[4 minute read time] Today’s CMOs are constantly scanning the news and social networks for the latest trends and cultural shifts. For emerging brands, cultural trends and shifts couldn’t be more important. But even the savviest of CMOs needs to put these separate trends into a broader cultural context in order to put them to use. Enter TrendHunter, their annual Trend Report is a must-read for PR firms, CMO’s, Product Managers, and Innovators. Guess who else watches these massive cultural trends? The media.
As a PR firm that specializes in emerging brands and emerging industries, we’re extremely fortunate to be working with brands already leading the charge on many of the trends and cultural shifts that the latest TrendHunter report documents in its 200+ pages. A few cultural trends caught our eye and thought they were worth digging into on a deeper level for our community of CMOs and media.
3 Massive Cultural Trends for Emerging Brands
Over the last 6 years, we’ve noticed an increasing demand for mushroom-based functional foods. The wonders of the mushroom knows no bounds. Nowhere is this more true than in the expansion of psychedelic mushrooms. As researchers fast track the science behind therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, global businesses in Brazil, The British Virgin Islands, and the Netherlands, benefiting from legal loopholes are launching brands and experiences that include psilocybin (the compound that creates psychedelic mushrooms). In the US, like cannabis-based THC, psilocybin remains federally illegal, but the local movement to decriminalize the psychoactive ingredient in mushrooms has already begun in Denver, Oakland, and Santa Cruz (as of this writing). Emerging businesses and innovators see psilocybin following the same path of cannabis, but moving considerably faster towards legalization.
Most marketing executives could not ignore the breakthrough app of 2020: Clubhouse. Clubhouse may or may not have peaked already, and everyone’s listening to see what’s next. Interestingly, the pandemic surge on ClubHouse came just as marketers were wondering whether podcasts, famously popular with commuters and gym rats, would remain relevant. But podcasts survived, and some would say even thrived.
Apps like Calm, which uses sound to ease tension also surged during the pandemic. Music lovers know the secret to these apps: listening to sounds has a measurable effect on mood and dopamine regulation. Could it be true? Are audio-only meetings more memorable than video meetings? Twitter is betting on it with its pandemic feature: ‘Spaces.’ Emerging from the pandemic, the sound will be part of every experiential memory and brands will be looking to research to determine how their sound logos impact people’s moods much the way the we investigate how color impacts mood for graphic logos. We’re launching the ability to LISTEN to our blog posts starting with this very post.
Inclusion is no longer a buzzword, it is now part of our day-to-day awareness. This year, Gillette Venus’ Skinclusive line launch with a summer line, “My Skin, My Way” on video game Animal Crossing. But inclusive skin is in, and so it differently abled bodies with this launch. In-game inclusivity mirrors our greater awareness of how our differences can be beautiful. We’re seeing inclusion happening in apps like Chapters: Interactive Stories, where users can create an avatar that reflects their ethnicity as well. Expect to see this in-game inclusivity mirror: gender inclusion and political points of view as well.
Bonus round: brand purpose. From sustainability to social good, TrendHunters covered the trend we’ve been seeing for several years: brand purpose. The best brands in the world are already ahead of the game on this, but it’s also trickling down to emerging industries and smaller brands and that’s because tomorrow’s most influential buyers care very much about where their products come from and what the social, political, and environmental costs of the brand are.
All of these trends have massive PR, product, and marketing implications. More and more, our clients are bringing us in at the beginning stages of ideation, to ensure not only do campaigns hit newsworthy notes, they also keep them out of hot water, which is a moving target these days. But our team, hand-picked for emotional intelligence, are here to help you see emerging trends all around.
Thanks for joining us today!