Top 11 Overlapping Cultural Trends From 13 Reports

Matt Klein
Jan 3 · 4 min read

Last year I conducted a meta-analysis of 13 trend reports for 2018, finding the 19 most prevalent “predictions” of the year to come. Looking back, while some forecasts like “The Cannabis Norm” and “Crumbling Big Tech” were on the money, “Participatory Entertainment” and “Mainstreamed AR” still haven’t quite landed.

In hindsight, many of these “trends” were (and still are) more reactionary than anything — they project behaviors stemming entirely from prior events, rather than reading between the lines to calculate possibilities. More so, many of these trends are not necessarily “annual”, as last year’s “Mindfulness in Vogue” and “Craving Detox” continue strong into 2019. Regardless…

After curating the 13 most reputable reports this year, and analyzing +300 trends from Mindshare, Frog, Edelman, Mintel, Fjord, Space 150, JWT, Forrester, Trend Hunter, Landor, Global Web Index, TrendWatching, Sparks & Honey, and Facebook IQ* (developed with JWT, Stylus & PSFK), I’ve noted the top 11 prevalent, overlapping trends throughout. Below, you will find the most recurrent themes, personal descriptions, and how each organization named their trend.

01. Sensational Sustainability ♻️

Manufacturers will cautiously cater clean, environmentally-friendly products

New Sustainability — JWT
Sustainability Beats Convenience — Fjord
Green Consumption — Global Web Index
Beauty Goes Green — Facebook IQ (Stylus)
Environmental Beauty — Trend Hunter
Everyday Eco-Products — Facebook IQ
Anti-Package — Trend Hunter
Circular Economy — PSFK
The Last Straw — Fjord
Rethink Plastic — Mintel
Open Source Solutions — TrendWatching
Purpose Regains Meaning — Forrester
Zero Waste Retail — Trend Hunter

02. Digital Health 💊

With addiction, prioritization of mindful tech usage and detox will thrive

Social Isolation — Mintel
Social Media Wellbeing — JWT
Semi-Presence — Sparks & Honey
Mindful Media — Mindshare
Ethical Internet — JWT
Silence is Golden — Fjord
Data Minimalism — Fjord
Digital Minimalism — Sparks & Honey
Unplugging is the New Luxury — Space 150

03. Voice Evolves 🔊

Voice assistants and sounds will amplify in both ubiquity and intelligence

Voice Technology — Global Web Index
Voice Campaigning — Trend Hunter
Sound Empires — JWT
Micro-Moments Will Rule Search — Frog
Look Who’s Talking — Mindshare
Smarter Sound — Facebook IQ
Branded Podcasting — Trend Hunter

04. Ethical Dilemmas ⚠️

Among outrage, brands will be forced to take sides, frequently ill-prepared

Brands Enter the Outrage — Forrester
Don’t Get Stuck in the Middle — Landor
Legislative Brands — TrendWatching
Inclusivity Paradox — Fjord
End of Gender Generalization — Landor
Branded Commentary — Trend Hunter

05. Identity Blur 👩🏽‍💻

Our on- and offline lives will continue to meld, making distinction difficult

Digital Identity — Edelman
Identity Integration — Sparks & Honey
Designing Our Off-Screen Lives — Frog
Fantasy IRL — TrendWatching
Delving into Digital Worlds — Facebook IQ
Virtual Influencers — JWT
On Display — Mintel

06. Immersive Retail 🛒

Brick and mortar will become more participatory, hoping to remain relevant

Retail Gets Experiential — Frog
Retail Retreat — Trend Hunter
Hip Experiential Stores — JWT
Brand Experience — Landor
Space Odyssey — Fjord
Outdoor Immersion Store — JWT

07. Obsessive Wellness 🥑

The elevation of self-care will become farther-reaching and more quantifiable

Total Wellbeing — Mintel
Lab Rats — TrendWatching
Wellness as Luxury — Facebook IQ (PSFK)
Every Company is a Wellness Company — Landor
Brand Therapists — JWT

08. Digital Faith 🔐

Trust in institutions will further diminish, especially surrounding data ownership

Paradox of Trust — Frog
World Goes to Zero Trust — Forrester
Trust in Data Privacy — Global Web Index
Traceable Transparency — Trend Hunter
Consumer-Champion Tech — JWT

09. Questionable Reality ⁉️

With tools to manipulate and channels to seed, the truth will become debatable

Synthetic Reality — Fjord
Negotiated Reality — Sparks & Honey
Accepted Deception — Sparks & Honey
Real or Replica — Mindshare

10. Workplace 2.0 💼

The traditional office will witness a transformation in both structure and tech

New Workanomics — JWT
Workplace as Interface — Frog
Intelligent Workplace — Trend Hunter

11. Anthropomorphization 👁

The application of human traits to the inanimate will become more extensive

Humanizing Tech— JWT
Everyday Objects as Empathetic Devices— Frog


Matt Klein is a Strategist and academic at heart, fascinated with the relationships between mind, behavior, technology, culture and business. Find him on Twitter, LinkedIn and everywhere online as KleinKleinKlein.

Further reading: The Trending 2018 Trends

This piece is an educational review and does not infringe upon any copyright material as covered by Fair Use, Copyright Act of 1976, 17 U.S.C. § 107.

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Matt Klein

Written by

Cultural Researcher & Business Consultant at Sparks & Honey. Fascinated with the relationships between psychology, technology and culture. [KleinKleinKlein.com]

On Advertising

We’re an open community of Executives, Strategists, Designers, Developers and Students alike, skeptically examining communication, technology and culture.

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