JWT’s 2015 trend predictions

From de-teching to one-of-a-kind experiences, ring in the new year with some hot trends from the agency's insights group.

JWT has reached out to its network around the globe to poll folks about the major trends likely to shape the coming year. For the 10th anniversary of this report, the agency looked back on its past predictions to see which ones would still be big in 2015.We asked Lucie Greene, worldwide director of JWT Intelligence and Dean Foerter, VP, integrated marketing and strategy at JWT Canada to weigh in on some of the most interesting trends from this year’s crop.

The mobile device as the hub of everything: While the smartphone is firmly established as the hub for all your computing needs, with wearable technology and internet-connected devices set to explode over the coming years, Greene predicts that the smartphone will become even more integral in the lives of consumers.

De-teching: In Canada, Foerter’s research finds that 87% of millennials we’re losing human qualities by spending so much time with tech, so on the flip side, as technology infiltrates more parts of consumers’ lives, the concept of going on digital diets will take hold.

Predictive personalization: While brands rushed to make communication with consumers as personalized as possible, basing communication on a person’s past purchases or behaviour has its limits. Greene predicts brands will try to introduce some randomness into the mix.

Everything is retail: Now that apps exist that allow people to buy items by simply taking a photo of another person’s outfit, the path to purchase is shorter than ever. That sales counter will soon be a thing of the past.

Retooling for an aging world: Baby boomers have an “ageless” mindset, and are shopping for the same things as their  younger counterparts, such as adventure travel, high-tech gear and designer fashions. Brands will need to rethink everything they think they know about the demo as a result.

Queen trumps king: Forget what you thought you knew about the BRIC nations: women are the emerging consumer market around the world. In Canada, this trend won’t have much of an impact as most brands are already talking to the ladies, but on the job market traditional “female” attributes (empathy, creativity and intuitiveness) will become valued in the business world.

Coorperative consumption: Hotels, taxis and automotive have already been disrupted by the fact that millennials have a different outlook on the sharing economy. Greene says no brand should consider itself immune to that fate.

Going private in public: As privacy becomes even more elusive digitally, consumers will be wary about sharing data and start demanding more for their personal information. In Canada Foerter says only 54% thought tracking data was okay if it made shopping easier.

Food as the new eco-issue: It’s not just going to be about the health benefits of food, but the whole sustainability and ecological impact food has on the world that’ll be a concern over the next year.

Buying the experience: As technology moves us away from the need to own stuff (think CDs or books), consumers are starting to favour “doing” things versus “owning” things. So all brands will have to start delivering amazing experiences to keep consumers’ attention.

Check back next week for a five-day series from JWT Canada to see how these trends will work here in Canada. 

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