Around a similar time last year, we gathered around a table with several months’ worth of notes to bat around what we believed would be the year’s biggest consumer trends.
6 rose to the top:
- Peer Heroes – the idea that regular people are the new celebs
- Big Emotions – leveraging our understanding of our emotions to live a better life
- New Languages of organization – the shift in ways in which we communicate
- Gender Neutrality – the continued blurring of the lines between male and female
- Proliferation of VR/AR – how brands are now using it for good
- Errorless Society – the rise of innovations that keep humanity from making mistakes
So, were we right with these trends? Did we see them continuously pop up in the market? Almost as much as the dab, with the exception of one.
Peer Heroes: We got to see big brands tap kids and their unique creativity – like Target, which leveraged a 7-kid team to make its Back to School ad. In a more grassroots example, CEOs in training created companies like iRummage – started by elementary school kids to raise money for their schools. As for stardom, music video lip syncing app Musical.ly made celebs out of normal teens who garnered fans across the globe and kudos from Billboard. Talent at its finest.
Big Emotions: We’ve found ourselves at a cross section between technology and emotions and how they work together to better people’s lives. Headspace, one of the most popular mental wellness apps has expanded its offering to children. Planextra – created by physicists and engineers – is a device that detects 64 emotions and helps humans better understand what sparked them. Zenta is the newest wearable startup boasting stress and emotional management. Imagine downward facing dog for your mind.
New Languages of Organization: Society is moving away from words and toward the visual, a la emojis. This can be seen in companies like Yarn – an entire platform dedicated to sending and receiving clips from movies and TV shows. Another instance of this can be seen in Thngs, the Russian Wikipedia database for physical objects or a digital museum of things. Need info on the original Gameboy? Here ya go, nerd. We’re even using WiFi as currency with companies like Velvet letting us buy and trade it.
Gender Neutrality: Though not a surprise, certainly relevant. Making history, this year’s first ever Coverboy was announced, James Charles, for makeup giant Covergirl. And now rewriting history, we’ve seen gender role reversals in mainstream movie culture – Ghostbusters, Splash, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to name a few. Who ya gonna call? Either sex.
Proliferation of VR/AR: So here, my friends, we admit defeat. This trend didn’t prove to go in the direction we thought, and in fact went in the opposite. We found an instance or two of brands using VR for things like supplemental patient care, but for the most part, it’s being used by brands for marketing and entertainment. Perhaps we were a little early to the call, so watch this space.
Errorless Society: Terrifying? Yes. Happening anyway? Also yes. We’re seeing just how smart we can get with brands like Multiply Labs that can 3d print pills in layers so that consumers can take a day’s worth of meds in one gulp while timing the layers perfectly so drugs don’t mix improperly. Beyond medicine, Fysiopal has created shirts that vibrate when the wearer has poor posture. Your nagging mom’s new partner in crime.
So it all begs the question, what could possibly be next? We’re so happy you asked! Stay tuned for our 2017 trends predictions coming soon to a blog near you.