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. The report also includes input from experts and influencers in male trends and JWT’s Planning Foresight group in London, as well as JWT planners around the globe, including Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Australia, Spain, Poland, Japan and Thailand.
Travel: Changing Course
This report examines how some of our macro trends—Peer Power, Predictive Personalization and Hyper-Personalization—are influencing the travel category.
It also spotlights Millennial travelers, whose tastes are influencing the travel industry in a number of ways, and includes a wide-ranging rundown of more than 20 Things to Watch in travel, from Holographic Concierges to Transient Hotels.
“Travel: Changing Course” includes data from a survey we conducted in the U.S. and the U.K. in November 2012, as well as input from experts and influencers in the travel, investment and marketing sectors.
Mobile Trends for 2013 and Beyond
The mobile is moving well beyond its role as a communication device, becoming an enabler for a wide range of experiences from TV viewing to shopping to banking. And mobile connectivity is disrupting industries from retail to auto to finance and beyond. The consensus is that change is occurring at an astonishing scale and speed. In this report, JWTIntelligence outlines key trends in evidence at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress, held in Barcelona in late February, along with examples that illustrate these developments and implications for brands. The report also incorporates insights from interviews with several mobile experts and influencers.
Embracing Analog: Why Physical is Hot
As we spend ever more time in the digital world, what’s becoming increasingly valued is the time we do not spend in front of a screen—the time we spend with real people and real things. It’s not that we’re abandoning digital—far from it. But as digital screens become our default interface, we seem to increasingly seek out physical objects and experiences.
This trend report examines the embrace of analog, what’s driving it, the ways in which it’s manifesting and what it means for marketers.
For the research, we partnered with Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion and correspondent for Wired, to design and conduct a survey in the U.S. and the U.K. using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. The survey polled 1,200 adults aged 18-plus from Feb. 1-4.
100 Things to Watch in 2013
Adult Playgrounds, Chia Seeds and Instant-Erase Apps—just a few items from our annual list of 100 Things to Watch for the year ahead.
It’s a wide-ranging compilation that reflects developments that are bubbling up across sectors, including travel, technology, food, retail and sustainability. The list also includes new types of goods or businesses, new behaviors and ideas with the potential to ladder up to bigger trends.
Health & Happiness: Hand in Hand
With health now viewed in a more holistic way, happiness has been getting folded into the idea of “health and wellness.”
“Health & Happiness: Hand in Hand” examines the rising notion that a happier person is a healthier person—and, in turn, a healthier person is a happier person. The report looks at what’s driving awareness around the health-happiness connection, how this development is playing out in culture and how marketers can leverage it.
In addition to desk research, we interviewed experts in the areas of psychiatry, psychology, sociology and consumer behavior, and conducted surveys in the U.S. and U.K. The surveys used JWT SONAR™, our proprietary online tool, to poll 1,247 adults aged 18-plus from Aug. 13–21, 2012.
American Dream in the Balance
This is a complex time for the American Dream, and the run-up to the presidential election makes for an ideal moment to take stock of how this enduring concept is being both affirmed and challenged.
This report spotlights findings from a recent JWTIntelligence survey that tracked how perceptions have shifted in the four years since we conducted a similar study, during the last presidential campaign. It details how Americans define the Dream, the extent to which they believe in it, how and why attitudes toward the Dream are changing, and how these differ by generation. It concludes with takeaways for brands, along with examples of how marketers have tapped into the American Dream in the recent past.
“American Dream in the Balance” is the result of research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. Specifically for this report, we fielded a quantitative study using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool, from July 26-30, 2012, surveying 503 Americans aged 18-plus. The report compares the results of this study with a SONAR™ survey conducted in mid-September 2008.
Remaking “Made in China”
China’s brands haven’t yet made a notable impact on the global consumer market, but will that change in the near future? Before the country can develop a cohort of strong brands, its marketers will have to remake what “Made in China” means to consumers. A leading crop of Chinese brands are already chipping away at some of the key factors standing in the way of global success as China actively seeks to export more than just the rest of the world’s manufactured goods.
This report details the external and internal factors hindering the efforts of Chinese brands to take root in developed markets. It also details some of the strategies that prominent brands, from Lenovo and Li-Ning to Haier and Huawei, are deploying to knock down these roadblocks.
Researched on the ground in Shanghai, “Remaking ‘Made in China’” includes the results of a JWT survey of 503 Americans and 503 Britons aged 18-plus using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. We also interviewed experts and influencers, including JWT’s Tom Doctoroff.
Play As a Competitive Advantage
Our always-on culture places a premium on productivity; we spare less and less time for pursuits that don’t have specific goals attached. The paradox is that to compete successfully, we need to embrace play. So increasingly, adults will seek to balance out their busy lives with more unstructured time.
This report looks at the varied benefits of play and outlines the impediments to play in our always-on culture. We spotlight how companies are injecting the idea of play into their business models, how marketers are promoting adult play in their messaging, and how people feel about the role of play in their lives.
“Play As a Competitive Advantage” is the result of research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. Specifically for this report, we surveyed 503 Americans and 503 Britons aged 18-plus using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. We also interviewed experts and influencers about the importance of play.
10 Ways Marketers Are Using the Second Screen
Marketers are starting to use the second screen (smartphones, tablets, PCs) to complement the first screen (TV). While it’s still early days—with tactics so far ranging from basic to innovative—this report highlights the potential here for brands, with examples to illustrate.
The second screen can turn TV viewing into a shared experience (“social TV”), enable fans to go deeper into the story world, allow instant follow-up on a call to action, extend a message beyond the limits of 30 seconds—and the list goes on. In so doing, marketers are turning what could be a negative—media multitasking and distraction—into a positive: an immersive brand experience.
This report is the result of research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. Specifically for this report, JWTIntelligence also received input from JWT planners across several markets and interviewed experts and influencers about the changes afoot in television.
Gen Z: Digital in Their DNA
Gen Z, the fledgling generation that follows the Millennials, can be considered the first true mobile mavens: They will take for granted a world of smartphones, tablets and high-speed wireless Internet, untethered from the constraints of a landline or a traditional Internet connection.
Based around a survey of tweens and teens (ages 8 to 17) and their parents in the U.S. and the U.K., the report looks at the attitudes and tech habits of those born after 1995. It spotlights how Gen Z use their devices, the Internet and social networks; how much they value these digital tools and services; and how they prefer to communicate. It also examines this generation from a consumer perspective, spotlighting how they spend their money, and focuses on their anxieties and outlook for the future. In addition, it looks at how Gen Z parents feel about their child’s digital activities, how they shop with their kids, and their concerns for their child’s future. Finally, it touches on what these findings mean for brands.
In addition to desk research, the report draws on a quantitative study conducted in March 2012 using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. The survey polled 400 adults, 200 children aged 8-12 and 200 teenagers aged 13-17 in the U.S. and the U.K.
15 Ways Mobile Will Change Our Lives
Sooner than we might have expected, the mobile revolution will disrupt all categories, consumers and markets, regardless of their maturity. Indeed, the shift from a connected to a hyper-connected world is happening now. Online ubiquity provides the catalyst for a new understanding of what mobile means, what mobile does and how it is experienced. This document outlines key takeaways from the 2012 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, along with examples that show these ideas in action: a preview of how mobile will change our lives.
Fear Of Missing Out: Update
We’ve always had a fear of missing out—that our peers are doing, in the know about or in possession of more or something better than us—but today it’s exploding with the onset of real-time, location-based and social media tools.
This trend report, which updates our May 2011 report with new quantitative and qualitative data, explores the FOMO phenomenon. We identify which cohort is most prone to FOMO and how they respond to it, spotlight how FOMO is manifesting in the zeitgeist, and look at the wide-ranging potential for brands seeking to tap into FOMO.
In addition to desk research, we interviewed experts and influencers in technology and academia, and conducted a survey in the U.S. and the U.K. using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. The survey polled 1,270 adults aged 18-plus and 110 teens from Jan. 19-24.
What’s Cooking? Trends in Food
What and how we eat today might look quite baffling to anyone who’s missed the past decade: buying gluten-free treats from a food truck, for instance, or “Foodspotting” an order of locally sourced, heirloom vegetables. Yet at the same time we’re reconnecting with our past, looking to eat more communally and celebrating regional food traditions, even digging up antique recipes.
“What’s Cooking? Trends in Food” surveys what’s changing when it comes to how we find, cook and eat food, how we think about what we eat and how brands are marketing food. It does so through the lens of eight relevant macro trends JWT has highlighted over the past few years—including Food as the New Eco-Issue, Screened Interactions and Maximum Disclosure—as well as three overarching trends shaping the category: the influence of technology, the rise of health and wellness, and foodie culture. Within these trends, we spotlight myriad things to watch we’ve been tracking.
In addition to desk research, we interviewed influencers and experts in food, received input from the JWT planning network and conducted quantitative surveys in the U.S. and the U.K. The surveys used SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online research tool, to poll 1,270 adults aged 21-plus from Jan. 19-24.
100 Things to Watch in 2012
Facial Recognition Fury, Fat Taxes, Remaking “Made in China”—just a few items from our annual list of 100 Things to Watch for the year ahead.
It’s a wide-ranging compilation that in part reflects broader economic, environmental, technological and social developments we’ve been tracking.
As always, technology has a prominent presence: Among other things, the list spotlights the rise of LCD art, growing concerns over cloud and mobile security, the much-anticipated Facebook IPO, and interactive screens infiltrating our retail and restaurant experiences. The list also includes noteworthy events on the calendar, people to keep an eye on, and things to watch in marketing, retailing, travel, food and sustainability.
Things to Watch: Music Edition
The digital age disrupted the music world, ushering in a new era for fans, artists, retailers and other key stakeholders. This year, we got a clearer glimpse of what the second decade of digital music will look like—and it’s quite different from the first in many ways. In our Things to Watch: Music Edition, we chart what’s changing from both a macro and micro perspective.
The report is the result of desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year, inputs from JWT’s global planning network, and interviews with experts and influencers in the music industry, including Heidi Browning, svp of strategic solutions at Pandora; Mike O’Brien and Steven Huynh, co-founders and developers at Outloud.fm; and Sam Howard-Spink, Clinical Assistant Professor of Music Business, New York University Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions.
A number of macro trends are influencing social good initiatives today, including the call for greater transparency, rapid urbanization and advancements in technology. As a result, we’re seeing less “goodwashing,” more creative strategies for urban renewal and innovative new donation channels from for-profits and nonprofits alike.
“Social Good” covers these developments and more, including how corporations are starting to integrate social issues into their core strategies and how nonprofits are increasingly adopting for-profit tactics.
The trend report is the result of research conducted in partnership with EthosJWT, our unit specializing in brand strategy, ideas and activation for social change and social benefit. In addition to desk research, we interviewed experts and influencers from the nonprofit and corporate social responsibility sectors and conducted quantitative surveys in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada. The surveys used SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool, to poll 908 adults aged 18-plus from June 28-July 6, 2011.
Consumers worldwide have been quick to embrace the concept of a tablet computer: IDC forecasts that 53.5 million units will ship this year. As brands start to explore how best to reach consumers via this nascent medium, we outline best practices for marketing on the tablet in our latest report.
Our Tablet Checklist includes 10 actionable recommendations for brands, with case studies to help illustrate these ideas. The recommendations were inspired by conversations with a panel of interactive media professionals both inside and outside JWT.
Social networks are well-established, as is e-commerce, but it’s only now that we’re seeing the meshing of the two and a great deal of hype around the possibilities. This report charts how retailers and other brands are using the social graph to engage consumers wherever they may be—creating more personal, accessible experiences—and to amplify word-of-mouth.
“Social Commerce” examines three key trends: the rise of Facebook commerce (retailers selling directly on Facebook), overlaying the social graph on e-commerce sites and introducing that social graph to the brick-and-mortar world. It looks at what innovative retailers and others are doing in these areas, as well as what’s driving each trend and the significance and potential for marketers. It also spotlights things to watch in this space, from apps that enable sharing while shopping to Facebook Credits.
In addition to desk research, we interviewed experts and influencers in research, technology and business, and conducted a quantitative survey in the U.S. and the U.K. The survey used SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online research tool, to poll 971 adults aged 20-plus from May 20-June 1, 2011.
Fear Of Missing Out
The fear that you’re missing out—that your peers are doing, in the know about or in possession of more or something better than you—may be a social angst that’s always existed, but it’s going into overdrive thanks to real-time digital updates and to our constant companion, the smartphone.
This trend report explores the FOMO phenomenon, identifying which cohort is most prone to FOMO and how they respond to it, spotlighting how FOMO is manifesting in the zeitgeist, and looking at the wide-ranging potential for brands seeking to tap into FOMO.
In addition to desk research, we interviewed experts and influencers in technology and academia, and conducted a quantitative survey in the U.S. and the U.K. The survey used SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool, to poll 1,024 adults aged 18-plus and 87 teens aged 13-17 from March 4-15, 2011.
Today’s travelers are different from those even a few years ago. They’re tech-enabled, with infinite information at their fingertips, and they’re driven to share experiences as they have them. The countertrend is that more vacationers are looking to escape their technology.
“Rebooting Travel” explores how mobile devices, real-time connectivity, social networking and the growing expectation of instant gratification are reshaping the travel experience.
In addition to desk research, we interviewed travel experts and influencers and conducted quantitative surveys in the U.S. and the U.K. The surveys used SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool, to poll 1,024 adults aged 18-plus from March 4-15, 2011.
Transmedia has been a buzz word for a while, but it’s rapidly rising up the radar: Content creators are increasingly seeking innovative ways to develop stories that arc over platforms, providing consumers with multiple entry points. Our trend report this month explores why transmedia is bubbling up right now, how it’s significant for brands and where it’s going.
“Transmedia Rising” includes a half-dozen case studies, a guide to finding more information (from events to podcasts to books and video clips) and a timeline charting some of transmedia’s milestones. It also features insights from experts, including several we interviewed for the report: commercial and music video director Mathew Cullen, a co-founder of the new transmedia studio Mirada; Wired contributing editor Frank Rose, author of the new book The Art of Immersion; and Dean Baker, managing director of JWT Entertainment in London.
Social Media Checklist
While the fast-moving social media sphere is still in its infancy, it’s getting increasingly crowded and, as a result, increasingly confusing. It’s humbling—the Twittersphere delivers new headlines to digest seemingly every nanosecond. But it’s exciting at the same time.
Whether today’s social media darlings will thrive or go the way of Friendster doesn’t matter as much as how this media platform—which is clearly here to stay—is changing consumer attitudes and behavior and how it should drive brand behavior.
JWT’s Social Media Checklist includes 12 actionable recommendations for brands, with case studies to help illustrate these ideas. Our recommendations were inspired by conversations with a globally diverse panel of 18 professionals (both inside and outside JWT) in the social media sphere.
To see our Social Media Checklist 2-minute video, click here.
100 Things to Watch in 2011
Beer Sommeliers, F-Commerce, Objectifying Objects … just a few items from our list of 100 Things to Watch in 2011.
It’s a wide-ranging compilation that in part reflects broader shifts we’ve been tracking over the past few years. It also reflects some counter-trends—for instance.
Many of our Things to Watch are technology-centric, with smart infrastructure ramping up, the rise of tablets for tots and some truly futuristic-seeming developments (3D printing, virtual mirrors, electronic profiling). And the people on the list—from pop culture, sports, architecture, fashion and other sectors—have the potential to drive or shape trends in the near future.
The Reality of the Working Woman: Mexico
This JWT study conducted in partnership with AMAP explores the changing attitudes among multiple generations of working women in Mexico. The quantitative online study polled 422 Mexican working women 18 and older from Sept. 29-Oct. 4, using Preguntame, JWT’s proprietary online research tool. This follows similar research we carried out in the U.S. in April with Advertising Age.
We explore women’s attitudes, behaviors and anxieties related to the workplace and work-home life balance. We also dig into how their work life influences other aspects of their life, from what they prepare in the kitchen to why they apply makeup. We then identify opportunities and strategies for reaching this powerful group of consumers.
Technology is changing the way doctors practice medicine and empowering consumers to take health and wellness into their own hands. This trendletter touches on topics including how technological advancements are taking the human touch out of health care and how the evolution toward Health 3.0—the convergence of online content, community and commerce—is changing the game for patients, medical professionals and businesses alike.
Other areas covered include how telemedicine is changing health care, both in the developing and developed world, and the barriers to widespread adoption; how self-monitoring of health and wellness is affecting health care; and how health care businesses are leveraging online health and wellness communities.
The New Face of Work
The workplace is being upended by advancements in technology, a generational shift in workplace attitudes and the global financial crisis.
The global downturn has forced organizations to rework their business models as well as their physical space. It’s also changed people’s attitudes toward the role of work in their lives. And for many it’s changed how and how much they work.
These shifts will translate into new workplace values and new ideas about worker productivity. Trends including the rise of mobile and freelance workers, the growing influence of the Millennial mind-set and the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 tools will translate into an office culture that’s a marked contrast to what we’ve seen before.
The Now Web
A new Web is emerging, one characterized by constantly updating streams of real-time information, conversation, memes and images. This real-time Web—explored in this trendletter—has given rise to an increasingly mass culture—people around the globe are experiencing events together, using the Web to rally like-minded people, spreading Internet memes and sometimes rumors rapidly.
As the stream of information that people consume, produce and share online flows ever faster, they will increasingly expect brands to be along for the ride: by meeting their expectations now, by answering complaints and questions now, and by simply joining in the ongoing dialogue. Given the growing influence of these streams, brands must understand what the Now Web is about and jump in.
The Small Movement
Everything is getting smaller, from homes to cars to technology to packaged goods. This trend is being fueled by a recession that’s forcing people to live with less but is also an outgrowth of the environmental movement, a necessary response to a growing global population with a rising standard of living, and a backlash against the long-held “bigger is better” mind-set.
In this trendletter, we discuss how the shift toward smaller—as well as simpler and more streamlined—can benefit business, the consumer and the environment.
The Rise in DIY
DIY isn’t just what you do after a shopping spree at IKEA. Today, do-it-yourself is influencing a range of categories, including entertainment, food, beauty and fashion. A confluence of factors is shifting this movement from the fringe to the mainstream, chief among them the anxiety brought on by the Great Recession.
This trendletter explores how DIY ideas and attitudes are affecting consumer behavior and purchasing habits in a range of categories, and looks at what it means for brands and marketers.
The Recession and Its Impact on Luxury
Pre-recession, luxury was big, bold and blingy. Now, the sector is shrinking—not only because consumers can’t afford the luxe life but because attitudes toward conspicuous consumption have shifted dramatically, especially in older, more established markets. This trendletter discusses how the recession has affected consumer attitudes toward luxury, how prospects for the luxury industry differ between developed and emerging markets, and how luxury brands can respond to consumers’ newfound appreciation for modesty and value, among other topics.
Balancing Health, Wealth and Budgets
Before the recession, there weren’t as many barriers when it came to spending on things that contributed to overall health and well-being. Today, of course, the world has changed, and price has become a far more central consideration. This trendletter examines how the boom in health and wellness has been affected by the global financial crisis and the growing consumer desire for thrift.
As a complement to the trendletter, we also surveyed adults to find out how their health and wellness attitudes and behaviors were being affected, looking specifically at grocery shopping, dining out and pharmaceutical compliance. The quantitative study was conducted in the U.S., U.K., Australia and Canada.
The Energy Race
The Energy Race is under way, driven largely by economic rather than ecological incentives. Governments, investors and entrepreneurs are all ramping up efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. Doing so won’t be easy or cheap, although numerous innovative ideas are being developed around the world.
Among consumers, the conservation movement has been democratized, and interest in green living is surging. Consumers feel better about consumption when they buy from brands and retailers that embrace a green ethic, and businesses that adopt forward-thinking sustainability policies will come out ahead.
The Collective Consciousness
One of the macrotrends we highlighted in our 10 Trends for 2009, the “Collective Consciousness” speaks to a new global mind-set: People are thinking less about “me” and more about what “we” can do together—whether for pure fun, for sharing resources or for addressing global issues like climate change.
The Collective Consciousness refers to a mind-set that’s common not among any one society or nation but rather among a group of global citizens around the world. These globalists are using digital technology to connect, swap ideas and organize events. They share an ethos of responsibility and cooperation that’s markedly different from the rollicking, individualistic party of the late 1980s and the 1990s. This worldwide collaboration of smart, engaged citizens has the potential to produce viable ways to attack the world’s most difficult issues.
Books: The Next Chapter
Books have remained largely unchanged for 500 years. But today the Internet is changing the way we think, the way we process information, even the way we read. Rather than reading in a quiet corner, we’re plopped in front of our laptops with the music blaring, toggling between inputs and windows dozens of times in the span of an hour.
The Internet is also changing how we access books—eventually all information will be digital. Slowly, publishers, authors and booksellers are adapting to this new reality. The savviest among them—those who realize they’re in the story business, not the paper and glue business—are engaging the digital generation through everything from social networking to mobile phone novels to multimedia add-ons to electronic readers.
The global economic crisis is challenging the aspirations of hundreds of millions of people, especially in the developed world, forcing consumers to focus on basic needs rather than higher-level hopes and ambitions. This trendletter considers how expectations are being downsized as economies transition out of a long boom period into the most serious recession in decades.
It explores signs that hard times are prompting people to re-examine their lifestyles, the new role that governments will play in shaping aspirations, how frugality will morph from distressing necessity to smart lifestyle aspiration, and how marketers and brands should respond to this shift in aspirations.