Ypulse’s Predictions for 2018

The Ypulse team’s forecast for what 2018 might hold in media, marketing, entertainment, technology, and more... 

We’ve told you what some other experts are predicting for the next 12 months, now here are the Ypulse team’s thoughts on the trends in retail, marketing, and beyond that brands should be prepared for this year:


Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingTHE SHOWROOM ERA

Last year, we predicted that retail would shift to more select experiences, then watched as Experiencification in brick-and-mortar became the priority and the trend of shrinking retail footprints spread. In the coming year, these trends will continue and converge, resulting in a new era of showroom mentality for retailers. Brands will continue to create innovative pop-ups (already a major marketing trend) to experiment with new ways to show off their wares. More online-only brands will debut and expand their brick-and-mortar, but will follow the Glossier playbook—creating select in-person retail experiences that are non-traditional and highly Instagrammable. Ideas like retail hotels will gain traction, especially for home décor stores, to put products in a positive and appealing context. Meanwhile, historically larger stores will be forced to downsize to appeal to young consumers who don’t want a sprawling maze of choices, but to interact with products in a manageable, fun way—and have it all delivered to them later. (As we’re already seeing with experiments from Ikea and Nordstrom.)

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingHOME SWEET HOME DECOR

Millennials’ delayed home ownership—and their resistance to accumulating belongings the same way that Boomers did—has taken its toll on unprepared brands. But in 2018 we expect to see a pivot, as more Millennials enter the homeownership market, and retailers realize that while they might not have full houses to decorate just yet,…


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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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