In this year’s Trending report, we reveal how rebellion will drive consumer decision-making across four key mindsets in 2023 and the decade ahead: the rebellion against perfection, authority, surveillance and restraint, each of which bring new and energised trends to the fore. Below, we explore one of the 4 four new trends that will define the year ahead, and how to activate it.
Unlock more new trends for 2023 by downloading our free Trending 2023 Report Preview.
In 2023, we will see a rebellion against perfection.
Sleek minimalism and filtered perfection have long been the ultimate aesthetic aspiration touted by brands, influencers and consumers, with social media platforms like Instagram disseminating this idea on a global scale. But as TikTok continues to grow, bringing with it the notion that authenticity and rawness are the new cool, consumers are questioning established conventions around beauty and style, which are often lacking when it comes to inclusivity and accessibility. From goblin mode and feral girl summer to over-the-top maximalism and unapologetic messiness, nothing is off limits in this new era of anti-perfection.
To reflect the rebellion against perfection, we have launched a new consumer trend for 2023:
Embracing individual style and choices in defiance of perfection and sameness
What is Unapologetically Me?
Established conventions around beauty and style are being questioned. These were already under pressure for lacking in inclusivity and accessibility, and now an active rebellion against perfection in many facets of life mean appearances don’t matter like they used to. Our latest 2022 data shows that more consumers don’t feel pressure to look good all the time than do. If constantly maximising glamour is not a priority for consumers, sectors that sell with sleek presentation – from beauty and fashion to media and homewares – are challenged to adapt.
A growing number of popular platforms encourage being candid. TikTok favours filter-free posts that foreground flaws and all, and the growing platform BeReal actually demands this, not allowing any edits to photos but only real-time capture and posting. New app chart-topper Gas enables high schoolers to anonymously “gas each other up”, encouraging compliments instead of comparison in contrast to filter-forward social platforms.
Consumers are expressing their true selves in unique and different ways. One way this trend manifests aesthetically is through bad taste and kitsch, living out the anti-minimalist motto that “more is more”. These looks may be a social performance for some, and colourful personalities (no matter their intentions) are on the leading edge of this trend. However, being even a little offbeat is also true to this trend. Many, especially younger consumers, feel they can’t be their authentic self and still fit in. At the same time, they feel the need to express themselves in a way that’s just a bit different from others. The goal is not to be a better you, but the real you – whatever that looks like.
How your brand can activate the new consumer trend Unapologetically Me:
- Empower your customers to use your products in any stylistic configuration they wish. Allow customers to tailor products to their unique aesthetic and identity, recognising that there is no one right way to enjoy things. This takes personalisation to its ultimate end, where no standard form needs to exist. Complete flexibility and freedom to mix, match and merge is part of a world where perfection is in the eye of the beholder and stylistic pluralism is celebrated.
- Recognise that restrained minimalism is not attainable for many, and is less desirable than it once was. Instead, consumers increasingly want raw and unfiltered realness, plus tackiness, ugliness and weirdness. All is accepted if it’s a true expression of one’s identity.
- Tap into new definitions of beauty. Beauty is being redefined, moving away from narrow ideals to an elevation and admiration of a diverse range of looks and features. Ensure your brand remains aware of how standards are being subverted, and respond by celebrating innovators pushing boundaries.
Unapologetically Me is one of four new consumer trend launched in our Trending 2023 report. Download a preview version now for a sneak peek at more trends.