Trend Perspectives with Cynthia Maxwell

What trends will we experience as we roll into 2019? After much investigating across many categories here is a glimpse into some big ones!

The Evolution of Transparency

For several years now the word transparency has been used quite often in consumer trend reports. We know that consumer’s are placing value on products made by companies that expose them to the production and sourcing of goods. While this trend is still growing, and I don’t believe it has even become a major factor for the mass consumer, in 2019 we will start to see more companies that take a stand on legal and political issues as well.

According to trend forecasting source Trend Watching, activists companies like Patagonia are at the top of the list –this is no surprise as they have been supporting environmental crisis issues since day one. An interesting recent act by Microsoft sets the bar for other companies to follow-requiring their suppliers to provide a 12 week paid parental leave that is in line with their own policy.

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Extreme Health and Wellness

The importance of the macro health and wellness trend is taking some extreme turns that will definitely be desirable to consumers looking for scientific based guidance for a more personalized wellness regimen. Diets based on your DNA, skin care specific to hormone levels, complete meal plans that are powder and supplement based, skin scanning to determine deficiencies - all have an experimental vibe to them. I’m interested to see if these approaches will have staying power or will they just be a lot of hype and entertainment?

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More AI!

AI technology continues to seep into everything. Regardless of how nervous it makes some, the technology continues to be exciting. Most successes have been with tablets, smartphones and gaming but American Mechanic says “Every single major automaker has announced a partnership with one of the main AI assistant companies, including Microsoft, Google and Apple.”

Also look for chatbots to improve, digital humans used as virtual customer service agents, and better image recognition.

Come Together

With the continual increase of social media, addictions to Netflix, gaming and online shopping we have become almost anti-social. Which in turn has created a loneliness issue. The next few years look for an increase in co-living and co-working.

Co-living especially in larger cities where developers have already started building these shared living spaces offering a range of options like more affordable rent, furnished apartments, and weekly cleanings. Luxury co-living spaces offer even more amenities including movie rooms, a wet bar, and a gym. Also at the forefront are hotels creating experiences and activities that unite guests and locals. Urban spas will be a bigger deal inviting guests to relax, hangout and explore multi-sensory experiences together. Who knows, we might become social again!

Lastly, a common, but not new trend, across many categories-food, wellness, travel, and retail in general, would be what I call “Everything with a Purpose.” A growing number of consumers want it all to mean something. Whether this comes from a minor level of narcissism combined with a deep meaningful desire-it’s personal to each of us.

The Gen Z kids are driving a purposeful travel trend e.g., cultural exchange, work placement programs and volunteer work. This is just one example of meaningful purchasing.

Everything with a Purpose is synonymous with trends Transparency, Health and Wellness and Come Together-definitely strong direction for companies to subscribe to!

Cheers and Happy 2019!

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