Wunderman Thompson launches annual essential trend almanac offering a snapshot of the year ahead

The Future 100: 2022 from Wunderman Thompson’s futurism, research and innovation unit, Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, offers 100 original trend predictions across 10 sectors, spanning retail and commerce, culture, tech, travel and hospitality, brands and marketing, food and drink, beauty, luxury, health, and work.

Emma Chiu, global director of Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, says: “Now in its 8th year, we’re delighted to launch The Future 100: 2022 and share the creative innovations that are set to go mainstream alongside the shift in consumer behaviours. In 2021, cautious optimism set the pace as the world reflected on the challenges of 2020 and looked to a year of societal healing.

“This year ushers in a resolute positivity that encourages playfulness and creativity. This optimistic outlook will take us on a journey into the near future, where a new digital era is on the horizon as the metaverse shifts from a sci-fi concept into reality. Lifestyles and businesses will shift to become climate friendly as being sustainable is no longer enough, while the physical and emotional tax of the last two years is forging a holistic, sensitive, and nuanced approach to wellbeing. Brands and marketers are leading with positivity, eager to provide joy in people’s lives by creating euphoric ads as they too ride the optimistic wave,” she continued.

Retail and commerce trend highlights include:

·      Gen A retail: Generation Alpha—gen Z’s younger siblings — are driving retail’s next era.

·      Retro retail: The latest high-design stores are going retro with nostalgic interiors.

·      Direct-to-avatar: From B2B and DTC to DTA—the latest business model sees brands releasing digital products direct to screens.

·      Retail shapeshifters: Long-term challenges are forcing retailers to rethink their core offers, with some diversifying into novel areas.

·      Private domain: Messaging platforms WeChat, WhatsApp and Line are becoming the next battleground for brands and loyalty.

·      Virtual flagships: Digital flagship stores are taking over ecommerce storefronts.

·      Department stores reformatted: Traditional department store models are going local and looking beyond retail to survive.

·      Digital twins: Retail stores and factories are being cloned for the virtual world, to promote familiarity and efficiency.

·      Big tech brink and mortars: Tech giants are moving off screens in their latest consumer push.

·      NFT marketplaces: Brands are finding new revenue streams in the evolving non-fungible token sector.

The Future 100: 2022 follows Wunderman Thompson Intelligence’s Into the Metaverse trend report launched in September 2021. Wunderman Thompson launched their own branded metaverse during CES 2022 to showcase insights from the report, and teach clients and brand marketers about the metaverse itself, exploring the elements of this new frontier of customer experience that will shape our future and change how we do business.