JWT Intelligence recently came out with the eighth edition of its annual report, titled JWT Top Trends, which forecasts the key international trends for the coming year.
JWT Top Trends for 2013 reveals that new technology continues to occupy centre stage and soon, everyday objects will become smarter as technology is embedded in them.
The report also focuses on health and examines, in two separate trends, the rising awareness of the impact of stress on overall well-being and how businesses address it.
The chief trends brought out by the report are as follows:
1) Play as a competitive advantage: Adults will increasingly understand that kids should have plenty of unstructured play to balance out the plethora of tech-based activities as it begets more imagination, creativity and innovation.
2) The super stress era: The report signals an entry into the era of super-stress; as stress gets widely recognised as a serious medical concern and rising cost issue, governments, employers and brands alike will need to ramp up efforts to help prevent it.
3) Intelligent objects: Everyday objects are evolving as technology is infused into them and transforming them to smart devices. As ordinary items become interactive and intelligent, objects will become more interesting, enjoyable and useful.
4) Predictive personalisation: As data analysis becomes more cost efficient, the science gets more sophisticated and consumers generate more measurable data than ever. Brands will increasingly be able to predict customer behaviours, needs or wants and tailor precise offers and communications.
5) The mobile fingerprint: Smartphones are evolving to become wallets, keys, health consultants and more. Soon, they'll become de-facto fingerprints and constitute unique identity for individuals.
6) Sensory explosion: Marketers will look for more ways to engage the senses as they magnify the stimuli. Consumers will come to expect ever more potent products and experiences.
7) Everything is retail: Shopping is shifting from an activity that takes place in physical stores or online to a value exchange that can play out in multiple new and novel ways. Since almost anything can be a retail channel, thanks largely to mobile technology, brands must get increasingly creative in where and how they sell their goods.
8) Peer power: As the peer-to-peer marketplace expands in size and scope, moving beyond goods to a wide range of services, it will increasingly upend major industries from hospitality and education to tourism and transportation.
9) Going public in private: In an era when living publicly is becoming the default, people are coming up with creative ways to carve out private spaces in their lives. Rather than rejecting today's ubiquitous social media and sharing tools outright, we're reaping all the benefits of maintaining a vibrant digital identity while gradually defining and managing a new notion of privacy for the 21st century.
10) Health and happiness: hand in hand: Happiness is coming to be seen as a core component of health and wellness, with the rising notion that a happier person is a healthier person and, in turn, a healthier person is a happier person.
The eighth annual report is a result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWT Intelligence throughout the year. For this report, the research department conducted quantitative surveys in the US and the UK using JWT's proprietary online tool, SONAR.
The agency surveyed 1,016 adults aged 18 years and above (519 Americans and 497 Britons) from November 9-12, wherein the data was weighed by age, gender and income.
The annual report includes inputs from nearly 70 JWT planners across more than two dozen markets and interviews with experts and influencers across sectors including technology, health and wellness, retail, media and academia.