A 2013 Design Direction celebrating African culture, nature and style, featuring progressive collages of ethnic and pop culture elements and organic motifs transformed with digital tools.
Amortals is LS:N Global’s 2013 tribe looking at the rising tide of older men, in particular, who are now consuming atypically of their age demographic. While women have done this for decades, it was remarkable to see older generations of men do this and sat with the thesis of Amortality: The Pleasures and Perils of Living Agelessly, written by Time magazine’s Editor at Large, Catherine Mayer. Mayer argues that in today’s society of great healthcare, prosperity and decline of organised religion, we are increasingly living in a society that thinks agelessly.
The term identified in Catherine Mayer’s 2012 book, Amortality: The Pleasures and Perils of Living Agelessly, which outlined how, in an atmosphere of improved healthcare, prosperity, and dismantling of organised religion, consumers are increasingly starting to live and behave agelessly. This has far-reaching consequences to brands hoping to reach consumers, as it means consumers are also starting to shop in an ageless way.
Identified in 2011, the Anarchonomy Decade identifies how 2010’s atmosphere of political turmoil, riots, and revolution in Egypt, austerity, and protest against tuition fees created a new spirit of rebellion among brands –one that had a lasting impact on how they needed to do business. To meet with this new consumer sentiment, they themselves had to think disruptively, deconstruct their own hierarchies, embrace open culture and hacking, embrace change and seek trends from the ground up, rather than the other way round.
Meet the modern woman. Identified in 2013 by LS:N Global, the Athena is the new iteration of womanhood being forged by a generation of affluent, educated and empowered millennial women. She was named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom, to highlight her educated and empowered status. The name also bears reference to athletics and Olympians (which also fits with Athena’s profile. She is fit, agile, and prioritises sport for herself). It also references the seminal 2013 book The Athena Doctrine: How Women (And The Men Who Think Like Them) Will Rule The Future. Athena is an increasingly powerful group and mindset for brands to address. LS:N Global first looked at the growing economic power of women in its 2013 study Womenomics.
Think Retail+. Augmented retail is about using digital technology, synesthesia, experiential platforms and theatre to augment the retail journey, making it either more transformative or enjoyable, or more seamless, intuitive and connected to retail. Preferably both.
In academic terms, and according to the US Census Bureau, a Baby Boomer is a person who was born during the post-World War II baby boom, between 1946 and 1964. To us, at LS:N Global, the Baby Boomers (sometimes called simply ‘Boomers’) form one of the core consumer demographics to chart and understand, not least because of their numbers – some 76 million were born in the US alone.
Identified in 2010, Betapreneurs, or Beta-Preneurialism, refers to the shift in the entrepreneurial mindset among consumers who, as a result of access to the web, technology and information, were able to embrace a new way of doing business, where being in ‘beta’ and a constant state of evolution was part of the route to success. Betapreneurs are a stage on from the start-up culture originated by the internet generation. They take digital know-how and a spirit of adaptability, exchange, and collaboration, but extend it to non-IT and real world industries, with a daring, risk-friendly, small-scale, networked, highly responsive approach to business. This ethos has had far-reaching consequences for new business and consumer products, but also impacted on how consumers interact with brands, leading to more collaboration between the two.
In a bid to make Big Data seem less scary, some lifestyle brands and digital companies have been working with artists to make objects of beauty and intimate artistic experiences using complex data sets. We call this movement Big Friendly Data.
The convergence between technology and biology in manufacture: think synthetic biology, 3-Printed human cells, BioLace, growable textiles and the process of growing semi-electronic components from genetically programmed roots.
A peer-to-peer, digital, newly constructed currency that launched in 2009 and is now part of a wave of virtual currencies.
Business + leisure = Bleisure. At LS:N Global, we love to collapse words and this is one of our favourites. It refers to the increasingly blurred lines in consumer lives between work and play. Thanks to digital technology, more start-ups and the ability to work remotely, hospitality spaces, cafes, clubs and hotels are having to adapt to enable socialising and work, as consumers now skip freely between the two, both at home and on holiday. Bleisure is also a result of the changing work/life patterns among consumers, as employment moves increasingly towards more project-based and freelance work, meaning that the traditional idea of the working week – and working day, even – are being disrupted. Again, this impacts on leisure spaces and hospitality, as it means traditional work and play timetables are also changing.
Bodies are back. You can’t buy the new status symbol at a store – you’ll have to sweat for it. Today’s model of fitness – identified in 2013’s Body Temples by LS:N Global – is no longer an unattainable physical ideal, it is millions of consumers making small choices, getting together and tweaking everyday routines to wake up healthier tomorrow. Body Temples refers to a shift in the consumer’s mindset, where fit has become another core definer of personal success (equal to career accolades), a social pursuit (over bars and clubs), something you do for yourself (not to attract others) and something that consumers are increasingly making central to their lifestyles as they become aware of their extended life expectancy and the need to stay healthy for longer.
Brand + Vandalism = Brandalism. Brand vandalism was first identified in LS:N Global’s 2012 Symbiotic Branding macro trend. Symbiotic Branding was about a new, lean approach to branding, with companies working in collaboration and symbiosis to succeed in the tough economic climate. It also talked about a new, creative, thrifty and destructive approach to marketing, which sometimes meant vandalising another brand’s advert to get publicity: a soap brand aping a rival soap brand’s advert in a mocking way to generate internet buzz. Or a brand crashing a rival’s product launch or offer by openly offering a rival.
Also from 2012’s Symbiotic Branding, Brand-jacking is exactly what it sounds like: Brand + Hijacking. In this trend, which looked at new, lean ways that creative brands were either collaborating, or piggy-backing on rivals to succeed, LS:N Global found that some small brands were hijacking the logos and names of more established brands to increase their influence. Often using the same visual cues and names, brand-jackers are exploiting the connotations that consumers associate with famous manufacturers and products. Some people are doing this legitimately; other brands are now ironically aping the trend. Consider Brian Lichtenberg’s sweaters featuring Homiés (in Hermès-style branding) and Féline (in Céline-style branding), or Versace’s 2013 collaboration with rapper M.I.A aping bootleg style.
Brandstanding is a notion that has emerged in recent years, as brands have had to go beyond simply offering product to entice consumers and ensure loyalty. They need to stand for something bigger, they have to have a political or ethical viewpoint, they have to contribute to greater society and they have to give something back. In so doing, they take on an almost peer-like role in consumer lives.
Brands + democracies = Brandtocracies. Brands work from the consumer outwards, inviting them to input and dictate key decisions in their planning, product and marketing in a new, democratic way, rather than dictating it.
Generation C does not refer to a demographic, rather a rising psychographic among consumers of all ages and background. It’s a mindset of collaboration, leading to what we call Collaborative Commerce of Co-Commerce. The rise of mobiles and tablets has ushered in a new consumer – known as Generation C – who is collaborative, creative, conversational and critical. They also consume collaboratively, using commerce platforms such as Airbnb and Zipcar.
The future is cashless. Who needs chunky coins and notes in your wallet, when contactless payments, facial and iris recognition payments and thumb print payments are essentially making the human form your financial ID. Meanwhile, the idea of the shopping till is being disrupted by innovative retailers creating friction-free payments, either by allowing payment on iPads in store (often held remotely by sales assistants), or with location-sensitive devices such as PayPal’s 2013 Beacon, which uses Bluetooth technology to allow customers to pay from their mobile phone simply by ‘checking in’ to stores.
Smart brands are feeding on the aesthetics of their local areas and opportunistically adopting design cues to attract new customers. Site-specific stores are departing from regular brand identities to connect with their environment, creating a greater sense of connection to the local area, while making their brand seem less homogenous.
Consumers are increasingly living their lives in a mobile-first way, using phones to shop, interact, socialise, share and search for content. Smart brands have embraced this, making use of the location-sensitive properties of mobile phones to allow consumers to ‘check in’ to spaces, not only allowing them to share their location with friends, but also to track their movement round stores, target them with offers and deals, or help them with extra service based on their previous searches online. Check-in Culture also refers to the behaviour among consumers to share and diarise experiences, locations they visit and their day-to-day lives via social networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Google+ in ever more minute detail.
Closed Loop refers to spaces, houses, or businesses that are entirely self-sufficient and self-sustaining, producing the energy themselves and re-using waste in a 360-degree continuous loop. Silo by Joost is a good example of a closed-loop restaurant.
Sometimes known as Co-Commerce, this refers to a new spirit of collaboration among consumers who are not only consuming collaboratively (see new sharing platforms Airbnb and Zipcar) but who also expect to collaborate with brands. The shift has been driven in part by platform shifts. The rise of mobiles and tablets has ushered in a new consumer known as Generation C, who is collaborative, creative, conversational and critical. These consumers expect brands to be less hierarchical and more heterarchical; less competitive and more collaborative; less corporate and more cultural. These changes have, in some instances,‘gamified’ consumer thinking, making it more experiential, immersive and, in the words of Charles Leadbeater, have created a world in which ‘the audience is taking to the stage’.
Connoisseur Culture is a trend LS:N Global has mapped for some time – it is an integral part of the HYPERLINK "http://www.lsnglobal.com/trends/view/153"Menaissance macro trend presented in Autumn 2007, as consumers have become more interested in branding themselves by becoming experts in once-forgotten rituals, behaviours and products.
Identified in 2010 by LS:N Global, Conviviality Culture refers to a shift in mindset among consumers in response to the rise of internet culture, where experiencing live events, concerts, pop-up dining clubs, theatre-meets-cinema performance groups, salons and participatory art took on a new specialness in their mind, and became a key social pursuit. In many ways it could be seen as the beginning of the Experience Economy – the term given to consumers increasingly prioritising experience over purchasing ‘stuff’.
Smart brands are taking a new stance on capitalism. Instead of competing, they are celebrating common purposes and turning competition into collaboration for mutual gain.
Following the wave of curating social networks, such as Pinterest and Tumblr, a wave of hybrid retail sites, such as Lyst, Style Owner, Shopstyle, and Nuji have connected this behaviour with retail. Meet Curator Commerce. These connect taste curating and sharing of product wish lists with retail channels, either by simply enabling people to shop wish lists, or offering rewards to members to drive purchases with their recommendations.
Generation Ds are the first true ‘digital natives’. Born between 1995 and 2002, Generation Ds cannot remember a world without the internet. Dependent on the definition, they spill in to the young half of the millennial category. They have also been called Generation Z. Academic Marc Prensky defines them as those for whom the use of technology is an inherent, not a learned, part of life. And there are lots of them: according to Euromonitor International, the world population of 5-14 year olds was 1.2bn in 2009, so we can assume there are around 1bn Generation Ds.
A creative mela, or festival, is taking off in New Delhi’s Hauz Khas Village. Alternative designers, fashionistas and foodies are putting their own spin on old traditions and reviving forgotten rituals, as they carve out their own niche in the Indian capital. Meet the Delhi Revivalists, first charted by LS:N Global in 2012.
Dual Income No Kids: DINKs refers to a group described in 2013’s Athena macro trend, which charted the rising phenomenon of couples (and singles – they’re SINKs) actively choosing not to become parents for the added lifestyle benefits this affords.
First coined in 2009 by LS:N Global, and later part of LS:N Global’s 2012 New Sublimity macro trend, Dreamtelligence refers to the use of dreaming to innovate, contemplate and advance your mind. As they appreciate the value of quietness and mindfulness, savvy consumers and brands are realising the power of daydreaming in boosting creativity and innovation.
As consumers have more opportunities to avoid advertising, brands are reinventing product placement, enriching media content by embedding their brands rather than simply placing their products in any given context. Embedded Marketing, 2009: LS:N Global.
The balance of power in the luxury world is shifting towards BRIC and emerging markets, not only in terms of the centre of gravity, but also by generation. On average, 50% of emerging market populations are under 30 years of age, meaning that the average age of the luxury consumer is millennial. Hence, the term Emerging Luxury Millennial. This group has a unique outlook on luxury, and shopping for luxury. We profiled them in our 2012 tribe “Emerging Luxury Millennials” (https://www.lsnglobal.com/insight/tribes/view/5114).
Identified by LS:N Global in 2013, Eruptia charts how designers are relinquishing control over the final look of their work by adopting experimental production processes that result in a broken, cracked and distressed aesthetic.
Forget Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Burberry, who have spent the past few years planting a forest of store flags in emerging market capital cities. The next wave of luxury brands are coming from the emerging markets themselves, and are bringing their stores and brands to London, New York, Paris and beyond. We call them Expansionist brands (see Shang Xia, Bosideng and Qeelin from China alone).
The Experience Economy was first identified in an article in 1998 by B. Joseph Pine II and James H. Gilmore, forecasting that after the agrarian, industrial, and service economy would be Experience. Now, as consumers get tired and overwhelmed by too much ‘stuff’, the Experience economy is becoming more widely used. In luxury, in 2012, the fastest-growing sectors is experiences from food to spas. Travel has also continued to grow, despite tough economic conditions since the 2008 economic crisis. In 2013, LS:N Global’s former editor, James Wallman, also launched the book Stuffocation, referring to the fact that experience was trumping physical things. But also that the idea of what product was shifting to something ephemeral, as CD collections became invisible digital files, and photographs were stored in clouds.
Fact + Fiction = Faction. Faction Marketing was a macro trend released by LS:N Global in 2012. It refers to how, after several years of authenticity and of earnest transparency being the watchword among brands, consumers had started to become desenistised to truth. Fatigued by recession and austerity, they also sought something more exciting, transformative, fantastical and compelling. This is where Faction Marketing came in (https://www.lsnglobal.com/trends/view/6202): a new style of marketing that played with the idea of fact and fiction by blending them in playful narratives. Brands created characters, but used them as inspiration for real stores, and real platforms. They reinvented the novel and encouraged consumers to join in the storytelling.
Identified by LS:N Global in 2008, The Female Web refers to a shift in digital platforms, social media, blogging and retail to target female users – following research at the time that showed women spent more time online than men. Emerging platforms included in the trend are Referral Sites (the dawn of Pinterest), Chief Household Officers (communities of women recommending purchases to each other), and Female Bloggers.
Femclusivity was coined as part of 2013’s Athena Women study, looking at the new definition of womanhood for millennial women. It refers to the growing power of women as a market worthy of independent attention, particularly in luxury sectors. As a result, a spate of brands introduced female-focused spaces, clubs and restaurants.
Femme Tech, a Design Direction launched in 2013, identified how, in order to connect with today’s tech-savvy female consumers, technology designers are creating gadgets which are also elegant objects that blend in with the user’s environment.
2009’s macro trend The Fifth Scenario referred to the wild wave of futurist innovation, creativity and speculation among technologists, designers and planners, in response to seismic shifts in the global balance of power, environmental change and the rapid rise of our digital lives.
Fly-and-Flop is a term given to a style, or motivation for holiday choice among consumers. It is what it is: you fly, and you flop when you get there. Or you search for ‘Fly-and-Flop’ holidays.
Fear of Missing Out: FOMO is a behaviour that has risen with the explosion of social networks such as Facebook and Instagram, which encourage consumers to share aspirational pictures of their lifestyle, creating a curated, idealized vision of their existence. Through these networks, consumers are, for the first time, able to see first-hand, in real time, what their peers are doing, which has the knock-on effect of creating anxiety about not achieving the same status or highs.
Fratrasexual is a consumer typology, identified in the accompanying Tribe study for LS:N Global’s 2009 Menaissance macro trend. Fratrasexuals are enthusiasts and experts – even verging on geeky sometimes. They have a defining interest, and cultivate an in-depth knowledge in their chosen field, whether it is music, design or cookery. Authenticity, enlightenment, sustainability/transparency and wellbeing were also key priorities for this consumer.
Freesumerism was a macro trend identified in 2009, and refers to the disruption of cost, value and price during the recession. It was driven by declining retail prices but also the rise of the internet, which encouraged music labels and content providers to offer everything for free. A spate of new business models and platforms reconsidered how to charge for things, services and trade, meanwhile consuming moved beyond paying for things to exchanging information or being receptive to targeted ads.
Future + Mothers = Fu-Mos. Fu-Mos are part of LS:N Global’s 2013 Athena study tribe, looking at the future of womanhood. They are a growing typology of women seeking to take control of their lives and reproductive cycle, by using technology and egg-freezing to delay motherhood until they’re ready.
Futuretainment is The Future of Entertainment. In 2013, our US correspondent, Shepherd Laughlin, dove deep into the latest emerging trends in entertainment, from literary computer games, to converged retail and entertainment models, to fan-driven narratives.
Galactica is a Design Direction identified by LS:N Global as part of 2013’s Re-Enlightenment Rising trend, charting a renewed interest in arts, pop culture and discourse in scientific innovation. The Design Direction showcased a resurgence of curiosity about the substance of space and the solar system, and how that was crossing into food design, where practitioners were creating galactically inspired food art, outlets and gastronomy.
Gamificiation refers to the application of gaming type processes (competition, puzzle solving, engagement, interactivity) to something.
You type, they swipe. You click, they tap. You customise the template, they code their own. Born after 2002, today’s digital natives are demanding experiences that are richer, more immediate, interactive and, above all, intuitive than ever before. We call them Generation I, the younger brothers of Generation D and older millennials, who have grown up accustomed to highly advanced technology. This generation, charted in 2013, has created a new set of expectations for brands to understand. They demand intuitive, interactive, seamless technology in stores and at home, and are increasingly interested in deconstructing technology for sport. Generation I are also driving a shift in gender: both sexes are interested in technology, prompting new toys to launch that move beyond stereotypical dolls and trucks.
Identified during Milan Design Week in 2012, Geo Luxe refers to the increasingly artful, high-low use of materials – from concrete and rubber to gold and brass – among avant-garde designs, influencing luxury product and interior design. The trend was also seen at Maison et Object 2013, Milan Design Week 2013, and Stockholm Furniture Fair 2013.
LS:N Global charted the Return of the GIF as part of its 2012 macro trend Netstalgia, which identified a rising wave of nostalgia for the early days of the web among millennial consumers at the time.
Hack + activism = Hacktivism. Identified as part of 2011’s Anarconomy Decade trend, Hacktivism refers to the growing practice and impulse to hack among consumers. In a world of open-sourcing and free information, people are routinely modifying and hacking branded goods to create even better products. In the Anarconomy Decade, hackers are the new innovators.
Haptic Illusion is a Design Direction identified by LS:N Global in 2013. It refers to a new emerging aesthetic, driven by a group of designers who aimed to engage and astonish the consumer using surfaces and spaces inspired by the visual tricks of trompe-l’oeil.
Hijabistas is a micro-tribe, relating to 2013’s Athena woman study. It charts a new wave of hip, international, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy, Muslim young women, moving outside the traditional vision of Islamic culture through three in-depth case studies. Hijabistas are part of a wider shift occurring in global pop culture and fashion media, in which modern, new images of Islamic women in sport, cartoons, and music videos are becoming more commonplace and celebrated.
Home + Indulgence = Homedulgence. Homedulgence is a term given to consumers seeking to treat themselves in tough economic times, invest in premium-quality prepared food, higher priced wines, and organic produce to enjoy at home.
Identified as part of the Future Family study – LS:N Global’s 2012 report on how new social and technology trends were affecting the home and the way we live. The Homespital refers to the rising use of technology by consumers to monitor their health, medication and wellbeing, using devices and wearable tech. It also sits with what we have called The Personal Information Economy, a shift among consumer behaviour towards self-regulation and monitoring, and realising that personal data can even be used as a commodity to trade with brands.
As technology and screen-based interaction pervade our lives, designers are creating new products for the home that appeal to our heightened interest in tactile and sensorial stimuli. We call this Hypersensoria.
Infosthetics refers to the process of translating data sets and complex digital information into easy-to-understand formats, using simplified graphics, creative new aesthetics, and visual languages. It originated in 2010, when swathes of data, cloud computing and digital life were expanding rapidly. This new visual approach made data seem more intelligible and accessible.
Looking after your health used to mean sporadic trips to the doctor, then taking medicine if you became ill. Now a more sophisticated approach to wellness is emerging, and healthcare is coming home. Identified as part of LS:N Global’s 2012 Future Family macro trend, InPatients is a tribe of new consumers using technology to monitor and medicate from their homes. These new practices altered lifestyle choices as InPatients gathered a holistic, informed and running knowledge of their health.
The Internet of Things was identified in 2009 by Kevin Ashton, and describes how over the coming decade, more and more inanimate, day-to-day and unexpected objects will be connected to the internet. According to Gartner research, 26 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. This creates big opportunities for companies to monitor and analyse data generated by consumers interacting with connected objects.
Faced with mega-choice in 2011, LS:N Global noted a new development. Consumers started seeking nega-choice. Presented with confusion, they looked for simplicity. Faced with myriad brands competing for attention, they sought products and services that met their needs quietly, efficiently and simply. We call this Intuitive Futures. Increasingly, consumer lives have since been streamlined by cognitive fluency planning, by brands, buildings, products and services that intuitively flow around our wants and needs.
Generation Jonsers were identified by TV producer and editor Jonathan Pontell. Born between 1954 and 1965, they are the children of the bust-and-boom Thatcher and Reagan years, neatly between Generation X and the Baby Boomers. At the top of their career game, wealthy, youthful and adventurous, Generation Jonesers see themselves as committed and competitive, but are also slightly conservative in their beliefs. They’re increasingly redefining what it means to be a 50-something. Think Barack Obama, Johnny Depp and Julianne Moore as poster boys and girls.
Jugaad Innovation refers to the seminal 2012 book by Jaideep Prabhu, professor of Indian business and enterprise at the Cambridge Judge Business School, who pointed to a new, lean approach to innovation. Jugaad, a Hindi term, translates as ‘an improvised solution created from ingenuity and cleverness’. Prabhu argued that the thrifty, creative approach being applied in markets such as India and Africa to building cheap innovative solutions could inspire research and development in established markets.
The Just Nots were a tribe, trend, and mentality identified in the 2011, as austerity fatigue was in full throttle. It referred to how, with new economic pressures, many consumers blighted by recession were ‘just not’ making it. From the UK, to the US, to Europe, many – with increased prices of living in cities but with squeezed incomes – were making new, tough choices and changing their views of brands, yet taking their middle-class aspirations and expectations with them. Their numbers made them powerful, and drove a change in lifestyle brands hoping to reach them with affordable yet sophisticated products and platforms.
Kaizen Living is a 2012-originated Design Direction focused on active rather than passive consumers – those who strived for continuous self-improvement and augmented experiences in which they were in complete control. Designers responded to this new sentiment at the time, and have responded since, by creating products that bend and flex to fit these pro-active consumers. Kaizen furniture has the feeling of a spring or joint that can adapt to suit its user.
Kaleido-Metric is a Design Direction. In 2012, designers started exploring a sugary pastel psychedelia in retail design, with furniture and visual merchandising inspired by 1980s colour palettes, sunlit cityscapes and geometric reductionist shapes.
In our 2013 Design Direction, Kinetic Nature, product and interior designers began drawing inspiration from the weather and the natural world to create engaging kinetic installations and products for indoor spaces. This group of practitioners experimented with a new representation of nature through design, soundscapes and digitalised techniques that richly engaged all of the senses.
Lagonistas is an LS:N Global tribe, which linked to our New Emerging Affluents (NEAs) study. NEAs charted how, with the rapid rise of emerging economies, large populations were becoming consumers for the first time, or joining the middle class for the first time. Lagonistas were a facet of this, a tribe of young professional women based in Lagos, Nigeria, who were championing a new fashion scene there, launching their own businesses and indulging in luxury.
2010’s macro trend charting how, in a world of über choice and information overload, consumers were embracing brand filtering, pause culture, ‘thick value’ brands, businesses and design models.
Lo-Hi Retail is a play on the phrases hi-lo shopping or hi-lo dressing – that is to pair luxury items with everyday T-shirts and high-street brands. It refers to a wave of mass-market fashion brands and retailers from 2012, which, rather than lowering their prices, introduced premium, luxury and new capsule collections, moving upscale. The trend was driven by a number of factors, not least that retailers could make bigger profit margins from premium goods (the bottom end of the market was under pressure from rising cotton prices). It also sat with a movement among consumers towards more considered quality, rather than throwaway items.
A rich convergence of the worlds of art and science is fuelling a fascination with celestial activity, dark matter and alchemy. As a result, designers across disciplines are producing work inspired by the artful properties of science and space. We call this Lunar Grace. It was first identified in 2013.
Magazine retail. The increased convergence between magazine content and retail, be it magazines launching shopping platforms, or retailers launching branded shoppable magazines.
Customised products on a mass scale, made available through internet platforms and advances in fast production. In contrast to traditional 'bespoke', mass customisation often only allows customisation within a set of boundaries or set options. As 3-D scanning and printing develops, however, fast total personalisation on a mass scale is on the horizon.
Digital giants Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon have risen in a short time to become near governmental in scale and pervasive in consumer lives. Increasingly, they have been jostling for each other's territories, attempting to create walls around their system. They are also using their vast pools of data on consumers to create intuitive, highly personalised and even predictive forms of retail and advertising. The Dawn of the Mega-Systems was unveiled in 2013.
Menaissance is the term given to LS:N Global’s first, ground-breaking study of young manhood. Launched in 2007, it charted the wave of new mould-changing male typologies among 24-34 year olds, including New Romantic Male, the NuRo Male (aspirational, self-determined, manly but not macho, and certainly not feminine), New Male Dandies, Fratrasexuals and Retrosexuals.
The definition of Millennials varies hugely between pundits, research bodies and academic institutions. At LS:N Global, we define them as the generation born between 1980 to 1995, but this group (often also called Generation Y), has been seen as broadly as anyone born in the late 1970s, to the early 2000s. They’re most widely known as the group that came of age after the millennium. They’re typically defined by being highly digitally connected, educated, indebted, social, experience-seeking and curating.
Modern Mothers. Mo-Mos were identified as part of the Athena woman study in 2013 and featured in LS:N Global's tribe. Rebelling against Mumsnet and perfect parent obsession, they embraced a new style of motherhood in which children, rather than being the centre of their lives, simply became a part of it. The mood was best summed up by two books: Allison Pearson's 2002 I Don't Know How She Does It, was supplanted by Daisy Waugh's 2013 I Don't Know Why She Bothers.
Our 2012 NEAs (New Emerging Affluents) study charted how, with the rapid rise of emerging economies, large populations were becoming consumers for the first time, or joining the middle class for the first time, creating a huge opportunity for brands as they embraced fast food, beauty products and technology. As the economic global balance tipped, the study also found that the driving influencing forces in innovation and creativity were changing. Research and Development labs in established markets were taking inspiration from frugal innovation adopted by technicians in India and Africa. Meanwhile, brands in China, Africa and India started expanding to capitals in the UK and US. At the same time, fashion designers from emerging markets took on growing prevalence on Paris and London catwalks.
No Frills Affluents. This tribe, identified in 2009, has been one of the prime drivers in UK retailer Morrisons’ return to profit. Once driven by impulse and indulgence, they are now driven by value and simplicity – a need that has seen brands such as upscale grocery retailer Waitrose target them with its no-nonsense ‘Essentials’ range.
Neo Boomers are a tribe, and subset of the Baby Boomers. Rather than settling for pipe and slippers, the Neo Boomers are taking up the banner, mouse and rucksack, reflecting attitudes that used to be the preserve of younger generations. LS:N Global coined Neo Boomers in 2010, but still now Boomer-age consumers are behaving in an atypical way.
A new generation of creatives is rejecting today’s polished, corporate internet and remaking it with a 1990s twist. As consumers around the world react to the Turbulent Teens with a yearning for nostalgic brands and products, this new generation of creatives is rejecting the slick graphics and seamless ease of today’s corporate websites, and reviving the revolutionary spirit of the internet. We call this nostalgia for the early days of the net Netstalgia.
New Bikers are a tribe, identified by LS:N Global in 2012 – a new sub culture around motorcycles in Australia. One of connoisseurship, community, understated machines and refined print media.
In the 1990s, there was the lad. In the 2000s, there was the metrosexual. But now, in the Turbulent Teens, men are returning to a traditional type of masculinity. Chivalry, sartorial style, connoisseurship and grooming are top of the agenda for these New Gents.
No-Mos, or Non-Mothers, are charted in LS:N Global’s Athena Woman study as a new tribe of consumer. They are millennial women: affluent, professional, modern, who are actively deciding not to be mothers in order to enjoy the benefits of freedom and more disposable income. The group also signifies a mind shift among Athenas who, LS:N Global found, see motherhood as being less of a definer of womanhood than previous generations did.
Omni-channel refers to the next stage of multi-channel retail, in which all channels, rather than acting separately, unaware of each other, work as a seamless, 360-degree, joined-up eco system. By making each channel feed and complement the other, retailers are finding they can maximise sales among channel-agnostic consumers who happily skip between tablets, stores and laptops. This way, they cannot escape the sale.
The Personal Information Economy, first identified in 2011 by LS:N Global, refers to the increasing awareness among consumers of how valuable their personal data is to brands. In the Personal Information Economy, consumers take control of their data, self-quantify the minutiae of their lives, manage their reputations online and even monetise their personal information.
Prohibition Culture identifies a new thread among brands, and increasingly among consumers, who seek to modify their behaviour using prohibitive platforms, controlling systems and self-monitoring. It originated in the sustainability movement of 2010, the ‘war on waste’, which created a stealth tax on everything from the food we eat to how we should live, look and engage with the brands we buy.
Psychedelia refers to the vibrant and animated aesthetic direction that emerged from the desire to create ‘a sense of wonder, escape and magic’ among designers. Inspiration is taken from the 1960s and 1970s psychedelic era, where clashes of intense colours meet distorted forms. This Design Direction, identified in 2012, relates to LS:N Global’s Faction Marketing macro trend report, which charted how consumers, thinkers and creatives alike were increasingly escaping recession fatigue with story, fantasy and narrative.
Re-Con Man refers to LS:N Global’s 2013 study of the new millennial male. This study explored how men, in an atmosphere of blurred boundaries, changing work patterns, and rising female prowess in the workplace, were not running for the nearest man cave (as some would have it) but, rather, using this new freedom to recalibrate their own identity and gender.
For years people looked down on science as dull, square and best kept behind closed doors, but science is now breaking out of the laboratory onto theatre stages and fashion catwalks, into galleries and shops, and into the minds of the brightest creatives. The last time science combined so powerfully with art, culture and commerce is known as the Enlightenment. For that reason, we call this new age the Re-Enlightenment. The Re-Enlightenment was identified in 2013.
Renaissance Retail refers to a shift among retailers and brands from 2011 onwards. In an atmosphere where governments have been cutting funds to public developments and monuments, and where consumers are expecting more of brands than ever, brands and retailers have starting behaving like Victorian philanthropists. They’ve been investing in monuments, restoring art galleries, launching universities and academies, all in a bid to build cultural kudos into their DNA.
Seeking shelter from the unsettling storm clouds of recession, resource and environment anxiety, consumers are nostalgically remembering, reviving and revamping forgotten customs, skills and technologies. This is the era of Revivalism – first identified by LS:N Global in 2011.
Rural + Urban = Rurban. City dwellers are rejecting the impersonal ‘bigness’ of globalisation and corporations, and reconnecting with their communities. They are living hyper-locally, growing their own food and embracing small-scale micro-brands. They are making their urban lives feel as rural as possible. This is why we call these pioneers Rurban Revolutionaries. Rurbanism was first spotted by LS:N Global in 2010.
In the 20th century, and for most of us, screens were things we watched. For many in Generation I, thanks to brands such as Corning and Apple, screens have evolved into the interface between child and machine. This is Generation I children’s way to manage and manipulate content. For them, swiping, tapping and pinching are like typing for most of us. Increasingly, screens will give Screenagers haptic feedback, as seen in Disney’s Revel system. As you run your finger over the Revel surface, electronics in the screen vibrate so that it feels as if you are touching different surfaces. Running your hand over a rocky surface on the screen, for instance, gives a rough, rock-like feeling.
The Self Quants are part of the ‘Quantified Self’ movement, identified by Wired Magazine editors Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf in 2007. Self Quants use technology to monitor any number of things about their body in their daily life, including exercise, heart rate and blood pressure. The notion of doing this to track personal health has become a growing pervasive movement among consumers and driven the growth of the wearable tech market. Wear a Nike Fuel Band? You’re a Self Quant.
Unmarried women in their late 20s or older are often derogatorily called ‘sheng nu’, or ‘leftover women’ in Chinese society, implying that they’ve been passed over by men. But many of these single women in their late 20s and 30s do not bemoan the fact that they are not married. They are pushing back against the term, rejecting societal pressure and focusing on building successful careers, as our tribe Shanghai Singles (2013) shows. From China to India, increasing numbers of women are educated, joining the workplace and prioritising their careers. With that, their spending power is growing. Pundits have dubbed ‘Women’ collectively as the ‘Next Emerging Market’ to watch. Shanghai Singles is part of LS:N Global’s Athena Woman study of millennial women.
Shop + entertainment = Shoptainment. Shoptainment is just that: shoppable entertainment. It refers to the growing crossover between content and commerce. What started out with branded shoppable magazines has moved into video, film, games and all forms of entertainment being more easily connected to retail. As retail giants such as Amazon fund original TV shows, the link between entertainment (with all its power of influence and inspiration) and commerce is becoming increasingly seamless.
Single Income No Kids: SINKs were outlined in LS:N Global’s 2013 Athena Study (also known as No-Mos, or non mothers). They are a growing segment of the consumer market, consciously choosing not to have children for the freedom and the financial benefits it affords. This group are also reflective of a subtle mood change among Athena women, who are beginning to see motherhood as less of a primary definer of womanhood. Think ‘child-free’, not ‘childless’. For brands, the SINKs and the DINKs (Dual Income No Kids), are a powerful potential market.
Are you a model/DJ/tech-preneur? Stylist/photographer/jewellery retailer? Then you’re part of what LS:N Global calls the Slash Slash Generation. The Slash Slash Generation refers to the increased sharding of employment, as consumers – using new platforms, flexible work patterns, and technology – embrace multiple channels of income. First identified by LS:N Global in 2009, it typically refers to millennials, who are digital natives, inherently entrepreneurial, and who have also been blighted by a poor job market in economic stagnation, leading them to be more creative in their career streams. As fashion blogger/street-style icon/author Leandra Medine, founder of blog The Man Repeller said: ‘Traditional (fashion) jobs are far and few between. There is a reason that Gen. Y – which is only becoming more important as we get older and begin pushing and stimulating our economy – has been dubbed the entrepreneurial generation. Many of us couldn’t land the jobs we wanted, so we just made our own.’
A play on Social Media, Slowcial Media refers to a changing mood in social networks, which began in 2013. Where Twitter has always been about instant, fast, constant torrents of comments, LS:N Global charted a new wave of apps and networks that instead embraced slower, more considered, meaningful content. Medium, founded by Biz Stone, Evan Williams (the original founders of Twitter) and Jason Goldman, is a good example.
Soundscapes is the term given to a designed sound experience. It also refers to LS:N Global’s 2013 macro trend, which charted the rising wave of experimentation among brands, retailers, designers and hoteliers with sound. They were discovering that sound could actually be quite powerful. It could influence behaviour, make products ‘sound’ better-quality, affect health and wellbeing, make an experience more immersive and transformative. It could also be combined with other senses such as taste and smell to create innovative synesthetic journeys.
Linked to LS:N Global’s macro trend Body Temples, Sports Illustrated is a Design Direction charting how the visual language around sport and sports products was changing, reflecting a new connoisseurship around sport. Sports brands and health companies started borrowing cues from the world of illustration to create sophisticated graphics and packaging.
Squat-spacing was identified in LS:N Global’s Symbiotic Branding macro trend. Symbiotic Branding looked at a new wave of collaboration and creativity driven by leanness and thrift among brands in tough economic conditions, and Squat-Spacing was one iteration. In essence, it meant the resourceful use of space. LS:N Global found that start-ups and small businesses were setting up shop in the spaces of others, squatting for free and fitting into unused gaps in time and space. These Squat-spacers were refusing to be held back by a lack of resources and used symbiosis to thrive in difficult times.
The New Sublimity is a 2012 macro trend that charted a widespread consumer movement away from busy, hyper-connected, digital lifestyles to prioritise personal fulfillment and wellbeing. The New Sublimity has had far-reaching consequences for brands, as consumers become aware of mindfulness, seek to manage their digital habits and make leisure choices based on fulfillment and an escape from technology.
Symbiotic Branding was coined in 2012 by LS:N Global and is continuing today. It refers to a new sense of collaboration, symbiosis and collaboration among brands, driven by thrift and necessity. Some of these collaborations were natural. Others were thrifty – and counter-intuitive, as unlikely brands and retailers collaborated, but invented something new and exciting in the process. At the same time, some were cyrenegade and not collaborations at all – rather, one brand attacking another, or piggybacking on its reputation and reach to promote itself.
Synesthesia refers to the act of one sense stimulating, or being stimulated by another. Or multiple senses stimulated by another. Retailers, artists, brands and hospitality companies have recently been experimenting with synesthesia to create immersive transformative experiences for consumers, or subtly mood enhancing/taste enhancing ones (if they’re involving food or drink). Studio Toogood’s collaboration with Penfolds Wine to create The Blocks is a good example of a commercial use of synesthesia. It was a multi-sensory artistic journey, telling the story of Penfolds Wine in a creative, immersive way.
Identified in 2013, Techanistas refers to the wave of technology companies targeting fashionistas – affluent female audiences, a rapidly growing tech audience – by collaborating with designers, brands and fashion magazines on fashion shows, apps and special promotions.
The Third Industrial Revolution refers to a digitisation of the way goods are made, including the rise of 3-D printing, and how this is transforming the global map of production, production economies, and industry.
ThirtyFiveUps was a term LS:N Global originally gave Generation X-ers in 2009, but has since stuck as a broad generation description for Generation X (we use both, rather greedily). LS:N Global noted a new mood among this group, who had shaken off grunge, their slacker attitudes and Boomer resentment to emerge as home-owning, child-rearing consumers, redefining work and lifestyles. Typical ThirtyFiveUps/Generation-Xers value localism, community and spend strategically on quality. They have been described as the squeezed, or sandwiched generation, thanks to a combination of school-age children and dependent parents. Generation X proper has a wide and varying definition in popular discourse. Its accepted definition is anyone born in 1965-1984, but in terms of mindset, mid-30s to 50 years old is a good reference point for brands to imagine, hence ThirtyFiveUps.
3-D Printing, otherwise known as additive manufacture, refers to the creation of 3-D goods and objects using additive layers into a shape. It is also distinguished from other forms of traditional machine techniques for building, because they use subtractive processes to create objects, in other words, cut, drill, or remove material. 3-D Printers were first developed in the 1980s for commercial practices. More recently, domestic, affordable models such as MakerBot have been introduced.
Truth, Transparency and Trust. The Three Ts are seen as essential pillars for brands by LS:N Global.
The Tomorrow Store was put to paper (or screen) in 2011, but is more of a constant, ongoing study into the future of retail, how consumers are changing and how innovative retailers need to adapt to meet their needs and inspire them.
Transmedia, or transmedia storytelling, refers to the use of multiple digital platforms simultaneously to communicate or deliver content.
The Turbulent Teens refers to the rocky, disruptive, social, political and cultural aftermath of the global economic crisis of 2009, which has impacted on brands throughout the 2010s, much like an unpredictable angry teenager. Hence, Turbulent Teens.
Ubiquitous Gaming Culture is an LS:N Global trend identified first in 2011, but with far-reaching consequences. It refers to the pervasive application of gamification to everything in our lives from our health, to innovation, to work, to social lives.
Virtual Currencies refers to the disruption of currency in recent years, driven by the rise and expansion of digital culture and social networks. Now, your social media can be your Klout (retailers and hotel brands have begun adjusting the price of things, and offering discounts to consumers with high social media popularity). Another World Economic Crisis at the hands of irresponsible bankers? No bother, you can always rely on Bitcoin, the democratic, crowd-mediated, virtual currency.
Another term for Co-Commerce, or Collaborative Commerce.
Womenomics refers to the growing power of women economically, and therefore as a consumer market to watch. LS:N Global first charted this in its 2008 Womenomics, but has since advanced this study with 2013’s Athena Woman. In established markets, highly educated affluent women are taking top jobs and launching their own companies. Meanwhile, in emerging markets from China to India, more women are entering higher education and choosing to put off getting married in order to pursue careers in capital cities. Little surprise, then, that economists have dubbed ‘women’, rather than a country, as the next emerging market to watch in the coming decade.
Generation X has a wide and varying definition in popular discourse. Its accepted definition is 1965-1984, but in terms of mindset, mid-30s to 50 is a good reference point for brands to imagine. LS:N Global has also described them, for this reason, as ThirtyFiveUps. Typical ThirtyFiveUps value localism and community, and spend strategically on quality. They are seen as a squeezed generation, thanks to a combination of school-age children and dependent parents.
Another term given to millennials. The definition of millennials varies hugely between pundits, research bodies and academic institutions. At LS:N Global, we define them as the generation born between 1980 and 1995, but this group (often also called Generation Y), has been seen as broadly as anyone born in the late 1970s to the early 2000s. They’re most widely known as the group that came of age after the millennium. They’re typically defined by being highly digitally connected, educated, indebted, social, experience- seeking and curating.
Another term occasionally given to Generation D.