From complex cocktails and digital spas, to subscription insurance and scientific expeditions, “The Future 100” predicts 2020 will usher in an era that’s realistic yet imaginative
The reign of ‘Big Tech’ is coming to an end and irresponsible companies and figureheads are being held accountable for wider social and environmental issues, as per Wunderman Thompson Intelligence’s ‘The Future 100’ report. Part of WPP, WT’s report aims to help readers prepare for emerging consumer behavior with 100 original trend predictions from the Innovation Group. Split into 10 categories, each trend delivers a snapshot of movements so far, while explaining why brands and marketers should pay attention.
From complex cocktails and digital spas, to subscription insurance and scientific expeditions, “The Future 100” predicts 2020 will usher in an era that’s realistic yet imaginative at the same time, leveraged by tech innovation and a redefined experience for shoppers on the high street. The report highlights insights and fresh takes on the year ahead and beyond. The report’s 10 trend segments include culture, tech and innovation, travel and hospitality, brands and marketing, food and drink, beauty, retail, luxury, health and finance.
Data is under the microscope and this is affecting all industries with the trustworthiness of a brand now tied to the way it uses consumer data and how transparent its terms and conditions are, Emma Chiu, global director, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, opined. Rules and regulations are slowly being implemented to protect consumers, and brands are racing to ensure they are using personal data responsibly. “A real cultural change has taken place, with purpose and transparency leading customer loyalty, while imagination is trumping data for consumer appeal. Consumers have laid the foundations for change and now forward-thinking brands are working towards building an optimistic and reassuring future for all. ‘The Future 100’ is a way of keeping up with the big shifts and smaller fast-moving trends, offering marketers an opportunity to get ahead,” she added.
According to the report, companies are urging the consumers to look forward towards an optimistic future as unsettling political, economic and environmental times have left consumers feeling anxious. From Pantone’s Flame Scarlet red shade for spring/summer 2020 to Lego’s challenge to “rebuild the world,” forward-thinking companies are brightening the gloom with a realistic and optimistic outlook. Along with delivering an optimistic outlook, brands are focusing on ensuring real sustainable business plans and carbon-neutral policies and are transparent about their responsibilities. As climate positive brands will not only build trust but also earn customer loyalty as consumers get wise to environmental impacts.
2019 saw a shift in openness around traditional taboos and gender straitjackets in Asia. This is initiating a fresh approach to the market. Supported by technology and rapid economic development, attitudes to mental health, sexual health and gender are on the path to break the taboos. On the other hand, experiential shopping has entered the beauty space especially for today’s consumers who still prefer to try out and buy cosmetics in store. Spotting the trend, beauty brands are developing a veritable playground of experiences and reimagining the beauty counter as a destination where consumers can spend time playing and, of course, purchasing.
The report also revealed that 2020 is going to be a privacy era as once seen as an aid to consumers, data collection is now viewed as underhanded and unethical, with consumers at breaking point amid frequent and severe data breaches. 2019 initiatives were the first step on a path to redemption for some brands and the idea that consumers can control their own data is becoming a clear possibility.