3 weak signals you should be paying attention to
Trends are not static – they flex and evolve according to context and consumer demand. That’s why it’s important to keep on top of emerging indicators of change that could impact trend trajectories – AKA weak signals.
1. Will #deinfluencing kill consumer culture?
#deinfluencing has over 550 million views on TikTok, with posts showing consumers criticising influencers who make products go viral. Instead, they’re encouraging followers to only buy what’s necessary.
Could the shift from trendy hauls towards conscious, sustainable and selective buying mean that consumption culture is nearing its end? What will that mean for brands launching new products? How might it change brand-influencer relationships?
2. Are we moving backwards toward gender inequality?
The Gender in Advertising Report 2023 analyses over 10,000 ads launched between 2021 and 2022. It has revealed a 26% increase in the proportion showing women in domestic settings. At the same time, there’s been a 56% decrease in those showing women in professional settings.
Does this change reflect a post-COVID reality? What will it really take to close the gender gap fully? What role will brands play in helping societies reach gender parity?
3. Will anonymity be impossible in the metaverse?
A new UC Berkeley study has found that virtual reality users can be accurately identified simply through their head and hand motion. Vivek Nair, the lead researcher of the study, commented: “Moving around in a virtual world while streaming basic motion data would be like browsing the internet while sharing your fingerprints with every website you visit.”
Will anonymity be a sticking point for privacy-conscious consumers? What should brands integrating VR do to convince people that their “motion prints” aren’t being exploited?
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