WGSN have identified the key consumer issues to guide consumer thinking for 2012. This new WGSN report looks at future consumer trends and directions. This forecast looks at consumer priorities and identities in order to build the landscape of 2012 on which to plan and research.
Written by Ruth Marshall Johnson, WGSN senior editor, journalist and fashion analyst focusing on far-reaching future trends. Trained at London’s Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, she has worked on The Telegraph Magazine, The Fashion and Elle. Ruth was also assistant to fashion historian Judith Watt, for whom she researched books on Ossie Clark and the series Writers in Vogue before joining the WGSN Womenswear team. As leader of the Think Tank directory, Ruth is responsible for WGSN’s forward- thinking agenda. Ruth regularly speaks at international conferences and recently appeared on the BBC documentary British Style Genius.
In 2012 your consumer will feel:
A sense of triumph over adversity
A new-found desire for beauty and developed style
A need to creatively express themselves and a thirst for the fresh, unusual and surprising
Renewed energy for an incredible future and acceptance of the “new”
Positive and excited about the increased speed of change
The need for a stable, organised base in the form of home, family and responsible society
The desire to edit and lighten up
The need for filters in order to surround themselves with only exactly what they want
Permission, often through technology, to start from scratch
It helps to pinpoint where we are now…
Right now we’re preparing for a 2011 where the divided and often confused consumer is our biggest challenge.
People have a sense of responsibility and a need for escapism, a desire for rules and structure plus a strong desire for freedom and self-control.
Active participants will be young and old, global and local, big and small, professional and amateur, mass and niche, unique and connected.
We’ll also have a frustrated, worn-down consumer who will need some cheap release and will be open to good, positive ideas for the future.
Essentially brands are realising that not all consumer segments can be marketed to in the same way, and traditional segments are being re-evaluated as well – we no longer want one-size-fits-all lifestyle strategies or products.
So as we move into thinking about 2012, the reaction to this state of overwhelmed confusion is emerging and at the heart of our consumer analysis for 2012 is the guiding principle of beauty.
2012 will see the world prepared to enter a new state of wonder, and consumers will feel able to engage with and search for superb design, awe-inspiring technology and products that really enhance lives.
In WGSN macro trends for autumn/winter 2011/12, we talk about the concept of the Triumph of Beauty, because consumer attitudes will stem from a reaction to having lived through serious cut-backs, but also because of a return to the desire for amazing products and communications that are beautiful in addition to providing great performance, instead of at the expense of great performance.
Finding this balance will be the consumer’s challenge to the creative industries.
For spring/summer 2012 we begin to talk about a Screengrab the World approach – this mainstream consumer quest for beauty will begin to be shaped increasingly by the digital revolution aesthetically, as well as conceptually by marketing, communications and business.
As the first generation that grew up with the internet begins to influence the world, its tastes, thought patterns and behaviour, moulded by that online reality, will influence the way the rest of us behave.
For many, 2012 will mark the turning point when we finally say goodbye to the old millennium and embrace a new world.
Active participants will not compare online and offline lives – together they will just be “life”. They will be unique, ageless and fluid – one thing one day and one thing the next – global, creative, organised and daring.