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This year, Havas Worldwide offers its forecast for the new year with “10 Trends for 2015.” While two years ago, the report noted the coming rise in “co-” words (co-create, co-parent, copreneur), for 2015, Havas Worldwide is calling out “self-” as the overriding idea.
2 (Brought to you in
Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015, Marsala, chosen because it “enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability.” We could all definitely use that in 2015. Find out why …)
3 1 Self -Everything NOW
• Self- is in the zeitgeist, today’s must-have ingredient in ... ––-confidence, -esteem, -discipline, -respect, –regard ––-doubt, -pity, -compassion, -acceptance, -improvement ––-employment, -publishing, -promotion, -preservation ––-awareness, -knowledge, -tracking Next • Self- (and other language equivalents) will be the anchor • In an uncertain world, self is the one person we can rely on
4 1 Self -Tracking NOW
• Self-tracking used to be for geeks and nerds, but no more • Fitness wearables and data sharing are mainstream • Smartphones track sleep, mood, exercise and more • Apple is making it chic with HealthKit and the upcoming Watch Next • Self-tracking will become a typical healthcare tool, making key data—blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate variability—visible to users and healthcare professionals
5 1 Self -Education and
Self -Improvement NOW • Everyone needs to upskill to avoid replacement by robots • So learning has to become a lifelong process • But formal education is becoming really expensive • Solutions are proliferating—everything from MOOCs to self-help • Mindfulness is the ultimate in self-control, one session at a time Next • Parents, students, governments and corporations will be looking hard at educational value for the money • A decline in internships and growth of paid formal apprenticeship schemes will serve the self-interest of employees and employers
6 1 Self -Policing: We
the Police NOW • Digital technology and social media make police of us all • Smartphones and security cameras capture all behavior • Sharing the evidence is just a link away • Domestic violence, police brutality, animal mistreatment … Next • Digital capture will be the norm, not the exception • Frequent exposure of immoral, illegal, embarrassing or questionable behavior • Storms of public outrage that rise fast and blow over faster
7 1 Self -Everything BUSINESS
AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS Short and medium term • The growing importance of self- means that people are becoming more self-centered, not necessarily more selfish • The yin is self- as the steady reference point in life and the target for marketing (“you’re worth it,” “have it your way) and technology • The yang is people’s need to connect with one another and to mean something to other people • Brands need a deeper understanding of the evolving self in a digital world Longer term • Brands need to help consumers with that yang
8 2 Middle Class Redefined
NOW • The U.S. middle class median household income of $51,107 is $664 below 1989 • The cost of a U.S. college education is up 1,120 percent since 1978 • Healthcare costs are up 601 percent since 1978 • Automation and outsourcing is hitting employment and wages • We’re seeing a relentless push to upskill or trade down for less money Next • The middle class growing globally: up to 3.2 billion in 2020 from 1.8 billion in 2009 • We’ll see a shift in what it means to be middle class
9 BUSINESS AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS
Short and medium term • Higher living costs and stagnant/falling incomes make for limited consumer spending power in developed markets • Lower incomes => more demand for “value” products => corporate cost-cutting => lower employment and incomes • There is a growing “middle class” in emerging markets—but at lower income levels and higher savings rates than developed markets’ middle classes • Many more brands target consumers for middle-class services (e.g., insurance, healthcare) but at a lower per-capita spend Longer term • Emerging-market brands and corporations will be better placed to develop “value” products and services for the global middle class • Growth of accessible luxury 2 Middle Class Redefined
10 3 Internet Upping the
Look-at-Me Ante NOW • The Internet now means anyone can post— and see—anything • Now everyone is competing for attention • What grabs attention influences/shapes the wider culture • It’s not just kittens, quotes and funny clips ––Also porn => sexting, twerking, “breaking the Internet” ––Also violence => beheadings, TV shows, real life Next • Unbearably shocking => horribly fascinating => nasty normal
11 BUSINESS AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS
Short and medium term • A growing temptation for brands to push the envelope and go outrageous to grab attention might be right for some brands • It’s important to distinguish between “look at me” tactics and “value me” strategy • Brands need to learn deeply from “look at me” successes—but remember that they are short-lived and quickly eclipsed Longer term • The challenge will be engaging the attention of generations raised on “Grand Theft Auto” and “Call of Duty” 3 Internet Upping the Look-at-Me Ante
12 4 Bugged About Bugs
NOW • In West Africa, the Ebola outbreak has killed thousands • In the U.S., Ebola caused panic but few deaths • People are primed for drastic action to prevent more • Fears of terrorists or criminals developing killer bugs • Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands routinely die from flu and MRSA Next • Biological infections the main threat in developing countries • Digital infections the main threat in developed countries • Which will cause the first major catastrophe of the 21st century?
13 BUSINESS AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS
Short and medium term • Fear of spectacular killer bugs driven by general sense of anxiety and threat; like fear of terrorism, it’s much higher than the real risk level • The reverse is true for many real risk factors (weight, inactivity, etc.): Concern is lower than the real risk level • Net-net: Consistent consumer misunderstanding of risk drives sentiment • If anxiety is the thing, then maybe business should just go with the flow (e.g., marketing hazmat protection) Longer term • Opportunities for special “anxiety relief” packages to insure against high-impact/low-probability events (pandemic infection, terrorism, shark attack and more) 4 Bugged About Bugs
14 5 Safe Eating: What’s
Left? NOW • Is sugar to blame for the epidemic of obesity and diabetes? • “Sugar” also comes from typical staples, including corn • The case isn’t definitive, but the weight of opinion is building • Growing concerns about intolerance to wheat (gluten), soy, dairy (lactose) • Escalating healthcare budgets Next • Support for taxes on unhealthy food and drinks, à la tobacco • Support for more regulation of the food industry
15 BUSINESS AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS
Short and medium term • Little substantial threat to business; consumers might fuss but will always prefer easy options • The “case” against Big Food is much less clear-cut than the case against tobacco—and even that took decades • Marketers must stay ahead of “latest research says” and changing dietary beliefs • Corporations need to keep products reformulated in the light of emerging health research Longer term • Compromising internal documents will be leaked • Risk of punitive lawsuits from organizations with lots of money at stake 5 Safe Eating: What’s Left?
16 6 Friend/Enemy Confusion NOW
• ISIS is the enemy, and Iran is against them => Iran a friend? • Love technology, but it’s addictive and might be killing jobs • Is online friendship the enemy of face-to-face friendship? • Does security surveillance make us safer or more vulnerable to abuses of power? • Why did the U.S. spy on its close ally Germany? Next • Modern life is complex, and people prefer simplicity • Watch for simple rule-of-thumb responses (X good, Y bad) in everything from food and health to politics • Volatile flip-flops will occur as people cycle through embracing/rejecting/embracing (brands, products, celebrities, politicians …)
17 BUSINESS AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS
Short and medium term • Marketing-savvy consumers are on the alert for untrustworthy behavior from brands, corporations and causes (and politicians) • They are not sentimental about the relationship between them and brands • They know that whatever brands say, business priorities usually trump customer needs (they are frenemies) Longer term • Trust in brands and corporations is likely to decline further in developed countries 6 Friend/Enemy Confusion
18 7 Women Prevail NOW
• Women are taking leadership roles • In politics: Angela Merkel in Germany, with strong contenders Theresa May (U.K.) and Hillary Clinton (U.S.) • In business: Virginia Rometty (IBM), Ursula Burns (Xerox), Meg Whitman (HP), Marissa Mayer (Yahoo!) • In agenda-setting: Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, champion of female education Next • Increasing “denormalization” of casual sexism • Growing activism over domestic violence, sexual crimes, harassment and gender equality
19 BUSINESS AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS
Short and medium term • Increased sensitivity to gender/sex issues isn’t just a passing fad • It’s a deep shift in social attitudes, and marketing must stay ahead of it • Women will get seriously down on brands that don’t take them seriously • Brands that only pay lip service to respecting women will get exposed Longer term • Sexism in brands and business will become as irrelevant as nondigital thinking • We’ll see a rising appetite for new variations on feminine and feminism 7 Women Prevail
20 8 The Call of
What’s Wild NOW • Life is increasingly urban, indoors, digital and virtual, automated, air-conditioned and mediated—in other words, tame • Meanwhile, wildlife is dying off fast • There’s a growing appeal for “rewilding” ecosystems • And reconnecting with “wild” through paleo diet, hiking, barefoot running, pets, adventure trips and large urban parks Next • In the 1960s, baby boomers cut loose and went wild • Faced with climate change, debt and paying for boomers, will millennials also rebel and get wild?
21 BUSINESS AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS
Short and medium term • Yang of adventure and outdoors versus yin of comfort and indoors • Attraction of cities with easy access to nature/wilderness • Growing appeal of back-to-nature products and imagery • Adventure marketing to women is shattering any remaining gender stereotypes Longer term • Thoreau redux with scientific underpinnings • “Rewilding” in food, leisure and healthcare, taking paleo further and deeper—eating insects, treatments with wild microbiota and more 8 The Call of What’s Wild
22 9 Small (Business) Is
the New Big NOW • Small businesses account for 75 percent of U.S. businesses • Most start out home-based; more than half stay that way • Most don’t earn big; the average revenues are $44,000 per year • But they enjoy freedom from commuting and freedom to choose work hours, suppliers and good causes • And there’s more job security than with cost-cutting corporations • There’s the sense that big organizations—corporate or political—don’t work (for regular people) anymore Next • Technology, culture and mindset will drive small-business formation • Growing challenges to big organizations from startups and breakaways
23 BUSINESS AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS
Short and medium term • Growing mistrust of Big Business motives and methods in many countries, including U.S. • Resentment at Big Business “tax sheltering” income while small business pays up Longer term • Watch for consumer preference for small/local business offerings that compete well enough on price and quality 9 Small (Business) Is the New Big
24 10 Home Is Where
Everything Is NOW • Global is now in the palm of everybody’s hand—images, news, interactions from around the world • Less need to travel far to work or to connect with global people, places, things • This has made local more important—flesh-and- blood friends, handymen, community and causes • Now people are seeking the right balance of global and local for their needs Next • As more possessions become digital, less space is needed • Homes becoming smaller and even portable
25 BUSINESS AND MARKETING IMPLICATIONS
Short and medium term • Brands/corporations need to get physically and emotionally closer to consumers—closer to home • Decreasing living space affecting type, size and quantity of products bought • More interest in (trans)portability Longer term • Shift away from owning costly big homes (e.g., McMansions) and possessions (e.g., SUVs) • Shift toward co- or fractional ownership 10 Home Is Where Everything Is
26 ••News stories and social
media updates pour in a deluge of information that’s like drinking from a fire hose. ••We see scary events unfold in real time halfway around the world and feel involved and threatened, yet powerless to do anything. ••Time and distance have become irrelevant, and everything is moving at warp speed, making individuals easily feel overwhelmed and lost. One important strategy: Focusing on what’s small and local (which is both comforting and compelling) is a great way to find—what else, in 2015?—a sense of self. What It All Means