From the growing influence of young, socially conscious consumers, to a greater acceptance of modern-day rebels and a shifting perspective that de-stigmatizes failure, Ford Motor Company’s third annual trend report suggests 2015 will be marked by a broad desire to enact change for the good. Looking Further with Ford 2015 reveals data and insights about global consumer habits and behaviors expected to shape culture in 2015 and beyond.
A featured trend – Make Way for Gen Z – underpins the full Looking Further with Ford report. Generation Z, which follows the Millennials, is the first truly global generation, born into an on-demand, technology-driven culture. Expected to account for more than 20 percent of the world’s population, these digitally savvy, socially conscious consumers, most of whom are still teenagers, are working to help define the trends of both today and tomorrow.
“While demographics are invariably a factor in futuring work, what’s driving our report for 2015 is this emerging Generation Z consumer, who is already inspiring attitudes and behaviors in consumers of all ages,” said Sheryl Connelly, Ford global consumer trend and futuring manager. “We saw similar traits with Millennials, but Gen Z consumers – being much more connected and aware of the options available to them – are the global go-getters who have a link to each of our 10 micro-trends for 2015.”
Despite looming issues such as climate change, privacy threats, epidemic disease and geopolitical strife – there is optimism in the air. Against this backdrop, Looking Further with Ford 2015 highlights the modern-day rebel working to buck convention and set new standards, as well as people who are more motivated than ever to take risks in their search for success, which is beginning to erode the stigma of failure. In this spirit of determination, new forms of collaborative consumption and mobility are emerging – giving us more freedom to pursue ideas and passions.
How consumer trend insights impact Ford products
In preparing trend reports, Ford experts monitor shifts in social, technological, economic, environmental and political arenas to understand what drives consumer attitudes and behaviors – and how this impacts the automotive category. The insights gathered guide Ford designers and engineers in developing future Ford products, as well as Ford marketers on what to anticipate in terms of the customer shopping and ownership experience of emerging generations.
Looking Further with Ford 2015 focuses on a broad range of micro-trends affecting businesses and consumers, and reflects years of qualitative and quantitative research, as well as collaboration with thought leaders around the world.
“A rich understanding of our customers’ ever-evolving needs, priorities and desires – both today and tomorrow – is key to our everyday business and global product development strategies,” said Connelly. “These trends and insights help us at Ford in our role as an innovator to create products that not only exceed expectations, but push the boundaries of imagination.”
As the Generation Z consumer evolves, Ford is looking at how these behaviors and trends will affect every part of the automotive business – from vehicle development to the experience customers will expect when the time comes to purchase or own a vehicle.
On trend for 2015
The 10 trends Ford expects to influence consumers and brands in 2015 and beyond include:
- Make Way for Gen Z: With considerable pressure and high expectations, Gen Z’s mantra is simple: “Good things come to those who act.”
- Rally for Renegades and Rebels: Society has always loved risk takers, but the marketplace has never been more receptive to those who push boundaries and break molds.
- Flaunting Failure: The stigma of failure is quickly eroding; in an era of constant change, the only true failure is a failure to try, to improve, to evolve.
- Carryless Movement: Today’s consumers don’t want to carry things and, increasingly, don’t need to. New technologies such as wearable gadgets and smartphone apps are transforming the mechanics of how consumers pay for goods and services, how and where marketers reach their customers, and who people trust with their most valuable information.
- No Strings Attached: In a world where innovation moves so rapidly, no one wants to be left behind with a product that has become outdated or obsolete. The result is an emerging a la carte mentality that trumpets access over ownership.
- Expanding Next of Kin: As traditional families and communities become less the norm, the concept of family is adapting, expanding and evolving in a most personal fashion.
- Give and Take of Privacy: Privacy has become a delicate balancing act, and there is a trade-off between information consumers are willing to share and the benefits they receive in exchange.
- Elusive Health: A decentralized effort to inform consumers about healthier lifestyle habits has led to confusion and a global population getting fatter and sicker. Consumers need a clear signal amid the noise to translate the information into action.
- Escape Artist: In today’s 24/7 culture, the desire to get away mentally and physically remains compelling. People are increasingly seeking out immersive adventures, elevating escapism to a fine art.
- Many Faces of Mobility: In an age of constant innovation, mobility is outpacing the definition of the word as the concepts of transportation and communication converge.
For the full trend report, please visit Looking Further with Ford 2015.