More Depth on the First Five 2022 Trends You Won’t Find Anywhere Else

Next week, I will post more about the second five of the 2022 Trends.

While a lot is happening in conjunction around each one of the Trends, many in the industry and the marketplace at-large are way too hung up of COVID-related and digital centric changes that they are convinced are here to stay.

If your mission is to move a brand forward, these are the market agents that should play a role in house you craft brand innovation and strategy.

The First Five 2022 Trends you will not find anywhere else…

#1 Brick and Mortar Retail is Coming Back

I know it is hard to believe.

When you ask the typical college-degreed, professional managers today what percentage of retail do they think is sold exclusively online, they will rattle of percentages in the 30–60% range.

I can’t fault them too much.

When you visit the web today, there a lot of banner ads running and promoting online retail. There are even paid-cable television commercials airing that sell online retail.

The percentage just released is “13.3 percent end of third quarter 2021 of all retail in the U.S. was sold through an online transaction, down from 15.7% in the same quarter of the previous year.”

That’s a direct quote from the quarterly E-commerce report issued by the Census Bureau of the Department of U.S. Commerce.

Just last night, I saw one of the new Whole Foods’ television ads that ran on HGTV. Whole Foods is owned by Amazon. I will never forget when Amazon bought it how many of the newspapers including the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) ran commentary that the brick and mortar Whole Foods would soon be gone.

Little did the folks writing the articles know what was actually taking place.

Less than two months ago, Amazon announced that it was opening up department stores to sell “clothing and home accessories” and even went on to claim “that they will be a lot like the department stores of the past.”

The headline story in this morning’s WSJ was all about how “some of the world’s biggest companies are taking advantage of their deep pockets to insulate themselves from global supply meltdowns.”

It goes on to note how many brick and mortar stores are going to appear in the next 12–18 months owned by brands like P&G and driven by the manufacturer-retailer models of the past like Sears.

Digital was the rage when delivery channels like UPS and FEDEX were fully staffed and pay levels were barely minimum wage. However, as labor shortages and increased pay has changed the economics, the great wave of digital has slowed to a crawl… literally in terms of delivery times!

Not only is Amazon NOT closing down Whole Foods storefronts, but its building more as it take full command of the storefront and how the products get to the shelves.

Waning are the retail digital shopping apps… coming back are the shopping carts with kid seats for the Millennial moms and their Alpha Gen Kids.

#2 Generation Z Enters the Workforce

Just as much as I have compassion for GenXers who battled being raised by divorced-parents, I have growing compassion for the GenZers who were raised with technology that took over the personal and social interactive forums of the School House during the Pandemic.

Many sociologists labeled the Millennials as the “Me Generation” with a self-focus further reinforced with digital apps that could enhance their self-pics to personalizing everything they went to buy.

Today we see this in housing and education as Millennials demand co-authorship of what they call home and what their kids study in home-based schools.

Already, the sociologists are labeling the GenZers as Introverts struggling to figure out just what they can even begin to impact as the sense of permanence has disappeared through climate change and as computer programming is held hostage, markets overturn and the freedom to be me is covered up with masks — literally and figuratively.

The psychologist are working with GenZers who even after leaving for college, have yet to disconnect from their over-protective, 24–7 hovering Gen X parents.

Even if those parents are not physically with their GenZer kids, they are connected to the smart phones those kids carry 24/7 monitoring every call and Email sent.

I am writing this Blog-post in co-working space that I share with a significant number of GenZers who recently graduated from college.

I am the only person sitting at a community table. The GenZers are all working on their Macs standing next to tables facing the wall.

Few interact with one another and few sit at any of the community work tables.

In 2022, the first major wave of Generation Z college graduates will enter the workforce and challenge HR with more human relations issues than even the Apps can address with answers.

In some ways, employers have kicked the challenge down the street as the Pandemic has created the virtual vs. physical office.

As many firms start pulling their employees back into the office environment, the GenZers will present the HR teams with more challenges than they are ready to embrace.

There are some sources already forecasting that GenZers will not stay long with companies.

Its already being seen in retail as late-teen GenZers fail to connect with their co-workers and customers alike.

#3 A New Mix of Housing Options

Not sure how many of you follow HGTV and the new shows that stock the programming mix as Discovery takes hold of the content.

When HGTV first premiered, the genre of the content followed close to the genre of House & Home magazines. The shows were differentiated most by style of design … country vs. traditional vs. modern vs. urban vs. coastal.

Today, the shows differentiate more around the personality of hosts… a straight couple, vs. a gay couple vs. co-siblings vs. parent-kid vs. geographically rooted families.

Some say that housing during the 80s and the 90s lost a sense of style as suburbia exploded with Boomers homesteading and sinking down roots.

There was no HGTV in the 80s and 90s and the dominate housing magazine was Better Homes & Gardens.

As the inventory of available homes for sale opens up and prices drop in 2022, real estate will get revived.

No question that as supply and demand interacts more “normal” again, there will be some sellers who will try to boost up their prices, but it will not work as more competitive inventory opens up.

The style of the homes will be challenged… but here are at least some trends to watch for…

Personalization of the home will be hot… pre-owned will need personal updating… simple base design with upgrades will be a norm in new housing options.

Watch as buyers purchasing the new homes will purchase the basic plans and actually do the upgrading themselves.

LOL… there are shows premiering on HGTV centered around doing just that type of home “personalization.”

There may even be a new HGTV show on taking the basic homes bought and looking at it as a blank canvas using flooring, paints, wallpapers, furniture and accessories as the way to put a signature personality into the home.

The Farm House style will be authenticated… the style applied to intown homes, condos and apartments will decline and soon be “not be cool” applied “out of its natural environment.”

The value of moving out to the exurbs and small towns will become even more popular and the house sitting on 1+ acre lots adjacent to real farmlands will become vogue.

The intown homes will shed those barn doors to the bathrooms and the farm house sinks.

The simplicity of the Farm House style will transition into both mid-century and new eco-smart and environmentally-holistic styles soon-to-appear.

Walls will be coming back… the open space floor plans will become less cool as more Millennial couples transition to Millennial families with kids.

While home offices will be some of the first walled-in rooms of the house, play space for the kids and the re-creation of family rooms will be next.

Basements are already being viewed as separate … but much needed space and watch how basements become a true value-add in the next couple of years.

Energy Efficiency will become the buzz term… we might even see new rating codes of energy efficiency but environmental impact will mean less and economic efficiency will mean more.

This will be a hot issue before second quarter of 2022 as many experience inflated heating costs this upcoming winter.

I went to an open house this past weekend to see a renovated and remodeled 3 bedroom-2 bath home built back in the early 1980s.

It was packed with Millennials who brought along parents and in-laws as advisors — maybe even co-investors!

While the Millennials talked a lot about the cool hardwood (vinyl laminate) floors, the parents and in-laws asked a lot of questions on the efficiency level of the two new HVAC units and insulation levels.

#4 “Used” will be trendy and hip… furniture and home accessory sales are growing and will explode in 2022 but not via the current paradigm of retail access!

Inventory issues combined with inflation will make furniture and home accessory buying through conventional retail and even digital retail… an unpleasant experience.

This includes core furniture like dining tables, couches and bed frames as well as everything from lamps to tableware to wall art.

The concept of pre-owned will explode as access to house & home furniture and décor stores continue to have stock on-hand.

“Used” is already politically incorrect.

Sustainability takes on new meaning as prices inflate. Hip will be yard sales, garage sales, flea markets, auctions and junguetique stores.

Millennials are the primary drivers of the house & home and their desire to co-author their home space only adds further value to the mission to find that special piece they can further enhance with new colors and new forms of use.

BUT… this trend is already spreading beyond house & home.

Pre-owned clothing stores are coming back… especially if the clothing really dates back to the pop-art style of the 1950s and 1960s. Add hand-crochet along with hand-dyed and the price might be more than something brand new and made in the great US of A.

Pre-owned cars are also the rage!

#5 The Doctor-Patient Relationship

As I write this blog entry, I am soon due at the radio station studios to record my Health & Wellness Roundtable show that airs on Saturday afternoons.

The physician I am co-hosting with is a primary care “internist” doctor whose practice post-Pandemic is exploding in growth.

If you ask the physician what he believes is driving it is that he interacts with his patients in-person and helps them overcome the hurdles of the healthcare systems.

No question that digital interaction with medical teams has streamlined the operational hierarchy of healthcare, but it has also taken out the human-to-human “high touch” of the doctor-patient relationship.

The personal role play of the doctor as expert, advisor and personal counselor has been overtaken by the giant, ever-sprawling healthcare BIG business systems.

The doctor’s loyalty to the patient has been replaced by the doctors being employed by the hospitals and healthcare systems. Access rotates from one doctor employee to the next.

Personal connectivity is driven by what pops up on the smart pad the doctor working the shift you access might be resourcing.

And just as much as this impacting the relationship dynamics that patients seek, it is also intruding on the mission-of-call that doctors make a commitment to uphold.

Watch as we move further beyond the Pandemic as patients rethink just how they access healthcare as well as physicians return to their mission and shed the salaried stability of corporate healthcare

And watch how Washington might further facilitate the comeback of the personal doctors!

The Next Five 2022 Trends…

Will post in about a week. Tell your peers and co-workers to read all three. And if you find them fascinating, call me at 404.245.9378 and I will put together a custom presentation of the 2022 Trends and how they might impact your brand!



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