As part of the day job I have been researching macro trends for 2017/18. These are big picture ideas which bring together the most innovative and inspiring ideas from art, design, fashion, technology, interiors & architecture, food, the media and popular culture. By building up a picture of the way we will live our lives in the future, we help the brands we work with tap into the cultural zeitgeist and create a focus for their products, retail environments, online content and marketing campaigns.
Something we have been noticing for some time, is an increased desire for emotional connection, kindness and a sense of doing good. This is reflected in the number of feel good tv programmes and advertising campaigns which focus on real life emotional connections (think 24 Hours in A&E, First dates, the John Lewis dancing girl etc etc), an increased desire for comfort food (breakfast is the new dinner) and the popularity of blogs such as Humans of New York/London which focus on the real stories of the people in our cities – to name but a few examples.
We are also noticing a move away from the ‘like” culture and fake identities created on social media – which can be detrimental to our well being – particularly for young women who have grown up living their lives online.
Several brands are promoting the idea of women taking a more realistic, kinder approach to self image – some more successfully than others.
The above film was by the made by The Sanctuary last year, when they asked a group of women about their lifestyles. Nearly half said they were feeling moderately or extremely stressed and 40% felt like they were about to burn out.
On a mission to encourage women to Relax, Breathe and #LetGo, the brand then created the film, featuring advice from women who realise the importance of stepping back every now and then and appreciating life’s precious moments.
A recent report commissioned by Weight Watchers encourages women to take a more holistic approach to life and identifies a number of “Kindness Hacks” for them to build a more positive and healthy relationship with themselves.
Vulnerability, previously seen as a weakness, is increasingly being reframed as a great strength.
Find Your Thing
In a time of such intense competition, rather than try and compete on someone else’s terms the greatest asset any woman has is to recognise what makes her her.
Reframe ‘weaknesses’ as strengths
More and more, values such as empathy, collaboration and flexibility (more traditionally female traits) are being identified as the key values for success and growth within business.
Radical Bodily Honesty
Led by a quorum of artists and activists, younger generations of women are celebrating themselves in all their messy glory: from body hair to menstruation.
Find Your People
Finding the right group of people – either online or in real life – is a way of being kind to ourselves.
The Weight Watchers Mind and Body Quantitative Study reveals that 53% of women sacrifice me-time when they are busy.
Taking time out for ourselves is important and while these studies could be seen as just another way for brands to sell us more “stuff” – they may well have a point.
What do you do to be kind to yourself?