After years of rapid industry, technological and social acceleration, 2024 ushers in an era of realignment - with ourselves, our workplaces and the planet. In our new white paper: Future Consumer 2024, we explore the new key consumer sentiments and profiles, and the action points brands need to take to win minds and market share.
Our global experts use WGSN’s unique STEPIC framework, examining changes in society, technology, the environment, politics, industry and creativity to identify the macro forces that will drive consumer sentiment. Below is a snippet of the consumer sentiments outlined in the white paper (available to download here), and what they mean for brands in the next two years.
01 Future Shock
A feeling of distress, driven by rapidly accelerating change in society and technology
In 2024 we will see the dawn of the Everything Net – a circular existence where lines between physical and digital worlds are blurred. There is great promise in the meta-economies that will arise from this, but rapid technological change that affects daily life always induces a sense of anxiety. This uneasiness has a name: Future Shock.
The rise of emotional clutter and always-on lifestyles has put our senses at capacity
The pandemic has caused a “sensory revolution,” whereby isolation and changing work patterns and social habits have rapidly shifted how we use our senses to navigate the world. People are more connected than ever, with the rise in digitalisation and social media usage, e-commerce, entertainment, gaming and video-streaming technologies. Touch is absent, while other sensory elements such as noise and artificial light seem harder to deal with following lockdowns. This rapid change, which would usually occur over decades or centuries, is driving overstimulation.
03 Tragic Optimism
As an antidote to toxic positivity, this mindset offers a more realistic take on life
Researchers studying post-traumatic growth have found that people can grow positively as a result of difficult times. Importantly, it’s not the traumatic event that leads to growth, but rather how the event is processed. Tragic Optimism will be imperative in 2024, as many will be overwhelmed by ‘cope culture’ and fearful of a returning to a normal that no longer fits their aspirations.
People are seeking self-care – more than 20 billion people have watched #selfcare videos on TikTok and there are more than 60m #selfcare posts on Instagram. According to WGSN TrendCurve data, as levels of stress and anxiety hit highs during Covid peaks, interactions with social posts containing the phrase “mood boost” peaked.
Embracing feelings of wonder that have been shelved over recent years
A tool for human survival centuries ago, awe is necessary for future growth, particularly if trying to build back better. A mix of both fear and wonder, it is an emotion that has been shelved in recent years as people traded awe-inspiring moments for stability, survival and certainty. As a collective emotion, awe helps the self shrink and the world expand. In 2024, awe will be the great connector in a time of fragmentation.
In this ever-changing world, it’s never been more crucial for brands to keep pace and align with the needs and desires of the consumer. Available to WGSN subscribers, Future Consumer 2024 underlines the actions needed right now to ensure brands create the products that consumers will prioritise.
Not a WGSN subscriber? Download the Future Consumer 2024 white paper here. Stay tuned, as over the coming weeks, we’ll be revealing the consumer profiles changing the landscape in 2024.