This is always my favorite (and I believe most insightful) trend report that comes out around this time every year.
In JWT’s ninth annual forecast of trends for the near future, they explore how consumers are both welcoming and resisting technology’s growing omnipresence in our lives. For many, technology serves as a gateway to opportunity and an enabler of hyper-efficient lifestyles, but those who are most immersed are starting to question its effect on their lives and their privacy. One result is that more people are trying to find a balance and lead more mindful, in-the-moment lives.
Here’s their 2 minute snapshot of the findings.
If we want to drill down a little deeper — According to the JWT site, the 10 trends they identify and explore are:
1. IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES: Entertainment, narratives and brand experiences will become more immersive and altogether more enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention.
2. DO YOU SPEAK VISUAL?: We’re shifting to a visual vocabulary that relies on photos, emojis, video snippets and other imagery, largely supplanting the need for text. “Visual” is a new lingo that needs to be mastered.
3. THE AGE OF IMPATIENCE: With the mainstreaming of the on-demand economy and our always-on culture, consumer expectations for speed and ease are rising exponentially. As businesses respond in kind, making the availability of their products and services more instant, impatience and impulsiveness will only continue to increase.
4. MOBILE AS A GATEWAY TO OPPORTUNITY: In emerging markets, the mobile device is coming to represent a gateway to opportunity—helping people change their lives by giving them access to financial systems, new business tools, better health care, education and more.
5. TELEPATHIC TECHNOLOGY: Thanks to the rise of brain-computer interfaces and emotion recognition technology, brands are getting more adept at understanding consumers’ minds and moods, and reacting accordingly in a very personalized way.
6. THE END OF ANONYMITY: Thanks to an array of new technologies and a growing drive to collect personal data, it’s becoming nearly impossible to remain unobserved and untracked by corporations and governments. As anonymity becomes more elusive, expect pushback from consumers and a growing paranoia around technologies and services that affect privacy.
7. RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE: As we move further into the digital age, we’re starting to both fear and resent technology, fretting about what’s been lost in our embrace of unprecedented change. We’ll put a higher value on all things that feel essentially human and seriously question (while not entirely resisting) technology’s siren call.
8. REMIXING TRADITION: With social norms quickly changing and a new anything-goes attitude, people are mashing up cherished traditions with decidedly new ideas, creating their own recipes for what feels right.
9. PROUDLY IMPERFECT: Imperfection and even outright ugliness—the quirky, the messy and the clearly flawed—are taking on new appeal in a world that’s become all too polished or mass-produced. The imperfect is coming to feel more authentic, and also more comforting and meaningful.
10. MINDFUL LIVING: Consumers are developing a quasi-Zen desire to experience everything in a more present, conscious way. Once the domain of the spiritual set, mindful living is filtering into the mainstream, with more people drawn to the idea of shutting out distractions and focusing on the moment.
The report is over 100 pages of examples, marketing insights and suggestions on how we will see these trends come to life over the next year. Whether you’re in marketing or just love to study cultures and people — you’ll find it a fascinating read.
This report is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year. The report includes input from nearly 70 JWT planners and researchers across more than two dozen markets, and interviews with experts and influencers across sectors including technology, health and wellness, media and academia.
You can purchase the report here.