New Year, new trends. Let’s take a look at what the trendwatching companies have brought to our doorstep. How likely are these trends to take-off from the ground? Same as always – 50% as in either they will or they’re won’t.
Trendwatch focuses on consumer and brand trends and usually gives out a potpourri of semi-related brands. Their paid reports offer range, but more than often they lack depth. What is truly great in the premium report is how trendwatching shows the evolution of a certain trends throughout the years. It’s a pity that trendwatch practices rely more on perfect copy-writing skills than robust research practices.
The free report is a bit thin and features obscure trend names that are either too vague or point in the wrong direction (just like “insider trading”). The paradox for this trend report is that it works better when it traces its own steps and maps out trend progressions and their current stage. It’s more like retrocasting.
The most memorable trends (from the paid version):
informal info – “Consumers embrace information that is delivered informally: easier to understand, use and share.”
two-way transparency – “consumers embrace brands that review and rate them in the name of a better experience”
s.i.p. economy– “Now, the economy around these Socially Important People – and the millions who follow them or aspire to their popularity – will become increasingly mainstream”
2. JWT-FUTURE 100 REPORT
The rebranded intelligence centre has been one of the most reliable sources of both paid and free trends. They publish trend reports on specific subjects and more generalized trend reports that cover brands, consumers and business innovation.
What JWT INT is giving away this time is THE FUTURE 100 – a random collection of 100 trends. The sad part is that it is pretty random, but the fun part is that most of these trends are truly fresh and innovative. So, if you want to swiftly spark your creativity or innovation sensors, this is my biggest recommendation.
Some of the most interesting to give you a taste:
new frontiers of diversity – “part of a general movement toward celebrating the triumph of the individual spirit over a society that often shuns those who are different.”
automation paradox – “The more we implement them, the easier everyday tasks become. At the same time, however, the number of people with the knowledge and skills to solve problems if and when they arise diminishes over time”
employ-vertising – “Brands are starting to use forward-thinking employee benefits and policies as a marketing and recruitment tool.”
3. HYPERISLAND – CHANGES OF TOMORROW
HYPERISLAND doesn’t go into depth, but it is one of the rare reports out there that also covers behavioral and talent trends. To be honest, these are not strictly 2016 predictions as I have seen the same overview almost a year ago, but they fit the rest of the company.
Some of these trends tread on the familiar – online relationships, globalized culture or social economy sound painfully standard and something that has been valid for a longer period.
The most evident, but still useful trend pointed out by HYPERISLAND is the rising need of collaboration as a central competence.
What to pay attention to:
e-leadership (under business trends) – leadership that has deep knowledge and reputation in digital fields
agile culture (under business trends) – shorter project cycles, self-organizing teams and the like
disappearing tech (under technology trends) – expansion on the invisible interface trend
4. PSFK – 2017 FORECAST
Those guys don’t fool around by focusing on 2017 instead of 2016. I guess, 2016 is sooo yesterday. But this is definitely one of the blandest reports.
Trends like multi-sensory storytelling boil down to simple and hackneyed truths like toys you can wear are way cooler. Tamagotchies reborn. Yeah, we all learned that lesson.
My biggest critique for the trend report is about the overarching themes that the separate trends are grouped under. Like the ambiguous title THE NEW SINGULARITY hides 4 micro-trends like inclusive beauty, radical transparency, mutable fashion, and distilled expression that seem to have really little in common (or at least the links are not self-evident).
But there are a couple of fresh hints in the free report version anyways:
nomadic living – the rise of flexible working and living solutions and the changing consumer attitudes towards dynamic environment
life editor – intelligent task automation that does the tedious work for us
digital daycare – how tracking is changing how we bring up kids
But this year PSFK definitely deserves a honorary mention for BUILDING TOMORROW, a trend report focused on spaces:
5. MINTEL – EUROPEAN CONSUMER TRENDS
Mintel packs a punch and it delivers a report that reflects their position in the market (but those stock photos put a strain on one’s brain)
Mintel report offers the most global approach to trend-spotting. It ties such changes as Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to specific consumer expectations (concerns about food safety and regulation) and business imperatives (natural products, craft brands, responsible sourcing). It is good that Mintel doesn’t stop at over-generalized summaries, but actually tries to imagine what a possible future and new trends might look like or be called.
It’s a pity that it is not an extremely reader-friendly report as you can’t scan it and be ready to face the future in 5 min. You will need more than 15. Oh, well. Otherwise, highly recommended read for the 2016.
A few take-aways:
beacons – a new era for customers who want rewards, queue-jumping and service personalization
space-time continuum – diminishing need for owning stuff, increasing need for swaping and mono-dosing
6. HAVAS MARKETING TRENDS
The HAVAS report doesn’t offer anything fresh or ground-breaking, but it has some interesting twists. It goes back to the earlier trends and the best campaigns of 2015. This sheds some light on what worked and what was the background of those projects. This is the most interesting bit of the report.
Something to look into:
the rise of biometric marketing review and havas logic of engagement