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Exploring Macro Trends

Learn more about macro and micro trends including the key differences.

Now that we’ve explored the difference between industry and consumer trends and discovered how tracking these trends can positively impact business and career decisions, let’s turn our attention to macro and micro trends.

Macro trends refer to major shifts in consumer behaviour that will direct the business landscape in the long term. They have a cross-industry impact and evolve over time.

Examples of previous global macro trends include the adoption of social media or catering to the ageing population.

Micro trends refer to smaller/niche shifts in consumer behaviour that are changing the business landscape in the short-term. They are usually linked to the underlying values and behaviours associated with macro trends.

Examples of previous global micro trends include boutique boxing studios or subscription-based snack boxes.

As we’ve already demonstrated, by identifying trends, companies or individuals can arm themselves with the foresight and confidence needed to inspire innovation, establish measured approaches, and create even deeper connections with the consumers of tomorrow.

However, the key with macro and micro trends is being able to connect the dots between each trend and what’s driving it. This way, trends can be translated into the DNA of a business in a way that makes sense, not only for the brand but its potential customers too.

Let’s dig deeper into this approach by looking at three current macro trends and their drivers.

The New Digital Consumer

The Trend: The new digital consumer is embracing more digital products and services, adopting different modes of communication and forming online communities. What’s more, they don’t plan on giving these behaviours up.

Within this new landscape, a brand’s digital capabilities can no longer be viewed as a ‘nice-to-have’ but rather a ‘non-negotiable’, as consumers increasingly align themselves with products and services they are confident will be able to serve their needs whenever and wherever they want.

The Drivers: Driven by technological advances over the past two decades, the widespread adoption of social media, smartphones and the internet, consumers have steadily become more connected, comfortable, and informed about the benefits of engaging with digital offerings.

However, the forced migration to digital brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this trend, shifting it from a niche to a mainstream consumer movement.

Green & Clean

The Trend: The plant-based and clean beauty revolutions have been steadily building momentum over the past decade and in doing so, have helped to fuel the explosive growth of the multi-trillion-dollar wellness industry.

Millennials and Gen Z continue to lead this shift towards more responsible and ‘better for you’ consumption, which is driving the pace of innovation across both sectors.

The Drivers: Perceived health benefits, environmental factors and an association with purpose-led values all rank as the top reasons for consumers buying into green and clean brands. However, the coronavirus pandemic has also led to a redefinition of value that goes beyond these core pillars. These pertain to safety, longevity and efficacy, as well as engagement in dominant movements such as collective consciousness, inclusivity and social responsibility.

Mental Wellness

The Trend: In just a few short years, mental health has risen to prominence and cemented itself as one of the major pillars of consumers’ relationships with wellness.

New narratives around mental wellness have emerged in response just as the shift from treatment to prevention mentality. Within this new paradigm, mental health is being considered more broadly – on a sliding scale – to encompass not only diagnosed health conditions but also one’s constantly evolving psychological state.

The Drivers: This shift in awareness has been driven by high-profile campaigns, celebrities sharing their struggles with different forms of mental illness, and the steady build-up of anxiety-inducing social conditions, including political unrest, climate change and hyper-connectivity (to name but a few).

Further, as more health-conscious generations gravitate towards a holistic approach to wellness underpinned by the mind-body connection, this is sparking a mainstream revolution.

What do you think?

Are any of the macro trends we’ve spotlighted here relevant to you or your career? How might you apply them to your business/profession?

If not, think about a wellness business you use. How could that business leverage any of these macro trends in a meaningful or relevant way?



[1] Anatomy of a Trend

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