WT Intelligence: Positivity is In, Nihilism Out In 2020

Wunderman Thompson Intelligence, part of WPP’s Wunderman Thompson, is out with its 2020 Trends report which explores 100 trends to watch for in the coming year across sectors like culture, tech, beauty, retail, and for the first time, financial.

Biometric payment technology is one trend explored in the new financial category. For example, last year, the  NatWest bank in the United Kingdom ran a pilot with 200 customers to test its new biometric fingerprint card. Customers register their fingerprint on their card and the fingerprint is stored locally, so no biometric data is held by the bank. The card can then be used at any location with contactless payments.

Also, keep an eye on the growing carbon credit trend. One example: Last spring, Swedish fintech company Doconomy introduced a card that cuts off spending when you reach a carbon limit, rather than a financial limit.

Commenting on the trend’s significance, the report notes that a SONAR survey found 92% of consumers are trying to live more sustainably and 79% are conscious of their personal impact on the planet. But knowing how to put this into action can be a challenge. “These new tools — from credit cards to sustainable city guides — can be useful for turning green intentions into actual green behavior.”



The report also notes consumers have been feeling more anxious, given unsettling political, economic and environmental events over the past few years, with Americans among the most stressed in the world, according to a 2018 survey by Gallup.

Now brands and consumers “eager to move the conversation on from bleak, dystopic times” are casting a more measured and reassuring lens on the future.

Case in point: Lego launched a playful campaign in September 2019 with a provocative mission, asking the next generation to take on the challenge to “Rebuild the World.”

This trend toward renewed positivity and possibility, the report concludes, signals an end to the nihilistic outlook. “Forward-thinking companies are brightening the gloom by offering a measured and thoughtful outlook, one that is both realistic and optimistic.”

Now if only a forward-thinking electorate would get rid of Trump in November. That would go a long way toward renewing positivity in my view.

Anyway, there is a lot more food for thought in the report, which can be downloaded here.

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