As we desperately try to cling on to our New Year’s resolutions, the Planning team at GOOD take a look at the biggest emerging trends that we think really will last all year round. Here’s our round-up of the shifts that will influence marketing and communications in 2018…
Food & drink
The healthy eating movement is in full swing, with veganism continuing to grow steadily in popularity and yet another cohort of superfoods added to the list #turmericlatte. This year, there is expected to be a further evolution whereby a balanced diet will play an important role not just in our bodily health, but in our sense of mental wellbeing too. Our food choices are starting to become just as much about self-care as they are nutrition. Another shift to look out for is in how brands communicate about their sourcing and production chain. “Transparency” was a buzz-word in 2017 and this year we will see consumers’ expectations to rise ever further; demanding food & drink companies to be completely clear and honest. We predict more campaigns to follow in the footsteps of McDonalds.
Politics & society
One of the fallouts of Brexit is the UK population becoming more inward-facing while our position on the European and global stage is up in the air. For 2018, this means we’re expecting citizenship to take a decidedly local shift. We want to get a sense of worth and impact from active participation, so the brands who will succeed in this climate are those who actively engage with local communities, giving their customers meaningful ways to co-create and collaborate. Ahead of the charge because of their business model are Co-op: expect to see more initiatives cropping up as part of big brands’ social responsibility over the next 12 months.
Home & money
Last year saw challengers Monzo burst into prominence; in 2018 the way we manage our money will follow their tech-led approach even more. Consumers are drawn to ease, instantaneousness and accessibility over traditional drivers like brand reputation and product offering. With our ability to save still under strain, we now value ways to manage our salaries on a day-to-day basis than considering longer-term investments for the future. During tough times for renters & mortgage holders alike, 2018 is set to see us making the most of our homes as multi-functional spaces. Many consumers, notably those under 65, continue to feel the pinch so we will be investing in making the most of our homes as the places where we work, eat and play as well as sleep. Futuristic start-up Ori are taking this to the extreme with their robotic compactible furniture solutions. We’re also more conscious consumers and so the days of disposable flat pack are being subsumed by us taking a fashion-like approach to interiors; investing in fewer durable, quality statement pieces within a streamlined space. Online retailers like Swoon and Made.com are set to excel in this climate: but don’t think that giants like IKEA can’t adapt — they’re also repositioning their offer around maximising how we use our spaces rather than filling them with stuff — see their super-Scandi ‘Lagom’ range.
Thanks to David Attenborough’s dulcet tones and national treasure status, 2018 has already started with us all waking up to the devastating impact single-use plastic is having on the natural world. We predict that many brands will rise to the challenge, openly and publicly changing their manufacturing methods long before the government enforces legislative changes. Leading from the front are Iceland – announcing their intention to replace all plastic packaging in its own label products by 2023. With 84% of people worried about the amount of plastic pollution in the oceans, and 91% supporting a large reduction of plastic packaging in supermarketsÂ we predict that brands brave enough to change their ways will be rewarded with growth in brand affinity and sales as people “vote with their wallets”, choosing to buy brands that most closely line with their own values and beliefs.
Talk about technology learning all about us – you can’t get much more intimate than 2017’s rise of biometric technology, which takes data from your spit and blood to unlock useful insights on your health and identity through services like 23andme and Thriva. In our era of mistrust and cynicism, it’s proof that people are still willing to share the most personal of information about themselves if they feel like they are getting something valuable back in return. That’s why we predict that 2018 will be a pivotal year for technology emperor Facebook. There’s a growing feeling that the network’s tendency to foster echo chambers spreads more division than connection and its addictive mechanics are damaging our mental health.Â Zuckerberg has promised that changing this will be his 2018 resolution, but it may be too little too late as close-circle platforms like Whatsapp and Slack rise in popularity. Yahoo, AOL and Nokia all serve as reminders that no tech giant is ever too big to topple — but Facebook’s fortune would directly affect advertisers as it’s targeted, integrated formats are still consistently proving to be efficient for reaching customers online.
Fashion & beauty
Fashion & ethics are becoming increasingly connected and visible, and a big trend to watch. Jigsaw notably highlighted this with their award-winning “heart immigration” campaign that stood up for refugees, high end retailers like Gucci banning fur, and Conde Nast suspending its relationships with Mario Testino & Bruce Weber amid allegations of historic sexual harassment on set. In the world of beauty and fashion, 2018 will be all about taking a strong stance. Consumers want to be able to make ethical choices — and they want what they wear to embody their values systems, as well as helping them to look good.
Leisure & travel
The big trend of 2017 was solo travel, with jetsetters increasingly choosing to explore on their own terms and to their own budget. Last year we at GOOD talked a lot about how modern society increasingly values experiences over ‘stuff’ — and we are spending our disposable income accordingly. For the year ahead, this means that consumers will be prioritising travel companies, destinations and places to stay that offer them something new or different, over luxury. Consumers are seeking out moments of discovery to help us keep learning and growing — we’re getting social status from our experiences rather than our possessions. Similarly, when it comes to our free time at home, experts predict that we will be favouring time-saving over high-quality customer service. Another trend emerging is that it’s all about cocooning at home; whether it’s yoga or watching football, many of our hobbies can now be done in pyjamas, in our own living rooms.
According to Forbes, we are going to see retailers who have previously been reluctant to change their models finally embracing shoppers’ new habits and integrating an omni-channel experience. Now that so much power has shifted into consumers’ hands, heritage brands will need to find ways to compete with emerging, online-led offers that cater far better to our impulsive habits, 24-hour culture and appetite for peer reviews for our decision-making. If you would like to chat to us about any of these trends, or anything else for that matter, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7738 1900.