Every season we publish our quarterly Trend Report with roughly 10 emerging trends. We’re constantly analyzing consumer psychology and dipping into the undercurrents of what’s creating change in our world today. So we decided to take it a step further, on November 6th we invited a diverse crowd to attend our Eye to 2020 event, where we shared the trends that brands can strategically use in their long-term and short-term planning.
With a new decade approaching, brands have to re-assess their understanding of the role and meaning of “brand.” It is no longer a singular, “fixed” idea or concept created by a company’s marketing department. Brands must innately understand the shifting context and power behind the dynamic marketplace they compete in, as well as how identities, values and the environments we live in are being reshaped right before our eyes. The macro shifts we shared were categorized into three discussions; Evolving People, Evolving Values, and Evolving Environments.
Traditional social norms surrounding age, gender, relationship status and life stage expectations are breaking down. And it’s giving way to a less binary, non-conforming, more inclusive future characterized by an expanding spectrum of self-expression and identification. Breaking down the barriers of a “one size fits all” approach and instead shifting to meet the needs of a value conscious consumer. That includes the needs of Boomers, LGBTQ+ persons, and singles as each category is coming to the foreground of attention, legal action, and shaping marketing audience groups. So knowing that marketing is largely about getting your brand’s message to a target audience that falls within a specific set of pre-defined parameters. How will marketers reach customers that are more flexible and fluid and increasingly refuse to be labeled or boxed-in?
What if, in the next coming years, companies name a Chief Trust Officer? Someone who orchestrates trust across security, risk, compliance, privacy, and ethical business operations. Getting trust right will be fundamental for companies to stay competitive. This trust can start with creating company trust roles that establish accountability for managing and maintaining trust guidelines.
In a world of escalating global tension and increased transparency, our collective society—from individuals to organizations and especially corporations—are feeling a greater sense of responsibility over how we interact and positively contribute in the world. TIME Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year, Greta Thunberg, the outdoor Drag Queen advocate, Pattie Gonia, and the brand Patagonia itself are leading examples of this change. Harnessing intention to create more human experiences to combat consumer cynicism online, and building community and transparency IRL. Using digital platforms to join us instead of divide us. Sharing the power of “togetherness” and that if 100 people are imperfectly conscious of their consumption, it is greater than 10 people consuming perfectly. That together means everyone, everywhere, on every platform. The accessibility of digital platforms allows formerly under-represented voices to take a stand and make a difference.
So what if in 2020 brands organize their innovation strategies to deliver on consumer values rather than a set of jobs to be done?
There is a growing divide in how people choose to live, work and play in their environments from the hospitality sector to real estate. An interesting dichotomy is emerging between our tangible and intangible worlds, in which we are becoming more tied to the surroundings that bring meaning to our lives, and yet less tied down physically than ever before. Living in a van no longer has the same connotation it did 60 years ago. People now are seeking community-driven benefits from their neighborhood and workplace, regardless of geographic location. The social line between city dwellers and suburbians is fading as things like daycare, urban farming and transportation are becoming popular wants in a community. Maturing age groups, like Baby Boomers and Gen X, have catalyzed a slew of resources to support people following their dreams. A passion economy is emerging for the freelancers and gig makers, and it looks like it’s here to stay as they maintain a wider peripheral of capabilities than the average. With that sense of freedom, people are seeking that in their ownership styles: partial ownership and renting is shaking up the real estate market. From cars, to clothes, beauty subscriptions and living arrangements. Consumers want a taste of it all without having to be tied down.
What if in 2020, balancing expectations of efficiency and mental well-being becomes a corporate imperative for customers and employees alike?
Follow along with our 20 Musings for 2020 content on social, and let’s talk about it.