Since the onset of the pandemic, markets have faced unprecedented challenges with businesses in turmoil, delayed shipping, and skyrocketing prices. The threat of new variants is looming over the markets, and inconsistent lockdown policies have impacted the growth forecast. Not only in market macros, but distress has also seeped in every minuscule aspect of an individual’s life.
Marketers should factor in this ongoing turmoil and plan accordingly as we step into 2022. Each brand custodian is also aware of the changes this cosmic chaos has ushered in, notably the facilitation of AI-enabled engagement with the consumer. Keeping an eye on the clock and the changes around us, we at MX bring to you the ten most significant trends that will impact 2022 markets.
Health and Wellness
Mental health and physical well-being go hand in hand, and acceptance of this doctrine has been the most significant turnaround for the wellness industry. Brands in the wellness and nutrition sector partner with entrepreneurs and businesses to develop AI-enabled apps to connect with their consumers. Round-the-clock monitoring of their subscribers’ physical and mental fitness, health alerts, and ensuing diagnosis is the newest trend in the health market. This trend will grow fast as the pursuit of health becomes an ingrained habit among fitness enthusiasts.
The 17 UN Sustainable development goals to be completed by 2030 have brought the discourse of environment inclusive development to the forefront. Children across the globe are learning about these benchmarks as part of their education. And the result is in front of us. From a young 14-year-old Swedish environmental activist to an 8-year-old Indian activist, this generation demands brands to be more responsible. Brands must show their commitment to ethically-sourced raw materials, sustainable manufacturing practices, and upcycling. Add to this the global stars flaunting the repeat outfit trend, and Gen Z makes sustainability the talk of the town…
Catch them young. With most of the younger generation already online, the concept of limited screen time is done and dusted with. Now the companies need to be focused on is engaging constructively. And Gen Z is very clear and vocal about their needs. It was a tedious task to keep the children involved during pandemic lockdowns; not only were they the center point of most family conversations, they even started dictating the shopping lists. Young children have been the focal point of advertising for a long time, but now they have become crucial to the product lines. More demanding than earlier generations, they expect a personalized and flawless experience. And they have a great recall ability too.
Habitat and existence
Cohabitation is the most significant issue humans have faced in the last 18 months since the pandemic ravaged the planet. Coexistence within the family unit is facing the biggest disruption since the social construct of the civilization. WFH is a trend very new for most of the workforce, especially Indian employees and companies. Developing my space within the limited parameters of an urban apartment is also a trend fast catching up and stretching the limits of creativity. This also includes the support corporates provide to keep employee engagement and morale high with virtual corporate retreats, virtual fatigue campaigns, and why not a virtual coffee break.
Students’ adaption of online education across classes and countries is a piece of old news. Keeping up the students’ engagement as the world reluctantly opens up is where the app-based learning brands need to focus. Another aspect of this trend is brand education of the consumers as more of them spend time on online shopping carts. The next track under this trend is growing direct to customer industry. Residential townships and apartment complexes are turning into closed-knit-market places enabled with fintech and communication apps. But what ties up all these facets of education is the art of storytelling. Every augmented reality app, virtual reality, or AI-enabled app is worthless without a good brand story being weaved into it. So, the story is the king, and brands need to focus on getting it right.
A good story is the one that keeps its audience engaged, but more critical is relatability. That is why Shakespeare has been loved over generations, as most of us can relate to its characters and the turmoil they go through. And this is what personalization is all about. In today’s context, we have AI-enabled apps and virtual reality to personalize brand engagement. All e-commerce brands keep track of their consumers’ purchase engagements and preferences, but what makes a clothing e-commerce brand more attractive is when it keeps track of your size preferences, wishes you on birthday and anniversary, and gives significant discounts. This trend is going to keep the brands on their toes.
The giants in the e-commerce space are more prominent than most economies and growing at a breakneck speed. But with the pandemic at their heels, e-commerce has enabled young blood too. Small, personalized brands like old corner stores are becoming a part of this ever-booming market. Entrepreneurs aided and assisted with technology and artificial intelligence are creating and catering to the needs of a selective audience with personalized offerings. Brand loyalty is what most e-commerce companies aim for, and the localized entrepreneurs with easy replacement, exchange, discounts, and trial options create an edge for themselves. This trend is what every marketer is focused on and looking out for the next amazon…
Online board room meetings, weddings, trade shows, festivals, product launches, and every other social engagement we have all been part of these virtual events over the last two years. Events were one of the worst-hit industries by the pandemic; the orders evaporated overnight with lockdowns and severe restrictions. But with augmented reality and virtual connection apps, the industry is starting to rise again. It helped the employees participate in corporate events without feeling excluded and the family members to participate in social engagement and enjoy without feeling threatened with Covid-19. This also allowed the brands to collect data and engage with consumers who wouldn’t visit offline product launches or trade shows. The companies can now utilize the profiling for a more personalized connection.
Diverse ethnic groups, gender fluid, LGBTQs, dissimilar religious followers, differently-abled are all part of the conversation each brand would like to get in on. Marketing is challenging while addressing audiences from different social norms, cultures, languages, and buying patterns, especially online content. And inclusiveness is one mantra that brings it all together. Brands have to start planning from the inside out; the local sensibilities of each group need to be addressed simultaneously. With the help of AI and virtual reality, the product lines can be presented, keeping in mind the diverse outlook. Demands and manufacturing can be planned accordingly and can address the brands’ inclusiveness debate to an extent.
Internet of all things
Smartphones, smartwatches, and smart TVs are already part of the last decade. The trend will only grow exponentially over the next few years as we connect more and more of everyday devices. The governments are now talking of smart cities and last-mile connectivity. This massive effort will change how consumers interact with brands and provide an enormous amount of data for the companies to sift through. As per the market research industry, by 2025, the top 600 smart cities will account for 60% of the world GDP. The whole game is about to change, and 2022 will be significant in how fast the brand adapts to the change.
For now, it is a wrap on 2021, and we hope that a glimpse into the 2022 market insights & trends will help shape your strategies well. As Sigmund Freud put it, “Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” This quote is so accurate for current times, and we hope that with resilience and strength, brands will do their best…