A Line from Greenline

Living in the Moment: Embracing the Era of Experiential Living

Diageo, the powerhouse behind renowned brands like Johnnie Walker and Tanqueray, unlocked the vault of evolving trends through its Foresight Report, "Distilled." The report decodes global conversations and provides insight into what makes Millennial and Gen Z consumers tick. The trends highlighted in the Diageo Foresight Report can help marketers orchestrate an influential experience for their audience. Let's unravel how you can meet your Millennial and Gen Z audience’s changing preferences and stay ahead of their expectations.

Who is Diageo?

Diageo might not be a household name, but the 200+ brands they own most definitely are. We’ve all heard of iconic brands like Johnnie Walker, Captain Morgan, Guinness, and Baileys to name a few. The company’s portfolio positions them as a global leader in premium drinks with sales in nearly 180 countries encompassing centuries-old names to the latest up-and-comers.

Five Consumer Trends Shaping 2024: A Deep Dive

The 'Foresight System' is a testament to Diageo's commitment to understanding the forces shaping social celebrations and beyond. By monitoring global conversations across platforms, this tool offers an in-depth understanding of long-term consumer shifts. Each of the five trends unveiled by Diageo offers a unique lens into the evolving landscape of consumer preferences. These trends are here to stay, so it’s time to embrace them.

1. Neo-Hedonism: The Pursuit of Meaningful Experiences

Neo-Hedonism is a shift in how people find joy. Instead of going crazy for more stuff, it's all about collecting memories. There were 1.4 M conversations (39% YOY growth rate) about brands and products for a meaningful life. Even though luxury still has its charm, people are exploring new ways to make the most of life. Neo-Hedonism is about turning ordinary moments into something special – enjoying amazing food, soaking in nature's beauty, or connecting in unique social spaces. Neo-Hedonism is a shared desire to find happiness in everyday things and make deeper connections with the world around us. After all, it’s the little things in life.

Neo-Hedonism Microtrends:

As we step into 2024, Neo-Hedonism is getting even more popular. It's shaking up the old ways and putting personal happiness first. Over 60% of Millennials and Gen-Zers would rather spend money on experiences like travel and concerts than save for retirement. If you want to jump on the Neo-Hedonism train, focus on these smaller trends that speak to people looking for more indulgent experiences. Take Pasta Evangelists, for example, bringing indulgence into homes through unique pasta experiences and education. It's all about making the satisfaction of indulgence accessible to everyone.

1. Elevating Experiences: We missed out on cool experiences during the pandemic, which reframed the way we think. We are all hungry for something different. Conversations about products or inventions that are designed to enhance sensory experiences are up 88%. An engaging and multi-sensory experience is what leaves a lasting impression. Brands offering unique products and experiences that break away from the everyday routine are coming out on top. Create stories that tug at their heartstrings, forming a deep emotional connection with consumers.

2. Reimagining Spaces: Socializing is getting a revamp, with folks searching for exciting places and occasions to create memories that will last a lifetime. You can dive in by hosting celebratory events, high-energy gatherings, and immersive experiences. Conversations about socializing spaces for people to come together and connect with like-minded individuals are up 26%. Investing in unique social spaces gives businesses a chance to curate moments that get people talking. It's about tapping into the desire for meaningful social interactions and creating spaces that cater to that.

3. Roaming the World: As travel and exploration make a comeback, people are on the lookout for new ways to experience the world. Conversations about on-the-go accessories that cater to consumers' desire for local experiences, measured risk-taking, and nature-driven adventures are up 21%. Businesses can embrace this opportunity by providing on-the-go products and services that fit into nomadic lifestyles - from takeaway bars like Boozery, to work-from-anywhere software. Consumers are looking for new ways to see the world. They are craving local experiences, personal fulfillment, and nature-driven adventures.                

4. Redefining Luxury: Luxury has taken on a new meaning, people are searching for easy-to-access and inclusive ways to indulge. This shift in mindset allows businesses to cater to a wider audience by making exclusive experiences and products for everyone to enjoy. "Ultra-luxury" refers to products, services, or experiences that go above and beyond traditional standards of luxury. Discussions about Ultra Luxury, surpassing the usual luxury standards, have increased by 54%.


2. Betterment Brands: Shaping Paths to a Sustainable Tomorrow

Think of betterment brands as a shift that tunes into the way our choices impact the environment and society. Over 5.6M conversations about brands and products for a better world happened in the past year alone, a 44% growth rate from the previous year. Consumers want to interact with businesses that match their values and habits. It's not just about selling a product; consumers want a commitment to social and environmental responsibility. Covering bases like price, availability, and overall experience is vital in making sustainable choices the norm. With over 90% of S&P 500 companies actively reporting on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), it's clear that sustainability is getting serious attention in the corporate world.

Betterment Brands Microtrends:

As Betterment Brands shape consumer expectations, those hopping on the sustainability and social responsibility train won't just meet expectations but will also make a positive impact. Brands like Reform Studio, Divine Chocolate, and Tequila Don Julio serve as beautiful portrayals of betterment, showcasing a commitment to sustainability, fair trade, and community impact.

1. Green Incentives: Think about the whole supply chain, from where things come from to how they're recycled. Talks about this have grown by 16% in the last year. To get people on board with sustainable products, businesses can connect with their audience by offering sustainable perks, staying true to their promises, and being part of betterment conversations.

2. Local Focus: Supporting local businesses, communities, and economies is a big deal, with a 27% growth in conversations in the last year. The trend is moving towards more local and community-based production, giving consumers a say in how things are made and promoting sustainability. It's all about making choices that not only benefit the planet but also contribute to the well-being of consumers and communities.

3. Social Change: Discussions about social inequalities, especially focusing on inclusivity, have seen a 19% growth rate in the past year. There's a rising demand for brands to be clear and prove their commitment to the environment and social causes. The key is to make sure these sustainability initiatives match their values and bring all-around solutions for the planet and consumer well-being.


3. Conscious Well-Being: Nurturing Health Beyond the Physical

Choosing wisely, living purposefully, and aiming for overall well-being is a way of life. People had over 4.3 M conversations about brands and products for a balanced life, a 30% growth rate from past years. The pandemic sped up a transformation where consumers seek contentment and fulfillment daily, prioritizing self-care, mindfulness, and emotional resilience. The wellness economy is expected to hit $8.5 trillion by 2027, growing 8.6% annually. In a world full of challenges, people are placing more importance on their well-being, covering not just physical health but also mental, emotional, and social dimensions. Mental health is now as crucial as physical health for 78% of consumers.

Conscious Well-Being Microtrends:

Brands seeking to align with Conscious Well-Being can tap into the following microtrends, meeting consumer demands and fostering well-being goals. These microtrends collectively showcase the evolving landscape where consumers are not only prioritizing their well-being but also actively seeking ways to integrate conscious choices into their lifestyles. Through its 'Enjoy Slow' campaign, promotes responsible drinking, encouraging consumers to celebrate at their own pace. Encouraging consumer engagement in sustainable choices and closing the say-do gap will be pivotal in making conscious well-being a norm in social behavior. 

1. Slow Moments: This microtrend advocates for a slower pace of life, emphasizing relaxation and rejuvenation. Activities that allow people to unwind and recreate are gaining popularity. There's a 39% growth rate in conversations about recreation and a notable 78% increase in discussions about prioritizing leisure activities in daily schedules, particularly in North America. There’s even been an increase in finding ways to create havens within homes to replicate comforting experiences. Conversations about topics like cooking at home with a focus on healthy eating have seen a 14% growth rate.

2. Self-Love: The increased focus on self-care and self-love highlights the importance of physical, emotional, and mental health in today’s world. It fosters a culture of self-acceptance and appreciation, recognizing the significance of taking care of oneself. Conversations around social support systems have experienced a 19% growth rate, indicating a rising awareness of the importance of social connections in overall well-being.

3. Innovative Products: Consumers are actively selecting products with mood-enhancing and mental well-being properties. The popularity of well-being gadgets, such as fitness trackers and health monitoring wearables, is on the rise, witnessing a 27% growth rate. Additionally, there's a focus on AI Fitness, acknowledging the benefits of health-tracking devices while also expressing concerns over privacy and personal data sharing, with a significant 70% increase.


4. Expanding Reality: Shaping Tomorrow's Experiences

Reality check! Technology isn't hanging out in the background anymore; it's taking center stage in the production of consumer experiences. Even the job market is shifting with over 85% of jobs expected in 2030 haven't been created yet. Expanding Reality, powered by AI, VR, and AR, is changing how we see and interact with the world. In the past year, there were over 4.6 M conversations about brands and products for a Digital World, alluding to a 94% yearly growth rate. In our digital-first world, expanding reality isn’t just about fancy tech; it's how we connect with the world. Just think about the fact that the global augmented reality market could hit $1.1 trillion by 2030... 

Expanding Reality Microtrends:


Brands looking to navigate this new landscape can leverage the following microtrends to engage consumers in this reshaped world. Consumers are expecting even cooler stuff like immersive learning and digital shopping transformations. Brands diving into the virtual world, embracing Web3, and stepping into the metaverse are set to shine in 2024. Businesses that jump on this tech wave are not just keeping up; they're creating the future of consumer experiences.

1. AI Relationships: Internet of Things (IoT) devices and chatbots are on the rise, creating more personalized interactions. This microtrend is all about making connections through smart tech. In North America, there's a whopping 165% increase in AI productivity, especially in industries where AI chatbots connect brands with customers. Full personalization, allowing consumers to customize their favorite brands and products, is gaining ground.

2. Digitalized World: Here, the focus is on merging the digital and physical realms. People are experiencing products, services, and events in ways they never imagined, leading to a surge in virtual consumption. The conversation includes topics like digital currencies and virtual gaming. Big companies are exploring Web3, decentralized platforms, and even stepping into the metaverse. Discussions about personalized shopping recommendations are buzzing with a 68% growth rate. Digital shopping transformation is becoming a reality with personalized, immersive product showcases mimicking in-store shopping.

3. Boosting Creativity: As digital tools become more accessible, creativity is flourishing in online environments. Conversations about digital art with consumers particularly interested in trading such art are up 27%. Concepts like crypto art and NFTs are part of the 'Creator Economy,' injecting strength into the creative landscape.

4. High-tempo Digital: The immersive nature of the digital environment redefines how consumers seek excitement and escape from everyday life. Digital spaces are becoming substitutes for traditional high-tempo real-life events. Augmented Reality is gaining applause for enhancing both in-person and virtual gatherings, experiencing a 22% growth rate in conversations. The rise of immersive learning involves virtual social interactions leveling up, with VR/AR applications enabling hands-on learning experiences. In the business world, the focus is on enhanced virtual collaboration, where companies are investing in AR and VR for remote meetings, training, and product development.


5. Collective Belonging

Move over solo acts; it's time for the grand finale of connection! Consumers are eager for both real and virtual spaces that radiate unity, acceptance, and good vibes. There were over 28.7M conversations, a 41% increase, about brands and products for an inclusive and connected world. In a world that sometimes feels less tolerant, people are yearning for collective belonging. Fueled by technology, niche online and offline communities are thriving, allowing individuals to connect with like-minded people who share their passions and values. This is reshaping how people find a sense of belonging, transcending geographical and background constraints. People are increasingly gravitating towards virtual and ‘IRL’ (in real life) spaces that provide a sense of inclusivity, where their interests and passions take center stage.

Collective Belonging Microtrends:                                        

Businesses can meet consumer demands and bring together people and passions by embracing collective belonging. In 2023, Bailey’s became the official partner of the Eurovision Song Contest, the annual event that brings fans together from across the world in a joyful celebration that champions inclusive and diverse cultures and communities. Virgin Atlantic celebrates individuality with its "See the World Differently" campaign. They showcase the uniqueness of people traveling with them, emphasizing diversity and sending a message that everyone is welcome onboard. collective belonging is not just a trend; it's a movement towards creating spaces where everyone feels valued and connected.

1. Inclusive Culture: With 48% of 18-44-year-olds engaging in digital communities more than in real-life communities, businesses can unite diverse groups globally. With conversations about disability inclusiveness witnessing a 22% growth rate, consumers are seeking more than transactions. Companies need to foster authentic connections by aligning with shared values. Platforms that actively amplify marginalized voices and celebrate diversity across all aspects of business representation are crucial. This microtrend emphasizes the importance of giving a voice to the often underrepresented.

2. Passionate Fans: With conversations about niche subcultures influencing mainstream culture up by 44%, consumers are seeking companies that empower everyone to express themselves authentically, ensuring every voice is heard and valued. Aligning with movements and championing authenticity starts with advocacy. Businesses leading the way with social initiatives and making a positive impact are shining bright in 2024. More and more people are seeking communities that align with their values.

3. Brand Communities: Conversations about Influencer Sponsorship, where businesses team up with popular social media figures, have shot up by 67%. Their dedicated fans don't just buy; they emotionally invest, connecting deeply with others who share their love for what the brand offers. By creating special atmospheres, products, and symbols, you can nurture this connection but also give individuals a unique way to proudly show they're part of a growing community. It's essentially being a member of an exclusive club that shares the same passions and values.

These five trends are not coming out of thin air, they are backed by immense amounts of data. So, embrace these trends, adapt your strategies, and get ready to steal the show in the hearts of Millennials and Gen Z consumers! Cheers to Diageo, we're not just raising glasses; we're raising the bar on experiences.

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Topics: Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Digital Marketing