“Feminism is being rebooted for the digital age,” claims JWT in its latest global trends forecasting report. US toy manufacturer GoldieBlox is championing girl coders, Disney’s Frozen is co-opting parents with its female-friendship narrative rather than the traditional prince-rescues-princess theme and Emma Watson speaking at the UN, imploring more men to become feminists, have created a new dialogue.
It's just one of the 100 trends outlined in The Future 100, drawn up by JWT Intelligence and authored by Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence.
Some of the 100 trends and cultural shifts are big and some are small, but the report aims to join up “the what and the why”.
It spans 10 categories; culture, beauty, brands, food and drink, innovation, lifestyle, luxury, retail, sustainability and technology, and outlines the major shifts within each.
Brands should be on top of “third way commerce”. Not just having charitable causes sitting alongside profitability, but a commercial model that combines social good with sales and marketing. The one-for-one model that began with shoe brand Toms has started a movement that others are adopting.
The other trend JWT sees in store for brands is “Do brands” that focus more on “doing” than “talking” as a marketing approach, using activism, innovation and philanthropy projects to connect with consumers and inspire marketing content. Brands like Kenco, Patagonia and Toms are examples.
Kenco launched a year-long training program for people in its coffee plantations and showcased this project, not its product, in ads.
The flipside is “Me brands” with consumers starting to think of themselves as brands, through social media ratings and online personas. There is a rising tide of businesses and brands that are embracing this with micro-entrepreneurial projects like Pernod Ricard’s Our/Vodka that invite customers to create their own local version of its brand in a business partnership.
As if we haven't heard enough about hipsters in 2014, in 2015, we'll see the rise of the Mipster – that's not a typo, it's Muslim hipsters, according to JWT. And there's more teetotal millennials.
Smartphones and the ubiquity of screen devices is causing premature ageing, the report claims, citing research by YSL Beaute, and the beauty industry is responding with products aimed at reducing those neck creases causes by looking at a smartphone screen 150 times a day. No really.
Food trends include the rise of “guilt-free to-go” ethical fast food. The sharing economy and the “tactile internet”, blending digital connectivity with physical action, are also on the agenda, according to the report.
“The fast-paced digital world, instantly accessible information, globalization and social media have accelerated the pace of trends exponentially. Meanwhile, the speed of innovation is requiring brands to take both a short-term and a long-term view, planning strategies not just for the next year but the next 20,” said Greene.
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