Our first Trends salon brought together an array of the experts and influencers who provided input as we researched the report.
To bring our annual 10 Trends report to life, last week JWTIntelligence held our first Trends Salon, at JWT New York. The event brought together an array of the experts and influencers who provided input as we researched the report.
This year’s trends forecast involves a lot of push and pull between consumers and technology: We want products at the tap of an app, but we don’t want to be tracked; we want some independence from our devices, but we don’t want to lose touch. Our forecast suggests that people are beginning to fear and resent technology, or Raging Against the Machine. Futurist Alex Pang, author of The Distraction Addiction, noted that better-designed technology may resolve this issue: “We often think of technologies as alienating, but some of the best times of our lives happen aided by machines. … The rage against the machine is really a rage against badly imagined machines.”
Meanwhile, new technologies may also help us learn to use our minds more effectively. Ariel Garten, CEO of InteraXon, talked about Telepathic Technology—brain-computer interfaces that can read minds and moods—and demonstrated InteraXon’s upcoming Muse, a “brain sensing” headband. “This technology’s extremely good at helping you understand what goes on inside your mind,” she explained, ultimately helping users reduce anxiety and stress. Among other things, marketers can tap into this type of device to help consumers interested in Mindful Living—an escape from the noise of our tech-immersed culture.
Speaking on the new appreciation for mindfulness, Dr. Romila Mushtaq, a mind-body medicine physician, noted, “We all want to spread good in the world, and [marketers] are the people who have a platform to promote positive thinking, a sense of happiness and joy.”
What else are consumers looking for into the near future? Immersive Experiences that capture their imagination and attention, a topic covered by Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion, who lauded brands like Apple and Eataly for creating immersive retail environments.
In this Age of Impatience, consumers are also craving instant gratification. “They have less tolerance for frustration, they have less ability to tolerate things like ambiguity, where they have to think through and work through a problem,” said consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow. Consumers won’t tolerate impediments to purchase, she added, whether it’s waiting in line or finding parking. “What’s most fascinating to me is that among all the things we now expect on demand, sex is one of them,” noted Bianca Bosker, executive tech editor of The Huffington Post, pointing to apps like Tinder. “A one-night stand has become an eternity in this day and age.”
For an in-depth look at our 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond, download the full report.