Ford is releasing its first-ever trend report, Looking Further with Ford, revealing predictions about consumer habits and behaviors expected to shape 2013 and beyond. From the return of trust in companies and brands to the rise of personal accountability, global data from Ford’s trend report suggest the year 2013 will be one marked by acceptance and optimism rather than mistrust and disappointment.
Looking outside the automotive industry to understand what’s happening in social, technological, economic, environmental and political arenas, Ford has been analyzing these shifts to gain insight into what may influence consumers’ values, attitudes and behaviors. With help from Ford’s in-house futurist Sheryl Connelly, those insights are incorporated into Ford’s inaugural trend report, capturing 13 micro trends Ford will be watching over the coming year.
“Ford values the insights of trends to help guide our product development strategies so we can be as educated as possible to anticipate the cutting-edge technologies and automotive solutions customers will want, need and desire – well into the future,” said Connelly, Global Trends & Futuring manager for Ford. “These trends and insights help Ford in our role as an innovator to create products that not only exceed consumers’ expectations, but that push the boundaries of imagination.”
Looking Further with Ford
Looking Further with Ford 2013 compiles years of trend work, research reports and white papers that focus on a broad range of micro trends affecting businesses and consumers alike. The report is supported by qualitative and quantitative research, dissecting these cultural shifts and behaviors to gain insight into the needs and wants of consumers in the coming years.
Looking Further with Ford uncovered three major themes across the 13 trends:
- Trust as a differentiator: Given its relative scarcity, trust is emerging as a key positive differentiator for brands. Correlation of trust to brand equity has increased by 35 percent since 2009. As a result, brands are having to rethink how they communicate with and reveal themselves to consumers – the more real and authentic they are, the better
- Personal accountability is on the rise – and with it, a comfort with failure: 80 percent of adults globally disagree that “there is little I can do to change my life” and 82 percent say that having and admitting failures is critical to overall success. As a result, they are taking risks, blazing their own paths and reshaping conventions
- Collective empowerment is booming: As consumers accept more personal accountability, they are also learning to rely on each other for support: 80 percent say discussing goals and objectives with others makes their targets easier to achieve. And they are recognizing that their individual small acts can, in the aggregate, make a big impact on society, which is perhaps why 85 percent agree that “problems are better solved by local communities than the national government”
Ford’s inaugural trend report explores 13 micro trends for 2013, focusing on these key topics expected to influence consumers and brands in the new year:
- Trust Is the New Black
- Consumer Republic
- Get Real
- Pioneering Pathways
- The Micro Skills DIY
- Help Me Help Myself
- The Economics of Local Pride
- The Rise of the Intima-City
- Defying Distraction
- The Minimal Maximist
- Return to Your Senses
- Forever Young