10 Trends that will shape our world in 2014 and beyond

The year may be winding down, but December is an exciting time to look ahead. In their ninth annual forecast, JWTIntelligence shares ten key trends that will drive consumer mind-set and behavior for 2014 and beyond. According to JWT Director of Trendspotting Ann Mack, these trends look at how consumers are both welcoming and resisting technology’s growing omnipresence.

The report forecasts an exponential increase in consumer expectations for speed and ease with rise of the on-demand economy and our always-on culture. Meanwhile, the mobile device will come to represent a gateway to opportunity for underserved populations in emerging markets—helping people change their lives by giving them access to financial systems, new business tools, better health care, education and more.

Increasing immersion in technology will also continue to yield questions about its effect on people’s lives and privacy. In turn, many individuals will seek more balanced and mindful, in-the-moment lives and embrace imperfection in an all too polished and mass-produced world. The report also spotlights the accelerating shift to a visual vocabulary and the rise of telepathic technology.

“With our annual trends forecast, our aim is to understand the forces of change that are shaping culture, consumer behavior and business, and actively participate in driving that change,” says Bob Jeffrey, Chairman and CEO, JWT Worldwide. “This type of intelligence allows us to identify emerging opportunities in the global marketplace that we can leverage on behalf of our multinational clients.”

For the full scoop on what to expect in 2014, look through the JWTIntelligence Slideshare.


To recap, the “10 Trends for 2014” are:

1. IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCES: Entertainment, narratives and brand experiences will become more immersive and altogether more enveloping in a bid to capture consumers’ imagination and attention.
2. DO YOU SPEAK VISUAL?: We’re shifting to a visual vocabulary that relies on photos, emojis, video snippets and other imagery, largely supplanting the need for text. “Visual” is a new lingo that needs to be mastered.
3. THE AGE OF IMPATIENCE: With the mainstreaming of the on-demand economy and our always-on culture, consumer expectations for speed and ease are rising exponentially. As businesses respond in kind, making the availability of their products and services more instant, impatience and impulsiveness will only continue to increase.
4. MOBILE AS A GATEWAY TO OPPORTUNITY: In emerging markets, the mobile device is coming to represent a gateway to opportunity—helping people change their lives by giving them access to financial systems, new business tools, better health care, education and more.
5. TELEPATHIC TECHNOLOGY: Thanks to the rise of brain-computer interfaces and emotion recognition technology, brands are getting more adept at understanding consumers’ minds and moods, and reacting accordingly in a very personalized way.
6. THE END OF ANONYMITY: Thanks to an array of new technologies and a growing drive to collect personal data, it’s becoming nearly impossible to remain unobserved and untracked by corporations and governments. As anonymity becomes more elusive, expect pushback from consumers and a growing paranoia around technologies and services that affect privacy.
7. RAGING AGAINST THE MACHINE: As we move further into the digital age, we’re starting to both fear and resent technology, fretting about what’s been lost in our embrace of unprecedented change. We’ll put a higher value on all things that feel essentially human and seriously question (while not entirely resisting) technology’s siren call.
8. REMIXING TRADITION: With social norms quickly changing and a new anything-goes attitude, people are mashing up cherished traditions with decidedly new ideas, creating their own recipes for what feels right.
9. PROUDLY IMPERFECT: Imperfection and even outright ugliness—the quirky, the messy and the clearly flawed—are taking on new appeal in a world that’s become all too polished or mass-produced. The imperfect is coming to feel more authentic, and also more comforting and meaningful.
10. MINDFUL LIVING: Consumers are developing a quasi-Zen desire to experience everything in a more present, conscious way. Once the domain of the spiritual set, mindful living is filtering into the mainstream, with more people drawn to the idea of shutting out distractions and focusing on the moment.

JWT’s “10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond” is the result of quantitative, qualitative and desk research conducted by JWTIntelligence throughout the year and for this report. JWTIntelligence conducted quantitative surveys using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool.

Read more on JWTIntelligence.com and download the full report here. The press release can be found here.

3 thoughts on “10 Trends that will shape our world in 2014 and beyond”

  1. Very interesting view and certainly some things in here that I am going to want to keep an eye on. Point number seven was especially intriguing as far as I am concerned. I very much love the abilities that technology provides for us in this day and age, but I also fear that society is losing touch with the values of finding balance and practicing self control. Thank you for sharing!

  2. JWT’S 2014 TRENDS – The beginning of the age of the unreal is upon us, as virtual out-of-body experience increasingly becomes people’s every day reality. Here is the new New Age where people live no longer on this earth, but in their collective imagination. New Age 2.0 is so different from New Age 1.0 where more direct and humble contact with the earth outside ourselves was the principal (albeit mostly unrealised) aspiration. Perhaps, it is also time to remember two lessons of history which people never seem to learn: 1) Pride is the deadliest of sins, 2) it comes before a Fall.

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