Wednesday, September 9, 2015

2016 Trendcast Part#1 — The First Five

The market challenges this year have forced my team to explore some uncharted waters of the past.

We have been asked to embrace and look right in the eye of some evolving market changes that many have not been forced to encounter as of yet…but will.

This blog showcases the Top Five of the Top 10 Emerging Trends that EXPERIENCE believes will challenge brand and market strategy more so in 2016 than they have to-date.

All the average trend forecasters out there seldom think big enough. They cite changes that are interesting, but seldom changes that are dramatic.

As Wired Magazine notes, “It’s not a lack of imagination, it’s instead a lack of observation.”

Here they are in order of magnitude from our perspective.

Trendcast #1 — IoT: The Internet of Things

Much of technology that has driven the marketplace to-date has been machine-to-machine communication — devices talking to like devices.

But the next tech megatrend isn’t unifying together programs, but instead unifying sensory data into actual useful intelligence.

To the Sci-fi fanatics, its like 1984 becoming reality in 2016!

IoT or the Internet of Things links measurement data and transmits the comprehensive, linked together information back in real time to machine technology.

Think of it as the connection of the sensory reads of things all around us to make intelligent, processed judgment.

The big news this year has been the Google driver-less car. The top-of-mind applications are first to appear… watch what happens next as IoT crafts our personal brand experiences.

Here’s some stats that will grab your attention…

In 2008, more “things” were connected to the Internet than people.

By 2020, the amount of Internet-connected things will reach 50 billion.

It is forecast that $19 trillion in profits and cost savings will be generated from IoT between 2015 and 2025.

Currently, most IoT smart devices aren’t in your home or phone, but instead in factories, business and healthcare.

Watch as IoT hits the home, hotels, retail, public utilities and automotive… even the classroom in 2016.

Trendcast #2 — The Millennials Making Babies

Millennials are coupling and are now beginning to birth their first — and what might be their only — kid.

In fact, 90% of all new moms are Millennials.

In 2016, the leading-edge of the Millennial Generation will turn 37 and the trailing-edge will turn 22.

Gone is the traditional role of the mom. More than seven out of 10 Millennial moms work outside the home.

In is the dad with a defined primary role and parents who are overly sensitive to the peer pressures of social media.

Unlike the GenXer parents who combated the threat of divorce, Millennials appear to be fixated on more high-touch face time than tech and social media defined interaction.

More personal daycare in which both moms and dads allocate personal interactive time with the kids will emerge… and the daycare facilities with apps that allow the parents to peak in on the kids will likely profit the most.

Only a small share of middle-to-upper income Millennials plan to move out from the city to what the GenXers crafted as the like-peer, kid-centric suburbs.

Also be prepared to watch some new unveilings of social sites, support groups and specialty retailers all designed around catering to the “helicopter” grandparants.

Trendcast #3 — The Integration of the Social Media Society

The top-feeder marketing mavens believe that social media is all about being able to post free-access and free-to-use information to generate “word-of-mouth” endorsement.

Give me a break.

These are the same mavens that probably believed that television was all about visually showing how a product works.

This Trendcast is not about the rise in the use of social media, but rather the culture of society that social media has created.

The stage show of a social media society has already begun.

It’s the 2016 presidential run that has turned the political and media models upside down.

Like him or not, but Donald Trump and the way he interacts with people, the press and the politico is right off the pages of Facebook.

The fundamental sense of access anytime, anywhere, anyhow connected to the freedom to express anything, anyway further connected to free for all the world to see with immediate acknowledgement of engagement and response has moved way beyond the Smartphone and iPad.

Watch in 2016 as brands, retailers and corporate boards deal with consumers in which the corporate towers fail to exist and tell it like it is to everyone out there to digest.

Also watch how “likes” expressed offline will generate the same interest and expectations as “likes” online.

Trendcast #4 — Zoomers & Tweeners Emerge More In The “Here & Now”

In 2016, the first wave of the GenZer Zoomers will get their driver’s license and hit the road as independents.

And Tweeners, those age 17–22 in 2016, will make up the vast majority of kids pursuing a college degree.

Zoomers are the kids birthed by their Gen X parents who married, birthed their family units and modeled the ideal home “cocoon” environment.

Nearly half of GenXers grew up with divorced parents… and they vowed to create the ideal family once they found their mate.

But in reality, while GenXers have stayed together and worked hard to portray themselves as the ideal family, behind the scenes GenXers have confronted economic challenges of the Great Recession, upside down mortgages, job loss and being overlooked as the Millennials have taken over the stage.

Zoomer and Tweeners have not only lived in the same house with GenXers, but they have “clustered” and “cocooned” directly with their “open-communication” parents.

If you don’t believe the impact that GenXers have had on their kids, go and track dialogue exchanges on any of the social media sites.

Zoomers and Tweeners have grown up with terrorism and economic turmoil. They have watched folks march on Wall Street and town squares from Orlando to St. Louis quickly evolve into look-alike communities found in the Middle East.

As a result, they seek out brands that live in the “here” and “now.”

Out are the sitcoms and in are reality TV-videos… BTW… Zoomers have no idea where the “Tube” in YouTube originated!

But Zoomers and Tweeners were also born into the digital social interactive world with the Internet, Selfies, Facebook and Smartphones and in the here and now are driving the success of Instagram, Tumblr, Yik Yak and WhatsApp.

As a result, engagement is an assumed expectation and many find it easier to talk to friends online versus in-person.

As Tweeners go off to college and more Zoomers enter into puberty and adolescence, marketers need to watch as the kids actually take on the role of reverse parenting in 2016 and act as a grounding agent for their increasing sheltered and bitter Gen X parents.

Trendcast #5 — Self-Assessment Health Maintenance

2016 will prove to be a watershed year in health and wellness.

Politicians may talk the talk, but Obamacare not only has changed the way healthcare is accessed, provided and compensated, but it has effectively shifted the onus of responsibility over to oneself… the individual.

On one level, individual responsibility for staying well and recovering quickly and effectively is the driver of the new model of healthcare. Patients spend less time at hospitals in recovery and more time on their own under advisory guidance.

On another level, individuals face high deductibles and now proactively work to avoid costly care through prevention, exercise and diet.

Information is increasingly becoming more and more important.

However, information too has evolved from a meter reading of where I am today and educational background information on illness, conditions and disease to ongoing tracking insights and alternative treatment options.

With the impending explosion of IoT, the stage is set for healthcare to move from diagnostics and care to ongoing assessment and maintenance.

“Wellness” and “healthy” also will become redefined in terms of life-stage, heredity and self-assigned achievement goals.

If you might have some doubts about the actuality of this trend coming true in 2016, go Google “health and wellness self assessment tools.”

And by the way, aging Boomers play part of the role as the change agents, but surprisingly, the Millennials are more involved than the 20 and 30-somethings of the past.

A Glimpse Into The Next Five

I promise… cross my heart… that I will post the next Blog in about two weeks and it will share more on these next five 2016 emerging trends:

The Downsizing of House & Home

DIY to DIO — (Do It Ourselves)

The Celebration of Purity

The Unconnected Sub-Generation

The Sustainability Reality of Work-Life Balance

Just as we have done in years past, we have a presentation of these Trends and are happy to share them in greater depth and work with your teams on engineering strategy to capitalize on the opportunities they represent.

Lastly, if you read these, think I am toking on something out in Colorado and you do nothing, you might as well start packing up and moving out of the way as your peers and competitors give new meaning to “Roll Tide” -Tsunami not Alabama…

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Mark Kooyman

CEO & Discovery Chief at EXPERIENCE Insight Group, Inc. In the business to discover and craft brand experiences that humans seek out and engage in.