Market Trends

Ten trends that could shape 2012

December 12, 2011
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A new report from marketing communications leader JWT outlines its seventh year-end forecast of key trends that drive or impact the consumer mindset and behavior in the year ahead.

A new report that spotlights things such as food being a new eco-issue among many other trends has been released by JWT, a top marketing communications brand, through its seventh annual year-end forecast of key trends that will drive or significantly impact consumer mind-set and behavior in 2012.

With the continued economic slump, new technologies and the concept of shared responsibility are creating or are at the center of several trends. The forecast reports that the economy will push brands into opening up more entry points for cost-conscious consumers as the “new normal” becomes a prolonged normal in the developed world. Simultaneously, these difficult times will generate an unprecedented entrepreneurialism, with the so-called Lost Generation of youth becoming a uniquely resourceful group that creates their own opportunities.

Other trends noted in the report include:

•Food as the new eco-issue: The environmental impact of food choices will become a more prominent concern as stakeholders-brands, governments and activist organizations-drive awareness around the issue and rethink what food is sold and how it’s made. As more regions struggle with food shortages and/or high costs, smarter practices around food will join the stable of green “best practices.”

• Reengineering randomness: Our individual worlds will become more personalized-the types of content, experiences and people we are exposed to will narrow-there will be greater emphasis placed on re-introducing randomness, discovery, inspiration and different points of view into our worlds.

“With our annual trends forecast, we aim to bring the outside in-to help inspire ideas beyond brand, category and consumer conventions-and to identify emerging opportunities so they can be leveraged for business gain,” says Ann Mack, director of trendspotting for JWT, New York. “Trends, like any complex and dynamic human phenomenon, are not preordained-once they are spotted, they can be shaped.”

The result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted throughout the year, the report includes input from nearly 70 JWT planners across more than two dozen markets and interviews with experts and influencers across sectors including technology, luxury, social responsibility and academia. The “10 Trends for 2012” report is available at


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