We are barely into the year and yet already one of our trends for 2019 has exploded. Thanks to Gillette’s ad, which claims the best a man can get is now being woke to the #metoo era - the outrage dragons are officially out (looking at you Piers Morgan). Social media sentiment analysis shows a predominantly negative online conversation (69%). This is due to a few people raging online about their damaged masculinity and an even smaller number pointing the finger at Gillette for hypocrisy (because it produced this ad while simultaneously contributing to #pinktax with their more expensive and, ironically, literal women’s pink razors) - all the while the vast majority of consumers back out of the conversation. Why? For fear of backlash and in favour of Neo-Civility.
Of course, not every brand will be jumping into the hot waters of gender politics. If you are looking for alternative trends that will kick off over the next 12 months, look no further. Our report is designed to track emerging consumer behaviours for strategic decision making. What is more, this year it received the top score from Forbes. If you want to see how opinion shifts over the year the full report on our site will update with supporting trends and data in real time - because these trends are relevant now - not just in five years.
So what are the top 10 consumer trends for 2019?
1. Neo- Civility
In the woke era knowing what is “safe” or “unsafe” speech and behaviour in any given situation can become a mindfield. It’s not just Gillette getting flack from both sides of the opinion spectrum here. Individuals are not immune either - the indignation sparked by Jesy Nelson of Little Mix dancing to R Kelly is proof of that. What will you dare to say in 2019?
2. Sustainable Me
This is about surviving in style not survival. Consumers adopt a prepper mindset to deal with life no matter what flux awaits - and writing from a pre-Brexit Britain, I can tell you that a lot of flux awaits. Check out the FIRE movement to see how far some consumers will go to attain the lifestyle they desire.
3. Titan Brands
Will Amazon disrupt family law following the Bezos/MacKenzie split? But in all seriousness, is there any category this company can’t rattle? Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, Amazon, Apple, Google - these giants are challenging brands across multiple sectors. More worrying, our research shows that when a customer has multiple services from one company like Amazon, they are much more likely to consider using the brand in categories Amazon hasn’t even sniffed at yet.
4. Light Relief
Are you watching people tidy their homes on Netflix rather than doing the dishes? Whether Marie Kondo can actually inspire more people to use her method is debatable, as consumers ask for the permission to just do nothing.This is a backlash to the culture of constant optimisation and a desire for unproductive (and mind numbing) activity. “Trashy” TV programs become self-care in a society where people just want to relax.
5. Educator Brands
Did you know that in the UK the most searched for “what is?” phrase on Google last year was “what is bitcoin?”. Consumers were seeing this term and hearing their friends talk about rising investments, but they didn’t have the tools or understanding to act on it. We expect more brands to fill this gap with rich content, becoming empowering advisors. This has a significant impact on Mar Comms and the CX consumers expect from brands when they are dealing with something perceived as difficult.
6. All Inclusive
In a similar vein, did you know that the most searched for movie in the US last year was Black Panther? Between the roaring box office success of Black Panther and the continuing debate around Me Too - diversity continues to be top of mind. Even if your brand doesn’t take a strong stance externally, having to close your entire company for racial bias training (starbucks) is less than ideal. Brands can’t ignore the debate. The identities that we will be talking about in 2019 include intersectionality, neurodiversity and citizenship privilege.
7. Prescribed Life
If that all sounds like hard work you might be a fan of this next trend. The Prescribed Life helps you to stay on top. Whether it is the new way to talk about diversity, the must listen to podcast that you have to check out now or the trainers for this season (Veja, Allbirds, what was wrong with Adidas?) the Prescribed Life has your back.Trusted brands will use individual and contextual data to make decisions for us - leaving only the joy of the big reveal.
8. Healthy Habitats
From my outlook it seems that Health trends will never die. At our global conference we showed that nearly every single sector has been influenced by health trends. The latest? The environments we inhabit. Homes, shops, offices and hotels are embedding ambient solutions into their design. Light and air pollution are banished in favour of plants, healthy lighting and biomes.
9. The AI Leap
Google debuted Interpreter Mode at CES 2019 giving hotel front desks a literal AI concierge. As consumer facing AI tech improves, consumers expect AI enabled concierge style service in multiple areas of life. This won’t just show you what is trending - it shows you the best option for you. There is more on how this works for Retail and Hospitality in our report preview.
10. Ancient Rituals
Paleo diets, ancient grains, circadian rhythms...consumers are looking back at a pre-modern or even pre-civilisation age for lifestyle lessons. This doesn’t mean consumers will be anti-tech, quite the opposite in fact as we expect to see technology assist us in our goal to reconnect with nature.
Why these trends for 2019 matter now?
It’s clear that trends are a necessary tool in a brand’s arsenal to innovate and be on top of your game. Shifts in consumer behaviour hold the answer to key strategic questions and we would love to know how you see the 10 trends for 2019 impacting your business and sector in the comments below.
If you want to find out more about the 10 trends for 2019, a preview is available here or the full report is live for Foresight Factory clients.
About the author
Meabh Quoirin is CEO and Co-Owner of Foresight Factory. A bi-lingual and experienced public speaker, Meabh is a key voice on consumer trends and analytics. Named as a ’top voice’ on the LinkedIn Influencer network in 2016, 2017 & 2018, she specialises in helping businesses profit by better understanding consumers.