2018 Looking Further with Ford Trends Report: Sure, Everything is Chaos Now, But, I Dunno, Maybe Things Get Better?
Ford has released its 2018 Looking Further with Ford Trends Report, which identifies 10 trends that the automaker (and mobility company) says will shape consumer attitudes and brand approaches in 2018 and beyond. Not surprisingly, the report finds that more than 60% of adults around the globe are overwhelmed by what’s happening in the world around them, which is reflective of the fact that logically-thinking Americans have spent the past 18 months or so feeling like they’ve a wrong turn and wandered into some kind of darkest timeline.
“We’re clearly living in interesting times,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford global consumer trends and futuring manager, in what might be the understatement of 2017. “Worldwide, people are polarized. At one end of the spectrum, people are leaning into these changes, championing them as a long overdue step in the right direction. At the other end, people feel displaced, disillusioned, and discontent, ushering in restlessness and uncertainty.
“But out of the chaos and conflict, a new energy is emerging,” she continues. “Consumers are becoming more active, expressive, purposeful, and introspective. There is less patience for the frivolous, and more emphasis on what’s meaningful and impactful. This ethos is reflected in more and more brands and institutions around the world, including Ford, where we are relentlessly focused on providing trustworthy mobility solutions that make people’s lives better.”
Well, at least some folks are managing to remain optimistic when civil discourse has eroded to the point where world leaders act like petulant children and lie repeatedly and unashamedly. Maybe there’s hope after all!
- The Edge of Reason, in which 72% of Americans say that the country is undergoing an identity crisis and 76% say that they think America is facing a crisis of leadership. You don’t say?
- The Activist Awakening, which finds that about 50% of adults between the ages of 18-44 expect brands to take political stances
- Minding the Gap, which finds that 81% of adults around the globe are concerned about economic disparity created by the overwhelming greed of the world’s richest 1%
- The Compassionate Conscience, in which a majority of adults say that they are overwhelmed by all the suffering in the world and 50% say that the news is a source of daily stress
- Mending the Mind, which shows that adults are increasingly anxious and depressed but cognizant that they must do more to take care of their emotional and mental well-beings
- Retail Therapy, which focuses on the proliferation of time-saving goods and services and the enjoyment derived from the retail shopping experience
- Helplessly Exposed, wherein people around the world find themselves increasingly creeped out by the degree of access that companies have to their personal information
- Technology’s Tipping Point, which examines the rise of virtual reality, advanced artificial intelligence, and, of course, self-driving vehicles and the optimism (and anxiety) it causes
- Singled Out, examining the traditions of marriage and having children and how the changing of the status quo has led to more acceptance for alternative models
- Big Plans for Big Cities, looking at the role of cities in addressing issues relating to mobility, prosperity, and wellness through affordable housing, infrastructure, and increased green spaces
The Looking Further with Ford 2018 Trends Report is up at www.fordtrends.com, where it is available to read once you’ve made some semblance of peace for the day with the ceaseless, howling rage that courses through your skull and has become such a strange and consistent facet of your existence.