In a world of constant and dramatic change, new insights from Ford’s Looking Further with Ford 2016 trend report reveal a renewed sense of inspiration and ingenuity among consumers striving for a better quality of life in the New Year – motivated more than ever to make the world a better place.
What’s trending for 2016
Ford’s report is a blueprint for understanding how these 10 trends are expected to influence consumers and brands for 2016 and beyond:
1. Embracing Heroes: Where goodwill is faltering among established leadership, it’s gaining with communities and individuals who are rethinking what it means to be a good citizen, neighbor and person. Everyday heroes are stepping up to the plate, and they’re inspiring others to do the same.
2. Swiss Army Life: A rising emphasis on self-reliance has created an ethos of purposefulness and utility. Better living today is not about having more things – it’s about living smarter by pushing to get greater use out of fewer things.
3. Time Poverty: “So much to do, so little time” has always been one of life’s conundrums. Yet with greater connectivity, we’re increasingly on-call, and time proves more elusive than ever.
4. EZ Life, Brought to You by the Connected Concierge: With growing support from artificial intelligence, the rise of full-service technology allows for outsourcing more responsibilities to innovative consumer features that learn and adapt to our needs – expanding our sense of hope and possibilities for better living.
5. Mindful Goes Mainstream: Two-thirds of consumers across the globe say mindfulness is not a fad. As our lives become increasingly complicated and demanding, the way forward many people are embracing is to be less mind-full and more mindful – giving ourselves time and space to breathe, reflect and regroup.
6. In Awe of Aging: As people live longer, healthier lives, the notion of aging is being redefined. Shifts in health care, nutrition and medical science are driving today’s seniors to reject long-held stereotypes of what it means to be elderly.
7. Fit for Misfits: Today, one size fits nobody, and connections between mainstream brands and consumers are taking a back seat to unique, more personalized and meaningful ties.
8. Waste Not, Want Not: In a high-consumption society, innovators are getting creative with extracting value from stuff nobody wants. This sustainability trend promises to push the boundaries of people’s imagination and resourcefulness.
9. Buying into the Flexible Economy: Once exclusively the turf of creatives, freelancing is becoming increasingly normalized – and it’s upending how we produce and consume goods and services.
10. Retail Revolution: Retail is no longer simply about product, it’s about experience; retailers are finding new ways to forge meaningful connections with consumers.
Insights driving Ford
The trends highlighted in this fourth annual report go beyond the auto industry to help Ford comprehend what’s happening globally in social, technological, economic, environmental and political arenas. These insights drive every aspect of the company’s business – overall strategy, development of future products and services, and the customer purchase and ownership experience – helping Ford create innovative mobility solutions that address consumers’ rapidly changing needs.
The trends point to a heightened focus on mobility as a means to help develop new ways to address the complexities of urban transportation, global gridlock and increased connectivity among consumers. Nearly 75 percent of adults worldwide say greater mobility is important for global stability. Ford echoes this view, and is dedicated to using technology, sustainability and collaborative approaches to make the world a better place.
“There’s no escaping the impact the rapid pace of technology has on culture,” said Connelly. “What’s fascinating to watch is how companies like Ford adapt and innovate at this pace. These insights help us to create products and services that not only exceed today’s expectations, they provide innovative ways of looking at how to tackle challenging situations of tomorrow.”
Through consumer-centric innovation, Ford is playing a pivotal role in championing mobility by creating smart vehicle networks and embracing changing models of ownership and consumption that favor greater access for all. Ford Smart Mobility is the company’s plan to take connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicle technology, the customer experience, and data and analytics to the next level. Its efforts will ultimately deliver safer, more convenient and efficient methods of addressing global transportation challenges.