JWT Coffee & Donuts: Who is planning for JOMO?: Shaziya Khan

Brands must seek opportunities to strengthen consumer relationships through JOMO

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Jun 11, 2018 8:51 AM

There is a new mega trend in town and we need to plan for it. It is JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out).

JOMO rhymes with a famous trend called FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) but the similarity ends there.


FOMO, now a fading trend, was believed to drive people into varied interests & activities, as well as living over-scheduled lives. FOMO, sadly, was to a large extent born of the fear in people of not wanting to be left behind, in any way. FOMO was associated with competitiveness, peer pressure, urgency eg. YOLO (you only live once).


JOMO, on the other hand, is related to an active search for joy in life. JOMO, happily, is about pausing to consider what makes one happy, what gives one meaning and then choosing or un-choosing one’s activities and one’s pace of living, accordingly. JOMO is associated with making meaningful choices and joyfully letting go of forced or routine or rushed choices. 

There are several reasons why JOMO is a trend, beginning with the fact that FOMO is not seen as sustainable (it can physically and emotionally drain people). Studies on negative effects of excessive technology are emerging. (FOMO is associated with constant social media updates). There is a “techlash” or backlash against technology from overtaking lives. And last but not the least, there is more self awareness among people, they are taking back control and thinking for themselves (J. Walter Thompson Culture Muscle Study)


People need enablers (in attitude and in behaviour) to help them embrace JOMO. They seek ways that will enable them to make more mindful, meaningful choices. They want options to help them create boundaries in a 24/7 life.


In some years, some would argue earlier, people will want curated and carefully crafted ‘off grid’ zones, in time, space and culture. These will enable them to ‘officially take a break’ in a 24/7 life. These spaces will be the new credible excuses to ‘switch off’ in the ‘always on’ age.

One was imagining inventing no Wi-Fi zones in Wi-Fi area*, the adventurous cab service that ‘never gets you there on time’, even ‘official phone break hour’. All, as potential ways to help people reclaim personal space, time and joy.

Yet, emerging trend data suggests even more than that. For the ‘always on’ generations, the desire to ‘switch off’ means finding an alternative reality. “As we navigate through the stress and monotony of our everyday existence and parallel online lives… what emerges is an appreciation for the intangible aspects of our lives that defy big data and the ultra-transparency of the web,” reads J. Walter Thompson Intelligence Report 2018 on Hyper Reality. The expressions include sound baths, travelling without going anywhere, slow TV, Fairy Tale Fashion etc.


Brands, services, protocols, popular culture inventions that enable JOMO are emerging. In developed markets, some cafes are banning Wi-Fi to encourage conversation (BBC report); a Vice report suggests that more and more in Gen Z will be deleting their accounts from social media, the reason being they realize how much their privacy is being invaded; and *KitKat in Amsterdam sponsored a free no Wi-Fi zone.

Summing it Up

Addressing the mega trend of JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out) needs to be planned, by more brand builders in the future. It is time.

Can consumer brands, health & wellness brands, hospitality brands, employer brands, service brands, B2B brands, even media brands, travel brands, luxury brands, financial brands, lifestyle and fashion brands, beauty services brands, natural brands, home décor brands, appliance brands, destination brands, education brands, entertainment brands, women’s brands, children’s brands, young adult brands, senior citizen brands, and so on, pause and consider whether they are enabling JOMO for their existing or new audience?

Ways to enable JOMO can be well informed and inspiring - via products, promotions, innovations, channels, purchase options, alliances, communications and so forth. Opportunities to disconnect to re-connect are future spaces to strengthen consumer brand relationships.

- Authored by Shaziya Khan, SVP & Executive Planning Director, JWT

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.

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