Brand wellness, going retro, 5G (and green everything)... consumer comms trends for 2020

It's all about how green you can go in 2020. These are the top consumer trends to keep an eye out for in the year to come.

Greenshame

Greenness in 2020 will be less about opting in – that’ll become the expectation – and more about the shame of opting out. As with buying cigarettes and fur, we’ll see a shift in the moral compass. Those who don’t take the eco-option will be considered pariahs. Apply "flightshame" across a host of other industries.

PR pros offer 20 words on what they're expecting in 2020

Carbon-negative

Get set for carbon-negative brands – those that will sell you things made in a sustainable way, with profits used to further offset. Sheep Inc promises to offset its carbon tenfold using its profits, and Carbon Upcycling Technologies makes carbon-negative jewellery. It’s the next wave in consumer brands: making a positive environmental impact aspirational.

5G

No one is desperately sure what it’s going to be useful for, but 5G will be everywhere. Whether you’re launching it, launching kit that relies on it or using it for a brand campaign, it’ll be the next technology to achieve ubiquity in brandland.

Brand wellness

We live in stressful times. The reaction will be more brands focused on how they can make people’s lives better; from encouraging mindfulness and sleep improvement to healthy diets and exercise. Whether a brand has anything to do with wellness or not, helping people with the anxiety of modern living is going to where it’s at.

Micro-networks

While people may be on the big networks, micro-communities will grow to serve "big niches". Perceived as safer, more personal, intimate networks where people feel they can be them- selves, free from criticism by those with conflicting values.

We’re going retro

In an increasingly fractured world, we often revert to a love of the things of our childhood. So it will be in marketing. All things cute – a short cut to happier times – will be everywhere.

Looking East

After 2019’s Rugby World Cup comes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. From kawaii to sakura, all things Japanese will be a massive deal; non-Japanese brands will hop on the bandwagon.

AI

AI-based campaigns will be everywhere. We’ve had a bunch already; there will be more. They will be the new "float it down the Thames" – which means we won’t be floating anything down the Thames for a while. So that, at least, is a win.

James Gordon-MacIntosh is co-founder and chief creative officer at Hope&Glory

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