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10 Trends for MENA 2015 - J. Walter Thompson MEA

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This report outlines 10 of the most compelling macro trends identified today—trends whose impact will be felt in 2015 and beyond as they continue to unfold, the ones shaping societal mood, behaviors and attitudes. This report explores where these trends stand now and where they’re headed, with insights gleaned from a J. Walter Thompson MEA survey of consumers across six key regional markets and a spectrum of industry experts and innovators.

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10 Trends for MENA 2015 - J. Walter Thompson MEA

  1. 1. 10 TRENDS for MENA 2015 May 2015 J. WALTER THOMPSON MEA BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  2. 2. foreword Dear reader, J. Walter Thompson MEA has always believed in the need to understand change. Not just what’s happening now, but what’s happening next. And also that insight, innovation, ideas and inspiration are more often found by throwing the net wide outside our doors, to different sectors, communities, disciplines and minds. When applied, the combination of all this knowledge can truly elevate work and lead not just to creative solutions, but also shrewdly plotted strategies. That’s why, five years ago, our agency made the pioneering move to set up what we now call Brand Intelligence, with the purpose of interpreting these changes and what they mean for the future. Brand Intelligence is J. Walter Thompson MEA’s trend forecasting, thought leadership and insight platform, and its annual 10 Trends report has become widely known for setting the agenda on trends. This report outlines 10 of the most compelling macro trends identified today—trends whose impact will be felt in 2015 and beyond as they continue to unfold, the ones shaping societal mood, behaviors and attitudes. This report explores where these trends stand now and where they’re headed, with insights gleaned from a J. Walter Thompson MEA survey of consumers across six key regional markets and a spectrum of industry experts and innovators. Never has it been more important to understand change. The world is evolving at a rapid rate. Consumers are changing their behavior and adopting services at breakneck speed, creating real challenges for businesses but also exciting opportunities. It’s our aim to identify the changes that matter, the most impactful ones, and help inspire brands to adapt and create future-ready initiatives. We hope you enjoy. Mennah Ibrahim Head of Brand Intelligence J. Walter Thompson MEA 2BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEAJ W T M E A
  3. 3. inteience 3 executive summary/ methodology In our third annual forecast of MENA trends for the near future, transformative shifts are happening amongArab consumers as a result of hyper-connectivity in this digital age.These better informed consumers are fully aware that the regional turmoil of the past few years has stunted their progression and disrupted their ambitions and hopes for the future, and people are redefiningall of their priorities, perspectives and affiliations, expecting brands to step up with more responsibility than ever before. From empathetic and ethical behavior to the convenience and service they offer to speed of response in our culture of immediacy, brands must make purchases seamless, offer highly personalized services and put more good back into the communities they take from, to win their audiences over.L Leading almost all these trends is the young Millennial Arab.They are early adopters of technology and new services, particularly if they offer extra convenience and long-term social value. Because they are more open to alternative ideas than older cohorts, they are driving the revolution in mobile payments; the rise of the collaborative economy; and the equalization of gender, transforming the way brands must do business. Betterment is the prominent buzzword of the year, as consumers become set on creating long-term social change. These proactive cohorts are taking on the responsibility of reshaping their identities, futures and theArab landscape at large, leveraging crowd-power and technology as the enablers of self-sustainable lifestyles. Perhaps what is changing and challenging brands the most today is the Millennial value system. The ideas of ownership and traditional status markers are giving way to more temporary and experiential purchases—like travel or rent— that offer up a new angle, bring in a fresh perspective, or provide the ingredients for telling a great status story. Raised on good design, the Internet and social media, this generation can decipher disputable elements immediately or discover them online, meaning that brands need to be utterly open and transparent with them. Coupled with all of this, we see smartphones becoming highly embedded in our everyday lives as the portal to the world. It is the connection to our social circles, the channel for shopping and payments, and the enabler of small business growth. It is also the way we document and share our lives.The phone’s ubiquity and convergence with other digital devices is making people more aware of their world and their own behavior, and they now expect their data to provide real-time and better solutions, helping them adjust to the situation at hand. Bookmarking the Millennial cohort, the Middle East’s population is growing older than it’s ever been, with a generation of 50-plus consumers who are set to live longer and more vivaciously than previous generations. Here too, things are changing. This cohort is living with an ageless sensibility. They are influential stakeholders in their communities, and what’s more, they’re wealthy. There will be endless opportunities to engage them with appropriate products and services that bring the possibility of an exciting new stage of life. Methodology This forecast is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by Brand Intelligence MEA throughout the year.L Specifically for this report, we conducted a quantitative survey from 5-19 Jan. 2015 across six key MENA markets, using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. We surveyed a total of 1,661 adults aged 18+ in Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Lebanon. We also received input from JWT planners around our MENA network and interviewed experts and influencers across sectors including media, technology, retail and sociology. J W T M E A BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  4. 4. J W T M E A 4 Benevolent Brands As corporate distrust and contempt levels rise, Arabs are opting for brands and companies that show them empathy, social conscience and generosity—or, simply put—a more virtuous side. Caring Tech The proliferation of data—as consumers obsessively quantify everything from footsteps to dollars spent—is leaving people paralyzed for choice. However, with information architecture becoming all the more sophisticated, brands can now prescribe personally crafted solutions that inform a better, stronger, faster now. Generation B-Old As the Middle East population grows older than it’s ever been, the Arabworld is on the cusp of a demographic transition.Watch for a proliferation of products and services catering to this tenacious demographic as they strive to live independently in a lifestyle landscape that has changed beyond their recognition. Retail Rivalry The crowd economy is gearing up, disrupting retail as we know it. Better-informed shoppers and better tech are allowing small businesses to grow in unexpected ways. As everyone (and everything) becomes a retailer and the channel wars kick in, brands must become increasingly imaginative about where, how and when they sell their goods. Mashing Up Tradition Arab Millennials are ushering in new social norms with an “anything goes” attitude and a new mindset that is open to alternative ideas. People are now mashing up long held traditions with a mix of new flavors, creating their own recipe of what feels right to them. Bil 3arabi We’ve entered an era where Arabic has officially regained its “cool”factor.Newlanguagesystems,wordsandmethodsof communication are emerging, as people hunger for content in their mother tongue; visual and aural denotations of cultural relevance that can only be polished off in Arabic—“Bil 3arabi.” Nifty Naturals Ever more aware of toxic lifestyles, the “worried well”are turning to natural alternatives as they attempt to preserve (or restore) their health, wellness and balance. As consumers look to Mother Naturefor ingredients, remedies and superfoods, brands and retailers must rethink their position and ingredient funnels in the new natural marketplace. Rise of the Incognito Forget FOMO! If there’s anything our increasingly connected world has taught us, it’s that there is an unlimited amount of coolor meaningful things we are not doing. And with this realization—that it’s not really that coolif everyone else is already doing it—a growing segment of people are reclaiming their privacy and shrouding themselves in anonymity, reveling in the curiosity they’re evoking by evading the masses. Everyday Extreme Bogged down by mediocrity in a world where everything feels so déjà vu, people are increasingly walking on the wild sideto jolt the momentum of life. “Risky business”is taking on a positive meaning, as the extremeversion of anything is now widely assumed to be an improvement on the original, motivating more young Arabs to take on experiences of unconventional, daring and even unknown outcomes to put a kickback into everyday life. Buying Betterment G Plagued by a constant battle between their consumerist impulses and moral intents, Arabs are trading in mindless indulgencesfor a more considered approach to living. gravitating toward choices that draw on what’s better for themas opposed to what’s gratifying,and seeking out purchases with less negative impact or with a more sustainable effect on both themselves and their societies. 1 0 T R E N D S F O R M E N A 2 0 1 5 inteience BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  5. 5. 5 J As corporate distrust and contempt levels rise, Arabs are opting for brands and companies that show them empathy, social conscience and generosity—or, simply put—a more virtuous side. Where It’s Headed Consumption today is increasingly being driven from the heart, and consumers are making choices based on their positive impact on themselves and on their societies. After years of one-sided corporate gain, people expect brands to balance out the value exchange with sympathetic solutions that demonstrate an understanding of their goals and most pressing setbacks. Brands that stand to benefit are those that will not only do good in their communities,but also represent good and put good back into the cycle they “take from.” “WE HAVE JUST COME TO TERMS WITH JUST HOW MUCH LLGL PEOPLE ARE LACKING IN TERMS OF BASIC NEEDS AND HOW MUCH OUT THERE NEEDS TO BE FIXED. IF WE ARE TO MOVE OUR COUNTRIES AND THEIR CITIZENS FORWARD, IT’S EVERYONE’S DUTY TO PITCH IN TO FIX THIS—BRANDS INCLUDED.” —TINO WAKED, FOUNDER OF TRAIN FOR AIM“ Where We are benevolent brands01 J W T MEAinteience BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  6. 6. inteience caring tech02 J W T MEA J Theproliferationofdata—asconsumersobsessivelyquantify everythingfromfootstepstodollarsspent—isleavingpeople paralyzedforchoice.However,withinformationarchitecture becomingallthemoresophisticated,brandscannowprescribe personallycraftedsolutionsthatinformabetter,stronger,faster now. Where It’s Headed The convergence of the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence and Big Data is making people more aware of their world and their own behavior.We are moving from the territory of predicative technology that “knows”people to the territory of prescriptive technology that “tells”people, proactively helping them adjust to the situation at hand. Instead of trying to blindly increase penetration and frequency, future brands will understand people’s consumption better and help them optimize their health, wealth and happiness.LLGL “PEOPLE ONLY KNOW WHAT THEY WANT, NOT WHAT THEY NEED, AND CARING TECH SHOUlD BE G PROACTIVE, STEMMING FROM [BRAND] INITIATIVE, GLLGL NOT FROM CONSUMER DEMAND.” —TAREK HADDAD, REGIONAL PLANNING DIRECTOR, JWT LEVANT “ Where We are 6BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  7. 7. 7 J As the Middle East population grows older than it’s ever been, the Arab world is on the cusp of a demographic transition. Watch for a proliferation of products and services catering to this tenacious demographic as they strive to live independently in a lifestyle landscape that has changed beyond their recognition. Where It’s Headed As Boomers seek independent and fulfilling lifestyles, brands can no longer turn a blind eye to this growing segment. There is a huge need for products that not only give Boomer savings much-needed mileage, but also allow them to enter a world of endless and ‘‘ageless’’possibilities, all the while ensuring that these experiences are entertaining, easy to navigate and safe. WHERE WE ARE generation b-old03 J W T MEAinteienceLG “WHAT WE’RE DEALING WITH HERE IS A COHORT OF LLLLLGGGLLLLLLGLGGL OPTIMISTS, WHO STILL WANT TO ADD VAl UE TO THEIR LIVES AND THE LIVES OF OTHERS. TO THEM THAT MEANS GETTING UP OFF THE COUCH AND SEEKING OUT NEW EXPERIENCES FOR THEIR OWN PERSONAL FULFILLMENT OR REALLY PAYING ATTENTION TO PEOPLE AROUND THEM AND FIGURING OUT HOW TO MAKE THEIR LIVES BETTER.” —ROY HADDAD, DIRECTOR, WPP MEA “ BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  8. 8. 8 retail rivalry04 J W T MEAinteience J The crowd economy is gearing up, disrupting retail as we know it. Better-informed shoppers and better tech are allowing small businesses to grow in unexpected ways. As everyone (and everything) becomes a retailer and the channel wars kick in, brands must become increasingly imaginative about where, how and when they sell their goods. WHERE WE ARE Where It’s Headed As mobile devices and unbound connectivity help make everything ‘‘shoppable,’’ the traditional buying cycle becomes a continuous loop of marketing and merchandising—informing, inspiring and helping guide shoppers by way of various touchpoints so they can buy as the need or impulse arises. The aim is to make the process as fast and frictionless as possible. Taking advantage of these new systems only opens up more opportunities to capture consumers and frequently enables new ways to gather data on ROI and shopper behaviors. GGGLLLGGGGLLLGLLGL “WHAT WE’RE GOING TO SEE IS BRANDS MAKING MORE DYNAMIC USE OF ALL THE CHANNELS OUT THERE, BUT IT WON’T JUST BE ABOUT SHIFTING TO TECH, AS BRANDS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO BECOME QUICKER AT PUTTING A FACE OR VOICE IN FRONT OF CONSUMERS TO CLOSE THE LOOP TO PURCHASE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE.” —TAREK HADDAD, REGIONAL PLANNING DIRECTOR, JWT LEVANT “ BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  9. 9. 9 J Arab Millennials are ushering in new social norms with an “anything goes” attitude and a new mindset that is open to alternative ideas. People are now mashing up long held traditions with a mix of new flavors, creating their own recipe of what feels right to them. Where It’s Headed Although traditions have always evolved and adapted to the times, today they’re mutating at an increasingly rapid pace, precisely because life is moving so fast.At times like this, traditions—old and new—become more important than ever, something to hold onto as everything else changes around us. Brands have multiple opportunities to place themselves at the heart of this tradition mashup, guiding consumers down new paths or bringing back the best of the nostalgic past into the present. Where We AreGG “THE TRADITIONS THAT ARE CHANGING THE MOST IN GLGLGG OUR REGION ARE THE ONES THAT ARE HOLDING US BACK AND THE ONES THAT WE CANNOT AFFORD TO KEEP HOLDING ONTO, FOR FEAR OF MISSING OUT ON A BETTER FUTURE.”LL —MARIANNE AZZI, CLINICAL PSYCHIATRIST AND PSYCHOTHERAPIST “ 05 mashing up tradition J W T MEAinteience BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  10. 10. 1 0 bil 3arabi06 J W T MEA 1 0 inteience J We’ve entered an era where Arabic has officially regained its “cool” factor. New language systems, words and methods of communication are emerging, as people hunger for content in their mother tongue; visual and aural denotations of cultural relevance that can only be polished off in Arabic—“Bil 3arabi.” Where We Are Where It’s HeadedG The primacy of Arabic over English is changing how we see and understand both our region and ourselves, with people pushing back against the proliferation of bland, irrelevantArabic content around them. Given the rich new toolset of ways to communicate inArabic, we’re growing accustomed to consuming information that’s dominated by our words, coming to favor‘‘Arabic colloquial’’over the ‘‘traditional,’’ and increasingly, we’re thinking visually; searching for authentic denotations that articulate our emotions by calling upon cultural or nostalgic icons and animations. LLLG “THIS EXPLOSION OF COMPELLING ARABIC CONTENT GGGLLLGLGGGLLLLGLLL GROWING OUT OF THE REGION IS A DIRECT RESUlT OF ACCESSIBILITY—WE NOW KNOW MORE,WE’VE DEVELOPED OUR ARTISTIC TASTE ANDWE KNOW HOW TO GET IT DONE. PEOPLE IN THE REGION ARE BECOMING OPEN TO NEW AND ORIGINAL IDEAS THAT PROBABLYWOUlD HAVE PREVIOUSLY BEEN DISMISSED ORWRITTEN OFF AS NOT BEING CULTURALLY GLG CONFORMING.” —YASMINE HAMDAN, LEBANESE SONGWRITER AND ACADEMY AWARD GLLLLL NOMINEE FOR THE SONG ‘‘HAL,’’ WRITTEN FOR THE SOUNDTRACK OF JIM JARMUSCH’S MOVIE ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE “ BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  11. 11. 1 1 07 J W T MEAinteience Ever more aware of toxic lifestyles, the “worried well” are turning to natural alternatives as they attempt to preserve (or restore) their health, wellness and balance. As consumers look to Mother Nature for ingredients, remedies and superfoods, brands and retailers must rethink their position and ingredient funnels in the new natural marketplace. WHERE WE ARE J Where It’s Headed While we’re not quite ready to go pure paleo, one fact remains: people are shifting their priorities and demanding natural products, with consumers becoming increasingly sophisticated in their expectations. Not only do they want less of the ‘‘bad’’ stuff (and this now includes gluten, lactose, etc.), they also want more of the good. “THERE IS A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY FOR FOOD LLLGLGG MANUFACTURERS AND RETAILERS TO LEAD A HEALTHY MOVEMENT BY PROVIDING THE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES THAT CONSUMERS WANT AND NEED. WHILE DIET FADS COME AND GO OVER TIME, INNOVATIVE, BACK-TO-BASICS FOODS THAT TASTE GOOD, ARE EASY LL LLGGL HAVE STAYING POWER. THE FIRST STEP IS KNOWING WHERE TO PUT YOUR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT GLLL EFFORTS.” —SUSAN DUNN, PRESIDENT, CONSUMER PRODUCTS, NIELSEN L “ BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  12. 12. 1 2 Where It’s Headed Human life is not a database of information, nor is privacy merely an act of keeping information about ourselves concealed from others. Humans have a need to share and be social, yet they also need space to just be. The fact of it is, privacy is similar to a seductive game of ‘‘reveal and conceal’’—if and when people choose to reveal it. Real privacy is about autonomy and exclusivity. Forget FOMO! If there’s anything our increasingly connected world has taught us, it’s that there is an unlimited amount of cool or meaningful things we are not doing. And with this realization—that it’s not really that cool if everyone else is already doing it—a growing segment of people are reclaiming their privacy and shrouding themselves in anonymity, reveling in the curiosity they’re evoking by evading the masses. WHERE WE ARE rise of the incognito08 J W T MEAL “WHEN PEOPLE WANT PRIVACY THERE’S OFTEN THIS GGLLGLLLLGLLLLLGG IDEA THAT, ‘OH, THEY ARE HIDING SOMETHING DIRTY,’ BUT THEY ARE REALLY JUST TRYING TO HOLD ONTO THEMSELVES. JUST LIKE THAT 65-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO IN HIS YOUTH HARBORED THE FANTASY OF BEING A ROCK STAR AND STILL SPENDS HOURS BLISSFULLY PRACTICING HIS GUITAR IN HIS BASEMENT. HE DOESN’T WANT ANYONE TO KNOW, BECAUSE HE DOESN’T WANT GLG ANYONE TO WRECK IT FOR HIM.” —CHRISTENA NIPPERT-ENG, PROFESSOR OF SOCIOLOGY AT THE LLLGGL ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY IN CHICAGO AND AUTHOR OF ISLANDS OF PRIVACY “ inteience BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  13. 13. 1 3 J Bogged down by mediocrity in a world where everything feels so déjà vu, people are increasingly walking on the wild side to jolt the momentum of life. “Risky business” is taking on a positive meaning, as the extreme version of anything is now widely assumed to be an improvement on the original, motivating more young Arabs to take on experiences of unconventional, daring and even unknown outcomes to put a kick back into everyday life. Where It’s Headed As experientialism hits the mainstream, consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Experience is now a given in stores and hospitality spaces, and brands are having to work harder than ever to wow customers, wrapping in the multi-sensorial, theatrics, and even avant-garde art. Not only do consumers want an experience that’s immersive and inspiring, they’re increasingly open to being tested and taken out of their comfort zone, for added bragging rights. The next wave?A growing desire and appreciation for either end of the extreme—dark, minimalistic and even unknown experiences. Where We ARE everyday extreme09 J W T MEAGL “GREATNESS NEVER COMES FROM PEOPlLE WHO GLLGLLLL EAGERLY JUMP INTO BOXES ...IT ALWAYS COMES FROM THOSE WHOSE IDENTITIES ARE CONFUSING, AMBIGUOUS, IN-BETWEEN, A LITTLE SCANDALOUS, UNASHAMEDLY DEVIANT, TANTALIZINGLY ELUSIVE. PEOPLE WHO ARE LESS LIKE POLICEMEN OF THE SELF, AND A LITTLE MORE LIKE ITS OUTLAWS.” —"HOW TO ESCAPE THE AGE OF MEDIOCRITY," UMAIR HAQUELGLLLLLLLLLLL “inteience BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  14. 14. 1 4 JG Plagued by a constant battle between their consumerist impulses and moral intents, Arabs are trading in mindless indulgences for a more considered approach to living. Gravitating toward choices that draw on what’s better for them as opposed to what’s gratifying, and seeking out purchases with less negative impact or with a more sustainable effect on both themselves and their societies. Where It’s HeadedL Long gone are the days of heedless living. Arabs are on a quest for ‘‘betterment’’ through a more conscious and considered approach to living. It’s not that they are focused on living a life without consuming but that they want to keep shopping for things that will make their lives truly better. These consumers will be inclined to apply more meaning to their purchases, to scrutinize labels and quality more carefully and to tune out marketing messages, as they take the time to reassess what is truly betterfor them, thinking harder about the value they’re getting for their money. Where We ARE buying betterment10 J W T MEAinteience BRAND INTELLIGENCE MEA
  15. 15. About J. Walter Thompson J.Walter Thompson, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, has been inventing pioneering ideas for the past 150 years. Headquartered in NewYork, J. Walter Thompson is a true global network with more than 200 offices in over 90 countries, employing nearly 10,000 marketing professionals. J. Walter Thompson consistently ranks among the top agency networks in the world and continues a dominant presence in the industry by staying on the leading edge—from hiring the industry’s first female copywriter to developing award- winning branded content today. For more information, please visit www. jwt.com and follow us @JWT_Worldwide. About Brand Intelligence MEA Brand Intelligence MEA is a center for provocative thinking that focuses on identifying shifts in the global zeitgeist. Its aim is to bring the outside in—to help inspire ideas beyond brand, category and consumer conventions— and to identify emerging opportunities so they can be leveraged for business gain. As a part of JWT, the world’s best-known marketing communications brand, Brand Intelligence MEA has conducted trends research and analysis across categories and geographies for half a decade. For more information, please visit www. jwt.com/mea and follow us @JWTMEA. credits/ contact J W T LLG B R A N D I N T E L L I G E N C E M E A Brand Intelligence MEA Mennah Ibrahim, Head of Brand Intelligence MENA mennah.ibrahim@jwt.com Dana El Hassan, Trends StrategistL JWT SONAR™ Brittany Lewis Contributors Tarek Haddad and Rita Haddad Art Direction & Design Firas Safa and Roger Der Boghossian For more details about this report, please contact: Mennah Ibrahim, Head of Brand Intelligence MEA mennah.ibrahim@jwt.com Philippa Clayre, Head of Corporate Communication philippa.clayre@jwt.com

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