The Macrotrend: Resilience Culture
Launched in March, our macrotrend Resilience Culture examines why it’s time to break free from the rise of populism, comfort zones and safe spaces to relearn resilience and create more future-fit people and, in turn, brands and societies.
To help consumers break out of their mental and physical cocooning, counter-movements are materialising around the world. Schools are exposing pupils to controversial topics, the workplace is putting failure in the spotlight and the technology we rely on is turning its back on us.
Coinciding with this sense of dislocation, simmering citizen discontent has ignited our streets and social feeds, embodied most recently by France’s gilet jaunes demonstrations, Venezuela’s political and presidential unrest, and Extinction Rebellion’s global climate change protests.
Powering the rise of Resilience Culture, brands and institutions are driving this new movement, providing the challenges that will force us to recover, cope and transform, amplifying our largely untapped resilience in order to thrive.
To find out how your business can harness Resilience Culture book one of our dedicated presentations in London and Australia.
The Tribe: The Uncoupled
In this Tribe we meet Emily, Boris and Scarlett, who live in a warehouse in North London and identify as a polycule, a system of interconnected polyamorous relationships they describe as familial. From his studio apartment in Seoul, tribe member Jang advocates that brands should better cater for honjok, a South Korean term for single people who willingly live, and undertake activities, alone.
Meanwhile, in Ottawa, Canada, law professors Natasha and Lynda are challenging accepted ideals around parenting, raising their child Elaan as platonic, but highly compatible, friends, provoking the question: Why must romance between parents be considered necessary in order to raise a child?
In response, brands must rethink their marketing, products and services to accommodate the myriad lifestyles of the uncoupled. For more on the mindsets, motivations and expectations of this tribe, read The Uncoupled.
The Microtrend: Prescription Supermarkets
As part of our dedicated Retail sector coverage, Prescription Supermarkets unpacks how grocery retailers are assuming a new role as dietary advisers, educating consumers and providing personalised health and nutrition guidance as an in-store service for shoppers.
With the Food Marketing Institute’s reporting that 55% of consumers see their primary grocery store as an ally in their wellness efforts, this mindset brings a new opportunity for retailers to step up their efforts to engage health-driven shoppers.
Some, such as supermarket chain Hy-Vee, are attempting to help customers manage chronic conditions through diet. Hy-Vee has introduced dietitian-led store tours across 190 locations that focus on nutritional aspects of managing three major diet-related conditions: diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.
Redefining the role of the neighbourhood store as a one-stop wellness destination, Iowa’s HealthMarket offers a range of health-related amenities and brings groceries, a pharmacy, a health clinic, a sports nutrition area and an adjacent fitness centre under one roof.
The Market: Modest Wear Market 2019
In our first Modest Wear Market, launched at the beginning of 2017, we discussed the rise of Muslim influencers and the modest wear brand collaborations that offered an exciting opportunity for brands and retailers.
Now, two years later, our Modest Wear Market 2019 explores how high street fashion brands such as Marks & Spencer and H&M, and emerging streetwear and sports labels like Under-Râpt and Seek Refuge are adding modest silhouettes into their collections to provide a balance between self-expression and considerate dressing for young, fashion-conscious Muslims.
‘Start-up modest fashion brands have been making inroads around the world, particularly for hijabs, gaining traction through the use of social media to spread the word [while] modest athletic apparel is a notably trendy segment,’ says Haroon Latif, director of strategic insights at DinarStandard.
With the global modest wear market set to be worth £294bn ($373bn, €325bn) by 2022, fashion and retail brands are encouraged to explore the current state of the market.
The Big Idea: Four ways Generation Z are transforming Instagram
In January, we took a closer look at the new ways Generation Z are using Instagram. From finstas to meme therapy, the image and video sharing platform is becoming a space to learn, debate, support and forge new friendships.
One example is flop accounts. Run by teen collectives, these profiles highlight fails surrounding issues that their generation cares about such as gun control and LGBT+ rights, providing a platform to be social and learn simultaneously.
Realness is also driving new use patterns on Instagram, with young teens increasingly creating multiple personal accounts known as rinstas (real Instagram) or finstas (fake or fun Instagram) where a second page, usually set to private, is created with content they feel shouldn’t be shared on their default. Rinsta posts, for example, vary from acne diaries to drunken pictures and insider jokes, signalling a push back to the pressure younger generations feel to portray a perfect, curated lifestyle.
Amid Generation Z’s Anxiety Rebellion, they are using Instagram to playfully and creatively communicate on a deeper level – often with total strangers – and away from the judgement of people and brands that don’t understand them.
The Opinion: Sustainability has become a luxury privilege
Our most-read opinion piece in the first quarter of 2019 was penned by Victoria Buchanan, senior futures analyst at The Future Laboratory, in response to the reusable water bottle designed by Virgil Abloh for Evian. While the £45 bottle is indicative of luxury’s new mindset, Victoria queried whether such sustainable products should in fact be accessible to all.
She notes, ‘Reducing plastic has become a virtue signal that lets affluent consumers convey their morals and ethics in a visible manner. Thanks to their new status, reusable bottles have become a booming industry, one that is expected to rise to £7.91bn ($10.4bn, €9.20bn) by 2025.
‘The reality, however, is that tackling sustainability on an individual level is an act of privilege for many. The luxury premium that currently comes with sustainable consumption means that products are often out of reach for even the average consumer. This past year, the Conscious Consumer Spending Index found that price emerged as the number one reason Americans aren’t spending more on socially responsible products and services’.
For brands and retailers – luxury or not – Victoria believes there is an opportunity to create a Whole-system solution that is truly inclusive for all.