Tribes and Trends 2024

In this newsletter, we explore what various sources that analyze consumer trends predict for 2024. In addition, we contrast this information with consumer tribes that we believe will play a leading role in the coming year.

Tribes and Trends 2024

Understanding and adapting to emerging trends is not just advantageous โ€“ it's essential for success. The intersection of these trends with distinct consumer tribes offers a unique opportunity for businesses to connect more deeply with their audience. Our latest newsletter combines insights from many sources with our comprehensive "Consumer Tribes Encyclopedia" to provide you with a strategic roadmap. You'll discover how to align your offerings with the current market dynamics and the specific consumer groups most likely to engage with these trends. Whether you're a seasoned entrepreneur or a budding business enthusiast, this guide is tailored to help you navigate the evolving landscape, identify your ideal customer segments, and tailor your strategies for maximum impact. Let's dive into a future of opportunities!

1. Back to Nature

The transforming potential of nature and the outdoors is something that consumers take advantage of.
This trend emphasizes the growing interest among consumers in seeking solace and wonder in outdoor experiencesโ€‹โ€‹. As people look to reconnect with nature and escape the digital overload of modern life, there's an increasing demand for experiences that offer a sense of awe and immersion in the natural world.

Business Implication: Businesses can capitalize on this by creating products or services that facilitate or enhance outdoor experiences. This could include outdoor gear, wellness retreats, or even virtual reality experiences that mimic nature.

Action for Your Business: Develop immersive experiences that blend technology with nature, such as augmented reality trails or wellness apps that promote outdoor activities.

Case Study: In observance of Mental Health Awareness Month in May 2023, L.L.Bean temporarily suspended its social media content and substituted promotional images with tools, resources, and advice that promoted physical activity. Additionally, the outdoor retailer headquartered in the United States collaborated with the social fitness application Strava to encourage users to record their outdoor activities within the application. This was done in support of the L.L. Bean Feel-Good Challenge, which aimed to accumulate 500,000 hours of outdoor time throughout the month. With the participation of more than 90,000 individuals, the nonprofit Mental Health America raised $50,000.

Relevant Consumer Tribes:

Consumer Tribe: Optoutsiders
Wildlife Watchers
Consumer Tribe: Wildlife Watchers
Wanderlust Muppies
Consumer Tribe: Wanderlust Muppies

Supporting Statistics:

35% of global consumers spend time in nature to maintain their health.
Foresight Factory
89% of global consumers say that wonder-inspiring experiences make them feel good.
Wunderman Thomson
75% of consumers across 33 countries agree that being close to water instantly makes them feel more relaxed, with 36% interested in water-centric vacations in 2024.

2. Empathy Factories

Customers expect brands to offer post-purchase support in an uncertain environment.
In an era where brand loyalty is increasingly hard to secure, this trend focuses on the importance of building loyalty through post-purchase support and servicesโ€‹โ€‹. Brands are expected to provide empathetic and comprehensive customer service that extends beyond the point of sale, ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty in the long run.

Business Implication: This calls for a more customer-centric approach, where businesses not only meet but anticipate customer needs.

Action for Your Business: Develop post-purchase support strategies that go beyond the norm. Consider offering flexible return policies or loyalty programs that truly add value, like Watsonsโ€™ Retailssure Programโ€‹โ€‹. Services should not just solve problems but also anticipate customer needs.

Case Study: Following the rescheduling of Taylor Swift's Buenos Aires performance due to heavy rain, LATAM Airlines announced that it would waive ticket-change fees to extend supporters' stays in the city. Due to safety concerns, the November 2023 concert was postponed by two days, from Friday to Sunday. The largest airline in Latin America, the airline, declared the revised flexibility policy on X. While airlines frequently adjust their schedules to accommodate major events, it is uncommon for them to offer charge waivers in the event of cancellations or postponements.

Relevant Consumer Tribes:

Empowered Nenis
Consumer Tribe: Empowered Nenis
Ultra Fandoms
Consumer Tribe: Ultra Fandoms
Impulsive Collectors
Consumer Tribe: Impulsive Collectors

Supporting Statistics:

In 2022, 13% of shoppers worldwide said retailers and brands must do more to maintain their loyalty. In 2023, that number jumped to 20%.
78% of global consumers agree: "I uncover things that attract me and make me loyal to a brand after my first purchase."
37% of consumers worldwide think many companies prioritize higher profits over a better customer experience.

3. Tailored Brands

By granting back-end access, brands bestow upon consumers novel capabilities of co-creation and control.
This trend focuses on allowing consumers to personalize and co-create products and experiences. With 73% of global consumers expecting better personalization with technological advancements, brands are encouraged to cede control and embrace consumer creativityโ€‹โ€‹.

Business Implication: This trend suggests a move away from one-size-fits-all solutions towards more adaptable and customizable products and services.

Action for Your Business: Encourage customer participation in product development, offer modular or customizable products, and use AI to tailor marketing and customer service experiences.

Case Study: .Swoosh Studio facilitates collaboration between .Swoosh members and the brand's designers via the virtual marketplace and digital community operated by Nike, .Swoosh. Nike declared the four victors of the #YourForce1 challenge in February 2023. Participants were requested to submit visual storyboards that drew inspiration from the Force 1 sneaker and were uploaded to Instagram. Each victor received $5,000 and the opportunity to collaborate with Nike designers on digital creations. The inaugural tangible product created by .Swoosh was introduced in October 2023. It was an Air Force 1 sneaker that could be obtained exclusively through the SNKRS app by enthusiasts who had previously acquired digital footwear.

Relevant Consumer Tribes:

Inspo Girls
Consumer Tribe: Inspo Girls
Aesthetics Frenetics
Consumer Tribe: Aesthetics Frenetics
Trendy Dudes
Consumer Tribe: Trendy Dudes

Supporting Statistics:

70% of consumers across the US, UK and China can't remember the last time a brand did something that excited them.
Wunderman Thomson
By 2026, 30% of new apps will use AI to drive personalized adaptive user interfaces, up from under 5% in 2023.
73% of global consumers expect better personalization when tech advances.

4 . The Kindness Economy

Amidst global divisions and unpredictability, brands promote compassion.
Amid reports of an increase in hate crimes and violent incidents, concerns have been raised that social media companies, despite their overt declarations to combat hate speech, are not doing enough to prevent extremist content and disinformation from spreading online. Brands have the ability to restore equilibrium by declining the allure of capitalizing on negative viral trends for a few amusements or likes and instead opting to magnify moments of happiness.

Business Implication: Companies can strengthen their brand image and customer loyalty by aligning with social causes and demonstrating corporate social responsibility.

Action for Your Business: Partner with charities, launch campaigns that contribute to social causes, or create products where a portion of the proceeds goes to charity.

Case Study: As of November 2023, US and UK residents that share zip codes with select Hotel Indigo properties can borrow everyday necessities (like coffee, tea and sugar) for free. The Borrowed by Hotel Indigo program was inspired by research from the brand that revealed that 59% have never asked to borrow from their neighbor because they're too shy (29%), don't want to be an inconvenience (23%) or don't have any sort of relationship with their neighbor (25%). Residents are not required to return the borrowed items. Hotel Indigo is part of IHGโ€™s Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio.

Relevant Consumer Tribes:

Conscious White Collars
Consumer Tribe: Conscious White Collars
Consumer Tribe: Artivists
Consumer Tribe: Heroes

Supporting Statistics:

65% of global consumers say that the lack of civility and mutual respect is the worst they've ever seen.
36% of global consumers avoid the news often or sometimes. This number is higher in Greece (57%) and Argentina (46%). 
Reuters Institute & University of Oxford
67% of global internet users have encountered online hate speech.

5 . Digital Minimalism

This trend suggests a balanced and beneficial integration of technology into daily life. Consumers who are overburdened by technology will adopt digital minimalism in 2024.
An increasing dependence on technology gives rise to apprehension regarding its ramifications at the individual and societal levels. Life has been both complicated and simplified by technology, according to nearly one-third of global consumers; the rapid adoption of generative AI will only serve to fuel these sentiments. In response to this evolving sentiment (and in response to the regulatory pressures they face), technology companies have introduced tools that claim to assist users in controlling their screen time. However, these functions are bypassable and merely provide a false sense of control to users desiring to liberate themselves from the dominance of large technology companies.

Business Implication: There is a growing demand for technology solutions that enhance, rather than complicate, the human experience.

Action for Your Business: Invest in user-friendly technologies, focus on improving customer experience through digital platforms, and ensure your tech solutions add tangible value to the customerโ€™s life.

Case Study: Humane, based in the United States, introduced the Ai Pin in November 2023: a wearable device equipped with a camera and interface. Menus are accessed via hand gestures or finger pinches. Voice commands or a laser ink display projected onto the hand are utilized to interface with the device. With OpenAI as its power source, Humane strives to assist users without requiring them to leave their displays. Voice commands are translated into actions by means of the Ai Mic function. These actions include text composition, photo capture, real-time speech translation, and incoming message summarization. The price of the Ai Pin is $699 USD.

Relevant Consumer Tribes:

Quirky Techies
Consumer Tribe: Quirky Techies
Consumer Tribe: SciMoms
Consumer Tribe: Techpreneurs

Supporting Statistics:

The phone-free movement in US schools: Yondr, which makes lockable pouches for smartphones, reported a 150% increase in schools using them in 2023.
CBS News
78% of consumers have put at least one measure in place to set boundaries on their digital activities.
81% of global consumers agree that social media companies have too much power.

6 . Life Literacy

Brands equip consumers with the necessary information to navigate through a chaotic and demanding environment.
In a world where only 35% expect an improvement in life quality in the next five years, this trend emphasizes the importance of practical skills for resilience. In the midst of ongoing uncertainty, consumers will seek buffering mechanisms that restore their autonomy. They will pursue practical knowledge in 2024 that will equip them with the fortitude necessary to flourish amidst periods of turbulence.

Business Implication: This trend points to the importance of the entire customer lifecycle beyond just the point of sale.

Action for Your Business: Give your customers the knowledge they need to survive in a challenging, uncertain world. Develop educational content, user guides, and proactive customer support to enhance product usage and customer satisfaction.

Case Study: A campaign collaborating with Ogilvy Colombia and the Colombian supermarket Carulla instructs consumers on the proper storage of produce to prevent its premature expiration. The brand explained via its hybrid campaign, which debuted in January 2023, how the ethylene emitted by specific fruits and vegetables accelerates their ripening when they are stored together. Additionally, the brand implemented an online shopping feature that encouraged patrons to separate their groceries into individual containers in an effort to prolong the freshness of products.

Relevant Consumer Tribes:

Parents Go Further
Parents Go Further
Humble Tempters
Consumer Tribe: Humble Tempters
Family Guardians
Consumer Tribe: Family Guardians

Supporting Statistics:

35% of people surveyed across 31 countries think their quality of life will be much higher in five years than it is today.
62% of people worldwide believe their countries are headed in the wrong direction.
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of Gen Z across 16 countries say podcasts educate them on topics they wish they'd learned about in school.

In Conclusion

This report combines global trends with specific consumer tribes from our database, offering a targeted approach for businesses to align their 2024 strategies with specific consumer groups. This tailored approach can help businesses more effectively engage with their audiences, fostering stronger connections and driving growth.

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