One constant thing in the universe is change. Change is the foundation of innovation, and today, the speed of change within human societies is at its highest. Some societies are more dynamic and developed; they invest more in innovations; therefore, their rate of change surpasses that of others. Such a chain of changes adds up to a trend – “a prediction of what will happen in the market in a given period in the future” (London School of Design and Marketing, n.d., p.2). Knowledge of trends allows businesses and individuals to develop new services and products in advance and be able to capture people’s future interests. This is especially critical when the development of a product or a service is a long-run process. Therefore, research and prediction of trends is a strategy of great importance for companies.
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Types of Trends
Some trend forecasting companies distinguish between micro trends and macro trends. Macro trends are at least five-year-long, constantly evolving trends that affect multiple industries simultaneously. Accordingly, micro trends exist for less than five years and are relatively niche. A senior trend consultant for WGSN adds that micro trends “are important for fashion companies, but tend to be smaller-scale realizations of the desires underlying macro trends” (WGSN, n.d.). Such agencies as WGSN help their clients predict and use current and future trends to their advantage.
Selected Macro Trends
It is possible to thoroughly analyze and determine why, how, and where the trends were born and what to expect from them in the future. For instance, there are two critical macro trends that WGSN has explored in recent years – the wellness and the artisan movements (n.d.). Regarding the artisan movement, three crucial factors influenced it in the 2010s: The Great Financial Crisis, mass-manufacturing backlash, and disappearance of craft (WGSN, n.d.). Since the first artisan-related micro trends in 2007, the movement has grown to become a macro trend and affect various spheres, such as the restaurant industry, food and beverage, and even technology. It is expected that the artisan movement will only gain importance in the future, becoming an essential factor in solving various global issues.
The wellness movement expanded rapidly due to such factors as the denial of unrealistic beauty standards, millennial anti-hedonism, and global health systems issues (WGSN, n.d.). The movement affected numerous industries, such as fashion, technology, food, mental health, tourism, etc. The wellness’s fate is expected to be twofold – on the other hand, there is notable growth in rejection of wellness movement; on the other hand, scientific optimization of wellness is an answer to others.
Key Future Trends
According to European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, there are five crucial global trends to 2030 (2015). Firstly, there is a demographic trend of global aging that is accompanied by the growth of the middle class, especially in Asia. Therefore, an older population’s interests and demands may become more important for markets in the future; also, a reduction in the size of the workforce is to be expected by labor-intensive human companies. Simultaneously, inequalities within most countries of the world are expected to widen. Secondly, in terms of economy, the shift towards Asia will continue, while the composition of trade will shift from goods to services and investment. Thirdly, technological change will continue transforming industry, science, communication, and digital processes at an ever-increasing speed. Fourthly, continuing climate change is expected to worsen the situation within global ecosystems affecting all sides of natural life as human energy consumption continues to rise. Finally, globalization itself is changing as countries’ interdependence grows; however, the world in general marches toward a more polycentric and overall segmented system.
European Strategy and Policy Analysis System. (2015). Global trends to 2030: Can the EU meet the challenges ahead?
London School of Design and Marketing. (n.d.). Creative trends in design [PDF document].
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WGSN. (n.d.). Anatomy of a trend.