JWT’s Annual Forecast of Key Trends for Upcoming Year: “All About Me”

JWT (J Walter Thompson)For the past decade or so, marketing communications firm JWT Worldwide (for the tradition-minded, the alternate name for J. Walter Thompson) has issued an annual forecast of key trends for the upcoming year.

For 2014, JWT has identified certain key trends it believes will “shape our world” in the upcoming year and beyond.  They’re pretty interesting – and it’s hard to argue with most of them.

Here are four trends that struck me as the most interesting and significant:

  • The Age of Impatience – With the mainstreaming of the on-demand economy and an “always-on” culture, consumers want what they want now – or yesterday preferably!
  • The End of Anonymity – The NSA surveillance revelations were the icing on the cake here:  Unless you’re a monk on Mount Athos, it’s no longer possible to remain unobserved or untracked by corporations and governments – and you might not even be able to fly below radar on Mt. Athos.
  • Rage Against the Machine – In the inevitable backlash against the “end of anonymity,” many consumers resent or fear technology, even as they embrace it.  But like that second dark chocolate truffle, it’s the classic conundrum of hating the very thing you can’t resist.
  • Remixing Tradition – Taking cherished traditions and recasting them in a new light – whatever “feels right” today.  The burgeoning support for gay marriage is just one manifestation of this trend.

In order to develop its annual key trends forecast, JWT engages in a combination of qualitative and quantitative research and analysis.  For this year’s report, that included an online survey of ~1,000 adults in the U.S. and U.K., along with input from ~70 JWT planners and researchers across numerous markets.

The JWT forecast includes a total of ten trends.  The 2014 JWT report outlines all ten of them.  Are there any you particular agree with — or disagree perhaps?

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