Let’s be frank—2016 was brutal for us all. Whatever side of the political fence you live on, the acrimony and rhetoric was soul crushing, leaving many of us in despair about who we are and what’s to become of us. However, it is critical in these times to remember that we are captains of our own souls and masters of our destiny! I firmly believe 2017 will be an incredible year for those who understand the macro-trends and key shifts in attitudes we will be experiencing. Use these as guiding lights to chart your course—you will be amazed at what you can create.
2017 will be a year like no other. The world is spinning quickly, and our sense of control over global events is at an all time low. People will be turning inward, and will be longing for safety, security and sanctuary. They will seek this out in self -care, small groups, honing their own abilities to create sustenance and beauty in their homes, and seeking out thought leaders who present a feminine and more emotional perspective on the world. It’s an amazing time for women entrepreneurs to show up in service to these needs. Bright lights have never been more needed—now is the time to step forward and SHINE.
People are living in fear right now. Uncertainty about a new Presidential regime in the US, along with the continued threat of groups like ISIS abroad, have fear levels at an all time high. Hot button issues of race, globalism and nationalism fan these flames to an intensity level we have not experienced since 9/11. When people are afraid, they turn inward, and lock a door against the world. Big adventures and risk taking dim in favor of circling the wagons and creating a sense of safety at home. It is no surprise that the Danish practice of hygge (the art of making your everyday home life cozy and charming) is one of the hottest design trends this winter. Opportunities will abound for those who can assist in helping consumers create a sense of security and sanctuary at home—to help them cocoon. Home creation crafts, home entertainment programs, dining in, home study courses (think wine tastings, group baking clubs, gourmet cooking groups, etc.) will flourish as people look for ways to dig in and connect with loved ones in the safety of home.
Do you believe in Magic? We are seeing an intense increase in the search for magic and the spiritual realm as consumers react to a heightened sense of dishonesty and lack of ethics in the “real world.” People are turning away from today’s cacophony of lies and profit-taking (hi, Volkswagen!! Shout out, Wells Fargo!) and are instead looking for a more ancient and mystical wisdom. In the world of personal growth, and in beauty and health, the desire is for rituals, sacred practices and mysticism. Start-ups such as Moon Juice are flourishing at this time specifically because we want to believe in something larger and more intuitive that resides within each of us. Meditation studios are popping up in urban areas everywhere, and products and services tied to ancient practices are gaining traction. If you have an offering that reaches back into a deeper, more spiritual grounding, that allows users to uncouple from reality for a bit and tap into a deeper Source, you will find an eager and active audience.
We are all feeling battered and bruised by the violent ending of 2016. And we are all tired of the fear mongering and endless conjecture of what is to come. In lockstep with cocooning and magic will come a deep need to restore and revive our bodies and spirits, as well as the deeper understanding that we must all be responsible for how we show up as individuals in the world, since we can’t control anything else. Soothing and simple treatments, healthy food programs, day spas and the like will be sought out by consumers as a way to regroup and reconnect with themselves before they take on the outside world. Simple, minimalistic and spiritually-based providers will be the most successful as a reaction to the bloat and cacophony of the previous year.
Despite—and perhaps because of—all of the rhetoric and the current political climate, 2017 will be a HUGE year for women. As a backlash to the election, there is a heightened awareness of the need for women in senior positions, and a commitment across the globe to bring in women as consultants and advisors. Women are promoting women, and the gauntlet has been laid down. The need for a more inclusive and emotionally intelligent way of thinking and acting is obvious—and now is the time to take advantage of this groundswell. Owning our femininity and expressing it proudly and with purpose is the foundation for a huge opportunity. Expect to see women-owned service groups crop up everywhere, female opinion leaders and think-tanks flourish, and “Pink Power” to rule the airwaves. The world is hungry for this unique female energy as a way to heal and advance our path—so take advantage of this shift and celebrate your unique feminine perspective.
Every year, Pantone (the color company) selects one color that epitomizes what we want and need as a civilization. For 2017, the color selected is Greenery. To quote the company’s spokesperson: “Bringing forth a refreshing take, Greenery is a tangy yellow-green that speaks to our need to explore, experiment and reinvent. Illustrative of flourishing foliage, the fertile attributes of Greenery signals one to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.” Today’s consumer is longing for a new Spring and a fresh start, and is looking away from technology and industry to a natural resource. Natural cures, spa treatments, as well as health and beauty products that spring from nature will all be highly sought out products and services. Younger consumers, in particular, are seeking out a connection with nature and ways to incorporate the environment into their daily lives. Think green, and you will flourish!
We are all aware of the rise of AI, and see the term “chatbox” popping up everywhere—but really—what does it mean??? An easy way to translate this is to think about it as an evolution from “smart” technology to “intelligent” technology. A smartphone gathers information that you request. An intelligent device seeks out things it intuits you might be interested in, based on behavior. AI is this element that helps us become closer to things we want, by understanding what we are moving towards. Now, think of this as an opportunity for serving your clients on a deeper level. All of today’s technological growth represents our hunger to know ourselves better. Every data bite, every FitBit report, every DNA test shows a desire to unpack our unique purpose and commensurate gifts. Consumers are increasingly seeking this out in a crowded and uncertain world. How can you serve up a HUMAN-centered AI experience? Self-discovery sherpas will be in high demand, as well as highly focused curation of goods and services, based on really knowing your consumer base. Identifying the unique and special item that mirrors your client’s goals and needs, in a way they never expected, will be a critical service for 2017.
As the dust settles with innuendos of “fake news” and hacking still swirling about, we will be craving real time connection within our local communities, and those online groups that reflect our personal passions and beliefs. People will be seeking out deeper relationships with those they can trust, and will be hungry to create communities that nurture and validate their own values. From old-fashioned knitting circles, to neighborhood exchanges, we will be looking for people who we can count on, who know us and who will reach out when we go quiet. Trust has been lost in larger corporations and certainly in government. Therefore, we will be creating our own tribes who will help keep us safe and secure in the year to come. How do you help connect people? What can you do within your own sphere to support and regularly reach out to your customer? Being vulnerable, personal and honest will go far in this arena. People are looking for real connections with real humans. Create a safe space and watch your engagement and connection soar.
For more fascinating trend insights from Lynn Casey, visit shinescout