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FEATURE16 November 2018

The trends leading us into 2019

FMCG Features Leisure & Arts Technology Trends

At the Foresight Factory’s Trending 2019 conference this week, we heard about the shifts taking place that will affect all brand marketers. Jane Bainbridge shares some findings on four of the leading trends.

  1.     Sustainable Me

People want more control of their future and their finances. This is particularly prevalent among millennials and an anti-consumerist streak is starting to build. More than a third ( 35%) of global adults want more control of their finances, rising to 55% among millennials.

Over a half ( 57%) prefer to be independent and not rely on others. In tune with these findings, there’s been a rise of more careful budgeting and the FIRE movement in the US – financially independent, retire early – taking this to a whole other level of lifestyle choices.

Dominic Harrison, director of content at Foresight Factory suggests it might be time for brands to embrace this more ‘prepper’ mentality and offer long-term value and incentives to help people stay on track.

  1.     Attention deficit

Almost three quarters of adults ( 71%) never turn their phones off. And smartphones are changing our interactions completely – 6.3 devices per person; 77 activities per week; 56% follow an influencer; 28% shopping via images.

We’ve reached the point where it’s the mobile phone manufacturers that are offering ways of limiting screen time as seen with the iOS 12’s screen time controls.

  1.     Amazon is all

The factors that drive brand loyalty fall into several categories – functional, financial, CSR, brand charisma, self-fulfilment, service and loyalty. Foresight Factory’s research showed that functional factors were the most important – which benefits titan brands such as Amazon.

Josh McBain, consultancy director, says Amazon’s ability to move into more markets – retail, fashion, health, home, cloud business, as an advertising platform and so on – is driving emotional engagement. “Brands offering super functionality are getting the emotion for free.”

In addition, its own-label products are growing, and users often don’t realise that they are Amazon own-brands. There is a debranded nature to how people use Amazon – often searching by category rather than by brand so Amazon can dictate what brands we see and sell its own as the default on Alexa requests.

Brands can respond to Amazon in several ways – the audience reach Amazon gives SMEs mean for most businesses that size they should embrace the platform. For larger brands that see it as a threat they can look to a partnership model which Coles has done in the US, or they can take it on by promoting the quality and USP of their own big brands, which is more what P&G has done.

  1.     Working at home

Homeworkers – defined as people in full-time work, working at home at least one day per week – are on the rise. In 1999 it was 10%; in 2018 it had risen to 26% and by 2025 it is predicted to reach 30%.

Technology and public transport chaos have helped/forced this method of working to take off. There was a 9.2% decline in season ticket sales last year and it looks as if people have stuck with homeworking after rail disruption has forced them into it.

There are two mindsets among homeworkers – worker and shirker – although shirking isn’t necessarily about being lazy. Rather, it can be about rebalancing employment and leisure and being more fluid in terms of when one is working.