JWT Coffee & Donuts: The future is women (consumers): Mythili Chandrasekar
This word picture is based entirely on the emerging world as seen through J Walter Thompson Innovation Group’s The Future 100, annual trends update
First off, the consumer will be a woman, because they represent a bigger opportunity than China and India put together.
She will be a digital nomad, part of a flexible international tribe, working in a world where work, travel, freedom and wanderlust collide. She could choose from networks that give her job options in across countries, because anywhere there is wi-fi could be an office. Not just a consumer, she will be a micro influencer or a celeb-preneur herself. She could be living in a ‘second city” that makes urban life affordable. And if she must commute, her commute to work will move from car ownership to shared mobility solutions.
Experience, wellbeing and self-improvement will be the three pillars of her spending.
So what will her shopping look like? It will include AR mirrors where she can try out different looks, and if online, hands free selfies will make smart fashion recommendations. All products she buys will have built in cameras, the internet of eyes, so every sentiment and action can be analysed. While the internet of ears will enhance her consumer journey. Manufacturing at the speed of internet will make possible hyper personalisation of products and products will be manufactured after ordering, further reducing the gap between wanting, ordering and receiving. Retail spaces will allow residence-like experiences. Premium products, brandless, white label goods, will be available at a fraction of the costs, made with millennial friendly values – gluten free, organic, fair trade and more. Products will talk to her about familiar technology, honourable prices, clean and clear packaging, via social media advertising - intimate, inclusive and bff communication rather than traditional. At the payment counter, facial recognition can help her to smile to pay. Or she could pay with a mobile wallet even in an offline store or maybe it’s a staffless stores. And even her thrift shopping will be slick, and tech driven.
5G will allow her to download a full length HD movie in seconds. Movie theatre experiences will reach home while they are still playing in theatres. Alternatively, she can direct the flow of the narrative she is watching – interactive story telling will take entertainment from private to personalised. With more viewer data, more segmentation and micro interest groups, more entertainment will reflect diversity.
Look what she’s wearing: religion literally on her sleeve with fashion taking on the new moral compass, disc shaped tampon alternative for wearing during sex, and if breast feeding, she can wear her breast pump in her bra, it will even track how much collected and length of each session. If dating, it will include ghosting, icing, simmering and “stable ambiguity”. If pregnant she will have a personal doula, for emotional and educational support through the pregnancy.
She will be living in a residence boasting biological living, with circadian lighting, air purifying walls and maybe an indoor vertical farm. She could pick her vegetables off a garden above the store. Her drink could be tasting like a burger. Or if she wants to eat a burger she could be picking up a vegan one. With Silicon Valley getting into food, she could be choosing her wine off an app. Her cake could be made by a former architect who uses algorithmically-generated visual programs to build cakes. Evenings will be in non-alcoholic bars that marry wellness with nightlife. And in an increasingly visual world, she will be swiping her phone on her plate to gather effortless information on what she’s eating. Dessert could be purple sweet potato. Even at the doctor’s, food will also the new medicine, the new prescription.
Her beauty products will likely be created by celebs who were earlier endorsing other brands, but are now using their knowledge and influence to be design disruptors with their own powerhouse lines. Raw, honest, authentic, will rule. Beauty stores will be more like labs, allowing consumers to create their own concoctions. She will expect beauty brands to be fluent in sexual and mental health, spirituality, and nutrition. With skin diagnostic mirrors, and apps to monitor wrinkles and sun exposure … she could end up monitoring herself excessively. Ads portraying women better let her know if the pictures have been retouched.
Holidays? If not around the moon, at least a near space experience 15 miles above the earth’s surface. More purse friendly ways to assuage wanderlust, more airlines in between traditional and low cost. At the same time, at the intersection of luxury and travel, will be lux-peditions, where physical and intellectual challenge - extreme authenticity is the new luxury. While Star Wars, Hunger Games, and the likes of Twilight Saga will be not just movies but experiential hotels.
Luxury brands will have to root themselves in purposeful ethos, and build communities and loyalty around shared values. Everything from leather to diamonds will be chasing environment friendly optional materials.
VR will get into mediation and therapy, and anything can enable wellness including cannabis and micro-dosing of LSD. While store brands in beauty and foods will chase pared down design, health products will get more aesthetic and pharmacies will have to offer a subscription model. If overly stressed, she may look for rage rooms, outlets where stress meets immersive entertainment.
She may well be willing to put a microchip in her body to open a door, pay for food. And of course, we’ll know all this, because she will have an on demand personal videographer, capturing her life for show-casing.
- Authored by Mythili Chandrasekar.
(This word picture is based entirely on the emerging world as seen through J Walter Thompson Innovation Group’s The Future 100, annual trends update)
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