Above all the trends we’ve seen evolve & develop over the year, we are most excited by one overarching mega-trend. A trend for progressive change as well as disruption of established models: fluidity.
Fluidity is a state of dynamic, organic change combined with a sense of continuity. A flow from original sources into new movements or directions; from past to present and future, as well as a merging or diverging of streams - whether experiences, ideas or phenomena.
It’s a term that has gained momentum as an expression of‘ non-traditional’ gender identities, but as a concept represents so much more, the general and widespread dissolution of boundaries.
Trends in themselves are fluid by nature. They are rarely isolated; often linking, overlapping and/or influencing each other, emerging a sever-shifting patterns from a web of diverse influences over time. They may beMega, Macro or Micro (Globe Trend Spotter, 2017): Mega trends flow into macro trends; from these branches emerge micro trends. Some fade away (‘fads’),others evolve into new ones. Our report last year highlighted four ‘Macro ’trends: Communitas, The Fourth Wall, Empathy and Symbiosis. This year we study new movements flowing from those branches.
It’s always uncertain to peer into the future, but one certainty is very little will be static; and most aspects of life will beFLUID.
FLUIDITY: The state of dynamic, change combined with a sense of continuity.
DECENTRALISATION: The movement of power and knowledge.
UNAPOLOGETIC: Break free from societal pressures.
REWILDING: The flow between urbanisation and nature.
GEN-1: A fresh outlook on inclusion.
Life is fluid, so in some ways it’s counter-intuitive that our deep need for pattern and apparent order has dominated most of our lives.Now we live in times where dramatic changes in socio-economic, environmental, attitudinal and technological parameters are empowering a new boldness in challenging ‘accepted’ structures wherever they are found. A new fluidity of business models, flexibility in the way spaces are used and a general acceptance of change.
Some mindsets are fluid. People move between them… Other mind sets are more static, such as how we think about managing our money or health. But in times like these, with life forces pushing us in multiple directions simultaneously, even these mindsets become more fluid.
Agneta Björnsjö, Accenture 2022
Is Mekan, TURKEY
A banking space that flows with consumer needs, offering arrange of exciting new facilities and opportunities for social engagement, from community events to workspaces, physical manifestations of online marketplaces to a cafe to catch-up with friends.
Much like Communitas (I-AM 2022) this trend shows consumer appreciation of brands rethinking their place in communities and consumer lives. Decentralisation as a concept is built on the basis of fluid movement between one realm to another, it is the movement of power, knowledge, time and resources. It is the key to flexibility and exploration. Brands are using their tools not only to create agile working models for their internal operations but also as a means to explore new avenues to support their purpose and generate new business, as a playground for new offerings.
The creation of new, decentralised models for ownership and governance have led to some vital seeds of hope and opportunity; opportunities to drive the fundamental pivots needed to create sustainable change.
The GiffGaff community is a place customers can engage with the brand on a deep level. Not only are their problems solved quickly by other members, but they are also encouraged to actively contribute to the brand’s success. This coupled with excellent transparency from the business is a recipe for trust.
Going beyond support and inclusivity, Empathy Trend (I-AM2022), brands must now cater to a loud, unhindered and completely self-accepting, unapologetic consumer. This is the person who wants brands to embrace them as fluid beings of diverse race, gender identification, cultural and social backgrounds. No longer confined to pigeonholes, people expect brands to stand by them as they vocalise matters that are important to them.Understanding this unapologetic stance will enable brands to create deeper bonds with their customers creating a sense of pride, loyalty and feeling heard… As one Tiktoker explained, “peeling off the constraints of society.”
Companies that design for simple but significant interactions across a unified experience continuum, adding the most amount of value with the least amount of interruption, are 26% more likely to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction.
By being real about skin problem and aging, In just a few years Crıstına Fogazzı turned an Internet start-up into a €50 million beauty brand. She is part of a growing movement by beauty brands around the world to offer consumers more realism in their promotions and products.
This trend is a clear evolution of our Symbiosis trend (I-AM2022), that saw consumers demanding a more balanced coexistence with nature. Rewilding is a flow between urbanisation and natural living. It's not leaving a modern life in favour of a rural existence but exploring a balance of the two. People are experiencing disassociation because of their growing separation from nature, their true beings are in search of ways to allow a more nature-led life within their current circumstances. Rewilding spans through actions like restoring forests, seed bombs in small plots of earth in urban spaces or switching from veganism to an “ancestral” animal-based diet.
The ongoing growth in demand for sustainable finance, impact investments, voluntary carbon markets and sustainably sourced commodities provide an exciting glimpse into what a thriving nature-positive economy could look like.
Under, Europe’s first underwater restaurant, was developed inclose collaboration with the owners and marine biologists, resulting in a building where the chef can harvest dinner from the roof.
Last year brands explored Empathy (I-AM 2022) with their consumers, this need for greater inclusivity has morphed into a more egalitarian arena for brands to move into.
Adults of all ages are generally shopping at the same stores, from tweens to grandparents, everyone is catching up with tech trend sand social media. Though there may be generational differences in enjoying the latest trending music or internet meme; consumer focused generational data is losing its power.
Looking at their consumer base from a wider perspective can help brands grow their business not only for the current environment but also create brand loyalty for the evolving customers of the future.
Ageism works against the intergenerational conversation and cooperation we need to address the big problems our society faces today, including the economic policies and conditions that make so many people, regardless of age, feel economically insecure. Each generation possesses skills and knowledge useful to the other.
Mo Depo, CHINA
This retail concept intends to provide customers with a space where they can temporarily forget about daily pressure and troubles, enjoy their hobbies and experience passion and joy.
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