Lifestyle Trends 2017

By Jo Phillips

2017 is around the corner and trends and innovation are moving at breakneck speed, powered by an engaged and curious global consumer. Now, J. Walter Thompson’s Innovative Group has unveiled its third annual ‘Future 100’ report, which is predicting trends in the areas of beauty, brands & marketing, culture, food & drink, health, lifestyle, luxury, retail, tech & innovation, and travel & hospitality. The worldwide director of the Innovation Group, Lucie Greene, says “Keeping up with shifts in the world today means keeping a pulse on what’s happening and also having the future vision to anticipate what’s to come. So what makes the 2017 consumer tick? What would the 2017 horoscope for consumer behavior look like? We hope ‘Future 100’ offers brands, marketers and consumers alike, the answers to those questions”.

The full report can be found here. These are some of their lifestyle trends for 2017:

Drone racing: Sports marketers are betting that drone racing will be the latest sport to make it to the big leagues. The rise of e-sports has demonstrated that a substantial market exists for new sporting events. Today’s niche technology could easily become tomorrow’s moneymaker.

Future Hollywood: Technology is a tool for filmmaking and storytelling and new technologies add rich new landscapes to entertainment. “People are becoming more sophisticated in their understanding of experiences but also increasingly frustrated by frames around things,” says Frank Rose, author of The Art of Immersion. “They want things to be non-linear, to leap into them. There’s no distinction between screens and the person, or digital worlds and people.” Increasingly we’ll see more and more convergence between rich immersive technologies, artificial intelligence, storytelling and gaming.

The second screen comes first: Until recently, apps and social networks were delegated to a background role during major televised events. Today, these “second screen” platforms are increasingly opting to host live TV themselves, blurring the lines between the first and second screens. Consumers are turning their attention from TV to mobile at a rapid clip. Last year, consumers spent 25% of their media time on mobile devices—not far from TV’s 36%. Millennials already stream more than half of the TV they watch, making the shift to mobile intuitive. As consumers become increasingly relaxed about how they access content, expect more blending of the first and second screens.

Sleep Renaissance: We never realized our eight hours were so precious until technology and life demands began to take them away. Consumers are now reclaiming the value of shut-eye through pro-sleep lifestyles and sleep-friendly group experiences. New direct-to-consumer brands are shaking up the old-school bedding business by making mattresses more compact, affordable, and easier to transport. They are also turning the pro-sleep lifestyle into an art form, with bedroom design hacks, napping tours and more.

Smart Clothing: In 2016, a wave of new seamlessly “smart” clothing hinted that the long-promised wearable technology revolution might be closer to functional integration in our everyday garments. As consumers have become accustomed to “smart” health-tracking accessories, the next wave of wearable clothing will be expected to provide real benefits without sacrificing style.

Platonic dating apps: In July, Tinder added a Social mode, which allows groups of users to team up and make “crew” connections for a night out. A few months before, Bumble added BumbleBFF, a separate mode that lets users swipe left or right on potential friends. For established dating apps, the shift to platonic swiping means they can expand their profitable user base beyond just singles.

Cashless labs: In Sweden, only a fifth of retail transactions were being conducted in cash as of 2014. Cafés, banks, and other establishments routinely refuse cash, and charities have even distributed card-readers to the homeless to allow them to accept donations. Proponents say the shift eases transactions and reduces fraud. Meanwhile in Zimbabwe, a near-cashless society has emerged in the past year for entirely different reasons. The country is running low on paper money, with its own currency beset by problems and the US dollars that replaced them increasingly being shipped out of the country.