More trends to watch that are being accelerated by COVID-19

The Trends Being Accelerated By Covid 19 780X660

We’ve probably all seen the ‘year ahead’ type of prediction reports that get published at the start of each year. And with this year being the start of a new decade, my guess is we had more than usual with insights into what we’ll see during this decade.

Imagine being one of those intelligence companies and you just released your 2020 predictions in January to much fanfare, then, a pandemic grips the world and changes everything - fast!

One company, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, released their, The Future 100 in January.

Well, they’ve had to do an update report already…

This follow-up is called The Future 100 2.0.20 (yes it’s a mouthful!).

It highlights 20 key trends, of their 100, that have been fast-tracked by the impact of COVID-19, as well as adding five (5) new trends that were not predicted prior.

Trends accelerated by COVID-19

I grabbed just a handful that stood out, of the 20 they view as being accelerated by the pandemic through the first part of 2020.

Social Media And Fake News Post Covid Franchise Buyer

Taming tech’s influence

This is all about controlling ‘fake news’ and the role of social media companies in particular in spreading misinformation. The company predicted prior that, “2020 will see a new focus on how information, particularly the political , is disseminated through these channels.”

The issue of ‘fake news’ has become a lightning rod in the face of it being overlaid with a global health issue of pandemic proportions. Thus, going beyond the impact of the previous politically focused misinformation concerns.

“Big Tech are rolling out new measures to promote trusted sources for information on COVID-19.”

Social media platforms including YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and then even extending to platforms like Spotify and Google are providing links to fact checking functions, WHO information, limiting ‘coronavirus’ search results and so on.

“The measures put in place during the pandemic point to a future where Big Tech plays a bigger role in regulating viral misinformation.”

Privacy era

“Is privacy being sacrificed in the global fight against COVID-19?”, the report asks.

“Since the outbreak of COVID-19, health concerns have eclipsed the privacy debates that had been raging around the world.”

Governments are turning to technology with tracing apps, and facebook, Apple and Google, are all working with researchers and or governments in varying forms with location and tracing data access.

“The Israeli internal security office redeployed counter-terrorism technology to track the movement of COVID-19 patients using phone and credit card data. In Russia, authorities used facial recognition software to locate a woman who had ‘escaped’ from quarantine. In South Korean train stations, thermal cameras monitor travelers’ body temperatures. Drones in the United Kingdom and China have been used to spot people violating social distancing regulations.”

The report notes that data privacy is beginning to re-emerge on personal and political agendas, after the broad use of technology in fighting against coronavirus is becoming clearer. 

“While data privacy may seem inconsequential in the face of a global pandemic, experts warn against overlooking it entirely.”

Anti Consumerism After Covid Franchise Buyer

Anti-excess consumerism

“The very definition of essential purchases is being debated.”

“Anti-excess trends such as recycling clothing are likely to accelerate, and brands are already anticipating this. In late April 2020, Abercrombie & Fitch and Reebok become the latest brands to partner with clothing resale website ThredUp. Customers can now sell unwanted high-quality clothing via ThredUp and also earn Reebok loyalty points or Abercrombie gift certificates.”

The report contends that millennials and gen Zers were already more supportive and moving toward brands with a sustainable approach to business.

“The way some governments have framed the move to lockdown as health versus economy—as if one has to be sacrificed for the other—has left many questioning the very basis of our consumer-driven economy. Weeks in lockdown have only strengthened that introspection, and a yearning for less frequent, more mindful consumption.”

Health concierges

“Post-pandemic, consumer concerns about health will be paramount, so businesses are starting to respond by promoting the health-first credentials of their products and services.”

The trend here is referring to the increasing role that the public sees companies playing in stopping the spread of coronavirus. Then, how this view will manifest into companies being more active in public / employee health outside of the pandemic environment. 

“As we look towards the future, companies will seek to employ specialist health and hygiene experts who can devise innovative and preventative strategies to protect the health of employees and customers. Will chief health officer be the next trending job position in the C-suite?”

Contacless Payment Franchise Buyer

New payment gestures

With people concerned about touching just about anything outside of their homes, “..the pandemic is accelerating the spread of frictionless payment apps.” In many markets, such apps facilitating this were considered niche prior to the pandemic.

“The goals up to now have been speed, convenience and security. Now a side benefit of these apps has become the top priority: they’re contactless.”

Locally, we’re seeing this in most points of sale across Australia, with many stores currently not accepting cash as a form of payment. This looks to remain for many, for the foreseeable future. The impact of this accelerating the move toward a cashless society is apparent.

“Amazon is reportedly working on a hand recognition system for checkouts at Whole Foods. The system, codenamed Orville, scans shoppers’ hands so they don’t have to touch a screen or keypad.”  

Again locally, we’ve experienced the food delivery services enabling the rapid move to contactless payment, service AND delivery. 

However, beyond this, “ in China and Google’s Wing drones in the United States have experimented with delivering essential supplies and medicine to those in lockdown, to eliminate human contact entirely.

The five new trends to watch that were not predicted prior to COVID-19

Wunderman Thompson Intelligence added these five (5) new trends that have emerged through the crisis.

The new language of advertising 

Brands and advertisers are having to rethink how they talk to consumers as the old communication strategies are transformed.

The gaming multiverse 

Gaming came into its own during lockdown in particular, with its benefits including providing companionship, education and stress relief for many. 

Fortnite Franchise Buyer

Novel dining formats

New restaurant formats to be able to trade safely now and for some time have emerged. Will dining out be the same again at all?

Renewed faith 

“Spirituality is surging as people seek comfort and steadiness in turbulent times.”

Gamescape travel 

“Video games and virtual platforms are evolving into modern modes for digital tourism.”

We await the update to this edition no doubt at some point this year to see how these and other trends are tracking globally.

Thanks for the report Wunderman Thompson Intelligence!

Wundrman Thompson Intelligence Franchise Buyer