The world is changing more rapidly than ever, and it’s hard to imagine where we’ll be in another year, another decade. One of the things I like to do every January is make a few predictions. Here are some of mine for the new year, based on my observations, conversations, and indefatigable optimism.
1 – Virtual reality. Virtual reality will be for more than just gamers. It will be used for everything from learning to drive a car (teenagers need more hours of driving experience, and this is a way to get it, without having them on the road) to upgrading our homes using HGTV, but more importantly, for health care and pain management.
2 – Food retailing meets the future. This is the year food retailers find their mojo. Amazon won’t go away, but grocery stores will get in on Foodie experience shopping. Home delivery of everything, including food, will increase – and food retailing will secure its place in the brick-and-mortar-meets-digital world.
3 – Trumping. Not the President, but the verb, trump, which means to outrank or win over. Experiences will trump stuff, happiness will trump busyness, cash will trump gift cards, chocolate will trump calories, and food will trump just about everything.
4 – Multi-generational focus. We have five important age cohorts in the world now: Gen Z, our students, the first class of whom have graduated from college and are entering the work force; Millennials – we all know who they are; Gen Xers, who, per household, are the highest income earners, Boomers, who are either us, our parents or our grandparents – all of whom still need to eat and like to travel, and are going to be among the biggest users of edible Cannabis; and, the Silent Generation, who may be low in numbers but are high in experience, showing us a new way to live well into our 90s. So, whether it’s food, healthcare, housing, or travel, there is a need – and a business opportunity – with every generation.
5 – Relationship building. Often called branding, sales, or marketing, let’s call it what we want it to be – having honest, trusting relationships with each other that are mutually beneficial.
There is a lot to look forward to in 2018.