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: 

TECH

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.

MARKETING

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

Quote of the Day: “When deciding what products to buy, what’s most valuable to me is reviews from users regardless of whether or not I know them.”—Female, 32, MA

Adidas is continuing to take customization to the next level, with a new pop-up store that creates custom clothes in a majorly futuristic way. Knit For You, located in Berlin uses a laser body scanner to determine exact measurements for their personalized merino wool sweaters. To select their design, shoppers go into a dark room where patterns that can be adjusted with hand gestures are projected on their chests. The final chosen product is then knitted, washed, and dried in-store to be picked up in hours, for the price of $215. (Business Insider

BuzzFeed’s wildly popular food platform Tasty is expanding into the coffee business. In a partnership with NBCUniversal, Tasty has begun selling Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee beans, and of course, they’re “offer[ing] a quiz to help with decision making.” Quiz-takers will be asked about their favorite fruit, how they feel about caffeine, what their ideal morning is like, and more, to which they can answer with emojis. Once the coffee choice is made, consumers can make it even more personal by creating their own labels. (Grub Street)  

Chinese Millennials are using digital devices for “connection, discovery and actualization,” more often than their American counterparts. A recent global survey from Labbrand found that 85% of Chinese Millennials are using their phones to make in-store payments on a weekly basis, compared to 44% of U.S. Millennials. They’re also more likely to broadcast their behavior online: Over seven in ten Chinese Millennials are posting movie, restaurant, travel, and other activity-related reviews weekly and over half say they share everything they do online, compared to 44% and 28% of U.S. Millennials respectively. (ReadITQuik

What cities are Millennial homebuyers flocking to? According to an analysis by LendingTree, the top three are Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Des Moines, Iowa—based on mortgage requests by those 35 and under. The online loan company says that on average 36.1% of all their mortgage requests came from the age group, a slight increase from the year before, which they say is “thanks to a stronger jobs market and overall economy.” They expect to see more young buyers looking for homes as financial situations keep improving. (Yahoo FinanceCredit.com

YouTube is being criticized for filtering LGBTQ content. Recently, YouTube creators have discovered that some content featuring LGBTQ titles and themes are being filtered when users enable “Restricted Mode” to screen out “potentially objectionable content.” YouTuber Neon Fiona pointed to her own page as evidence, citing that videos with “girlfriend” in the title were filtered under the mode, but videos with “boyfriend” in the title were not. Not all LGBTQ content is filtered and one YouTuber observes, “This is something that no one’s really sure how it’s working.” (Tubefilter

Quote of the Day: “When I was watching the Super Bowl, I switched the channel or left the room when it was a commercial break.”—Male, 27, MN

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