Last week, Brigitte Bayer, Head of Audience & Trend Research at Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland, shared current trends with us. Here are our top three on what’s trending.
1. SMART HEALTH.
Corona has radically influenced our current leisure behaviour. It has impacted trends as well, and serves as an amplifier for many of them. Take health, for example: Corona has increased our focus on health issues - we want to be fit in times of crisis.
As an example, for some time now people have been using health apps to monitor their situation. Smart health is becoming more popular: after meditation and tracking apps, FemTech (technology to support women's health), dental medutainment (e.g. AR or VR applied to dental care), and medical fitness (to maximize good health and not good looks) are now on the rise.
2. UNWIND, FOCUS AND ENJOY.
At the same time, there is an on-going and more widespread trend to simply take it down a notch. Especially because home office and home schooling can be exhausting and stress-releasing havens like gyms and fitness studios are closed (at least in Germany), one feels the need to unwind. Even before Corona, a healthy and longer sleep was getting more attention. Today more people are unwinding by focussing on a single topic only, be it podcasts or puzzles.
Nature is also being rediscovered, and the longing for country life and rural structures has increased. This is another trend that also started before the crisis, with urban planners discussing village structures within the city - so-called "15-minute neighbourhoods" in which you can access your day-to-day needs within a 15-minute walk of your home.
Again, even before Corona, people were seeking “real” experiences. In the tourism sector for example, people would attend a cooking class given by a local during a holiday in Italy. In the Corona era, in addition to recorded tutorials, people also enjoy attending live online events like a sports class or do-it-yourself seminar with other participants. This fulfills the need to experience and learn something new together with others. Most likely this longing won’t be fully compensated by digital offers, however. It will be interesting to see what happens once traveling and being outside the bubble feels comfortable again.
3. PARTICIPATION. IT’S YOUR LIFE.
Even if Corona is slowing us down in many areas and causing wishes to burst, there is still the urge to move forward, to improve and make an impact - both in our private and working lives (keyword: new work).
The Internet enables complete strangers to move mountains together: crowd funding being one example. Digital platforms draw attention to topics and enable the mobilization of large groups sharing a common goal (current example: GameStop).
In short, Corona both slows down and accelerates trends. Who would have ever thought to do a jigsaw puzzle again, or how beautiful it is to experience nature right at your doorstep? At the same time, however, a trend does not necessarily turn into something the majority will do in the future. For example, yes, there are trends towards self-optimization, the focus on health, and the desire for participation. But let's be honest: didn’t you also watch a TV series on the sofa last night while eating or drinking something you really shouldn’t?