Trends and Predictions for 2016 and Beyond by Josiah Go and Chiqui Escareal-Go


Each year since 2014, we have been sharing consumer trends and predictions. This is our 3rd annual sharing and we have grown a list of 50 consumer trends. The list is too long for an article so we just chose a few entries for each of the themes where we classified these trends and predictions. Despite the number, we know that this list is by no means comprehensive or encompassing as it may be impossible to sense the numerous microtrends or countertrends that can “shift the plates” or make one category or brand obsolete almost immediately. Nevertheless, we are presenting this in two parts to be able to cover enough ideas that might lead you, our readers, to gain some insights for your next big thing.

How we LIVE
Wallpaper will make a comeback – As a growing niche, wallpaper saves time for the impatient millennial and can be customized to suit different tastes. As condos become smaller and smaller, home depots have started offering more patterns with different textures. This is an affordable luxury yuppies may indulge in as an identity of their own space. Large patterns makes a room look bigger, horizontal patterns makes a room look lengthier, while vertical patterns make low ceiling rooms look higher than it actually is. Watch out for the resurgence of wallpaper.

How we WORK
Millennials sense of Work-Life Integration – Millennials account for some 35 million people in the Philippines. Having experienced seeing their parents as having no work-life balance, Millennials will choose companies with or even demand for more work-life integration as can be observed in the pattern of questions they ask during job interviews, where they actually expect the employer to tell them what the company can offer even before they have proven what value and quality of work they can provide.

How we LOOK
Good skin rather than mere good cosmetics – The popularity of the hashtags #IWokeUpLikeThis and #NoMakeUpLook are telling us that the Filipinas are starting to take their skincare regimen more seriously. Instead of merely using cosmetics, they are now starting to pay more attention to the care of their skin to be able to claim minimal or no make-up.

Renewed Patriotism– The hashtag #ItsmorefuninthePhilippines, the movies about Bonifacio and the bestselling Heneral Luna, are indicators that Filipinos are learning to be more patriotic with an awakened interest in history. Perhaps, it was also coincidental timing that a Marcos is running for the second highest office in the Philippines, which also brought out some adverse sentiments against the old Martial Law days of the 1970’s in non-bailiwick areas of this candidate, a reflection among today’s Filipinos that our politics and politicians have not changed over the years. These movies or movements toward re-igniting our sense of history have become social commentaries of present times.

How we DRINK & EAT
Water refill stations will upgrade to non-acidic water – Cancer accelerates in an acidic environment, with many processed food that will eventually lead to different diseases. Consumers’ access to more information will lead them to drink more alkaline water than the acidic water offered by most water refill stations.

How we PLAY
Flat & declining small TV set sales or Zero TV homes – With low end smartphones becoming cheaper and cheaper than small TVs, the surge of entertainment and streaming options online will create an uncertain future for TV. Also more and more marketing budgets are being reallocated to digital which should make TV stations nervous, not a question of if but when, especially when the decline of small TV sales is coupled with online only shows. This will lead to the eventual rise of more zero TV homes, especially among millennials.

Rise of Mansumer – With more women working and more women executives rising to top management positions, men will be expected to take more or equal part in the division of labor at home and in other activities of the family. Omni channel and online shopping provide the equalizer, reducing the difference between male and female shoppers.

Experience per square meter – The retail business becomes more and more demanding. With product parity, service becomes the next frontier of competition. As service is about experience and experience is about managing memories, progressive retailers will plan key memories and adopt a new key performance indicator – experience per square meter. Employees of progressive retailers will also be equipped with mobile devices to facilitate an order or inquiry.

How we become OBSESSED
Pyramiding – There is a pervasive culture among many Filipinos to want to get rich quickly and unless serious actions are undertaken, the Philippines’ environment is conducive to pyramiding activities. In fact, we have monitored a few companies using binary compensation plans for the last few years and they continue to operate in doubtful ways (Attention: Department of Trade and Industry). These companies use a binary plan that balances heads (recruits) instead of volume, a violation of Consumer Code of the Philippines for head hunting, depriving the public of consumer protection. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are more active in protecting consumers charging companies for unregistered investment when found to be using binary plans selling multiple business centers.

How we DIE
Personal Excesses lead to More Charity – Did you know that yuppies are charity givers too? Just ask charitable foundations and you will be happy to know about this. As we get older, we continue to give help to a cause close to our hearts since the insight is that people give, among other reasons, because they want to lessen the guilt of their own personal excesses or freewheeling ways.

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Josiah Go features the movers and shakers of the business world and writes about marketing, strategy, innovation, execution and entrepreneurship


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