2016 Trends - Part Two

The net that clients cast to find creative solutions is ever widening. The traditional ‘lines’ of who does what is now blurred. The implication of this on your agency? The price of creative will become commoditised.

(An article worth a read that supports this in point 3 is: http://blog.hubspot.com/agency/new-business-trends-2016).

So, how do you become a true valued partner and remain on your client’s agency roster (and even increase account revenue)? One way is to understand key trends in consumer marketing and use them to inform responses to client briefs and generate proactive ideas.

Let me arm you in Part Two of this trends blog with some curated content around four key trends.


The Trendwatching website is always an excellent source of consumer trends. They have a report that focuses on 5 key trends for 2016. Most interesting to me is CONTEXTUAL OMNIPRESENCE - “smart brands will focus on answering a more meaningful equation: innovative channels + nuanced contexts = right place + right time.”

i.e. not focusing on the what or how but the WHY - why customers might embrace you using a channel.

Implication: Challenge whether existing channels really satisfy the deep needs and wants of your customers


There is also an interesting report from Ericsson ConsumerLab. They study how consumers use the internet and communications technology in everyday life on a global scale in over 40 countries every year. This is the fifth consecutive year that they have published their 10 Hot Consumer Trends.


An interesting fact from the report is around how new generations has a very different online video experience.

2. The YouTube Generation

“20% of 16−19 year olds watch more than 3 hours of YouTube daily”.

Implication: Worth thinking about how a brand that targets this consumer group/generation may connect with them moving forward.

3. Virtual gets real, especially in the ‘shopper’ space

“Half of the smartphone users surveyed want a 3D selfie that can be used as an avatar to try on clothes online, and 64% would like the ability to see an item’s actual size and form when shopping online”.

Implication: Look at how VR could influence the purchase of your brand. Other tech ideas could include search options, delivery options, personalised recommendations etc.

4. Agnostic Shopper

Euromonitor looks at key trends that include the ‘Agnostic Shopper’ and how they search for innovative routes to value. According to the report, ‘Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2016’, agnostic shoppers are the epitome of today’s contradictory shopper. Emboldened by a post recessionary, hyper-informed, savvy shopping zeal and with multiple opportunities to compare prices at their disposal, they are less bothered about labels and recognised products.

UK shoppers spend twice as long scouring supermarket aisles as they did ten years ago, because they want to find the best deals, according to research by the University of Stirling Management School.

Implication: How can you make your brand stand out at in the retail environment, help shoppers navigate the category and communicate ‘value’ at shelf?


I urge you all to read some if not all of these reports, and search for others as this list is by no means exhaustive. From the research you conduct you can do the following;

  1. Tailor your own trends report for your client. Ensuring as always that they include ‘implications’ for the brand and aren’t just a random selection of thoughts. Always apply the ‘so what?’ question to each trend.

  2. Use it internally when writing a creative brief or running a brainstorm. Pick one trend, think of how to apply it to your clients challenge (or a proactive brief/brainstorm you are running to answer an on-going client question).

  3. Use a trend to think of a new business opportunity. Write a speculative brief based on a trend and use the creative response to pitch to a new brand.

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