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2024 Trends

January 2024

In this trend report, we unravel the threads of a profound shift in consumer dynamics.

A new era dawns, demanding the relentless velocity of brand campaigns to satiate the consumer’s hunger for constant newness. Concurrently, the need for instant gratification emerges as an enduring force shaping marketing landscapes. Experiential marketing takes center stage, emphasizing authentic human connections over passive approaches. And the workplace undergoes a significant transformation, requiring employers to substantiate their commitment to employees’ holistic wellbeing beyond traditional perks.

This report serves as a compass, guiding brands through these converging trends and offering insights to navigate the evolving demands of humans in 2024.

Trend 1: Sensory Overload

Woman experiences sensory overload

Source: Matthew Pittman at Future.com

Collectively, consumers are facing an overload of stimulus driven by constant connectivity and the ‘sensory revolution’.

People are more connected than ever with the rise in digitization and social media usage, e- commerce, entertainment, gaming and video-streaming technologies. As overstimulation grows, so too does sensory overload, which is when the brain gets more input than it can process.

In 2024, this ‘cognitive overload’ will force advertisers and marketers to leverage this constant need for stimuli and newness.

Insight: It’s the dawn of a new era of marketing strategies, where a brand’s campaign velocity needs to be absolutely relentless to keep up with the consumer’s need for newness and overstimulation.

Case Study: SKIMS

At the close of 2023, SKIMS adopted an aggressive release schedule focused on both products and quality content optimized for social media. Within a brief 45-day period, the brand unleashed a torrent of 10 campaigns, each strategically designed to capture attention and maintain engagement:

SKIMS social media photo grid9/29: SKIMS Body
9/30: New Halloween Styles
10/02: The Best of SKIMS with 5 new celebrity ambassadors
10/16: Cardi B for SKIMS
10/26: SKIMS for Men, also posted direct to Kim’s feed
10/30: SKIMS partnership with the NBA, WNBA, and USA Basketball
10/31: New product launch
11/07: SKIMS and Swarovski partnership
11/09: Holiday campaign with celebrity partnerships
11/11: Holiday campaign with Kim

SKIMS’ relentless campaign velocity not only catered to the consumer’s need for constant newness but also created an unmissable presence in the dynamic world of social media. The brand successfully maintained heightened engagement levels, reinforcing its commitment to staying at the forefront of the consumer’s attention.

Trend 2: Quick & Easy

Woman smiles while holding cell phone and coffee

Source: Kadence 2024 Consumer Trends

In an age where time is a precious commodity, the demand for speed and convenience has escalated to new heights, becoming a key determinant in consumer attention and decision-making.

The essence of this trend lies in the consumers’ desire for immediate gratification and efficiency in every aspect of their lives. For scrollers, bite-sized content can get your point across and hook people quickly. For shoppers, convenience is one of the most important considerations when choosing, with 60% of global consumers citing it as a key factor.

In 2024, brands must focus on speed and convenience to gain a competitive edge in attracting and retaining customers in this fast-paced world.

Insight: The need for instant gratification is not just a passing phase but a deeply engrained human expectation that will continue to shape the marketing landscape.

Case Study: LVE Wine

In response to the prevailing trend of bite-sized content, Instagram strategically adjusted its algorithm to favor short-form videos. Recent work for LVE Wine serves as a compelling case study showcasing the tangible impact of this shift.

Traditionally, a post featuring an image of John Legend typically garners significant impressions. However, with the algorithm adjustment, a notable change occurred. The post in collaboration with Total Wine & More (Image 1) secured a total of 21,865 impressions.

In contrast, when we strategically deployed a Reel – Instagram’s short-form video feature – reach skyrocketed.

The Reel (Image 2) effortlessly garnered an impressive 81,444 impressions, even without the boost of a promotional post.

This stark difference underscores the pronounced influence of bite sized content and emphasizes the imperative for brands to pivot towards quick gratifying content for optimal visibility and engagement in the evolving landscape of social media trends.

Trend 3: Relationship Renaissance

Hands of two different people with pinkie fingers clasped.

Source: Mintel 2024 Global Consumer Trends

Interpersonal communication has changed dramatically in recent years.

While health is often managed through diet and exercise, social connection is also critical to survival and thus an important health factor to maintain. As a result, brands are rising to the occasion to bring people together and find new ways to help consumers shift passive relationships to active ones.

In 2024, brands need to lean into the sensory appeal that comes with human connection – a hug, a handshake and other forms of human touch will reinforce the power of connection and put a pleasant face to the product or service.

Insight: We are experiencing a vital shift toward authentic human connections. Experiential marketing now takes center stage, emphasizing meaningful engagement over passive marketing.

Case Study: Pac-Man

To elevate engagement beyond the conventional marketing sphere and create a lasting impression with New York Comic Con attendees, a captivating two-day pop-up arcade was designed and activated, offering attendees the chance to demo an exclusive unreleased title and iconic PAC-MAN games, and to simply just have fun, together!

In order to enhance the experience, projection mapping was strategically employed throughout the arcade, dynamically showcasing key brand messages, campaign visuals, and animated Pac-Man assets, creating an environment that mirrored the speed and excitement of the game.

Woman and child taking a selfie in front of Pac-Man game screen

The strategy not only increased attendance but also spurred heightened social engagement.

This case study underscores the transformative power of experiential marketing, where immersive encounters with brands resonate more profoundly than traditional methods. By prioritizing meaningful engagement over passive marketing, not only did the program meet the objectives but it also set a new standard for gaming experiences that endure in the minds of consumers.

Trend 4: Employer Branding

Smiling people of varying ethnicities standing around circular table with hands outstretched.

Source: Gallup 2023

As the dust begins to settle on the Covid-fueled workforce tumult, one pandemic-era trend appears to be on its way out: The Great Resignation.

While workers may not be quitting at the previous pace, that doesn’t mean they are staying at work because they enjoy it.

59% of workers are “quiet quitting”, and 18% are “loud quitting” (actively disengaged but still employed). The evolving expectations of employees, coupled with the need to attract and retain top talent, has driven this shift towards investing in Employer Branding.

In 2024, Employer Branding programs will help brands maintain a strong talent pipeline and foster employee loyalty.

Insight: With individuals wanting to get more out of their workplace, employers need to prove their commitment to the employee’s personal and professional wellbeing.

Case Study: Santander

At the Santander 2023 Fall Summit, a transformative team-building exercise was designed for 500 participants, focusing on critical leadership skills such as Critical Thinking, Effective Communication, Deliberation, Planning, and Delegation.

RedPeg's Nic Grey gives lecture at Santander Summit 2023Participants faced a scenario demanding problem-solving skills in a pressure-induced environment, where success hinged on effective communication and openness to diverse strategies and ideas.

The debrief phase emerged as a pivotal element, allowing us to emphasize key teaching points based on each group’s success in completing the task. Bringing these lessons to life through past experiences ensured an educational and immersive experience, reinforcing the significance of the exercise in fostering essential leadership skills.

The work with Santander underscores the strategic role of experiential teambuilding exercises in shaping employer branding. By emphasizing critical leadership skills, the immersive experience served as a testament to the brand’s commitment to employee development and engagement, setting a benchmark for how employer branding can be intricately woven into teambuilding initiatives.

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