Trending 2024: Reckoning with what it means to BELONG

December 15, 2023

2024 is right around the corner. What ongoing forces will continue to impact consumer behavior in the new year? And how will recent changes affect existing trends and create new opportunities?

Our Trending 2024 report reveals how tension and unrest is leading to the need for reckoning across multiple key areas of life: what it means to be human, what it means to be healthy, what it means to be sustainable, and what it means to belong. Ahead, we dial in on one of the four areas that will define the year ahead, and how brands can respond.

Download our free Trending 2024 Report Preview to uncover more insights for 2024.

In 2024, we will see consumers reckoning with what it means to belong.

How can consumers feel a sense of connection and belonging in a world that seems increasingly fragmented? Traditional unifying forces and authority figures have seen their influence wane, while the mass adoption of flexible lifestyles is desynchronizing routines and schedules. Furthermore, the celebration of individuality and self-expression is gaining momentum, with many aspiring to carve out unique identities that set them apart. However, against this backdrop, a parallel need persists among consumers: to feel part of something bigger than themselves. The rise of fandoms and passion-based communities serves as a striking illustration of this, while wide-reaching social phenomena such as #barbiecore reveal that demand for mass-market, communal touchpoints is real.

As this dance between individualism and community unfolds, how consumers craft their identities and build all-important status is set to evolve. Heading into 2024 and beyond, brands that can cater to the dual desires of consumers to assert their individuality and find resonance within a larger context stand to gain.

What will happen next?

We considered a range of weak signals and critical uncertainties to map out 3 potential future scenarios for the reckoning of what it means to belong:

Collision subscribers have access to more detailed scenario descriptions, as well as sector-specific imperatives for action.

How to act:

  • Energize and engage fandoms. Cultivate the fandoms and shared-interest communities linked to your brand or industry niche. Analyze their preferred communication channels and the unique culture and lore that bind them. Engage these groups, for example though fan-centric comms, loyalty perks, special hangouts, and merch. Meanwhile, provide a platform for fans to be recognized and celebrated within their communities, for example by facilitating fan-to-fan resale markets or rewarding fans for their stand-out contributions.

Reckoning with what it means to belong is one of four reckoning landscapes we explore in our Trending 2024 report. Download a preview version now for a more detailed breakdown of the trends and tensions set to define the year ahead.


Written by Content Team

The Content Team produces all the reports and articles that get published on our dynamic consumer trends intelligence platform, Collision. By tracking trends, monitoring signals of change across sectors and audiences, and working alongside our data team to digest and analyse our proprietary consumer research, they help leading global brands strengthen strategic relevance and gain a competitive edge.