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Class
of
2018
It wasn’t hard to predict that 2017 was going to be a difficult year. We’ve seen
politicians push orders in a way we haven’t seen in recent history. We’ve seen the
beating of the conceptualization of ‘truth’ has taken. Shake-ups caused by Russia
and its IT warriors’ incursion into political campaigns, spreading to this idea of
“fake news”, which all sides have claimed to mutually disqualify one another.
There’s no question, we are living through a period of growing tension. This
shake-up will accompany us into 2018 and will guide many of our decisions.
Hence the need for us to carve out a safe and peaceful space, which could
perhaps be one of the greatest opportunities for brands.
Although circumstances are less than ideal, and there are many crucial decisions
to be made this new year, our hope is that we can restore some optimism about
the future. Let 2018 be a year of big ideas, useful innovations and unmistakable
progress that offer us technological advances. The hope is the way we relate to
one another, the way we connect to one another and the way that we shop are
transformed.
We want to give thanks to the nearly thirty thousand people who read and shared
the 2017 Trends. Many of the subjects touched upon in that report are still valid
and are additional sources of inspiration for the companies and for the brands.
We hope that this report is a useful guide and a valuable summary of our reality
and the opportunities approaching us and the brands in this new year.
Happy 2018 to one and all!
The8from2018
HOW SCARY
IN THE DARK
TAKE CARE
SOCIAL ANONYMITY
PURE LIQUIDITY
DEEP CLEANING
MOVE FREELY
COME OVER HERE
HOW SCARY
We cannot remember when there were so many reasons in the world to be afraid. From terror attacks,
to fears of a global economic crisis, everyone is facing profound uncertainty in 2018. New fears have
been born in part of conspiracy theories and also in part thanks to the natural fear provoked by the
novelty of certain technological advances.
According to a recent CNN study, 70% of
Americans think it likely or somewhat likely that a
terrorist attack will happen in several weeks. This
is the highest percentage recorded since 9/11.
We all hear of what a disaster it would be if North
Korea attacked, as well as any retaliations to
Trump’s decisions regarding the Middle East.
Many expect that as ISIS loses strength, many of
its members may join Al Qaeda. Someone who
could become a new global nightmare is named
Hamza, the son of Osama Bin Laden.
New fears have arisen, like, for example, those
that could have an impact on infrastructure
through attacks carried out by hackers. The
Economist claims it is likely that attacks could be
carried out on critical infrastructure, like public
works. Although many of these attacks would not
ultimately cause direct physical harm to people,
they could further undermine trust, humiliating
governments and damaging economies.
In the sphere of information crimes, we will be
more conscious of the hazards related to use of
our publicly available information. No company or
corporation, large or small, has found itself safe
from the risk of cyberattack. We are afraid to think
about the access hackers can have to our lives,
even our bodies, if they can hack medical devices
like pacemakers. Wired magazine raised the
alarm a few months ago about these dangers.
What would happen, for example, if a medical
device keeping a patient alive in a hospital is
taken over by a hacker, unless a ransom is paid?
Finally, there are those fears related to the
economy. It will be ten years since the 2008
crash, and the fear of a recession is again rising
across the spectrum. We will hear many different
discussions about what mechanisms should be
employed to keep an economic crisis at bay in the
near-term.
The polarity between left and right will be the fuel
of this discussion. The fear is that through poor
political decision-making, other countries will fall
into the precarious circumstances experienced
because of Venezuelan socialism, for example,
and those fears are countered by those who
increasingly mistrust capitalism. For example,
75% of Brits think that now is the time to
nationalize public utilities. These opposing
viewpoints lend credence to the fear held by the
common citizen - that they are caught in the
crossfire.
FOR THE BRANDS…
Last year, we saw brands that crafted semi-political messages, expressing controversial stances on inclusion,
polarization and climate change. With these messages, they had an impact on public and media opinions. It’s not a bad
thing that 2018 will be a continuation of sharing convictions, however those messages should be tinged with hope. This
is a time for brands to offer peace and safety to people. The consumer has no stomach for more controversy or clashes.
Hopeful expectation can start to dispel all of these fears.
REFERENCES
http://bit.ly/fearterrorism
http://bit.ly/terroralqaeda
http://bit.ly/hackinginfrast
http://bit.ly/medicdevicerisk
http://bit.ly/nacionalizbrexit
http://bit.ly/brandscontrov
IN THE DARK
In this “post truth” world, people have developed their own defense mechanism: doubt everything. Nothing
is sufficiently reliable, and no source appears sufficiently serious. There is no politician, journalist, brand,
celebrity or communication channel that is totally credible. When you walk through the world in darkness,
the risk of jumping to conclusions is high.
Doubts about Russian interference in the
American presidential election and other
elections throughout the world have ended up
placing all democratic election processes in
doubt. Previously, except for developing
countries, these elections had been deemed
widely credible. Now people don’t know who to
believe. A study performed by Mintel showed that
shortly after Trump’s election in November of
2016, 61% of Americans took a “wait-and-see”
approach. But by July of 2017, that number had
fallen to 47% so they have become more
pessimistic.
Social networks, which had been gaining the trust
lost by more traditional media sources, will see
their credibility further stretched, and people will
start to question what’s behind their algorithms
and the interests that drive the people who run
them. In particular, Mark Zuckerberg (who is
looking more and more like a political player) will
be scrutinized for the enormous power Facebook
has wielded in the elections and shaping of public
opinion. Books like that written by Siva
Vaidhyanathan, which talks about the damage
Facebook has wrought on democracy, which will
come out in the second half of the year, will only
increase this sense of mistrust.
Politicians will continue to lose credibility. Not
long ago, a study performed by Havas in 37
different countries, found that 69% of citizens
“find it difficult for a ‘clean’ politician (one who
doesn’t cheat or lie) to get elected today. That is
why we see business people, celebrities and
visionaries trying to launch political careers, as
there is clear lack in many places, of charismatic
leaders who are capable of showing a clear path.
This past year we saw traditional celebrities with
a great deal of credibility lose their reputation.
The implacable court of public opinion will also be
around in 2018. What happened with Harvey
Weinstein in the movie industry will happen in
many other industries. We will hear a great deal
about initiatives like AllVoices, an online tool for
reporting sexual harassment. In this desperate
struggle to shine a light into the darkness, many
innocent people may fall. This is part of the
sensation that leads us to think that we live in a
world where any type of clarity is of tremendous
consolation.
FOR THE BRANDS…
It’s been years that we have been discussing the growing importance of crypto-currencies and the impacts they will
have on many aspects of our lives. In 2018, these payment systems will continue to step out of the ‘shadows’ where they
have been. We’ll see cases like Lockchain, a platform for making reservations, paying for hotels and travel using a
decentralized blockchain system. Many brands may attempt to test their innovative capacity and validate these payment
systems that eliminate intermediaries and better adapt to the relationship that consumers have with their money these
days.
REFERENCES
http://bit.ly/minteltrust
http://bit.ly/antisocialmed
http://bit.ly/mindsetsage
http://bit.ly/compallvoices
http://bit.ly/lockchainpayments
TAKE CARE
There is a term that has shown up in countless trend reports and is on the lips of millennials the world over,
including on Google, where it showed up as one of the most recurrent search terms of 2017: Self-care.
Although the outside is increasingly hostile, and full of dangers and there are fewer and fewer places you
can trust, interests and tools for caring for yourself have blossomed like never before.
Humans of 2018 know that their well-being
depends upon themselves. A Nielsen study
reveals that 60% of Americans acknowledge that
one of the key criteria they use to choose the
food they eat involves that food’s ability to
prevent illnesses. There has never been in a time
in history when consumers have had so much
information about their health and well-being,
and so many tools at their disposal to take care
of themselves. According to Facebook’s annual
trends study, the term ‘introspection’ is 48 times
more likely to pop up in conversations, and the
term ‘meditation’ has tripled in the past year.
Personal improvement and the desire to look
within has led us to experience “inner journeys”,
as Trendwatching calls it. We are watching the
discussion about meditation and religion grow,
which are things that can help people take care
of their inner selves. Among the most successful
apps of the year in iOS were Headspace and
Calm, which had significant updates that
increased their popularity.
As part of this personal care, we will see people
drift away from news that causes them anxiety.
Faced with high tension political or social events,
people tend to avoid, hide or eliminate everything
that makes them feel poorly from their social
networks. In fact, an initiative called Positive.
News, a magazine that only publishes positive
and inspirational stories, has grown significantly
among people in many different regions.
Video games and virtual reality will play an
important role in self-care and personal
improvement. Research shows that mobile
games can help aid chronic pain, as well as post-
traumatic stress situations. Of note is the case of
Sea Hero Quest, a virtual reality game which will
be used to collect information on millions of
people, and that will provide research and early
diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s disease and
dementia.
But innovative personal care will not come simply
from traditional technological devices. Clothing
brands with sensorial aids are growing in
popularity, like Fun and Function, which is for
children with special needs and their parents,
who want to provide their children with a calming
experience through their clothing. It’s time to take
good care of ourselves.
FOR THE BRANDS…
For brand managers obsessed with offering speed as the only form of convenience, it’s time to think about the segment
of consumers who have a much slower life pace. Tesco, the British supermarket chain, now offers a “relaxed” checkout
for people who enjoy the shopping experience and who want to do things at their own pace. This idea is in response to a
growing number of consumers who today associate the concept of self-care with avoiding stress and the pressures of
modern life.
REFERENCES
http://bit.ly/freshfoodcons
http://bit.ly/facebooktrends17
http://bit.ly/appsselfcare
http://bit.ly/positivenewsmag
http://bit.ly/ptsdvideogames
http://bit.ly/dementiavideog
http://bit.ly/funandfunctionbrand
http://bit.ly/tescoslowlane
SOCIAL ANONYMITY
Not for one moment do we think we are nearing the end of social networking, but it is undeniable that we are
now entering a phase in which greater anonymity is desired, in contrast to the open and enthusiastic
publications of yore. This will be the year we debate between a desire to stand out and the advantages of living
behind a backdrop. That is not to say that we will pass invisible and unnoticed, because technology will be
capable of identifying and profiling us more than ever.
Although it’s nothing new to talk about detoxing
from social networks, for everyone who feels
overwhelmed by over-sharing or losing so much
time to the fear of missing out, now you can acquire
a ‘digital detox’ kit. This tool promises that in one
week you will regain control of your digital presence
and personal information that many applications,
navigators and networks are storing and ultimately,
using.
In last year’s predictions we noted that people were
gathering much more on direct message platforms
like WhatsApp, instead of public and open
platforms like Twitter. In 2018 this movement is
even more pronounced and we will start to see the
disadvantages of over-sharing in such a dedicated
and public manner. Vice talks about the growing
popularity of Finstagram or Finsta, a second ‘fake’
account on Instagram that some people start and
that is much more authentic, but that only share
with their closest friends.
This idea of being more careful with what we
publish on social platforms also gets at those
platforms dedicated to dating websites where a
user’s photos or information circulate
indiscriminately. In the middle of last year, Bumble
opened a physical space in New York called The
Hive, where people could go to meet potential
dates. Virtual Dating is a reality show on which
daters experiment with virtual personalities to
discover if a relationship would also work in real life.
Becoming more anonymous is also making its way
into the working sphere. Blendoor a is recruiting
application and the process of selecting potential
employees is based solely on their merits. It is
impossible to see the candidate’s gender or even
demographic variables. The goal is to make the
hiring process as neutral as possible.
Last year we noted the boom robots would have as
brand helpers to improve customer service. Bot use
is growing at an exponential rate and they will
continue to be part of our lives in 2018, perhaps
occupying the space our friends have on social
networks. Replika is a bot that learns about our
tastes, moods, values and fashion aspirations that
could be transformed into a perfect reflection of
each one of us, and thus materialize the dream of
those of us who have always wanted an imaginary
friend who understands us and talks with us with
perfect understanding and rapport.
FOR THE BRANDS…
For many companies, an obsession with data has led them to collect as much information as possible about their
consumers. And even though in most cases, they are doing so in compliance with the law, and first obtaining user
consent, 2018 could be the year when consumers began to appreciate and value those brands that are proactive in
being smart about the information they collect. It is possible to generate an emotional closeness and preference in users
if you demonstrate an authentic concern for transparency and use of the data collected.
REFERENCES
http://bit.ly/kitdatdetox
http://bit.ly/finstavice
http://bit.ly/bumblehub
http://bit.ly/virtualrealitydate
http://bit.ly/recruitmentblendoor
http://bit.ly/replikabot
PURE LIQUIDITY
In 2018 we will continue to see the world leaving categories behind. Although this is nothing new, we will
see even more examples of how moving quickly from one side to another will be a part of our daily life.
There will be no commitment because being and not being at the same time is possible. Changing a
decision you had already made will be natural in a world where the ‘liquid’ is more present than ever.
The right to not assume commitments has grown
for years through the ease we have to live
simultaneously in the real world and the virtual
one without having to leave either one behind.
We are, simultaneously, subject and object of
content creation. Perhaps the best example of
this is Mosaic, the HBO mystery series that
starts at the beginning of the year. The viewing
audience will have control over how the murder
investigation unfolds, which is something that up
to this point had been the exclusive purview of
the script writer or director.
The shedding of gender and categories has
much to do with the theory posited in the
recently published, “Mostly Straight”, which talks
about men who define their sexual orientation as
fluid or flexible. Germany is the first developed
nation to create a “neutral” gender for people
who do not feel as though they are definable by
either ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’. In the not so
distant future, this idea of being a ‘flexitarian’ will
be increasingly used by people who wish to do
away with the stereotypical categories of
‘vegetarian’ or ‘carnivore’. Other projects in the
same vein, like Remote Year, show that it is
possible to work and be a tourist at the same
time.
The robot and the human being as two totally
distinct entities is a concept nearing extinction. It
may sound like science fiction, but in 2018, we
are going to hear about brain-computer
interfaces. Facebook is reporting it is working on
a non-invasive device that can scan the brain for
signals and translates that into words written on
a screen. For his part, Elon Musk is working with
Neuralink, described by Wired Magazine as a
“symbiosis with machines in which sensory and
emotional experiences meld in a computer-
mediated reality”.
Today many people recognize that the best way
to get bots to work for the client is for them to be
employed using a combination of artificial
intelligence and human intervention. E-
commerce platform Hero founder Adam Levene
says, “we realize that neither a robot nor a
human alone can manage communications.
Only a magical mix of the two can do it”. This is
the spirit of the liquid world wherein it is
increasingly difficult to tell where the man ends
and the machine begins.
FOR THE BRANDS…
A very revelatory example of the future of transactions is the application Curve, created in the United Kingdom, which
people can use to change what credit card they use to charge a purchase after the transaction has already taken place.
Decisions that up to this point appeared to need a time machine to change them, can now become flexible because
consumers are increasingly accustomed to the fact that everything can be changed, and assuming irreversible
commitments no longer has a place in their lives.
REFERENCES
http://bit.ly/mosaicseries
http://bit.ly/mostlystraightbook
http://bit.ly/remoteyearidea
http://bit.ly/neuralinkmusk
http://bit.ly/curvemodify
DEEP CLEANING
Until a few years ago, saying that someone who has fewer things is happier would sound like a
religious vow of poverty. But in 2018 you can say that and it is actually becoming a very attractive
lifestyle choice. People are increasingly seeing the benefits of having fewer things and we are seeing
something that we have been promising for some time, that experiences are the new wealth.
That moment has arrived to question the true
meaning of the word ‘owner’. After experiencing
several years in the sharing economy, we have
learned that not having a car doesn’t mean
being poor, instead, on the contrary, it implies
great wealth: Not having to worry about
expenses like taxes, maintenance, and
payments like owners do. Not that long ago,
Ikea launched a study in 20 different countries
about home life. The first of their major findings
is that 27% of people think that society is
pressuring them to live a more minimalist
lifestyle, and nearly 50% say the main cause of
their domestic arguments are due to different
feelings about clutter. Perhaps the most
interesting finding of the study is that people
have learned to prioritize, ending up with fewer
belongings, and only those things that they think
are truly valuable.
Walker Smith of Kantar Futures says that there
are four words that perfectly sum up what we
want today: “Live Large. Carry Little” Which is to
say, we want to live to the fullest, without being
burdened by having too many belongings. And
that applies to both people as well as
companies. The clearest case of this last point is
that traditional companies with their own
headquarters are moving into more ‘co-working
spaces’, where in addition to other important
advantages, they feel lighter, more responsive,
and without the burden that involves the
management of property or all of its furniture.
Being an owner won’t look like a burden if it
involves sharing. Of note is an interesting
business model created by Loftium, a company
that offers to provide part of a property’s value in
exchange for the owner to commit a room in
their home to rental through Airbnb and to share
the earnings they make from it.
The cleanliness achieved by everything left over
will not just be physical. We feel like we need
more space to think and more space to learn.
The boom in podcasts as a way of keeping
yourself in the know is joined by the growing
number of e-learning platforms. Today we all
need to ‘unlearn’ so many things to be able to
acquire new knowledge and skills.
FOR THE BRANDS…
Ask yourself if a deep clean will also impact brands and communication. A good example for inspiration is FAB, a
fashion and trends site created and managed by L’Oreal, where the brand’s presence is nearly nonexistent, and where
stories may even serve to benefit competing brands. The same is true of Louis Vuitton’s site, Nowness, which is
dedicated to fashion and art, and where the brand only shows up sporadically in certain content. Is ever-present
branding too invasive? It sounds quite provocative to think that in order to get closer to consumers and earn their trust,
perhaps all you have to do to branding is a ‘deep cleaning’.
REFERENCES
http://bit.ly/Ikeadeclutter
http://bit.ly/livelargecarrylittle
http://bit.ly/coworkingcompanies
http://bit.ly/loftiumsharespace
http://bit.ly/learningpodcasts
http://bit.ly/fabloreal
http://bit.ly/nownesslv
MOVE FREELY
For a few years now, we have been talking about a world without borders. Creating fluid and ‘frictionless’
experiences has been a key intention in business forums and discussions. Business models that offer flat fees
will continue to be around this year to remind us that we have no limits to what we can consume. The
exponential growth of the internet of things will make our movements throughout the world even easier.
The Amazon store where there is no cash
registers and products are charged automatically
to the buyer was news more than a year ago. But
this style of shopping created in Seattle is still
just for Amazon employees. Meanwhile, Walmart
is experimenting with a physical store where
there are no cash registers or lines to pay, just
like HiperCity in India and Taobao, the Chinese
online sales giant. Taobao has opened up cafes
where the user scans their phone upon entry,
they take what they need, and then they get the
receipt on their phone.
Increasingly, we will rely on devices that detect
our needs and do what’s necessary so that
everything happens without our intervention. The
prediction is that by 2025, 64% of consumers will
be interested in self-replacing product services,
like those offered by Amazon.
The launch of the iPhone X in 2017 has put facial
recognition software firmly on the map. This will
be the new key that allows us to move around
the world. In addition to multiple safety features,
brands will make this type of recognition popular,
and will use it to respond to or direct specific
messages to its clients. We will also see fun uses
for this feature, like the bar in the UK that
developed a facial recognition system that allows
it to identify the hipsters, and let them in, and can
leave the rest of the world out.
This frictionless world will also include
continuous purchase relationships with whom up
to this point we have only had sporadic contact.
One of Netflix’s co-founders, Mitch Lowe,
launched a card a few months ago that allows
people to buy monthly subscriptions to movie
theaters. In that same vein, Forward is a
continuous medical subscription service that will
offer preventative healthcare services and
doctor’s visits on a permanent basis.
Technology that allows people to move more
freely will also impact companies where
employees will have it easier to verify their
identity. There is a company in Wisconsin that
has offered to implant chips into their employees’
bodies to eliminate ID badges or passwords to
access computers and services. Two thirds of the
employees agreed to do it without hesitation. It
seems that moving freely is something that we
want increasingly in every sphere of our lives.
FOR THE BRANDS…
Barriers between industries will be increasingly hard to define. McKinsey says that competition will be increasingly
between ecosystems and not between industries, which will make it even harder to establish who are the actual brand
competitors. 2018 will give us a lot to think about in terms of the future of retail and its true usefulness to brands. We’ll
see leading brands redefining their competitive surroundings, and this will in many cases include assuming a direct
transactional relationship with the consumer, casting aside traditional distribution systems.
REFERENCES
http://bit.ly/walmartcashier
http://bit.ly/cashierlesscafe
http://bit.ly/autoreplenamazon
http://bit.ly/facialrecogn
http://bit.ly/moviepasssubscr
http://bit.ly/forwardmedical
http://bit.ly/winsconsinchip
http://bit.ly/ecosystemsmck
COME OVER HERE
This isn’t the first time we are talking about a boom in local things. Nor is it the first time we are seeing
the controversy globalization is causing as a result of an increasingly connected world. Rediscovering
elements of our own cultures is something that will be very present in this new year. Brands will find
opportunities to be inspired by local culture and export that creative energy to all corners of the planet.
In 2018, we’ll hear a lot more about the
importance of local cultures, at a time when
nationalistic tendencies are rising around the
world, and globalization is both a trend and a
counter-trend at the same time. Ray Kurzweil
claims the nation state is becoming irrelevant,
since we are building a global culture with a
financial and legal system that makes it so that
while nations will continue to be powerful, they are
losing strength. The boom in crypto-currencies
appears to be proof that reinforces this theory.
The understanding of and respect for local
cultures is something of increasing importance to
multinational companies. The initiative called
Conflict Kitchen, created in Pittsburgh, develops
pop-up spaces where you can try food from
countries that are in conflict with the United
States. In June of 2017, Starbucks inaugurated
what could be its most controversial site, on a
historically preserved street in Kyoto, Japan. And
yet, respect for traditions, architecture, and
decoration has proved an example for the world of
how to harmoniously blend the local and the
global. In June of last year, Nike announced it was
transforming its entire organizational structure,
shifting from global products to local products
designed in twelve different cities throughout the
world.
Perhaps one of the areas where the discussion is
most vigorous about the value of the global vs. the
local, revolves around content. For 2018, experts
predict total expenses on entertainment and
media across the world will top two billion trillion
dollars, largely driven by the development of
online video platforms. This growth is due to the
ability companies have to broadcast their
exclusive series to every corner of the globe.
However, in regions like Asia and the Middle East,
Netflix and Amazon Prime have realized that
growth depends on the creation of local content.
One of Amazon’s greatest strengths (and it is the
newest heavy hitter in advertising budgets in
2018), is its understanding of consumers and its
ability to reach more places on the planet. This
understanding of local purchasing interests and
trends will allow it to generate data that will be
relevant to advertisers.
FOR THE BRANDS…
While consumers (particularly, millennials) place much more value on local cultural experiences, many brands are still
obsessed with developing messages and experiences that are the same worldwide. The local shouldn’t be seen under
any circumstance as an obstacle to efficiency. Rather, it is an inexhaustible source of ideas and initiatives for brand
growth.
REFERENCES
http://bit.ly/kurzweillnations
http://bit.ly/Netflixmiddleeast
http://bit.ly/conflictkitchenidea
http://bit.ly/starbuckskyoto
http://bit.ly/nikelocal12
http://bit.ly/amazonadvertising
Sources
www.adage.com
www.adweek.com
www.bbc.com
www.businessinsider.com
www.buzzfeed.com 
www.cnbc.com
www.digitaltrends.com 
www.economist.com 
www.emarketer.com
www.entrepreneur.com
www.facebook.com
www.forbes.com 
www.forrester.com 
www.fortune.com 
www.huffingtonpost.com 
www.iconoculture.com
www.independent.co.uk
www.lsnglobal.com 
www.luckie.com 
www.mashable.com
www.mintel.com
www.newsweek.com
www.nielsen.com
www.npr.org 
www.nytimes.com
www.psfk.com 
www.singularityhub.com
www.slate.com
www.sparksandhoney.com 
www.springwise.com 
www.techspot.com 
www.thecoolhunter.net
www.kantarfutures.com
www.techcrunch.com 
www.thememo.com
www.theverge.com
www.time.com 
www.trendcentral.com 
www.trendhunter.com 
www.trendland.com 
www.trendoriginal.com 
www.trendwatching.com
www.vice.com 
www.wired.com
The compilation of trends included here is the result
of capture, filtering and evaluation of many direct
and indirect sources.
Among them worth mentioning:
Vice-President of Strategic Planning at DDB Latina, the
DDB Worldwide division that includes Latin America, Spain
and the US Hispanic market.
He writes regularly for his blog www.juanisaza.com
He lives and works in Miami.
Reports from previous years are available on
www.slideshare.net/juanisaza
This document can be totally or partially reproduced
provided that its source and authorship are adequately
cited.
Design: Pablo Dávila
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juanisazaplanner/
Twitter: @juanisaza / Instagram: @juanisaza

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Trends 2018 Juan Isaza

  • 1.
  • 2. Class of 2018 It wasn’t hard to predict that 2017 was going to be a difficult year. We’ve seen politicians push orders in a way we haven’t seen in recent history. We’ve seen the beating of the conceptualization of ‘truth’ has taken. Shake-ups caused by Russia and its IT warriors’ incursion into political campaigns, spreading to this idea of “fake news”, which all sides have claimed to mutually disqualify one another. There’s no question, we are living through a period of growing tension. This shake-up will accompany us into 2018 and will guide many of our decisions. Hence the need for us to carve out a safe and peaceful space, which could perhaps be one of the greatest opportunities for brands. Although circumstances are less than ideal, and there are many crucial decisions to be made this new year, our hope is that we can restore some optimism about the future. Let 2018 be a year of big ideas, useful innovations and unmistakable progress that offer us technological advances. The hope is the way we relate to one another, the way we connect to one another and the way that we shop are transformed. We want to give thanks to the nearly thirty thousand people who read and shared the 2017 Trends. Many of the subjects touched upon in that report are still valid and are additional sources of inspiration for the companies and for the brands. We hope that this report is a useful guide and a valuable summary of our reality and the opportunities approaching us and the brands in this new year. Happy 2018 to one and all!
  • 3. The8from2018 HOW SCARY IN THE DARK TAKE CARE SOCIAL ANONYMITY PURE LIQUIDITY DEEP CLEANING MOVE FREELY COME OVER HERE
  • 4. HOW SCARY We cannot remember when there were so many reasons in the world to be afraid. From terror attacks, to fears of a global economic crisis, everyone is facing profound uncertainty in 2018. New fears have been born in part of conspiracy theories and also in part thanks to the natural fear provoked by the novelty of certain technological advances. According to a recent CNN study, 70% of Americans think it likely or somewhat likely that a terrorist attack will happen in several weeks. This is the highest percentage recorded since 9/11. We all hear of what a disaster it would be if North Korea attacked, as well as any retaliations to Trump’s decisions regarding the Middle East. Many expect that as ISIS loses strength, many of its members may join Al Qaeda. Someone who could become a new global nightmare is named Hamza, the son of Osama Bin Laden. New fears have arisen, like, for example, those that could have an impact on infrastructure through attacks carried out by hackers. The Economist claims it is likely that attacks could be carried out on critical infrastructure, like public works. Although many of these attacks would not ultimately cause direct physical harm to people, they could further undermine trust, humiliating governments and damaging economies. In the sphere of information crimes, we will be more conscious of the hazards related to use of our publicly available information. No company or corporation, large or small, has found itself safe from the risk of cyberattack. We are afraid to think about the access hackers can have to our lives, even our bodies, if they can hack medical devices like pacemakers. Wired magazine raised the alarm a few months ago about these dangers. What would happen, for example, if a medical device keeping a patient alive in a hospital is taken over by a hacker, unless a ransom is paid? Finally, there are those fears related to the economy. It will be ten years since the 2008 crash, and the fear of a recession is again rising across the spectrum. We will hear many different discussions about what mechanisms should be employed to keep an economic crisis at bay in the near-term. The polarity between left and right will be the fuel of this discussion. The fear is that through poor political decision-making, other countries will fall into the precarious circumstances experienced because of Venezuelan socialism, for example, and those fears are countered by those who increasingly mistrust capitalism. For example, 75% of Brits think that now is the time to nationalize public utilities. These opposing viewpoints lend credence to the fear held by the common citizen - that they are caught in the crossfire. FOR THE BRANDS… Last year, we saw brands that crafted semi-political messages, expressing controversial stances on inclusion, polarization and climate change. With these messages, they had an impact on public and media opinions. It’s not a bad thing that 2018 will be a continuation of sharing convictions, however those messages should be tinged with hope. This is a time for brands to offer peace and safety to people. The consumer has no stomach for more controversy or clashes. Hopeful expectation can start to dispel all of these fears. REFERENCES http://bit.ly/fearterrorism http://bit.ly/terroralqaeda http://bit.ly/hackinginfrast http://bit.ly/medicdevicerisk http://bit.ly/nacionalizbrexit http://bit.ly/brandscontrov
  • 5. IN THE DARK In this “post truth” world, people have developed their own defense mechanism: doubt everything. Nothing is sufficiently reliable, and no source appears sufficiently serious. There is no politician, journalist, brand, celebrity or communication channel that is totally credible. When you walk through the world in darkness, the risk of jumping to conclusions is high. Doubts about Russian interference in the American presidential election and other elections throughout the world have ended up placing all democratic election processes in doubt. Previously, except for developing countries, these elections had been deemed widely credible. Now people don’t know who to believe. A study performed by Mintel showed that shortly after Trump’s election in November of 2016, 61% of Americans took a “wait-and-see” approach. But by July of 2017, that number had fallen to 47% so they have become more pessimistic. Social networks, which had been gaining the trust lost by more traditional media sources, will see their credibility further stretched, and people will start to question what’s behind their algorithms and the interests that drive the people who run them. In particular, Mark Zuckerberg (who is looking more and more like a political player) will be scrutinized for the enormous power Facebook has wielded in the elections and shaping of public opinion. Books like that written by Siva Vaidhyanathan, which talks about the damage Facebook has wrought on democracy, which will come out in the second half of the year, will only increase this sense of mistrust. Politicians will continue to lose credibility. Not long ago, a study performed by Havas in 37 different countries, found that 69% of citizens “find it difficult for a ‘clean’ politician (one who doesn’t cheat or lie) to get elected today. That is why we see business people, celebrities and visionaries trying to launch political careers, as there is clear lack in many places, of charismatic leaders who are capable of showing a clear path. This past year we saw traditional celebrities with a great deal of credibility lose their reputation. The implacable court of public opinion will also be around in 2018. What happened with Harvey Weinstein in the movie industry will happen in many other industries. We will hear a great deal about initiatives like AllVoices, an online tool for reporting sexual harassment. In this desperate struggle to shine a light into the darkness, many innocent people may fall. This is part of the sensation that leads us to think that we live in a world where any type of clarity is of tremendous consolation. FOR THE BRANDS… It’s been years that we have been discussing the growing importance of crypto-currencies and the impacts they will have on many aspects of our lives. In 2018, these payment systems will continue to step out of the ‘shadows’ where they have been. We’ll see cases like Lockchain, a platform for making reservations, paying for hotels and travel using a decentralized blockchain system. Many brands may attempt to test their innovative capacity and validate these payment systems that eliminate intermediaries and better adapt to the relationship that consumers have with their money these days. REFERENCES http://bit.ly/minteltrust http://bit.ly/antisocialmed http://bit.ly/mindsetsage http://bit.ly/compallvoices http://bit.ly/lockchainpayments
  • 6. TAKE CARE There is a term that has shown up in countless trend reports and is on the lips of millennials the world over, including on Google, where it showed up as one of the most recurrent search terms of 2017: Self-care. Although the outside is increasingly hostile, and full of dangers and there are fewer and fewer places you can trust, interests and tools for caring for yourself have blossomed like never before. Humans of 2018 know that their well-being depends upon themselves. A Nielsen study reveals that 60% of Americans acknowledge that one of the key criteria they use to choose the food they eat involves that food’s ability to prevent illnesses. There has never been in a time in history when consumers have had so much information about their health and well-being, and so many tools at their disposal to take care of themselves. According to Facebook’s annual trends study, the term ‘introspection’ is 48 times more likely to pop up in conversations, and the term ‘meditation’ has tripled in the past year. Personal improvement and the desire to look within has led us to experience “inner journeys”, as Trendwatching calls it. We are watching the discussion about meditation and religion grow, which are things that can help people take care of their inner selves. Among the most successful apps of the year in iOS were Headspace and Calm, which had significant updates that increased their popularity. As part of this personal care, we will see people drift away from news that causes them anxiety. Faced with high tension political or social events, people tend to avoid, hide or eliminate everything that makes them feel poorly from their social networks. In fact, an initiative called Positive. News, a magazine that only publishes positive and inspirational stories, has grown significantly among people in many different regions. Video games and virtual reality will play an important role in self-care and personal improvement. Research shows that mobile games can help aid chronic pain, as well as post- traumatic stress situations. Of note is the case of Sea Hero Quest, a virtual reality game which will be used to collect information on millions of people, and that will provide research and early diagnostic tools for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. But innovative personal care will not come simply from traditional technological devices. Clothing brands with sensorial aids are growing in popularity, like Fun and Function, which is for children with special needs and their parents, who want to provide their children with a calming experience through their clothing. It’s time to take good care of ourselves. FOR THE BRANDS… For brand managers obsessed with offering speed as the only form of convenience, it’s time to think about the segment of consumers who have a much slower life pace. Tesco, the British supermarket chain, now offers a “relaxed” checkout for people who enjoy the shopping experience and who want to do things at their own pace. This idea is in response to a growing number of consumers who today associate the concept of self-care with avoiding stress and the pressures of modern life. REFERENCES http://bit.ly/freshfoodcons http://bit.ly/facebooktrends17 http://bit.ly/appsselfcare http://bit.ly/positivenewsmag http://bit.ly/ptsdvideogames http://bit.ly/dementiavideog http://bit.ly/funandfunctionbrand http://bit.ly/tescoslowlane
  • 7. SOCIAL ANONYMITY Not for one moment do we think we are nearing the end of social networking, but it is undeniable that we are now entering a phase in which greater anonymity is desired, in contrast to the open and enthusiastic publications of yore. This will be the year we debate between a desire to stand out and the advantages of living behind a backdrop. That is not to say that we will pass invisible and unnoticed, because technology will be capable of identifying and profiling us more than ever. Although it’s nothing new to talk about detoxing from social networks, for everyone who feels overwhelmed by over-sharing or losing so much time to the fear of missing out, now you can acquire a ‘digital detox’ kit. This tool promises that in one week you will regain control of your digital presence and personal information that many applications, navigators and networks are storing and ultimately, using. In last year’s predictions we noted that people were gathering much more on direct message platforms like WhatsApp, instead of public and open platforms like Twitter. In 2018 this movement is even more pronounced and we will start to see the disadvantages of over-sharing in such a dedicated and public manner. Vice talks about the growing popularity of Finstagram or Finsta, a second ‘fake’ account on Instagram that some people start and that is much more authentic, but that only share with their closest friends. This idea of being more careful with what we publish on social platforms also gets at those platforms dedicated to dating websites where a user’s photos or information circulate indiscriminately. In the middle of last year, Bumble opened a physical space in New York called The Hive, where people could go to meet potential dates. Virtual Dating is a reality show on which daters experiment with virtual personalities to discover if a relationship would also work in real life. Becoming more anonymous is also making its way into the working sphere. Blendoor a is recruiting application and the process of selecting potential employees is based solely on their merits. It is impossible to see the candidate’s gender or even demographic variables. The goal is to make the hiring process as neutral as possible. Last year we noted the boom robots would have as brand helpers to improve customer service. Bot use is growing at an exponential rate and they will continue to be part of our lives in 2018, perhaps occupying the space our friends have on social networks. Replika is a bot that learns about our tastes, moods, values and fashion aspirations that could be transformed into a perfect reflection of each one of us, and thus materialize the dream of those of us who have always wanted an imaginary friend who understands us and talks with us with perfect understanding and rapport. FOR THE BRANDS… For many companies, an obsession with data has led them to collect as much information as possible about their consumers. And even though in most cases, they are doing so in compliance with the law, and first obtaining user consent, 2018 could be the year when consumers began to appreciate and value those brands that are proactive in being smart about the information they collect. It is possible to generate an emotional closeness and preference in users if you demonstrate an authentic concern for transparency and use of the data collected. REFERENCES http://bit.ly/kitdatdetox http://bit.ly/finstavice http://bit.ly/bumblehub http://bit.ly/virtualrealitydate http://bit.ly/recruitmentblendoor http://bit.ly/replikabot
  • 8. PURE LIQUIDITY In 2018 we will continue to see the world leaving categories behind. Although this is nothing new, we will see even more examples of how moving quickly from one side to another will be a part of our daily life. There will be no commitment because being and not being at the same time is possible. Changing a decision you had already made will be natural in a world where the ‘liquid’ is more present than ever. The right to not assume commitments has grown for years through the ease we have to live simultaneously in the real world and the virtual one without having to leave either one behind. We are, simultaneously, subject and object of content creation. Perhaps the best example of this is Mosaic, the HBO mystery series that starts at the beginning of the year. The viewing audience will have control over how the murder investigation unfolds, which is something that up to this point had been the exclusive purview of the script writer or director. The shedding of gender and categories has much to do with the theory posited in the recently published, “Mostly Straight”, which talks about men who define their sexual orientation as fluid or flexible. Germany is the first developed nation to create a “neutral” gender for people who do not feel as though they are definable by either ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’. In the not so distant future, this idea of being a ‘flexitarian’ will be increasingly used by people who wish to do away with the stereotypical categories of ‘vegetarian’ or ‘carnivore’. Other projects in the same vein, like Remote Year, show that it is possible to work and be a tourist at the same time. The robot and the human being as two totally distinct entities is a concept nearing extinction. It may sound like science fiction, but in 2018, we are going to hear about brain-computer interfaces. Facebook is reporting it is working on a non-invasive device that can scan the brain for signals and translates that into words written on a screen. For his part, Elon Musk is working with Neuralink, described by Wired Magazine as a “symbiosis with machines in which sensory and emotional experiences meld in a computer- mediated reality”. Today many people recognize that the best way to get bots to work for the client is for them to be employed using a combination of artificial intelligence and human intervention. E- commerce platform Hero founder Adam Levene says, “we realize that neither a robot nor a human alone can manage communications. Only a magical mix of the two can do it”. This is the spirit of the liquid world wherein it is increasingly difficult to tell where the man ends and the machine begins. FOR THE BRANDS… A very revelatory example of the future of transactions is the application Curve, created in the United Kingdom, which people can use to change what credit card they use to charge a purchase after the transaction has already taken place. Decisions that up to this point appeared to need a time machine to change them, can now become flexible because consumers are increasingly accustomed to the fact that everything can be changed, and assuming irreversible commitments no longer has a place in their lives. REFERENCES http://bit.ly/mosaicseries http://bit.ly/mostlystraightbook http://bit.ly/remoteyearidea http://bit.ly/neuralinkmusk http://bit.ly/curvemodify
  • 9. DEEP CLEANING Until a few years ago, saying that someone who has fewer things is happier would sound like a religious vow of poverty. But in 2018 you can say that and it is actually becoming a very attractive lifestyle choice. People are increasingly seeing the benefits of having fewer things and we are seeing something that we have been promising for some time, that experiences are the new wealth. That moment has arrived to question the true meaning of the word ‘owner’. After experiencing several years in the sharing economy, we have learned that not having a car doesn’t mean being poor, instead, on the contrary, it implies great wealth: Not having to worry about expenses like taxes, maintenance, and payments like owners do. Not that long ago, Ikea launched a study in 20 different countries about home life. The first of their major findings is that 27% of people think that society is pressuring them to live a more minimalist lifestyle, and nearly 50% say the main cause of their domestic arguments are due to different feelings about clutter. Perhaps the most interesting finding of the study is that people have learned to prioritize, ending up with fewer belongings, and only those things that they think are truly valuable. Walker Smith of Kantar Futures says that there are four words that perfectly sum up what we want today: “Live Large. Carry Little” Which is to say, we want to live to the fullest, without being burdened by having too many belongings. And that applies to both people as well as companies. The clearest case of this last point is that traditional companies with their own headquarters are moving into more ‘co-working spaces’, where in addition to other important advantages, they feel lighter, more responsive, and without the burden that involves the management of property or all of its furniture. Being an owner won’t look like a burden if it involves sharing. Of note is an interesting business model created by Loftium, a company that offers to provide part of a property’s value in exchange for the owner to commit a room in their home to rental through Airbnb and to share the earnings they make from it. The cleanliness achieved by everything left over will not just be physical. We feel like we need more space to think and more space to learn. The boom in podcasts as a way of keeping yourself in the know is joined by the growing number of e-learning platforms. Today we all need to ‘unlearn’ so many things to be able to acquire new knowledge and skills. FOR THE BRANDS… Ask yourself if a deep clean will also impact brands and communication. A good example for inspiration is FAB, a fashion and trends site created and managed by L’Oreal, where the brand’s presence is nearly nonexistent, and where stories may even serve to benefit competing brands. The same is true of Louis Vuitton’s site, Nowness, which is dedicated to fashion and art, and where the brand only shows up sporadically in certain content. Is ever-present branding too invasive? It sounds quite provocative to think that in order to get closer to consumers and earn their trust, perhaps all you have to do to branding is a ‘deep cleaning’. REFERENCES http://bit.ly/Ikeadeclutter http://bit.ly/livelargecarrylittle http://bit.ly/coworkingcompanies http://bit.ly/loftiumsharespace http://bit.ly/learningpodcasts http://bit.ly/fabloreal http://bit.ly/nownesslv
  • 10. MOVE FREELY For a few years now, we have been talking about a world without borders. Creating fluid and ‘frictionless’ experiences has been a key intention in business forums and discussions. Business models that offer flat fees will continue to be around this year to remind us that we have no limits to what we can consume. The exponential growth of the internet of things will make our movements throughout the world even easier. The Amazon store where there is no cash registers and products are charged automatically to the buyer was news more than a year ago. But this style of shopping created in Seattle is still just for Amazon employees. Meanwhile, Walmart is experimenting with a physical store where there are no cash registers or lines to pay, just like HiperCity in India and Taobao, the Chinese online sales giant. Taobao has opened up cafes where the user scans their phone upon entry, they take what they need, and then they get the receipt on their phone. Increasingly, we will rely on devices that detect our needs and do what’s necessary so that everything happens without our intervention. The prediction is that by 2025, 64% of consumers will be interested in self-replacing product services, like those offered by Amazon. The launch of the iPhone X in 2017 has put facial recognition software firmly on the map. This will be the new key that allows us to move around the world. In addition to multiple safety features, brands will make this type of recognition popular, and will use it to respond to or direct specific messages to its clients. We will also see fun uses for this feature, like the bar in the UK that developed a facial recognition system that allows it to identify the hipsters, and let them in, and can leave the rest of the world out. This frictionless world will also include continuous purchase relationships with whom up to this point we have only had sporadic contact. One of Netflix’s co-founders, Mitch Lowe, launched a card a few months ago that allows people to buy monthly subscriptions to movie theaters. In that same vein, Forward is a continuous medical subscription service that will offer preventative healthcare services and doctor’s visits on a permanent basis. Technology that allows people to move more freely will also impact companies where employees will have it easier to verify their identity. There is a company in Wisconsin that has offered to implant chips into their employees’ bodies to eliminate ID badges or passwords to access computers and services. Two thirds of the employees agreed to do it without hesitation. It seems that moving freely is something that we want increasingly in every sphere of our lives. FOR THE BRANDS… Barriers between industries will be increasingly hard to define. McKinsey says that competition will be increasingly between ecosystems and not between industries, which will make it even harder to establish who are the actual brand competitors. 2018 will give us a lot to think about in terms of the future of retail and its true usefulness to brands. We’ll see leading brands redefining their competitive surroundings, and this will in many cases include assuming a direct transactional relationship with the consumer, casting aside traditional distribution systems. REFERENCES http://bit.ly/walmartcashier http://bit.ly/cashierlesscafe http://bit.ly/autoreplenamazon http://bit.ly/facialrecogn http://bit.ly/moviepasssubscr http://bit.ly/forwardmedical http://bit.ly/winsconsinchip http://bit.ly/ecosystemsmck
  • 11. COME OVER HERE This isn’t the first time we are talking about a boom in local things. Nor is it the first time we are seeing the controversy globalization is causing as a result of an increasingly connected world. Rediscovering elements of our own cultures is something that will be very present in this new year. Brands will find opportunities to be inspired by local culture and export that creative energy to all corners of the planet. In 2018, we’ll hear a lot more about the importance of local cultures, at a time when nationalistic tendencies are rising around the world, and globalization is both a trend and a counter-trend at the same time. Ray Kurzweil claims the nation state is becoming irrelevant, since we are building a global culture with a financial and legal system that makes it so that while nations will continue to be powerful, they are losing strength. The boom in crypto-currencies appears to be proof that reinforces this theory. The understanding of and respect for local cultures is something of increasing importance to multinational companies. The initiative called Conflict Kitchen, created in Pittsburgh, develops pop-up spaces where you can try food from countries that are in conflict with the United States. In June of 2017, Starbucks inaugurated what could be its most controversial site, on a historically preserved street in Kyoto, Japan. And yet, respect for traditions, architecture, and decoration has proved an example for the world of how to harmoniously blend the local and the global. In June of last year, Nike announced it was transforming its entire organizational structure, shifting from global products to local products designed in twelve different cities throughout the world. Perhaps one of the areas where the discussion is most vigorous about the value of the global vs. the local, revolves around content. For 2018, experts predict total expenses on entertainment and media across the world will top two billion trillion dollars, largely driven by the development of online video platforms. This growth is due to the ability companies have to broadcast their exclusive series to every corner of the globe. However, in regions like Asia and the Middle East, Netflix and Amazon Prime have realized that growth depends on the creation of local content. One of Amazon’s greatest strengths (and it is the newest heavy hitter in advertising budgets in 2018), is its understanding of consumers and its ability to reach more places on the planet. This understanding of local purchasing interests and trends will allow it to generate data that will be relevant to advertisers. FOR THE BRANDS… While consumers (particularly, millennials) place much more value on local cultural experiences, many brands are still obsessed with developing messages and experiences that are the same worldwide. The local shouldn’t be seen under any circumstance as an obstacle to efficiency. Rather, it is an inexhaustible source of ideas and initiatives for brand growth. REFERENCES http://bit.ly/kurzweillnations http://bit.ly/Netflixmiddleeast http://bit.ly/conflictkitchenidea http://bit.ly/starbuckskyoto http://bit.ly/nikelocal12 http://bit.ly/amazonadvertising
  • 12. Sources www.adage.com www.adweek.com www.bbc.com www.businessinsider.com www.buzzfeed.com  www.cnbc.com www.digitaltrends.com  www.economist.com  www.emarketer.com www.entrepreneur.com www.facebook.com www.forbes.com  www.forrester.com  www.fortune.com  www.huffingtonpost.com  www.iconoculture.com www.independent.co.uk www.lsnglobal.com  www.luckie.com  www.mashable.com www.mintel.com www.newsweek.com www.nielsen.com www.npr.org  www.nytimes.com www.psfk.com  www.singularityhub.com www.slate.com www.sparksandhoney.com  www.springwise.com  www.techspot.com  www.thecoolhunter.net www.kantarfutures.com www.techcrunch.com  www.thememo.com www.theverge.com www.time.com  www.trendcentral.com  www.trendhunter.com  www.trendland.com  www.trendoriginal.com  www.trendwatching.com www.vice.com  www.wired.com The compilation of trends included here is the result of capture, filtering and evaluation of many direct and indirect sources. Among them worth mentioning:
  • 13. Vice-President of Strategic Planning at DDB Latina, the DDB Worldwide division that includes Latin America, Spain and the US Hispanic market. He writes regularly for his blog www.juanisaza.com He lives and works in Miami. Reports from previous years are available on www.slideshare.net/juanisaza This document can be totally or partially reproduced provided that its source and authorship are adequately cited. Design: Pablo Dávila Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juanisazaplanner/ Twitter: @juanisaza / Instagram: @juanisaza