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Artifacts: Year in Review and 2020 Projection

By Sherwood MacVeigh

Uncovering human truths. Curated and created by Hyperquake.

4 Minute Read

Artifacts in 2020

In 2019, Artifacts was a year of education. We walked through the trend-forecasting STEEP model and broke down trends within each category. By studying these trends, we uncover insights that drive deeper connections between people, brands, and businesses. This year, Artifacts is evolving beyond sharing our insights. We will continue uncovering human truths through the STEEP model while explaining how we apply those insights and foresights in our business and in our work.

A Year in Review

From black-and-white thinking to the messy middle, living in a “post-truth,” information age means questioning our own convictions. What was once undoubtedly right or wrong, good or evil, is now a gradient of nuance as more information surfaces and greater innovations are created.

From science fiction to reality, superpowers are becoming attainable as a result of streamlined innovation. In the past we saw technology as an accessory; now we see it as integral. Out with industrial-revolution culture and in with tech-age societal disruption. This shift shows humans now value convenience, immediacy and intrigue. 

We are no longer just consuming, we are critically consuming. With values like awareness, advocacy, and justice rising to the top, customers require social and environmental considerations to be made. The dollar equates to a vote and consumers are considering what they are saying with their money.

Many factors make up the environment: pollution (air, water, noise), resources (renewable/non renewable, food, land), weather patterns and natural disasters. As accountability and sustainability increasingly drive consumer decisions, brands and businesses need to be ready to respond to demands. 

Politics can feel like navigating landmines, but stripped of its divisiveness, the discourse is simply a conversation, where ideas are shared and received. As voice and visibility of all people continues to grow, the new expectation is not to avoid or divide, but to grow in purpose and understanding.

2020 Projection

Conformity is dead. The formerly marginalized will become the majority, flipping social structures on their heads. Throughout our 2019 Artifacts reports, we saw consumers asking why and asking it again and again. As Gen Z takes over, visibility continues to grow, and the desire to take action into one’s own hands increases, the authentic will prevail.

What this means for you and your business.

Answering the ever-present “Why” will propel your relationship with consumers. Embrace the uncomfortable questions in society and find your niche in the tension. “Making a difference” or “taking a stand” can’t just be your message, it has to be integral; a part of your DNA. Being genuine and activating the truth is your point of difference in 2020. 

 

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