An effective experiential marketing strategy has to be built with the latest trends in mind if companies truly wish to create next generation experiences for their consumers. MCH Global and Reflection Marketing have published their annual Trend Report since 2017 as a way to help companies navigate the never-ending influx of evolving moods, technologies, and opportunities of today’s global trends.
The Future Trends Report serves a valuable resource for anyone interested in re-imagining their experience marketing, curious about the most effective formats for doing so, or interested in learning how to activate these evolving formats effectively. Part reference manual and part inspiration, Future Trends 2020 is more than a list of simple futuristic digital changes: it highlights topics and trends that are relevant and useful today, and provides a usable roadmap for putting them in action with success.
Today we join three of the masterminds behind the 2020 Future Trends: Harry Hofstetter (MCH Global Trend and Innovation Strategy Consultant), Andreas Wetter (MCH Global Head of New Business), and Luc Benyon (Lead Writer and Content Marketing Consultant).
Our world is moving faster than ever. New approaches appear every single day and navigating the wealth of available information has become a huge challenge when trying to stay up to date on the latest innovations. “We have noticed that companies are struggling to orient themselves within the huge diversity of trends,” explained Harry. “Our goal with the Trend Report was to create a tool that supports companies and offers guidance through the jungle, which can be overwhelming.”
Compiling the report was no easy task. “We are constantly analyzing the market, attending networking events, fairs, and trend forums, always looking at changes in trends,” said Andreas. “It’s complex because the Americas, Central Europe, and Asia, for example, all experience different trends; demand is changing, supply is changing… that’s just the way things are.”
Analyzing trends from both a global and local perspective requires a certain big-picture vision of how trends are shaping industries as a whole, especially when it comes to experience marketing. That vision, and the ability to take in information from a huge variety of sources, was key to developing the report. “In addition to looking outside of ourselves,” Andreas explained, “a big part of the trend report was developed out of key questions we asked ourselves in-house: what is the market doing right now, where do we fit into that, and, most importantly, what do our customers really want to see?” The team worked closely with their customers to gather feedback and build out insights from their hands-on experience. Their conclusion? Be sure the customer benefit and the real added value for target audiences is always at the root of your activations. “I always say it’s the sum of all opinions that gives you a true, qualitative overview of what’s really possible and what customers actually want,” said Andreas.
Some executives may think of trends as a passing craze or, if business is going well, a nonsensical reason to uproot currently successful strategies in favor of the unknown. Harry disagrees; he believes trends are development boosters that provide huge opportunities. “It’s like the stock market,” he says. “If you recognize a trend at the right moment and jump on it– essentially buying stock early– then you can make a huge profit. It takes courage and the necessary screening to recognize trends at an early stage, but if you bet on the right trend, you can gain a huge advantage over your competitors.”
Trends prove that the world is different tomorrow, and that tomorrow will be here sooner than most of us realize. “At the executive level, decisions are often based on experience,” Harry continued. “That’s why part of what we do is try to inspire executive managers to think differently. We want them to see the world through the eyes of their children. We want them to remind themselves, and each other, that yes: what they have done up until now was valid up until now… but it might not be valid tomorrow.”
The trend report traditionally breaks down both mega and macro trends taking place across the world, then dives into how those trends can be specifically applied to brand activations and experience marketing. There have been some changes for the 2020 edition, however. “We decided to take a slightly different approach this year,” explains Luc. “The Report is built around examining a trend, then providing a case study for that trend, and then providing a related action item. The action item is built to help Trend Report readers learn from the case study and work towards bringing a similarly inspired concept to life themselves.”
A shorter, digital-only copy of the Trend Report is available for free download here, while the complete trend report is available for purchase as a print publication and live workshop package. The report’s corresponding Trend Workshop is designed to ensure trend report buyers maximize their use of the report and take their experience to the next level. Harry explains: “Of course we have premonitions about which trends could work best for a specific company based on our experience, but in the end it really comes down to an individual’s DNA. The Trend Workshop has been designed from the ground up to be an interactive program where we work together with participants to evaluate which trends could really be relevant for their company.”
A special event was held at MCH Global’s Zurich headquarters on November 7th to coincide with the launch of the Future Trends 2020. Harry Hofstetter presented some core trends from the report to invitees, who were key industry players in marketing, retail, and luxury. The event’s theme was set ten years in the future in order to showcase the concept of making a trend experience come to life. The launch event featured futuristic food and cocktails, in addition to partners that displayed tangible AR, VR and hologram technologies, which participants could experience in person during the course of the evening.