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Looking forward with 10 predictions for 2022

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Keko Group consider the trends that will dominate in 2022.

In our last article, we looked at ten reflections on the year we’ve just had. Now, we’re giving our top ten predictions for the world of modern affluence in 2022.

1. Sharing and caring will continue

Buying less new – upcycling and recycling more. Responding to more brand transparency to help us make better choices based on the impact our purchases will have. Throughout this year, what we do and what we spend will increasingly be dictated by ethical factors. Communities will hold on to the gains they made over the pandemic, so far, in terms of engagement and outlook. Charitable activity will increase.

2. Authenticity and honesty as brand currency

There are no hiding places for brands now. Consumers expect transparency around corporate social responsibility, and their expectations of honesty and changed behaviors will only increase in 2022. This is not about worthy statements tucked below the line on a brand website but upfront activity. Brands that deliver on their promises will soar.

3. Spaces and retail will keep evolving

Conversations around the future shape of our cities and communities will continue. New planning orthodoxy will replace the temporary measures which saw car access reduced, and cycle and pedestrians prioritized. More emphasis will be placed on mixed-use developments with retail resized and residential elements prioritized to restore vibrancy in commercial centers. Retail rejuvenation will continue. We’ll see more independents and a greater focus on experience, with theater to bring footfall and a constant interplay between physical and virtual retail. ‘Big box’ stores are coming to create new, more compact, footprints on the high street.

4. Carbon zero

Carbon zero will be the prism by which we view almost every one of our activities and purchases. Firstly, no decision will be made in ignorance. The acceleration of transparency of impact during decision making, and at the point of consumption, will be tangible. Secondly, there will increasingly be financial and societal consequences – think ‘flight shame’, or flygskam, but over more activities.

5. Brand communications get richer and flex

The customer conversion and communication experience has never been richer. It’s also less predictable as older demographics embrace digital channels anew. It’s about reach but also quality of engagement. Increased digital privacy will result in a renewed focus on analogue for some.

6. Cyber security and privacy more vital than ever

As individuals, our digital value has never been higher. Every transaction, want and desire is held virtually. We wouldn’t have it any other way, but the need to keep that data secure is vital. Consumers have trusted brands, more or less, to safeguard their information but brands that prioritize this will gain an advantage. The occasional hack or leak priced-in is no longer sustainable.

7. The metaverse expands

The metaverse is on the verge of going mainstream. It’s not a facsimile of real life but an alternative environment with purpose. For many it will be a more efficient, effective, and exciting place to transact and explore. Every brand needs a plan.

8. NFT: An essential social currency

NFT is the credit/debit card transaction of our age and then some. From paper currency to digital currency to NFT. It will have the ability to hold value securely and to be the very DNA of creativity. Storing art and culture and providing transactions where traditional methods are either absent or vulnerable. NFT will enter our everyday lives.

9. Performances sloooowwww down

The pandemic made us hungry for live performance. The shared entertainment experience. Sitting with our friends or fellow fans enjoying the same thing at the same time. As our social lives return to balance, the ‘box-set binging’ phenomenon of live performance will slow.

10. Agility is our super strength

Families, individuals, communities and the workplace all had to adapt in response to a single external factor. Ingenuity and resilience built up over the last two years will not be discarded. It has made us more nimble and agile. In 2022, the workplace will continue to adapt. The pool of talent is no longer as geographically restricted, and the workforce is more willing to pivot to respond to new opportunities – anywhere.

To follow more of the trends and insights that are influencing the world of modern affluence – and to see how accurate our current predictions are proving to be – subscribe to our monthly Keko Debrief.

Prashant Yadave, head of strategy at Keko.

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