Wunderman Thompson Highlights 100 trends that will shape 2021


Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, a WPP agency, presents The Future 100: Trends and Change to Watch in 2021. The report is developed by Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, the agency’s futures think tank and innovation unit.

The one hundred trends are drawn from the culture, technology, travel, branding & marketing, food & drink, beauty, retail, health, business and finance sectors.

Wunderman Thompson Highlights 100 trends that will shape 2021

The report also features expert opinions, including that of Brenda Millis, principal of creative and consumer insights at Adobe Stock, and Don Stein, CEO and founder of Teooh, among others.

Cautious optimism sets the pace for 2021 as the world reflects on the challenges of 2020 and enters a hopeful year of economic rebound and societal healing. Big change is already in motion.

The United Kingdom exits the European Union, a Biden-Harris administration assumes leadership, and multiple promising COVID-19 vaccines roll out around the world—offering a glimpse of a post-pandemic era.

Mel Edwards, Global CEO, Wunderman Thompson commented,

“At a time when gaining a competitive advantage has never been more important, the Future 100 report reveals the key trends that will shape consumer behaviour and define the way ambitious brands engage with their customers during the coming year. These insights will help marketing leaders inspire growth for their organisations and move forward into 2021 with confidence and optimism.”

Key spotlights:

Culture: New gaming frontiers. Gaming is no longer just for gameplay; traditional gaming spaces are transforming into cultural centres where people can virtually gather for community, entertainment and business.

Tech & Innovation: Data sustainability. Climate-change conversations tend to fixate on physical waste, but what are the environmental implications of rising data usage? 

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Travel & Hospitality: Isolationist travel. Preference for destinations that offer nature, adventure and solitude are on the rise.

Brands & Marketing: Branding together. A new class of leadership sees brands putting aside competition and instead of collaborating to tackle social and environmental challenges.

Food & Drink: Ghost kitchens.  “In the same way that, in the last five years, third-party delivery has helped to define the restaurant industry, the next stage of that evolution over the next five years is going to be ghost kitchens and other forms of distributed production,” Euromonitor’s global head of beverages and foodservice research Michael Schaefer tells Wunderman Thompson Intelligence.

Beauty: Intersectional beauty. Politicized consumers and the Black Lives Matter and intersectional feminism movements are highlighting underrepresentation and calling beauty brands out publicly.

Retail: Live commerce.  Retail-tainment moves online with engaging, tailored shopping experiences for digital-first consumers.

Work: Micropreneurs. Budding entrepreneurs are creatively kick-starting new businesses—and the economy.

Health: Immunity wellness. Wellness offerings are expanding to incorporate immunity strengthening elements for consumers who want to boost their defences against viruses.

Finance: Unbiased banking.  A rise in neobanks, which operate exclusively online without bricks-and-mortar branches, is addressing the frequently overlooked needs of minority groups.

For all 100 trends, including 10 from each of the above sectors, plus 21 exclusive predictions from industry experts, download the full report.