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Trend: Trendsetting Experiences

Spanning Truth to Tuscany, this year’s TREND pieces have explored the full breadth of the Experience Economy. As 2019 comes to an end, we’re looking forward and asking: What are our great expectations for 2020?

Customer Experience

The last decade has seen a total revolution in customer experience. Gone are the days of “the customers always right.” 2020 is all about knowing what the customer wants before they know it themselves. Predictions for the next few years suggest that “personalisation” will remain the buzz word in customer experience models, as companies continue to provide unique experiences aimed at individual consumers. Innovations like Nike’s new flagship New York store, House of Innovation 000 are set to become the new normal for retail giants, offering spaces for consumers that are both personal and intuitive. Think more touchers, sensors and beacons.  An omnichannel marketing structure will reign supreme, with customer experience treated as a single journey, placing individuals at the centre. Following this approach, companies will continue to streamline all marketing platforms so that sales and marketing are unified, and customers receive a unique, meaningful experience. Lessons learned in retail will continue to migrate into the working world.  Beyond buzzy cafe’s and fitness hubs, workplaces will continue to evolve with both digital tools and IRL practices that create a more connected, more streamlined and more inspiring place to contribute your skills and talents. Businesses are also beginning to test how AI and Virtual Reality experiences can aid in training, design, and collaboration with companies like Boeing starting to test AI in the workplace as a means of training for factory workers.

Environmental Experience

If you’ve been following our Trend articles this year, you’ll know that the age of ‘Grab-Go-Throw’ mentality is well and truly coming to an end. An awareness of our environmental experience, encompassing both the world we are cultivating and the kinds of places we’re hoping to surround ourselves, is an increasingly important factor in how we live our day to day lives. This July, our monthly theme centred around travel, with a focus on sustainable travel trends and epic experiences. In the spirit of sustainable experiences, we took a page out of Greta Thunberg’s book, looking at the multitude of options that allow for guilt-free travel. Think out-of-the-box experiences that are as much about the journey as they are the destination, like the Orient Express, road trips, and walking tours. The key to an enjoyable holiday is making WHAT you do as important as WHERE you do it, so our TREND article focused around travel writer Alison Stewart’s top picks for experience-based holidays in 2020. You can read the full article here. In October, we looked at Super Experiences, the latest Trend in the Future Workplace movement, with workplaces combating the usual monotony that accompanies the daily grind with original, intriguing experiences to keep your mind engaged and alive.

Life Experience

Workplaces are beginning to realise that significant shifts have to be put in place as to how we manage the balance between working and living. This is primarily due to the emergence of the 5G workforce, where, for the first time, we’re seeing five generations working together in the same space. Part of this change involves how HR departments cater to both the skills and knowledge of each generation, as well as each individual’s wisdom and life experience. There will also be an even greater shift towards being present, in-the-moment, and in-real-life (IRL).  The hyper-connectivity and hyper-stimulation of our age necessitates a counter pull back to ground and to grounding practices that are more about savouring nature and close relationships.  Mind Body Green give a practical guide to small changes that can make a big difference in 2020 such as taking a lunch break, starting a gratitude journal, and putting your phone away when with other humans.   As a new decade breaks, we will continue to watch how new and evolving trends will impact our business world and way of life, however as traders and fashion designers know, sometimes it is wise to go against the trend.

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