What Will Happen in 2017? The Ultimate Prediction Roundup

The expert predictions for the year ahead and trends to know in marketing, tech, retail, food, and more…

Predicting the trends for the year to come has become a new year tradition across industries. We've combed through all the forecasts to create the ultimate roundup of expert opinions on what brands need to know in 2017: 


2016 was the year that augmented reality surprised everyone—outshining virtual reality’s arise. In the year to come, some experts expect that trend to continue, and for AR/mixed reality to be more important that VR to consumers and brands. Pokémon Go is credited for bringing augmented reality to the masses, but those in the interactive kids’ product field see Pokémon as just “a teaser” for what’s to come: “Smart” AR characters that react to their surroundings, AR children’s books and games, and educational tools. Content and monetization are the main focus of the industry, but the CEO of Legacy Games predicts, “You will see AR experiences when you go to Disneyland...You will see it implemented in amusement parks, museums and more.” But VR is a big part of Business Insider’s predictions for 2017—they expect the technology to make an impact in events like sports and concerts, as well as therapy this year. They also see the chatbot trend—which we’ve covered all year—becoming a “huge” part of running a business.


According to agency Brand Union, in 2017 brands will try to be as unbranded as possible. This insight is based on the emerging trend of candid photography, honest copywriting, and transparent business strategy currently being used by brands like Casper, Thinx, and Urban Outfitters. They predict that more companies will be adopting the “meticulously un-designed” look next year, striving to appear “flawed, unpredictable, naïve, even strange,”…


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The Newsfeed

"I play [games] constantly until 4 in the morning. When I’m not on my game I’m checking my phone. And the whole time I’m doing all of that my desktop is on the internet.”—Male, 22, OH

Twitch is airing every episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, in celebration of the late Fred Rogers’ 90th birthday and the show’s 50th anniversary. The esports streaming service is expanding to nostalgia entertainment (which young viewers can’t get enough of), but they have a unique twist. The show will be available for co-viewing, with popular Twitch streamers chiming in from time to time. (Mashable)

Over one-third of 18-34-year-olds have stopped using a brand after hearing negative news about them, more than any other generation. Among the brands that most consumers said they gave up on were Wells Fargo, Target, Papa John’s, and Uber. However, Critical Mix and kNOW also found that young consumers are more willing to forgive a brand for bad press: While only 30% of consumers overall would use a brand again after a scandal, 41% of 25-34-year-olds would. (MediaPost)

Alamo Drafthouse is bringing back VHS—offering free rentals for Millennials that wax nostalgic for analog products. Their first store, Video Vortex, is opening in North Carolina. Not only are they “fostering a movie-loving community” with the extensive gratis collection of 75,000 titles, but they’re making money off of the added “beer, food, and merchandise.” No VHS player? No problem. They’re renting those as well. (BoingBoingEW)

Researchers were surprised to find Gen Z students were “relieved” to ditch their smartphones for a few weeks. Screen Education’s study of 62 12-16-year-olds found that 92% thought “it was beneficial” to disconnect from their smartphones while they were at camp. And even though 41% admitted they felt frustrated at times, 35% were able to cut down their use after camp and 17% convinced a friend to curb their time spent on smartphones, too. (PR Newswire)

Beauty brands love augmented reality, but an app can’t replace in-store experience. Not only did Ypulse found time and again that young consumers expect Experiencification and flock to marketing activations (like pop-ups), but brick-and-mortar locations build loyalty. People think they’re scamming Sephora when they re-do their makeup gratis, but that time-spent-in-store is really “turning the ‘scammers’ into buyers.” (Quartzy)

"I love my smart phone. It is just like my best friend [and] I just can't do without my smartphone...”—Male, 27, CA

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