How to Succeed in 2022? Embrace These Five Mega-Trends

There’s no standard recipe for business success, but trends are a good place to start. We distilled countless data over the course of 2021, culminating in these five mega-trends – each of which featured in 22 for ‘22. Join us on 25th January for a free webinar in which our in-house experts will unpick the trends below, and offer up exclusive insights that didn’t quite make it into the final publication.


 

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STATE OF PLACE

The celebration of place often focuses on authenticity, local pride and storytelling. While consumers appreciate brands that embrace a certain location, they’ll have particular affection for brands that work to make those places better – specifically, more sustainable and equitable.

The combination of constant connectivity, new immersive technologies and remote work will continue to blur horizons. But for many people, everyday life still revolves around a fixed locale, whether that’s a city, a province or a country. Pandemic lockdowns only strengthened calls to improve these localities and make them more livable, community-focused and resilient.

 

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SOLACE AS A SERVICE

The pandemic put digital transformation into overdrive. And while safety fears drove e-commerce and on-demand delivery, the convenience they offer could convert short-term change into a pandemic legacy. While consumers are keen to absolve their (social and eco) guilt, many won’t want to give up on time-saving solutions.

In short: the impending purpose economy is on a collision course with demands for universal convenience, because instant anything often comes at an environmental and social cost. Consumers are growing conflicted, and feeling that tension between purchase and purpose. Your call to action? Soothe their struggle and offer convenience without the culpability.

 

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JOYNING

Endlessly evolving technologies and platforms for digital encounters continue to reshape the way we connect with each other. Still, more and more people around the world feel lonely and isolated. Even before COVID lockdowns, loneliness and social anxiety were on the rise, in part due to an increase in social media use and a decline in offline interactions.

The pandemic exacerbated our digital lifestyles and reset notions about traditional markers of success — a home, a family, a stable job. As consumers navigate an uncertain future, forging meaningful online and IRL connections will become increasingly valuable. So what can your brand offer? Create opportunities for people to foster connections that are genuine, supportive and meaningful.

 

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FREEDONISM

Pre-pandemic consumers faced daily challenges — from climate change and rising income inequality to the peril of terrorism. But COVID-19 was one threat too many, and global anxiety swelled to epic proportions. It’s not all doom and gloom, though — there’s also a growing sentiment to build back better, the desire to uplift society, and a yearning for optimism and pleasure.

If there’s one powerful remedy to combat the feeling of languishing, it’s FUN! Fun can take many forms — a playful new approach to work and education, a challenge that encourages consumers to flex their creative muscles, or a group activity that pushes people out of their comfort zones (in the best way). Help consumers unlock their hedonistic tendencies and trade a state of worry for a state of freedom.

 

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META-PHYSICAL

COVID-19 accelerated digital transformation, with years of progress crammed into months. What was previously awkward, niche, or even unimaginable, suddenly became mind-numbingly normal: Zoom meetings, online conferences and classrooms, digital-only friends, buying groceries online, and yes… working from home, or wherever the laptop is. Although it might feel like we’re already at peak digital, expect completely unforeseen possibilities to emerge.

As physical and digital worlds continue to converge, we’re witnessing the next evolution of the internet. While yesterday’s web was dominated by websites and the social media’s infinite scroll, the next iteration will be defined by virtual worlds, metaverses, and augmented phygital realities. Get ready!


Did someone say ‘free webinar’? Join TrendWatching’s in-house experts for a one-hour masterclass featuring these trends and much more besides. It’s on 25th January at 3pm, Amsterdam time.