JWT predicts 10 trends for 2013

JWT, the WPP-owned agency network, has released their eighth annual forecast of trends among businesses and consumers for the coming year. 10 Trends for 2013, released Monday, is based on the results of surveys of over 1,000 adults and 100 teens in the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as input from JWT […]

JWT, the WPP-owned agency network, has released their eighth annual forecast of trends among businesses and consumers for the coming year.

10 Trends for 2013, released Monday, is based on the results of surveys of over 1,000 adults and 100 teens in the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as input from JWT planners and researchers from across the globe. JWT also interviewed experts and influencers in the fields of technology, health and wellness, retail, media and academia.

Here are their top 10 predictions for 2013:

Play as a competitive advantage

The prediction
“Adults will increasingly adopt for themselves the revitalized idea that kids should have plenty of unstructured play. In an age when people feel they can’t spare time for pursuits that don’t have specific goals attached, there will be a growing realization that unstructured time begets more imagination, creativity and innovation – all competitive advantages.”

In practice
“Google famously gives its engineers one day a week to work on passion projects not specifically linked to their job descriptions. Gmail and Google News came out of 20% time, validating the idea that letting employees play with ideas and pursue projects just for fun makes business sense.”

The super stress era

The prediction
“While life has always been filled with stressors big and small, these are mounting and multiplying: We’re entering the era of super stress. And…governments, employers and brands alike will need to ramp up efforts to help prevent and reduce it.”

In practice
“For Chinese white-collar workers in megacities such as Beijing and Shanghai, the drive to succeed has led to intense pressure and long working hours in sedentary day jobs. Outdoor brand The North Face created a campaign advocating that people escape – if only for a weekend – to nature. In a humorous manifesto spot, urbanites are encouraged to literally drop everything in their hectic lives and retreat to the great outdoors, taking back their sanity in the process.”

Intelligent objects

The prediction
“Everyday objects are evolving into tech-infused smart devices with augmented functionality. As more ordinary items become interactive, intelligent objects, our interactions with them will get more interesting, enjoyable and useful.”

In practice
“Designed for skiers and snowboarders, Oakley’s new Airwave goggles use GPS sensors, Bluetooth and a display to provide information on the slopes. Skiers can see their speed, location, altitude and distance traveled, and can also read text messages or emails on the screen. The companion app provides 600 maps showing ski-resort trails and includes a ‘buddy’ setting to track friends or family using the Airwave.”

Predictive personalization

The prediction
“As data analysis becomes more cost efficient, the science gets more sophisticated and consumers generate more measurable data than ever, brands will increasingly be able to predict customer behavior, needs or wants – and tailor offers and communications very precisely.”

In practice
“In 2012, The New York Times reported on one way that Target uses 
information gleaned through Big Data: The retailer has identified 25 products that are taken into account to calculate “pregnancy prediction scores,” which can determine whether a woman is pregnant and her due date within a small margin of error. Target then sends coupons timed to specific stages of pregnancy.”

The mobile fingerprint

The prediction
“Our smartphones are evolving to become wallets, keys, health consultants and more. Soon they’ll become de facto fingerprints, our identity all in one place.”

In practice
“In the U.S., Google Wallet launched in 2011 and has forged partnerships with 25 U.S. retailers so far and the major credit card brands; users input credit or debit card details into the app, then pay in stores by tapping their smartphone to a payment terminal. Big players including Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have collaborated to create Isis, an NFC-based alternative that recently launched in two markets and has agreements with major credit card brands and some key banks, including Chase and Capital One. Isis is also a hub for loyalty cards and coupons.”

Sensory explosion

The prediction
“In a digital world, where more of life is virtual and online, we’ll place a premium on sensory stimulation. Marketers will look for more ways to engage the senses – and as they amp up the stimuli, consumers will come to expect ever more potent products and experiences.”

In practice
“Just before the
Summer Olympics, Magnum [ice cream] opened a pop-up store at a London shopping center that included the Infinity Pleasure Pod, a partnership with food artists Bompas and Parr. Visitors to this ‘bio-responsive food installation,’ which looked like a black orb from the outside, were attached to equipment that measured things like skin tension, facial expression, swallowing and heartbeat as they ate a Magnum Infinity bar. This data was used to create a personalized animated representation of the Infinity experience, dubbed a ‘Pleasure Portrait.’”

Everything is retail

The prediction
“Shopping is shifting from an activity that takes place in physical stores or online to a value exchange that can play out in multiple new and novel ways. Since almost anything can be a retail channel, thanks largely to mobile technology, brands must get increasingly creative in where and how they sell their goods.”

In practice
“Mattel and Walmart Canada created a ‘virtual pop-up toy store’ in Toronto’s underground walkway during the 2012 holiday shopping period. The ‘store,’ comprising two walls of 3D images featuring QR codes, ‘aims to revolutionize what it means to window shop,’ said a press release. Similarly, in November 2011, sister retailers Sears and Kmart placed shoppable walls featuring images of toys along with scannable bar codes at spots including malls, airports and movie theaters around the U.S.”

Peer power

The prediction
“As the peer-to-peer marketplace expands in size and scope – moving beyond goods to a wide range of services – it will increasingly upend major industries from hospitality and education to tourism and transportation.”

In practice
“Peer-to-peer lodging companies are challenging traditional hotels by offering a wider variety of accommodations – from a couch to a room to full homes – at generally lower prices. Couchsurfing, initially run as a nonprofit, launched the idea of strangers hosting travelers nearly a decade ago. Today, P2P accommodation services “may be making the market for travel bigger,” says Chris Fralic, a partner at First Round Capital, a venture capital firm that has made multiple bets on peer-powered companies. “[They] may be adding a whole new category that didn’t exist before.””

Going private in public

The prediction
“In an era when living publicly is becoming the default, people are coming up with creative ways to carve out private spaces in their lives. Rather than rejecting today’s ubiquitous social media and sharing tools outright, we’re reaping all the benefits of maintaining a vibrant digital identity while gradually defining and managing a new notion of privacy for the 21st century.”

In practice
“Launched in April 2012, Everyme generated nearly half a million users
in its first month and has raised $3 million-plus in funding. The app uses complex algorithms to automatically segment users’ contacts (family, friends, work colleagues and so on). From there, users select which bits of information they share with each group. Content posted cannot be re-shared on sites like Facebook (but users can post Facebook and Instagram content on Everyme).”

Health & happiness: Hand in hand

The prediction
“Happiness is coming to be seen as a core component of health and wellness, with the rising notion that a happier person is a healthier person – and, in turn, a healthier person is a happier person.”

In practice
“Building off its tagline, ‘It’s amazing what soup can do,’ Campbell’s Soup launched a U.S. campaign in 2011 that shows consumers from varied demographics turning to Campbell’s Soup to get on “the road to happiness.” The soups “fill you with vegetable nutrition, farm-grown ingredients, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight,” says the voiceover in a TV spot. The campaign positions the brand as part of a healthier, and ultimately happier, lifestyle.”

10 Trends for 2013 is available online.

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