A report by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence tagged ‘The Future 100’ has spotlighted creative innovations set to go mainstream, along with shifts in consumer behaviours across ten different sectors.
The report also features expert opinions, including that of Brenda Millis, principal of creative and consumer insights at Adobe Stock, and Don Stein, CEO and founder of Teooh, among others.
The 100 trends are drawn from the culture, technology, travel, branding and marketing, food and drink, beauty, retail, health, business and finance sectors. For the first time, the report also looks at work trends, as the dual forces of a mass shift to home working and the rise in unemployment, fuelled by the pandemic, change professional lives dramatically.
Mel Edwards, global CEO of Wunderman Thompson, commented, “At a time when gaining a competitive advantage has never been more important, The Future 100 report reveals the key trends that will shape consumer behaviour and define the way ambitious brands engage with their customers during the coming year.
These insights will help marketing leaders inspire growth for their organisations and move forward into 2021 with confidence and optimism, Edwards said.
Commenting further on the report, Emma Chiu, global director, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence said, “Cautious optimism sets the pace for 2021 as the world reflects on the challenges of 2020 and enters a hopeful year of economic rebound and societal healing.
Big change is already in motion, he said, the United Kingdom exits the European Union, a Biden-Harris administration assumes leadership, and multiple promising COVID-19 vaccines roll out around the world—offering a glimpse of a post-pandemic era.”
According to the global director of WTI, the need for brands to plan ahead, understand consumer behaviors that will stick, and employ creative innovation is more important than ever. “The Future 100: 2021” previews 100 bitesize trends and changes to track this year.
“Tech’s influence on culture and economies accelerates. Conferences, festivals and brand launches turn to gaming as the chosen third space to reach existing and new audiences (New gaming frontiers). Retailers merge entertainment and ecommerce into engaging live digital experiences that is Live commerce.
But amid the opportunities, Chiu said that new cautions arise, as issues such as data sustainability and deepfakes dominate conversations around how to create a safe and durable digital ecosystem. Brand purpose goes mainstream, driven by ethical consumers who continue to turn to businesses that reflect their values. This is being propelled by companies like Did They Help? keeping tabs on brands’ efforts—or failure—to do good (Ethical scoreboard, he enthused.
Micropreneurs: Move over side hustles, there is a startup boom in the making, fuelled by the pandemic and rising unemployment, driving more and more people to make entrepreneurship their next career move.
Immunity wellness: The world has never been so interested in how our immune systems can be boosted and the coming year will see numerous experts telling us how; from ancient treatments to DNA research.
Unbiased banking: Another industry where inclusivity is on the rise is banking – specifically the online-only neobanks, including Simba and Greenwood, which address the frequently overlooked needs of minority groups.
Cloud gaming: As video games become the latest media to get Netflix-ised, major players, including Amazon, Google, Tencent, Microsoft, Sony and Facebook, are betting big on cloud gaming.
Multi-generational travel: Extended families, forced to spend so much time apart in 2020, are increasingly likely to opt to vacation together – often a practical choice as well as a caring one.
Ethical scoreboard: A rise in the number of platforms which monitor corporate behaviour as more people make purchase decisions influenced by brand purpose
Ghost kitchens: Influenced by the growth of delivery-first dining, this new restaurant concept sees off-premises dining prioritised.
Foraged ingredients: Not another food trend but a beauty one with the emergence of new skincare brands made with wild-harvested plants and promising potent result
Intersectional beauty: In an industry where diversity has been sorely lacking, independent brands are now leading the way in championing intersectional beauty, such as LGBTQ+ advocate We Are Fluide and indigenous-owned Prados Beauty.
Live commerce: Retail-tainment is moving online with engaging, tailored shopping experiences using video streaming to demonstrate and sell products and interact with customers in real time.
Commented further Chiu, global director at Wunderman Thompson Intelligence said, “Few of us will have experienced quite as much drama on a societal and global level as we did in 2020 and the fallout from that is more new trends than we’ve seen since we started publishing The Future 100 report, and behaviors which had been evolving slowly thrust into the mainstream.
Knowing which of these trends matter and why has never been so important for marketers at a time when the very survival of many brands depends on adapting at pace.