Multinational professional services company Accenture recently introduced Fjord Trends 2022: The new fabric of life.
Accenture’s Fjord Trends 2022 tells a story of individuals and their relationships with each other, the planet, brands, and technology. The intended theme for these trends is about the need to respond to changes in every type of relationship – threads that create the new fabric of life.
Come as you are
People have a growing sense of agency in life, and this affects the way they work, consume, and relate. The rise in self-agency is manifesting in changes in how people see work. This means competition for talent is not just between companies, but with other things, people want to do.
In this trend, side-hustles are classified as the cause, symptom, and feature. Technology is making it easier to find new income streams, either through traditional employment or side projects. This presents new challenges for employers to balance the flexibility they offer with the need to work towards the organisation’s growth.
The tension is between individuals’ aim to meet their personal goals versus their responsibility as a part of a collective. The “me over we” mentality has implications for companies in how they lead their workforce, nurturing company-customer relationships, and a new employee value proposition.
The end of abundance thinking
For those who are used to getting what they want with minimal effort and enjoying “abundance thinking” – will have their convenience pitted versus their relationship with the planet.
Inflation, shortage of workers, supply chain disruptions, climate change catastrophes are causing shortages across the globe. Scarcity of goods will affect consumers’ morale, and brands should prepare on how to manage expectations around sustainability and convenience. This could also bring opportunities to have a new angle for consumerism, and it’s possible that the change in behavior becomes a catalyst for new habits.
To ensure progress, it’s essential for businesses to decouple innovation from the concept of “new”. One method might be to create new value for consumers using services that prolong a product’s life, rather than doing upgrades. A momentum towards “regenerative business” that will replace the “take, make, dispose” model is predicted with a more circular approach. The trend calls for organisations to collaborate with others within the ecosystem to address climate change.
The next frontier
The metaverse is making waves. Brands and people are given a new platform to interact, consume, and earn. It sets a new stage for how the digital space interacts with the physical world. It’s a stage where people can take part to participate in events, and where transactions for digital assets can take place. Companies need to understand how their target audience will exist in this space if they choose to, as well as how their brand can thrive in the metaverse.
Accenture expects a period of learning, questioning, and experimenting on possibilities and what people want. Brands have to be ready for trial and error if they want to operate in the metaverse with the end user’s experience as the main focus.
This much is true
Turning to Google to ask questions and get immediate answers has become a norm in people’s daily lives. But as people are asking more questions, there’s an increasing doubt in the answers provided.
Lack of integrity, inappropriate language, and misinformation are creating cracks within information systems and putting people’s trust in brands at risk. Information layers are critical for brand owners to build trust and connect with their target audience.
Businesses must navigate limited space for people’s limited attention span and limited space for information layers. It’s important for these layers to be simple, personalised, and easy to use. Content design is vital and conversational AI is expected to evolve in sophistication. Hybrid interfaces will have the capability to augment physical objects with a digital layer of information.
As the pressure to address people’s inquiries grow, new information layers will present a powerful trust-building opportunity.
Handle with care
Compassion and care are arguably the traits that define humanity. The topic of care goes beyond the health sector. Non-health businesses are discovering new ways to show care to customers. The responsibilities involved in self-care and care for other people will matter to brands and employers because it adds an emotional touch that establishes trust.
Ways to create new value in caring through design include prioritizing mental health, expanding accessibility, protecting consumer data, and reducing operational white noise for employees. Businesses and designers need to practice care more often rather than just talking about it. The goal should be to integrate care into systems.
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