Mark Kooyman
12 min readNov 13, 2023

TRENDCAST 2024 — The Second Five TRENDS Rattling The Marketplace

As I shared in the posting of the first Five 2024 Trends, “Hold onto your seats!”

These TRENDS are already rattling the marketplace in the final days of 2023!

Here again are the 10 most significant trends that will impact 2024 with the Second Five highlighted in bold type…

  1. The value of families
  2. The rise of economic consciousness
  3. Pre-owned is hot and new is not
  4. Re-generation vs. sustainability
  5. The re-engineering of healthcare
  6. Mid-career Millennials
  7. Technology addiction
  8. AI reality check
  9. Alpha Activation and Gen Z Isolation
  10. The five day office week is over

Provided below is highlights the second five.

#6 … Mid-career Millennials

Historically, other generations began questioning the achievement of a personal mission when they hit their late 40s-early 50s.

Many sources have labeled the questioning as the “Mid-life Crisis.”

The focus for many is driven by one’s personal assessment of job performance in the context of role, title and salary.

Some ask the question if they “have made it” yet… others look inward and assess if they have reached their personal mission and life goals.

However, the Millennials … some in their 40s and others in their mid-30s… are asking broader questions regarding if their careers are serving as a channel of personal fulfillment.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of Millennials coupled are two career households.

Also keep in mind that many Millennials work tech-related jobs… some working with hands-on programming… others crafting digital content… others servicing a host of mobile technology firms.

Millennials are coming to the realization that social media is an oxymoron (some even learning what an oxymoron is!) with the vast majority of assessment and accountability driven by clicks and not conversational and relational dynamics.

Having kids has accelerated their mid-career questions as their kids see the world from a much more human perspective than Google can or even AI communicate.

Not only are their life stages becoming reality in 2024, but the very industries where they have served and netted the pay to afford the $3,500+ house payments are downsizing and job security is becoming a catalyst of mid-career reflections.

As a generational group, do they face challenges? Yes. Financial ones.

The $150K+ incomes of the dual-career households might get jolted, but many Millennials are so passionate about personal missions and impact that they are willing to let go of the money-flow.

Businesses fail to understand the dynamic. Community leadership too. Academics have yet to wake up. Politicians rattle their platforms blind.

BUT… the numbers don’t lie.

In 2023, more Millennials moved out of the metros and into the small towns than any other generation.

In 2023, more Millennials moved into the more affordable pre-owned homes in need of renovations than any other generational group.

In 2023, more Millennials applied for new business loans than any other generation.

Watch in 2024 as Millennials transform themselves as they initiate new ventures, new businesses, new retail storefronts, new products, new retreat centers, new perspectives with many of the “new” being birthed in small town America.

They will set a new record in 2024 especially if the interest rates dip a couple of points lower!

#7 … The Technology Addiction

According to Nielsen, the average American now spends nearly 12 hours a day looking and interacting with a high tech screen … whether on a smart phone, laptop, desk-top and/or computer screen.

In fact, the average American actually spends at least 4 of the hours interacting with multiple screens at the same time.

GenZers have set the record… in the same Nielsen report… individuals age 16–24 spend just over 7 hours each day interacting with multiple devices at the same time!

A 2023 survey of car drivers fielded by Bookings found that more than 35% of respondents would ride in a self-driving car.

It is estimated that nearly 60% of car drivers are now driving cars that will automatically stay in a lane and apply brakes if needed.

In China, authorities have issued a ban on kids less than 18 years of age to engage in more than 3 hours a day playing digital games.

Just a week ago, Statista reported more than half of U.S. adults age 18+ believe that they have a technology addiction.

“Techtimeout” is now actually an official word in the American language. If you have recently updated your Microsoft Word or Apple Pages program, your spell check will now stream past Techtimeout as a word set.

More than three times the number of restaurants in the U.S. banned the use of smartphone use in their restaurants than existed just a year ago. “Use” being classified as “texting, Emailing, video filming, photography and using the Internet.”

The same restaurants are also asking that individuals put the phones on mute while owners are dining in the restaurant or sitting at the bar.

A share of the restaurants have told diners that if there is an emergency need to use the phone, they can do so in the restrooms or go out into the parking lot to do so.

Surprisingly, more than two-thirds of the restaurants have seen sales increase with the ban now in place!

Watch in 2024 as …

  1. More restaurants will be banning the use of the smart phones
  2. General retailers will ask that the smart phones be put on mute
  3. Parents will institute “quiet times” where the smart phone will be put on mute in the homes
  4. Personal ads will start posting that “tech addicts need not reply”

However, the trend in 2024 will move even further with a surge in high-touch alternatives to high-tech.

The Technology Addiction is generating renewed interest in …

  1. Real books
  2. Real newspapers
  3. Letter writing

This afternoon I went to a couple antique malls and the talk was all stirring about how hot are wired to the wall phones, record players and typewriters!!

As more and more Millennials weather through and transition to TRENDCAST #6, there will be even more of a surge in the rehabbing of Technology Addicts in 2024.

Watch how “anti-tech” surfaces in 2024 in place where you least expect it. Watch too as marketers realize that tech geeks are not only geeks, but no longer cool.

#8 … AI Reality Check

Clearing aside all the futurist illustrations of the marketplace, here are the facts…

  1. 35% of companies are using AI
  2. 42% additional companies are exploring the use of AI

Another factoid… the vast majority of AI is used in predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, quality control, demand forecasting and operational integration into the manufacturing process… limited use is surfacing in customer service and customer relations.

However, if you engage with the media, watch the corporate supplier ads and read the trade pubs you would think the focus of AI is to replace human beings.

And there is no question that the media is garnering readership and clicks. The public at large questions just who are they really speaking to and if what they are reading was written by a human being or an AI machine.

Washington is not happy with AI and restrictions are exploding.

Consumer groups are also rolling out a new version of Consumer Reports that cites the brands and corporations using AI in customer relations.

Google “AI abuse” and check out the websites that pop up and are reporting the brands integrating AI in market relations.

Sites like LinkedIn to Medium to Consumer Reports to HubSpot are all now tracking the “fake” customer relations brands are employing.

There are even articles posting in the NY Times and Wall Street that AI is doing more harm than good when brands use it to replace human interaction with the marketplace.

And consumers and their mindset?

A survey published this past September by Pew Research cites that less than 15% of Americans “like/somewhat like” interacting with AI.

Another 74% of Americans participating in the survey that they “despise” the brands using it to replace the human interaction with consumers.

The business and tech side of the industry has yet to wake up… however, they will in 2024!

2024 promises to be better than Entertainment Tonight as business and tech encounters the public rejections and protests.

Readers know that I am a strong fan of Publix advertisement.

I will add Hobby Lobby to the list with their 2023 Holiday ad.

Those brands are bringing High Touch into the Hight Tech AI ad stream.

A few brands get it.

They know fully well that only a handful of brands actually have integrated AI into customer relations, but they also know that consumers despise those the brands who have.

Readers of this blog remember how I showcased Synovus Bank as doing something that would have secured an “F” in a University Brand Marketing class.

Synovus actually touts its AI customer service as its “personal touch.”

Perhaps we should grant Synovus an “A” for honesty because it not only doesn’t hide the fact the customer service is actually automated and customers interact with a computer, but they showcase it.

Watch in 2024 as anti-AI moved through as a tidal wave. Consumers will reject the brands employing it. The Government will step in and regulate it.

The Wall Street Journal published an article back in August of 2023 claiming that the ad firms were “racing to integrate AI in screening resumes and corresponding to applicants.” It takes a lot out of me not to help increase the awareness that the conventional ad agencies are closing doors.

(I promise I am not making this up! … but celebrate regularly my liberation when I left serving as EVP for Omnicom)

It does not take a genius to figure out that when HR and leadership do something this stupid that it has to stop the flow of cash into the checking accounts.

Smart brands will capitalize on it and showcase the human element — those living, breathing, emotional and rational individuals who emotionally elevate the brands above the cold, calculating and non-human brands.

I would not be surprised if the social media titans do not employ avenues to verify that posts are human originated and not AI generated in 2024.

#9 … Alpha Activation and Gen Z Isolation

As we enter 2024, just over half of the projected 80 million Alpha Generation have been birthed with the oldest members of the Alpha Generation turning 9 years of age.

As of January 1, 2024 we will have 45 million Alphas running around in the U.S.

The Alpha Generation count is now over 75% the size of the GenZers which are posting at 59 million.

And the Alpha Generation has another six years of birthing to add to its Millennial generated and created growth surge.

The GenZers greatest hope for any size growth is tied directly to any of the age 10–24 year olds crossing the U.S. borders legally or not.

On one level, the GenZers’ Gen X parents know about brand isolation.

Few brands were crafted around them as they emerged into the marketplace. Fewer brands are embracing the Gen X parents as they move into their empty-nester years today.

As many of the readers know, I now operate out of a University city dominated by a campus of over 55,000 students — of which nearly all of them are GenZers.

As shared in TRENDCAST #7 above, GenZers are more isolated out of the here and now than any other previous generation.

GenZers may claim connection — shoot those points of connection include their laptops, smart watches, Apple earplugs, smart phones and digital scan boards in their automobiles — but very seldom are those connection points linked to the environment where they are dwelling and other humans sitting next to them.

The GenZer “Virtual World” is one that requires goggles to experience it.

This past weekend, I conducted an ethnographic review of advertisers and GenZer engagement.

I watch a lot of football games over the fall weekends — Saturdays are College and Sundays are Pro.

My ethnographic assignment was simple… track the ads during the commercial break and observe how many of the ads feature GenZers and how many feature Alpha Generation.

Not only did the Alphas outscore the GenZers 4-to-1, but more than a third of the ads featuring Alphas actually showcased the kids absent their Millennial parents!

Forbes published a study back in July of 2023 that explored GenZers as the next emerging workplace and reported that 73% of GenZers report feeling alone “most all the time.” It concluded that GenZers are hyper connected in the vital world but socially disconnected.

An article ran back in September of 2023 in the New York Times that “young Gen Z hires of 2023 are ill-prepared” to interact with other job employees.

The article went on to cite how few could carry on a conversation in a conference room and even worse yet, understand how to communicate verbally with clients and customers.

There are slews of reports that even question the employability of GenZers.

In 2024, watch quickly how many brands and product categories shift quickly to showcasing kids anchored around the brand experiences or roll out new brands crafted around Generational Alpha.

Just like the GenXers, their kids … the GenZers… are about to confront a similar market response… and I am not too sure that another Restoration Hardware is around the corner in 2024… at least not in the non-digital marketplace where few of the GenZers even socially interact!

#10— The Five Day Office Week Is Over

I promise and cross my heart, what I am about to share is not made up.

About an hour ago, I received a phone call from a Creative Circle talent recruiter. The group has been brought in to hire a director of market insight by a restaurant client headquartered in North Carolina. The clients runs a network of 60+ store locations and specializes in a southern food core product … biscuits.

The young talent recruiter stressed just how adamant we the client that the person filing the role had to work in the North Carolina 4 out of the 5 days in a work week.

The young talent recruiter went on to share that it was a very, very difficult job to fill and the client was “adamant about the requirement to come into the office those 4 work days.”

Perhaps that passion for the past is part of the restaurant’s brand platform.

Few associate freshly baked biscuits with Zoom team calls… but I would not rule out the leadership team of a brand like that spending three+ days a week working from a kitchen table with the free-range chicken rummaging under the windows while the cows grazed out in the field.

Fortune Magazine published a great article back in June of 2023 that highlighted “more than 40% of the U.S. workforce working remote” and “just under 60% working back in the office.”

The statistics were issued by one of the “top Ivy League business schools.”

The article went on to further highlight that those claiming to be “working back in the office” included individuals who visited the coffee house next door or a co-working space just down the street.

In 2024, “Office” has a broad scope of context and meaning including a room set up in the home with a deck, chair and internet router box.

At the beginning of November, the Wall Street Journal reported that “returning to the office” has stagnated and that more than 50% of leased office space is no longer being used.

Downtowns across the U.S. are tackling a crisis of empty office space that cannot get re-leased.

Think about the impact of this change for a moment.

Its the last of the TRENDCAST 2024 Citations. In many ways it might be the one most to impact us economically, socially and personally.

The paradigms of economics, retail interaction, traffic flows, community engagement … all of those paradigms are operating on a different foundation.

If you doubt that the office paradigm has shifted… check out these numbers reported by and Forbes…

** 71% of adults still working in the U.S. report having to “improvise” on space allocation at home to do their work

** 63% of home buyers today specifically ask for a home office and are willing to sacrifice a bathroom to get it

** Nearly 50% of today’s workforce report that they are using coffee houses for work space

As Interest rates decline in 2024 and the real estate market explodes… watch as Millennials move further out and commute times come off the table as an issue that restricts how far, further out is defined.

Many corporations are rethinking and changing. Watch how many more change their operational paradigms in 2024.

Downtowns will have to do similar thinking on just what to do with the vast inventory of empty space.

I hope that more indie coffeehouses get creative on how their space is used in 2024 too!

I already have had several blog readers ask why politics and the National 2024 Presidential Election was left out of the 2024 TRENDCAST.

My reply is quick… “While faces may change, the politics of politics remain unchanged” … and I will let you put the descriptors in place on your own.

If any readers are interested in learning more about the impact of the Trends reviewed here in the Blogpost and the October blogpost, please do not hesitate to send me an Email at or call me at 404.245.9378.

Business partners already are engaging me in roundtable think tanks, customers interviews, on-the-street market surveys and brand marketing strategy to capitalize on the Trends … please contact me and let’s set something up with your team!

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.