Trending 2023: a vision from the IPA and Foresight Factory

IPA Foresight Factory Single Image
By Lindsay Jones


We were delighted to have hosted Trending 2023: a vision from the IPA and Foresight Factory in our Princess Street office, which provided the perfect setting for an in-depth discussion of this year’s need-to-know consumer trends.

The sold-out event took a deep dive look at the consumer mindset and its impact on the advertising industry in 2023 and beyond. The morning began with a networking breakfast, connecting some of the industry’s most influential and strategic thinkers. It was incredible to see such a vibrant crowd gather at one of the IPA’s first in-person events in 3 years!

Following breakfast and introductions, 50 delegates from all over Manchester settled in to learn about four emerging consumer trends, before a lively discussion panel featuring TrunkBBI’s Director of Strategy, Jennifer Webb.

Trend 1: Unapologetically me

This interesting topic highlighted the importance of authenticity and individuality to consumers. Authenticity is the new cool!

63% of Global Gen Z are now TikTok users, as the platform’s popularity continues to rise. This is further seen with BeReal’s growth, with 10 million daily users flocking to the ‘in the moment’ social app.

So, how do we act on this trend? We can start by promoting an open conversation about anti-perfection.

Trend 2: Moveable Morality

In an era of increased information access and choice, consumers base purchase decisions on more than just the key product benefits. Personal judgments on the morality of a product or brand are becoming increasingly important and consumers want brands to stand for something.

Just take a look at Budweiser’s Unbreakable Courts campaign launched in 2022 to help save Brazilian basketball courts from developers.

So, who can we trust?

We’re seeing that more of a polarised social landscape is leading to distrust of traditional authority figures and businesses are now a more trusted type of institution vs government and media.

When acting against morality, businesses need to show they’re willing to stand up for causes that may go against the established order. They need to be prepared to decolonise their brand and empower the marginalised. Let the facts be known, but don’t tell people how to think.

Trend 3: Rebellion Against Restraint

Consumers are increasingly aware of their online presence and looking for privacy and invisibility. They’re rebelling against restraint and want relief from always having to be visible online. Brands will have to work harder to show the value surveillance can have for individuals.

Now or never

A new trend, called ‘Now or Never’ is all about living in the moment, and we’re expecting a surge in escapism and indulgence. It’s feeding into the ‘live now, pay later’ mentality as consumers want to embrace the present.

Brands can tap into this by facilitating in-the moment opportunities for indulging.

The stats

The downside is that 68% of the global population say the stresses of modern life makes them less happy than they used to be. 54% of GB Millennials say that they love any excuse to have a celebration.

So, who is tapping into this trend?

John Lewis captured this trend in their recent advert ‘For All Life’s Moments’ where they bring a celebratory mindset to life’s joyful moments.

Pantone’s colour of the year, Viva Magenta, was chosen due to its unconventionality. Pantone calls it ‘brave and fearless’ saying it promotes ‘a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.’

Trend 3: Now or Never

We live in a world in which we are used to data sharing, CCTV, and facial recognition. Consumers are (mostly) okay with sharing their data but there is a minority who are determined to achieve anonymity.

52% of people surveyed in the UK agree with the statement: “I see my personal information as an asset that I can use to negotiate better prices and offers with companies.”

We discussed data pragmatism, a capitalist mindset that continues to advance; consumers are used to sharing data with brands and don’t seem to mind . However, the Foresight Factory has seen a rise in consumers wanting to opt out of sharing info.

Global consumers continue to believe that industry benefits most from data exchange and only 13% of consumers think they benefit from sharing data.

Jen Webb, Director of Strategy at TrunkBBI talks ‘unfiltered’

Rounding up an insightful morning of talks, our very own Jennifer Webb, Director of Strategy at TrunkBBI shared the stage with fellow experts Natalie Green, Account Director at Republic of Media and Tim Whirledge, CSO at McCann Manchester for a panel discussion.

Sharing her experience and insight, Jen spoke about the trend about being unfiltered, and how that really resonates with consumers.

She said, “Often, we’re used to looking at competitors, keyword research, what they’re communicating and how they’re supporting the conversation. Often the real value lies in the unfiltered discussions happening.”

Jen continued, “Looking into conversations allows you to get those real-life, unfiltered discussions that are really happening around your brand. Find the right information and really build a connection with your audience.”

Jen has also seen a trend in which people are swapping bigger holidays for smaller experiences, such as going out for dinner, or visiting more local attractions.

“Younger consumers”, says Jen, “are not interested in the classic brand image that older generations buy into. Instead, they are looking to support brands that allow them to express themselves and have some fun.”

To speak to Jen about your business goals and strategies for 2023, please email or call us on 0161 711 1000.