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:

RETAIL/FASHION

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

Quote of the Day: “I like playing and talking about [Animal Crossing] with other people. It's nostalgic for me since I've been playing games from the series from a young age.”—Female, 22, PA

Which brands had the most YouTube subscribers in 2018? In media, Warner Bros. topped the list with 6.4 million subscribers, followed by BBC and ESPN. Apple beat out last year’s winner for tech PlayStation, while Red Bull and Ford remained the reigning champs of food and beverage and automotive, respectively. Finally, Nike was first place in the clothing category for the second year running, with 30,000 more subscribers than their closest competitor, Adidas. (Tubefilter)

A “Little League for esports” is fostering future esports stars—and fans for life. Super League Gaming is bringing some much-needed organization to youth competitive gaming, building teams of young Minecraft, League of Legends, and Clash Royal players, helping them train and compete. But the program isn’t just for the next Ninja; just like traditional sports, kids get a sense of community among like-minded friends. (AP News)

Nielsen reports that Millennials actually consume less media than older demos, but more of it is digital. While the average adult consumes over ten hours of content a day, 18-34-year-olds spend less than eight hours with media. And the heaviest smartphone users are 35-49-year-olds, who spend 20 minutes more each day on average with their phones than Millennials. However, the younger demo does spend 44% of their media time with digital devices, more than older demos that spend more time with TV as they age up. (THR)

Vitaminwater is wagering $100,000 that you can’t give up your smartphone for a year. Contestants have to disconnect from internet-enabled devices where “texting is a pleasant experience” for 365 days and post a pic to Twitter or Instagram explaining why they need the digital detox. And when the year’s up, they have to prove it. Considering that 65% of 13-36-year-olds told Ypulse they would be unable to unplug from their smartphones for a week, earning that $100,000 may be harder than they know. (Fortune)

Hard seltzer revenue skyrocketed over 400% over the past 18 months. White Claw leads the way for the category with top-of-the-results organic search (they’re the number one Google result for “hard seltzer”) and a social media presence that focuses on health and wellness-related imagery. Sparkling water is already one of Millennials’ favorite things to drink, and its hard version could rise through the ranks of their top alcoholic beverages. (Gartner)

Quote of the Day: “People call [video game culture] nerdy but I see nerdy as a positive connotation.”—Female, 28, MA

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