Date:Monday, November 15, 2021
Author:Tessa Mansfield

"We need to find a life strategy that’s both joyful and does no harm to others and does not endanger our future on this planet. I call this ‘sustainable hedonism’."

Orsolya Lelkes, scholar & psychological counsellor.

How will you harness trends intelligence in 2022 – arguably one of the most challenging years yet? Our annual Look Ahead 2022 reports give our members exclusive insight into the 30 cross-industry trends, forecasted by our in-house experts, set to shape the year ahead.

The next year will be about finding a balance between two core themes: Planet-First Pragmatism (respecting nature and culture, normalising diversity and amplifying sustainability), and Pleasure & Positivity (embracing post-pandemic wellness and hedonism).

Here, we highlight three key trends that speak to these themes and reveal the connected behaviours you’ll need to be aware of to adapt your product, brand engagement, and marketing strategies.

Trend 1: Healing Hedonism

As we head into a new year, people are keen to leave negative feelings from the pandemic years well and truly behind them. Expect counteractive positivity, wellness and sensorial pleasures – everything we took for granted in our pre-Covid lives – to be amplified inside and outside of the home with:

  • A delightful shift in décor tastes with fun, playful furniture in bright colours, quirky patterns and irregular shapes
  • A craving for ‘happiness tourism’: creative, nature-led and transcendent travel experiences – think holiday retreats that incorporate theatre, music, dance, and even laughter workshops
  • A return to destination dining to cater to a refreshed appetite for immersive, magical and memorable dining experiences.

Trend 2: Nature Nurture

The isolation endured by people over the past couple of years has resulted in a growing appreciation for nature. We’ll see consumers turn to nature-inspired remedies that help them continue to heal physically and mentally, including:

  • Products and experiences inspired by green environments and natural ingredients, such as fungi and bacteria, and innovative materials that offer resilience and improved defences
  • A continued enthusiasm for gardening and getting outdoors to connect with plants and wildlife – reflected in design with plant-based colours and materials
  • A greener cityscape, with biophilia and biodiversity woven into third spaces, inspired by the suburban locations people escaped to during lockdown.

Trend 3: Empowering Every Body

The consumer call for diversity everywhere will be at its loudest in 2022. This is a chance for brands to unpack what it truly means to be an inclusive business, how to better address the needs of different demographics and how to celebrate under-represented cultures. Get ready to see:

  • Next-gen hearing aids, wearable robots and AI-assisted smart glasses poised to transform the lives of the two billion people worldwide requiring access to at least one assistive technology by 2030, according to the World Health Organization
  • Fashion brands giving diversity, equity and inclusion the attention they need, with collections that feature diverse brands and inclusive representation
  • Businesses making it easier to purchase and use products created by, and for, diverse voices, such as The Phluid Project, a fashion platform that showcases gender-free brands.

To dig deeper into these trends and discover more, download your free bite-size version of the Look Ahead 2022 report here and take your first step towards accelerating your commercial growth and increasing consumer loyalty in 2022.

If you’re already a member, you can access the full report series here.