Like 2017 and 2016 before it, 2018 will be the year that everything and nothing changes. It will be a year of contradictions… of opposites:
- Everything will be the same, but nothing will be the same.
- We will be even more closely connected yet less connected at the same time.
- We will become even closer but even more lonely.
- It may even be the year that social media gets exhausted.
- Everything will go faster but slower.
- We will want everything faster, but we will want things slower.
That’s what I predict and that’s what some of the top lists on the internet suggest.
Top trends for 2018 will include:
The Digital Stuff
- Your digital footprint will be your most valuable asset
Customers talk and now they talk more than ever – what others say about you will be more important than what you say (advertising is dying). Natives naturally check out who says what about you and compare it with what you say and how you say it.
- More, more, more
Customers will want/demand/expect more of a 360-degree experience – more of everything… an immersive experience. 4D is better than 3D, VR etc… we will be expecting smell, taste, sound. Not just products.
- Faster, faster, hyper-fast.
Living in what Mack calls “the age of impatience”, customers expect more, faster, and more conveniently than ever before. The consequence of this is that we become more impulsive – the logical extension of going faster.
- Shoot ‘n’ Go
Pictures will replace a thousand words. And videos would like to replace pictures.
Everyone can and does shoot/edit/publish/distribute their own experiences, friends… in fact, anything that can stand in front of a smartphone will be shot. Everything will become increasingly visual: websites, adverts, communication.
- Mobile technology changes everything
Especially in emerging economies – it gives you access to healthcare, education, finance. It knows no boundaries. In the first world, nothing will be safe: everything can be (and probably will be) disrupted. Nothing is sacred. There will be an app for everything!
- Blockchain and Bitcoin
Some people will make a lot of money; many will not. (The 21st century Ponzi scheme version of the South Sea Bubble will burst).
The ANTI-Digital Stuff (in a kind of digital way)
- Customer is King
The customer experience will become the new competitive battlefield. We will get one step closer to the idea that the customer is king. Companies that offer the basics (courtesy, speed, warmth, friendliness) and provide legendary service will be the winners in the long run.
- Revenge of the Luddites
As a reaction to too many people literally living through their smartphone, we might find the emergence of smartphone-free zones both socially and at work. It is time to get back to old-fashioned ways of communicating and connecting, like sharing a nice cup of tea or a walk in the countryside. Adblockers sales will go through the roof.
- A Bigger Campaign for Real
There will be an increased sensitivity that will seek to differentiate between the authentic and genuine as opposed to the manufactured, synthetic, superficial and fake: food, TV, music, people, news, postings, etc. There may even be a backlash to how the craft/authentic/shabby-chic movement has been taken over by the big brands.
- Being Mindful
As a backlash to the hyper-fast world we now live in there will be a growing interest (probably an obsession) with all things peaceful, quiet, and reflective.
As I said, everything and nothing changes. The problem is that the technology will fool us into thinking that we will be happier and more efficient.
The bankers and the politicians and the media will still be the same, if not worse, if Trump and Brexit in 2017 is anything to go by.
But… the importance of love, the family and laughter will still be the same!
But maybe this year, you will actually do something about it.