Over the past year, trending topics have included everything from Frozen to Flappy Bird, Jennifer Lawrence to Jared Leto and the Ice Bucket Challenge to the iPhone 6. Which trends will influence the topics we see and the way we see them in 2015? A recent webinar hosted by CEB Iconoculture, a resource Brogan & Partners regularly consults with to develop creative strategy, cited six trends as the game changers and the must-knows for this year.
1. Changing Values
Nine values are on the rise with the American population, including purpose, ambition, learning, diversity, discovery, curiosity, health, comfort and relaxation. Not only do people want to set goals and reach them, they want to encounter new people and new ways of thinking in the process. And in their spare time, they’ll seek health, happiness, and even more spare time.
But of course, what goes up must come down, and with that, there are four values definitively declining. While patriotism, spirituality, hope and heritage used to rank high, Americans are suddenly finding them significantly less significant.
2. Humanizing Technology
Thad Starner, the Google Glass technical lead, has always believed that “the goal of technology should be to assist with the flow of human interaction,” and Americans are starting to agree.
According to Iconoculture, the consumer perception of technology’s ability to predict their wants and needs is growing more favorable, and now, consumers not only want, but rely on this predictive assistance.
3. Defining Success
This just in: Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has flipped entirely, effectively promoting self-actualization from the top to the bottom.
Today, when Americans describe success, they describe happiness, purpose and enjoyment. But as their personal and professional lives are intersected now more than ever before, they’re willing to make any sacrifice to achieve a balance.
4. Pressing Time
Time. No one has enough of it.
Today, the average American work day is 7.6 hours, and men and women alike are spending five hours a day on necessary housework.
An anonymous participant in Iconoculure’s study said, “There is time during the week to do most of the things that need to be done, but not enough for me to do the ‘fun’ things for myself.”
Maybe that’s why in 2013, Americans took the fewest vacation hours in 40 years. (Yikes!)
5. Acknowledging Enough
You have enough. You do enough. You are enough.
All of the above have been tough beliefs for Americans to uphold, but 2015 could be the year. With more brands celebrating flaws and normalizing imperfections, consumers are realizing they don’t need products and services to make them great. Instead, they’re realizing that they’re already great, all on their own.
6. Admiring a New Kind of Celebrity
No longer are the most admirable celebrities the ones with a Golden Globe or a Grammy. Instead, Americans are turning to a new kind of celebrity—most often those who have reached their claim to fame from a strong social media channel. Those who once tuned in to a late night talk show are tuning into a YouTube channel—like that of Jenna Marbles or Tyler Oakley.
Will these social media sensations soon be the faces of brands, endorsing products and services? We wouldn’t be surprised.