Welcome to 2016: Look Ahead, where we present 24 emerging consumer and tech trends across Lifestyle, Product and Engagement. These trends will shape the forthcoming commercial landscape, and provide inspiration and reference for innovation in the year ahead.
In this edition we also reflect on last year's trends, examining their veracity and charting their evolution.
So what does 2016 hold for brands and businesses? Throughout our industry forecasts, two messages arise time and again: diversity and wellbeing.
Our new economy is highly diversified. We are witnessing the splintering of demographics and the formation or identification of new tribes. There is growing demand for brands to use better intelligence to create targeted products and services as they reconsider the identity and needs of their audience. Traditional industries, including product design, fashion, beauty and advertising, are fragmenting to suit the requirements of a new consumer who defies conventional categorisation.
Wellbeing is amplified in the digital world as new industries strive to adopt it, duly tapping into a rich area of commercial value. Its role is expanding to touch all areas of our lives – from personally tailored beauty products and ingestibles that utilise biometric data, to intelligent domestic devices that improve our home environments, right through to new rituals and platforms that aid mental wellbeing and mindfulness.
As we kick off the new year, Stylus has several exciting projects and consumer Macro Trends lined up. Having recently expanded our Fashion and Beauty content, we're looking forward to producing in-depth trend reporting on the beauty industry, as well as developing our fashion forecasts and catwalk coverage. We'll also be taking an extensive look at packaging trajectories and the reassessment of future lifestyles in terms of work, technology and new behaviours.
We hope to connect with you personally in the coming months at one of our Innovation Forums or through our regular webinars. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this report. Thank you for your continued support in 2015, and I wish you an inspiring and successful year ahead.
Content & Creative Director
In 2016, we'll be bringing together off-piste insights to create an index of consumer attitudes that unlocks serious commercial opportunities, captured across both our reporting and a new series of thought-provoking infographics.
Balancing futuristic projections with market-ready iterations, expect a wealth of product inspirations that stretch category boundaries and present fresh commercial opportunities.
Athleisure will experience further exponential sales growth in 2016 – the market is expected to be worth $100bn by 2020 (Investopedia.com) – and brands will continue to embrace inclusivity to appeal to a diversified audience with more varied expectations and needs. See Fitspo Tumblr Tribes and Instagangs: Athleisure for more. A new spirit of creativity and community will also emerge – a counterpoint to fashion’s globalisation.
In 2016, we’ll be tracking how key themes – from imperfection to the fragmentation of wellbeing – develop, as well as pinpointing the best strategies to engage consumers.
With customisation and personalisation appearing at the top of the design agenda, new tech tools are striking an integral chord with consumers’ changing needs and desires.
In 2016, we’ll be keeping a close watch on domestic technology, its new visual language, and the challenges around enhanced functionality. We’ll also be tracking the new devices enhancing product and user experiences and building on wellness possibilities in an age of hyper-personalisation.
A key example is Launch – a collaborative enterprise started this year, involving major global brands and innovators including Nasa and Nike. This cross- pollination of industries and commercial collective thinking will produce effective technologies and resourceful solutions to manufacturing issues. This area is definitely one to watch in 2016.
Tracking the essential intersections between consumer culture, retail, media and emerging technology, in 2016 we’ll be reviewing these topics and capturing their successors to reveal the need-to-know routes to brand success.
Brands will now have to think beyond advertising in the digital realm. Marketers need to change how they market, why they market, and who they market to.
2016: Look Ahead Webinar
This webinar looks at our 2016: Look Ahead reporting through the lens of our four innovation platforms: Digital Worlds, Sustainable Futures, Luxury Perspectives, and Fast Consumption.
Stylus is unique in its focus on these four core platforms of research, and by using these platforms as a filter, this webinar offers a valuable alternative perspective to the written reports, and a cross-industry viewpoint that is vital to successful innovation.