Market intelligence and trends in the “Future 100”

Another gem from The Cognitive Crucible on market intelligence.

Emma spearheaded the launch of the Wunderman Thompson Intelligence “Future 100” Report, which helps people prepare for emerging consumer behavior with 100 original trend predictions from Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.

The Cognitive Crucible Episode #34 Chiu on Market Intelligence and the Competition for Attention

The report is worth downloading and looking through. While each of the individual trends are interesting (some more than others), reading this in the aggregate gives you a good sense of our overall trend, the sweeping narrative, or the general direction that we’re heading in.

The concept of the “Ethical scorecard” is one that I think resonates with most organizations these days. It’s not enough to just do the work, but customers (and employees) want to know where the organization stands on all sorts of issues.

This may be a second/third-order effect of organizations ‘becoming’ people.

Some of the trends that I found most interesting below.

Mobilizing fandom.

Around the world, social media has connected the fans of hit TV series, movies, books and musicians to the objects of their adoration, and crucially, to each other. In the United States, Taylor Switf has her Swifties, Beyonce has the Beyhive and Lady Gaga the Little Monsters. With a single social media post, these fans can rise as a group to boost music sales, defend their heroes against detractors, and increasingly, throw their weight behind social and political causes.

This is related to what happened earlier this year with GameStop. While not necessarily connected to an an individual key influencer, the collective culture around a specific community mobilized around a single cause, which resulted in rapid real-time effects.

This reminds me of a good NYT piece on “stan” culture. Worth the read.

Upending deepfakes.

Whether they’re disseminated by pranksters and trolls or political operatives and propagandists, deepfakes can be confusing to the public and corrosive to the social fabric. These tools of disinformation are a downside of today’s highly sophisticated applications of artificial intelligence (AI), but AI itself is the main weapon being used to disable them.

Deepfakes are important, and the technology exists now. There is a cognitive bias towards elevating what we see as truth. In the race for attention, video wins.

Still, I’m not sure yet whether the deepfake threat is hype or not. Are there any instances where this has been employed successfully with a desired result? Either way, having means to determine whether videos are real or not is going to be important.

Flexperiences.

Innovative companies are finding new ways to repurpose empty venues and assets, creating hybrid and adaptable experiences.

Empty lots become drive-in movie theaters, dine-in restaurants become drive-through take-out, a parking space becomes a micro-garden.

Most of these trends are just that – trends. Trends are flashy. Trends are fun. And they can get you a lot of attention quickly. But at the end of the day, we’re all still human, and the best stuff comes from deep work over time.

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