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Let's Look To The Future

Our clients and candidates often look to us for trend information.  What is new out there?  We as a search firm can talk about the economy, but future trends are different.  For that I rely on multiple experts including J. Walter Thompson, a global marketing and branding organization.  They have a global practice for data, research, insight, trends and innovation that put out a fantastic report in December of 2016.  Here is a look into the future from J. Walter Thompson Intelligence: 

  • The Future 100:  Trends and Change to Watch in 2017 (12/1/2016)

This report identifies 100 consumer trends you need to know for the coming year across 10 sectors.  (See  Here is a brief summary.  (NOTE – go to the website; you can download the full report to get additional details).     

 1-10: Culture

Today’s artists are using emerging artificial intelligence technologies to create, curate and collaborate in ways that were impossible just a few years ago.

  • Consumers are spending more time and money on experiences than on material goods; brands are turning up the tempo by hiring experiential technologists to engage with their audience.
  • Attention is worth more than money.  

11-20: Tech + Innovation

The surprise success of Pokémon Go has put augmented reality (AR) in the pockets of millions. As Apple and others plan AR initiatives, retailers and marketers are looking at the technology with fresh eyes.

  • The consumer electronics trade show that sets the tone for the industry each year in January, saw technology for babies emerge as a new niche market.

21-30: Travel + Hospitality

Hotel chains are preparing for this next wave of travelers with souped-up technology and unique initiatives; the latest hospitality experience opens the doors (and walls) to guests desiring a closer connection with Mother Nature.

31-40: Brands + Marketing

For many marketers, the idea that, at this moment, more than half a million people are streaming their own video gameplay or watching other people play on the media platform Twitch does not quite compute— is this really entertaining?  But for a generation of digital-native gamers—mostly, but not all, male—it’s intuitive. 

  •  This is just one area of opportunity.  

41-50: Food + Drink

As consumers have come to seek natural, wholesome alternatives at every turn, the alcohol industry wants to be next in line to provide low-calorie, healthy options.

  • Marijuana may be on its way to overtaking wine as the hip indulgence of choice for women, as accessories get high-end redesigns and more women go into cannabusiness.

51-60: Beauty

Legions of makeup-wearing men on YouTube, Instagram and other platforms are adding a new twist to the longstanding debate about beauty and feminism.

  • Researchers are uncovering new materials that create a “second skin” to restore natural elasticity and a youthful appearance.

61-70: Retail

Technology brands are evolving retail concepts away from cold and minimal shops toward something friendlier and more natural.

  • Samsung 837 is a space that purposely does not stock any products and is not focused on sales. Instead the 40,000-square-foot space is an “immersive culture center” that allows visitors to experience the Samsung products.

71-80: Health

Forget the Fitbit . . . . . the rise of at-home blood testing is bringing entirely new dimensions to the tracking of personal health.

81-90: Lifestyle

We’re in the midst of a soporific (tendency to induce sleep) renaissance as innovators respond to our culture’s chronic undervaluation of sleep, and the “sleep space” gets the Silicon Valley treatment

  • Casper, poised to become the “Amazon of sleep,” has already added pillows and sheets to its product line, hosted a sleep symposium in New York with Arianna Huffington as a keynote speaker, published a trend report on sleep in partnership with Sean Monahan of trend forecasting agency K-Hole, and hosted free sleep-themed pop-up shops across the United States, complete with waffle stations and pillowcase screen printers.
  • On the other end – we are seeing a huge growth area in Drone racing!  

91-100: Luxury

  • Luxury hospitality brands are creating sophisticated manmade natural environments where guests can not only experience five-star service, but also enjoy an environment that would otherwise be unavailable.
    • Luxury shoppers are moving away from opulence and big names, opting instead for a modern approach to luxury which includes being discreet. “Today, it’s really about understated luxury.”

The conclusion – get out there and explore in new ways!