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

“I saw some heartbreaking stories in the internet, and decided to look up some international charities and donate to them.”—Male, 20, WA

Magazine covers aren’t dying in the age of digital—even when publications go out of print. Digital-only covers are “captur[ing] the print magazine's tangible essence” while building hype for media brands on social media (especially Instagram). PorterComplexNylonGQ and more publications have taken on the trend, featuring celebrities like Chance the Rapper to Sophie Turner. For magazines looking for a comeback with young consumers, digital-only covers can “translate their own brand for the web." (Fashionista)

Following “a series of scandals,” YouTube is taking major steps to overhaul its video review process and ad placement policies. The new guidelines “kick tens of thousands of video makers out” of the ad program by requiring anyone who generates ad revenue to produce 4,000 hours of content and gain 1,000 subscribers in one year, upping the ante from the previous requirement of 10,000 lifetime views. YouTube is also promising to manually review every video in its top tier of advertising (Google Preferred), and they’ve hired 10,000 new employees in the last year to get the job done. (recode)

Some Millennial parents are applying their minimalist tendencies to their kids’ toy chests to battle play clutter with “toy limitation.” It’s not a new concept—some schools of thought that have “advocate[d] simple, open-ended toys” include Montessori, Waldorf, and RIE—and today’s advocates say limiting toys can improve focus and happiness. A report from the University of Toledo concluded that toddlers “played ‘better’” when given fewer toys, meaning they played with each toy for longer and in more creative ways. However, some parents worry that they’re “denying [their children’s] self-expression” when they limit toys, and so the debate continues. (Slate)

Tostitos is giving fans their very own personalized Super Bowl ads to invite friends to their game parties. The platform takes a user's name, address, and other invite info and spins it into a video perfect for Customization Nation. Each ad features a different combination of Super Bowl clichés, including a “talking baby, puppies, sassy older women, [and] a celebrity pitchman.” Considering Ypulse data shows 64% of 13-34-year-olds watched some or all of the 2017 Super Bowl with friends and family, it’s a safe bet at least some will be sending out invites, possibly with some Tostitos product placement this year. (Adweek)

Facebook’s new feature lets Groups co-view each other’s content. “Watch Party” allows Group admins to show any Facebook video to members simultaneously, and to comment on a “dedicated reel” for a “shared viewing experience.” The feature is another step towards the platform’s new goal to “encourage meaningful social interactions,” and their new focus on Groups. The push for social viewing could possibly be integrated into other aspects of Facebook and its properties, like group chats. (TechCrunch)

“I plan to go to a free barre class at a local studio that is offering them as part of a New Year's promotion.”—Female, 33, MA

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