Well, 2020 was quite a year. The COVID-19 pandemic became the largest, most impactful global-shared experience in generations. An experience that led to realigning priorities, instilling new awareness of interconnectedness and the importance of community, and redefining the basics. Meanwhile, a transformation of global attitudes is disrupting the economy across all sectors.
For businesses to thrive going forward, they must adapt to the changing needs and desires of customers.
As we deal with COVID PTSD, we will discover that many of the trends sparked by the pandemic will stick (virtual meetings, attention to cleanliness). Some will go away (quarantine pods), others will be around for the short-term (travel pods, flexible travel cancellation policies), and still, others will mutate (hybrid workplaces and events). While 2020 ushered in a few new concepts, these ‘trends’ are becoming part of the new lexicon brands must adhere to. In the main, the pandemic accelerated trends that were already on the rise, including attention to mental health, a ‘rediscovery’ of nature, and touchless technology.
Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention the societal impact that the Black Lives Matter movement and recent political upheavals are having on companies of all stripes. Perhaps for the first time, these earthshaking social justice and political events caused even the most conservative companies and associations to take a stand. This newly discovered progressive ethos was not merely confined to making statements on Twitter; instead, it prompted many companies to examine themselves holistically, from hiring practices to their responsibility to the communities they serve. Overall, there seemed to be a growing commitment to focusing on equity and justice in corporate social responsibility missions. Looking back, any ‘trend outlook’ released in early 2020 was out the window by March. If the year taught us anything, that is, it’s that anything can happen. So this year, rather than trends, we’ve decided to examine key concepts that will drive consumer demand going forward.
This change called for a new presentation of trends and so we present our TrendHawk Website.