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At last week’s Ford News Briefing in Dearborn, Michigan, Ford released its second annual trend report, Looking Further with Ford 2014. This report identified 10 “Micro Trends” that will influence consumer behavior in the new year. To expand on this, Ford’s Head of Global Trends and Futuring, Sheryl Connelly, lead a panel of experts in discussing these ten trends: Dan Creekmore, the Marketing Director of Facebook, Deborah Hopkins, chair & CIO of CitiVentures, and Chris Riley, founder and president of Studio Riley.
10 Micro Trends For 2014: Looking Further With Ford
- Innovation’s Quiet Riot: This powerful trend is all about the incredible technological advances that seem to be happening on a near-daily basis. A recent survey by BAV Consulting found that 70% of those surveyed worldwide felt that the technological leaps we are making today are larger than they were just five years prior. The landscape of the modern world is incredibly exciting in a number of ways, and entrepreneurs are taking advantage of new opportunities – and creating their own.
- Old School: By the same token, all of this rapid change is making us more nostalgic – and more quickly. I’m not the only one who has noticed people pining for “The Good Old Days” of, say, 2005; and nostalgia marketing definitely seems to be a compelling market.
- Meaningful vs. The Middle Man: Piggybacking off this nostalgia is the desire to have closer connections to those we buy things from, rather than shopping from faceless entities. This ranges from buying products at small businesses to connecting with larger ones through unique campaigns.
- Statusphere: This trend relates to how and why we spend our money (And time) and what we perceive as meaningful – or not. I had to laugh at the mention given to The Rich Kids of Instagram!
- Vying For Validation: Selfies, Facebook likes, and other virtual pats-on-the-back are at the center of this trend.
- FOMO/JOMO: FOMO stands for the “Fear Of Missing Out”, while JOMO stands for the “Joy Of Missing Out”. This trend relates in part to the anxiety that people feel about making decisions now that there are so many choices, and the subsequent rebellion with people actively looking to disconnect and “Miss out”; but it also relates to the change of social landscape in all areas, including work. Deborah Hopkins pointed out that it takes a lot of work to alleviate the FOMO anxiety in corporations when we are all expected to respond to things like emails instantaneously.
- Micro-Moments: Another study by BAV Consulting revealed that the majority of responders try to get little tasks done in small amounts of spare time so that they’ll have a larger amount of free time available later. I think it’s a smart trend – I’d much rather answer a few work emails while I’m waiting in the doctor’s waiting room instead of twiddling my thumbs, and the bonus is that I can turn my phone off sooner when I get home! On the flip side, this trend also bleeds into people feeling the compulsion to be occupied at every single second of the day. Which leads us to:
- Myth of Multitasking: Sheryl Connelly opened this segment by citing one of my favorite studies about the true “Effectiveness” of multitasking. There were several of fascinating studies and articles referenced, all of which I’m going to bookmark and share the next time I get hassled about not answering my phone while in the shower. I was also glad to know that Ford is working on “Do Not Disturb” technology to mute all phone insanity while the car is in motion. Thank you!
- Female Frontier: This area focuses on women’s rights and females taking on leadership positions in the workplace and beyond. This is such a crucial topic so it’s good to see it anytime it is brought up. Another important social issue that was raised was the last trend on our list:
- Sustainability Blues: This final trend piece relates to the importance of water – conserving it, keeping it clean, and making sure that every individual has access to it. Ford discussed its efforts to decrease its water use, stating that it has decreased the total amount of water used annually from 64 billion liters of water to 24 billion.
Which of these trends has the most influence with you?
Read more about the Ford Motor Company’s annual North American news briefing and trend report