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The future looks bright as Wunderman Thompson’s 2020’s report predicts consumer behaviours for the decade

As we take the first step into a new decade, there are a lot of predictions circulating about marketing in the 10 years to come. Taking its own swing at the matter, in its new report, Wunderman Thompson has highlighted several key points and taken a pulse on what the industry could be like in the new roaring ’20s.

Starting with mindset, though people have experienced unsettling political, economic and environmental times in recent years, brands are adopting an optimistic outlook for 2020 and beyond as there were some creative projects and campaigns focusing on presenting honest emotions, expressiveness, and connections.

“These are the kinds of visuals that have the power to build trust and community and help inspire thoughtful changes in the world,” said Brenda Milis, creative trends lead of Adobe.

Examples from the report include Lego’s September 2019 launch of a playful campaign, asking the next generation to take on the challenge to “Rebuild the World.” Prada’s spring/summer 2020 men’s collection, Optimist Rhythm also captures the spirit of confidence, enjoyment, boundless positivity and possibility.

Data privacy is still on the radar of customers in the new decade as Wunderman Thompson has uncovered that 89% of consumers felt that the way companies collect and use data was “sneaky”.

“Brands are getting more aware that developing loyalty means transparency. It doesn’t mean constantly trying to grab your consumers’ attention. It means developing a conversation and a trusting relationship,” said Brittany Kaiser, data transparency advocate and former business development director for Cambridge Analytic.

Big tech companies are spending efforts on enhancing privacy. In its campaign in 2019, Apple featured slogans such as “Privacy. That’s iPhone.” and “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

Rather than just slinging empty slogans, last November, Apple updated its privacy website to make it in a simple format for users to read. In September 2019, Apple rolled out the iOS 13 with a feature to block voice over internet protocol (VoIP) apps from running in the background when not in use, preventing these apps from collecting data from unwitting users.

The report has also highlighted that brands have to take greater responsibility for environmental impact.

“More and more, we’re seeing brands and retailers really focus on sustainability as a business priority. “Consumers can see through (clever advertising campaigns). It’s not just about marketing and advertising, it’s about your whole company ethos and how you really bring that through in your products,” said Lizzie Willett, retail consultant of BJSS.

In November 2019, Dame became the first climate-positive period brand with its new carbon offsetting initiative dovetailed with the brand’s founding ethos to cut down on single-use plastic with its reusable tampon applicators. Meanwhile, IKEA planned to generate an excess of renewable energy for its stores in September 2019.

Countering traditions and taboos is also becoming a rising trend in Asia, with the report stating that a shift in openness and ripping up gender straitjackets in Asia was initiating a fresh approach to the market. Supported by technology and rapid economic development, attitudes towards mental health, sexual health, and gender are changing now in Asia.

In China, a platform called Yummy provides an environment for women to freely discuss sexual matters, as well as health issues such as breast cancer prevention. In a country where most online sexual health resources are directed at men, female user numbers have reportedly topped two million. Japan has also seen a wave of tradition-breaking. Freelance writer and actor Yumi Ishikawa launched a campaign calling for actions to make it illegal for employers to force workers to wear high heels.

“A real cultural change has taken place, with purpose and transparency leading customer loyalty, while imagination is trumping data for consumer appeal. ‘The Future 100’ is a way of keeping up with the big shifts and smaller fast-moving trends, offering marketers an opportunity to get ahead,” commented Emma Chiu, global director of Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.

The report is available in full online for free, as long as you sign up for the Wunderman Thompson newsletter. Yeah, they said the decade was gonna be more altruistic, but c’mon, no one’s going to pass up a fatter mailing list.

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