2016: The Year the Pendulum Swung Back

At the start of each year, thousands of prediction articles are shared by marketing publications and agencies alike, all in hopes of receiving the coveted title of “visionary.” Thought leadership is very good for business, it seems.

But as we all know, forecasting is rarely an exact science. And there is always an element of luck or magic involved in landing the perfect prediction. So to leave no stones unturned, we decided to break out one of our favourite mystical fortune-telling tools of the past: the pendulum.

In particular, the pendulum happens to be a great metaphor to represent the forever changing cycle of trends. And in 2016, we are expecting many trends will start to make their inevitable swing back to the other side of the spectrum.

From peers to pros

Peer-to-peer platforms rose to peak popularity in 2015. But as more and more people ordered Uber rides and booked Airbnb accommodations, the very foundation of the community economy concept began to fall in on itself. Many new apps and websites that sprouted up were invasive, untrustworthy and risky to use. And, the quality of services offered seemed to take a statistically predictable decline.

With this in mind, we are predicting that a significant number of us will decide to “leave it to a professional” this year. And while it’s safe to say that the power players of peer-to-peer are here to stay, it is likely that we will be seeing more “me-too” platform ideas and less truly innovative and useful ones in the future.

From over sharing to a small circle

For over a decade now, we have shared pivotal points of our lives down to the minute on social media. But as we scroll through engagement photos and birthday wishes, we are also now starting to witness — for the first time ever in history — the complications that come with the things like digital divorce of friends, or the inaccurate online reporting of celebrity deaths.

So it could be possible that in 2016, we begin to move away from publicly articulating our relations in front of thousands and striving for a high follower count, and instead start focusing on connecting with tighter, “closed” social groups — similar to the way Snapchat operates.

From DIY to customization

Crafting sites and apps have overtaken the DIY scene. Millions of users, of all ages, flock to how-to lists and videos to create something they can be proud to post online. But the recent over saturation of this space can make it hard to tell an expert apart from a fake. And so most of the time, hard work often turns into a #PinterestFail.

Because of this, we think that 2016 will be the year when we return to more custom professional solutions, like commissioning an artist to create a one-of-a-kind piece or hiring a personal trainer instead of following a workout app. And funny enough, the money invested in expert services may just be same as the money wasted on burnt cookies and spilt paint.


Thanks to the popularity of Instagram, the fear of missing out (FOMO) on worthwhile experiences has become a bigger concern than ever for many people. But as we long to be a part of summer festivals and celebrity galas, it is becoming quite clear that the glamour of social media is often “highly filtered”.

We believe that in 2016, eager social butterflies will slowly begin to appreciate the joy of missing out (JOMO). And because of experience sharing apps like rabbit — which lets you watch Netflix with someone in a different location, for example — the idea of spending Friday night relaxing will never have sounded better.

From digital to physical

Because most of us walk around carrying a smartphone in our pocket, it is hard to resist the appeal of constantly plugging into this endless source of digital distraction. Sure, immediate access to our favorite music, games, publications and tools has simplified our daily existence significantly. But it has also created a bit of void in our lives and a growing need to reconnect with the physical world.

We are forecasting that 2016 is the official comeback year for the physical objects we have too quickly replaced with digital ones. And the numbers may just be behind us on this one, as vinyl record sales saw a spike in 2015 and sales of old albums topped new releases for the first time ever.

Do you see opportunities for your organization in any of these predictions? It is never too early to start planning for the inevitable swings back of the trend pendulum. We would love to help you turn these visions into a reality.

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