How we feel will have a greater impact on how we spend


The New Romantics, the second consumer cohort highlighted in our yearly forecast, Future Consumer 2023, are looking to reconnect with their feelings and are redefining community collectives.

From boosting the number of people migrating from urban areas to reinforcing the importance of community and family, the pandemic has shaken up consumer priorities and driven a reassessment of what really matters. For The New Romantics, whose name was inspired by the Romanticism movement that emerged in the West in the 1800s as a reaction to the ruthlessness of the Industrial Revolution, it’s less about utopy and more about practicality and pragmatism.

Fuelled by increased workloads and a deep need to reconnect with their emotions, and enabled by the normalisation of remote working, The New Romantics are moving to rural areas. This allows them to focus on leisure and cultural reconnection, while offering more space and affordable lifestyles. Around the world, new types of collectives are emerging with a focus on sustainable living and diversity in terms of race, age and socioeconomic status. In 2023, sustainable, inclusive and multigenerational living will be driving design priorities, and The New Romantics will be a pioneering influence.


The New Romantics: Engagement Strategies

Brands that want to target this cohort should focus on products, services and initiatives that help people create stronger emotional ties with their inner and outer worlds.

Ritual Rapture

Following a prolonged period of disconnection and introspection, consumers will be hungry for sensorial moments. The New Romantics will be focused on creating daily rituals and routines that are safe and structured, but never mundane. Part backlash against pandemic productivity, part in search of transcendence, this cohort will be seeking synchronicity with their surroundings.

Psychedelic Solutions

As the psychedelic wave snowballs into a science-backed and socially acceptable market, consumers are reaching for mood-altering and sensorial enhancements. The New Romantics are open-minded advocates of nature-powered materials and substances.


Emotional Hygiene

The importance of mental and emotional hygiene will hit mass awareness in 2023. Following the crisis in mental health that has arisen during the pandemic, as highlighted in WGSN’s Future Drivers 2023 forecast, we will see new solutions for dealing with stress, anxiety, insomnia and disconnection.

Exploring customer sentiments, the Future Consumer 2023 white paper sets out four consumer profiles that will shape the world around us and the detailed engagement strategies for each, helping businesses and brands to create opportunities for growth – despite disruption and uncertainty – and align their teams to deliver on that vision.

If you’re a WGSN subscriber, you can read the full white paper today.

Next week we reveal the third consumer profile redefining global consumption and priorities in the next two years. Missed the first cohort? You can read about The Predictors here.

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