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    6 trends to catch up on for every business owner in 2022 [Trendhunter x VistaCreate Report]

    6 trends to catch up on for every business owner in 2022 [Trendhunter x VistaCreate Report]

    It’s fair to say that we live in a crazy world.  Today, the amount of data in the world doubles every two years. This means that every hour o...

    It’s fair to say that we live in a crazy world. 

    Today, the amount of data in the world doubles every two years. This means that every hour of every day, people come up with new ideas, share them with others, develop them, and change the way things are done. 

    All of this inevitably affects businesses, as some things become more popular and others become dated. If you want to stay afloat and grow, you must keep up. 

    But as a small business owner, you already have a lot on your plate, and simply don’t have enough resources to allocate towards extensive research of current tendencies. 

    That’s where we come into play!

    In May of 2022, VistaCreate and Trendhunter partnered to help small businesses get a better understanding of market trends and current social trends, and to advise them on how to successfully apply these trends to their marketing strategy. 

    We analyzed current social movements, emerging trends, and other things that can turn the world upside down in just a couple of months; this report is for you to stay one step ahead. 

    It focuses on various social trends that are impacting and, in some cases, changing the way companies operate and conduct business, including a greater desire for more inclusive products, brand transparency, the move towards entrepreneurship, and an emphasis on tech-focused practices.

    Some of the areas we will examine are waste reduction, transparency, the use of digitized practices, and how the Metaverse is changing how consumers interact with companies.

    How do we know our findings are reliable?

    Here at VistaCreate, we strive to help small businesses excel and grow. So, we religiously make sure all the tips, tricks, and ideas we share are actionable, trustworthy, and guaranteed to take your business to the next level.

    To produce this report, we worked with Trendhunter – the world’s largest community for trend spotting that unites over 240,000 hunters from all over the world – continuously scouring the internet and finding the latest and greatest trends.

    Then, their rigorous editorial team filtered through all the noise to make sure the ideas that are being submitted are new and innovative. Once an idea is published, it hits their testing ground, where it is put up against our massive audience. 

    From there, the advisor, with the help of Trend Hunter AI, identifies the underlying insights and implications of those ideas. They look to see what exactly about it is trending and resonating with consumers.

    6 social trends bound to impact your business in 2022

    #1 — Entrepreneurial push

    A major social trend that was heavily influenced by the global pandemic is the rise of entrepreneurship

    Either because of losing jobs or having more time to sit down and come up with business ideas, more and more individuals are embarking on the path of entrepreneurship amid COVID-19.

    In fact, in the US alone, pandemic entrepreneurs started over 4.4 million new businesses in 2020 — the highest total on record.

    An important remark to make is that the majority of these new businesses weren’t founded by seasoned entrepreneurs. On the contrary, a lot of newly created startups belong to regular once 9-to-5 employees turned self-employed. 

    Therefore, there’s now a massive opportunity for established companies of all kinds to advance their business by aiding the growth of others. The trend on entrepreneurship creates a demand for various resources and coaching opportunities, allowing consumers to feel more confident in planning and managing their idea’s execution. 

    We’ve prepared a couple of examples of businesses that have already tapped into this social trend to get you inspired! Make sure you read them carefully — there’s more than one way to hop on the entrepreneurial push trend.

    Rapper-branded financial literacy courses

    Source: Kids Activities Blog

    ‘Bank Account At Home’ is a free, online financial literacy course that was launched in collaboration between 21 Savage’s Leading By Example Foundation, mobile banking service Chime, education tech platform EverFi, and not-for-profit organization Juma Ventures. Available nation-wide, the learning opportunity targets youth and consults on important life skills, such as the basic concepts of money management, budgeting, and entrepreneurship. 

    Squarespace’s humorous Launch It campaign wants people to launch their ideas

    Squarespace, an American website building and hosting company, realized the shift towards entrepreneurship in its Launch ad campaign, which encourages consumers to take the plunge in getting their business ideas off the ground.  

    The campaign combines both print and video in a series of inspiring ads. They follow a group of entrepreneurs, as they take the steps to launch their business with Squarespace. The ad is humorously reminiscent of a rocket launch and includes radio whispers, a final countdown, and a carrot from a newly launched farm-to-table business taking the place of a rocket.

    We can’t help but point out the flawless design of these ads: fresh and professional-looking. Just like the designs you could create in VistaCreate yourself. Check out our Solutions project to find trendy templates for your business. 

    ‘Smartmoov’ — Business-launching retail kiosks

    Getting a business off the ground can be expensive given the high cost of rent for retail spaces. This is something the conceptual ‘Smartmoov’ mobile retail kiosk intends to change. The kiosk was designed by Rikardo Philipp and is focused on enabling entrepreneurs to customize it to their specific needs, while also allowing them to set up a shop virtually anywhere they want. This is thanks to the mobile design of the kiosk, that hides a completely customizable space for positioning required equipment to store products, make food and more.

    The conceptual ‘Smartmoov’ mobile retail kiosk also features built-in screens that can be customized with the entrepreneur’s choice of marketing; all to easily communicate with potential customers wherever it’s parked.

    #2 — Mainstream Metaverse 

    Even before 2020, the world was already slowly but steadily transcending into the virtual realm. Today, after a series of global COVID-19 lockdowns that made us all pros of working from home, the rate of this digitalization is at an all time high. 

    One of the most apparent consequences of the whole world spending more time online than ever before is the Internet’s new favorite buzzword, the ‘Metaverse’. 

    Regardless of whether you first encountered this term when you read the news about Facebook’s rebranding (yes, that’s where its new name, Meta, comes from), were surprised at the live concert in the immersive Fortnight universe, or heard about the opening of a virtual Gucci store — there’s no escape from it on the Internet. The Metaverse is everywhere, and we’re witnessing its rapid rise. 

    But what actually is the Metaverse? 

    The first mentions of this eerie term trace back to 1992. It was coined by a sci-fi writer, Neal Stephenson, who used it to describe a comprehensive digital world that exists parallel to the real one in his sci-fi novel Snow Crash.

    To an extent, this meaning is not far from what the modern concept of the Metaverse is. Mathew Ball, a venture capitalist and a metaverse expert, explains the Metaverse as “a 3D version of the Internet and computing at large”.

    When these two technologies (internet and computing) first emerged, all interactions were primarily text-based (emails, messages, usernames, email addresses). Then they slowly became more media-based (photos, videos, live streams). The next elevation of user interface and user experience is into 3D. Secondly, if we think of [a] mobile [phone] as placing a computer in our pocket and the internet being available at all times, think of the metaverse as always being within a computer and inside the internet.

    Mathew Ball

    At first, the Metaverse — living a life in the digital world — was the prerogative of geeks. But, today, more individuals are getting accustomed to virtual experiences, so it’s going mainstream. Hence, the name of this 2022 trend. 

    How can brands win from hopping on this trend?

    As technology continues to advance, consumers are expecting virtual spaces to be more sophisticated and life-like, transforming the experience into a manifestation of reality. As people, especially younger generations, continue to turn to digital means to establish a sense of interconnectedness, brands that offer community-based virtual experiences will win consumer loyalty.

    Here are a couple of examples of how your business can enter the Metaverse and expand its reach:

    1. Explore immersive entertainment

    From afar, it may seem like entertainment in the Metaverse has little to no applicability in the enterprise. 

    This, however, is nothing more than a misconception. 

    While consumers are still only testing the waters of the virtual world, a harsh Metaverse strategy can alienate your target audience — a lot of people are scared of the unknown. Immersive virtual experiences, on the other hand, overlap with the traditional, real-world ones and, therefore, can be easier to understand and accept. So, you can use it to soft launch your brand into the Metaverse.

    Turning to this strategy can also position your brand as an industry innovator and bring you a lot of brand exposure. Besides, virtual entertainment has a lot of appeal to the younger generation, likely to be the driving force behind the Metaverse growth. It’s a long game. 

    Speaking of games… Fortnite and its series of live in-game concerts are a great example of using entertainment in the Metaverse to boost business. 

    Back in 2020, the video game held a before unprecedented event, rap star Travis Scott’s live concert within the Fortnite gaming universe. During the event, which was a huge hit gathering up to 12.3 million players at the same time, people could come to watch Scott perform live through a massive avatar.

    1. Create a presence in established VR settings or build your own 

    For brands that don’t already specialize in virtual reality, there’s always room in established VR settings. In 2022, it’s time for brands to expand the good old product placement strategy and start advertising products not only on TV screens, but also computer and smartphone screens. 

    For instance, you can partner with a virtual influencer or even develop a virtual influencer of your own.

    Alternatively, you can follow into Hyundai’s footsteps and launch a virtual experience featuring your product just like they did. Back in 2021, Hyundai Motor Company introduced Hyundai Mobility Adventure, a metaverse experience on gaming platform Roblox, where gamers’ avatars can experience Hyundai future mobility projects and current products.

    And if you have the budget for something grande, you can take it a step further and create a VR setting of your own. An example of a business that did exactly this is Walt Disney Co. – they announced a Disney “theme park metaverse” initiative where “physical and digital worlds [will] converge, with wearables, smartphones and digital access points immersing the guests in the metaverse experiences.”

    Source: MickeyBlog

    And if you don’t fancy creating a virtual world of your own, you could always resort to a virtual marketplace. For instance, decentralized commerce platform Boson Protocol has announced that it will launch ‘Portal,’ a virtual marketplace with both real-world and metaverse applicability. 

    According to the company, this new platform will allow users to buy and sell both physical and metaverse products with a range of decentralized currencies. ‘Portal’ will include an event space, retail shops, installations, an arena, and a branded marketplace – ideally, all of which would be new ways for consumers and sellers to interact in a given metaverse. According to a press release issued by the company, ‘Portal’ has ambitious aims of becoming a “virtual lifestyle, commerce, and cultural playground.”

    1. Launch a series of branded NFT collectibles

    NFT is yet another modern buzzword that goes hand in hand with the Metaverse. An unknown concept in the recent past, today, non-fungible tokens are getting more and more popular among real-world brands. 

    Businesses of all kinds use NFTs as a new revenue stream and sell goods and services that only exist in the digital realm. 

    Some of the most noteworthy examples of businesses going digital by launching NFTs include Hermès and Ralph Lauren. The former played into its Birkin bag’s collectible status and launched a series of virtual designer bags fans can collect, and the latter created clothing for avatars.  

    Source: Artnet News

    Source: Forbes

    1. Focus on developing Metaverse creation tools 

    Finally, if you’re an IT company that doesn’t have any goods to put out into the Metaverse, aid those businesses that do. 

    For example, Adobe is adding several tools geared toward the Metaverse to its Adobe Creative Cloud services, such as ‘Adobe Substance 3D Modeler.’ Adobe has been working on 3D AR and VR-targeted creation tools for over four years, and it stated that in recent years, detailed 3D creation has gotten much easier. For example, companies and individual users can both use the Adobe Substance 3D Modeler service to create and share Metaverse-targeted content. 

    However, Adobe’s foray into the Metaverse does not end with this one tool. The company stated that it is looking into more ways to help the world get ready for the Metaverse. As part of this venture, the vice president of Adobe stated that the company is looking into helping other companies find “new ways of doing business” through the use of 3D Metaverse tools. 

    Adobe is also striving to make its services accessible. As opposed to simply creating 3D art, Adobe wants designers and creators to be able to develop VR experiences without needing to learn how to code.

    Source: VentureBeat

    #3 — Digitized cards

    Have we already mentioned the world is getting more digital by second? Yes? Well, we’ll say it again, just so you can truly understand the scale at which it’s happening.

    Another trend that stems from technological advancements of the world is digitized business cards.

    As social and business restrictions were placed on people all over the world, networking in-person has become harder, and the practice of handing out physical cards became less and less common. 

    Nowadays, more and more businesses are trading contact information virtually, via scanning an NFC tag or QR code.

    As a business, you can benefit from this trend either by implementing digitized business cards yourself (you have to agree with us on this one, they are a nice touch to your business image) or focus on helping others do it. 

    A great example of a business that’s already on it is HiHello

    HiHello is an emerging startup looking to revolutionize the business card with its own future-forward, digital version. The company’s signature product allows users to electronically share their contact information using a QR code, email, text, social media, and more.

    Of course, HiHello is not the first company to try to digitize this long-lived networking staple. However, unlike its competing startups, the company offers a unique convenience-focused proposition that has yet to be developed elsewhere: HiHello users are not forced to download an app to send or receive contact information via their digital business card. 

    Whereas most electronic business card products require both the business card holder and recipient to use a shared app, HiHello allows users to automatically generate a universally scannable QR code.

    #4 — AI labels

    Contemporary consumers are setting the bar higher for brands as they consider multiple factors before making a purchase, including supply chain transparency, sustainability, accessibility, and so on. In this space, they are looking for concise and accessible information that alleviates any effort needed on their part. When this demand is met, consumers feel at ease with their decision and are more trusting of the brand.

    This pushes brands towards embracing artificial intelligence in packaging more boldly, with the hopes of improving the consumer experience through convenience, authenticity, accessibility, and trust. 

    The implementation of such technology in this sector enables fluid storytelling and even self-translating capabilities.
    An example of pristine balance between simple and advanced, minimalistic and loud is…

    Third Aurora’s talking wine bottles.

    Interactive product packaging is taken to the next level with Third Aurora’s talking packaging prototype, which is a concept that allows consumers to chat directly with a bottle of wine and get replies from a Siri-like voice. The concept relies on a variety of technologies, including artificial intelligence, language processing and cloud data, and for the sake of demonstration, Third Aurora added a virtual chatbot character, although this character does not normally appear during interactions. 

    Although the proof-of-concept has been applied to wine bottles, it has the potential to be used across a range of other products and applications in the sectors of manufacturing, health, education, and beyond. This solution is incredibly relevant, especially at a time when consumers and retailers are looking for solutions to help reduce interactions between people.

    But hopping on the AI label trend doesn’t necessarily mean that your products have to be straight out of a sci-fi novel. You can still be on par with your audience, while being more lowkey in your packaging. Here’s an example of a brand that does that!

    Kômô Probiotic Drinks

    Source: Packaging of the world

    Source: Packaging of the world

    Studio Blackthorns created a conceptual project for a probiotic soda brand using canned packaging and artificial intelligence to explore the future of packaging design. The fruity flavors from Kômô (Raspberry, Watermelon, Grapefruit, Mango and Lemon) are uniquely expressed with artificial patterns generated by the Crosshatch-Automata sketch from Kjetil Golid’s code art website generated.space.

    Four rules make up the pattern, each of which determines the behavior of a line in one direction. As a result, the packaging created with artificial intelligence gives each can a unique look, yet the collection as a whole remains cohesive. The probiotic beverage packaging concept offers a look into how future packaging designs have the potential to be created based on a few parameters and simple elements like colors, lines, and shapes.

    #5 — B2B waste

    PSA: We might have taken irresponsible living too far and can potentially only have about 5 years left on the Earth before we destroy it completely. 

    So, if there’s a good time to start acting on saving our planet before it’s too late, it’s now

    Because of rapidly rising global warming concerns, eco-friendliness has been a massive trend for a while now. In the past, it was limited to people doing what they can do personally to reduce their carbon footprint. But as consumers become more eco-friendly, they’re putting more pressure on brands to do the same, helping them adapt their lifestyles to reduce their personal impact.

    Brands that make these adjustments in authentic ways appeal to the growing demographic of eco-conscious consumers. One of the ways for brands to showcase eco-friendliness is to turn to businesses that specialize in waste-reduction. Everything from food waste to textile waste is now being addressed and repurposed by emerging B2B businesses.

    More and more brands are announcing their commitment to sustainability, here are just a few examples… 

    Queen of Raw

    Source: Queen of Raw

    The startup Queen of Raw slashes fashion waste by using AI- and blockchain-driven technology to resell deadstock textiles. The company operates on a B2B model, connecting resellers to clothing producers and manufacturers. In doing so, Queen of Raw not only reduces landfill waste from discarded fabrics, but also cuts carbon emissions and saves water.

    The Queen of Raw platform has integrated AI and blockchain technology that deftly matches resellers with relevant buyers. The algorithms onboard the platform recommend fitting prices and find nearby vendors, making the acquisition process more efficient and eco-friendly. 

    goMkt 

    Source: Kickstarter

    goMkt is an ordering platform that saves consumers money with up to 75% discounts on menu items in local restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. Retailers post their unsold inventory on the goMkt platform, while users receive push notifications or simply browse meal availability in nearby stores. In optimizing this experience, goMkt is not only successful in being environmentally friendly and cost-effective, but it also increases revenues at no extra cost by driving foot traffic to its partners and thus, supporting small and local businesses.

    #6 — Body neutrality in the world of fitness

    We’re all familiar with the body neutrality trend. In 2022, it’s getting a new route of development as consumers are growing weary of the aspiration-focused approach to fitness of the past. Today, body neutrality among fitness businesses is a perfect alternative. The idea of working out to “look good” is outdated in a world where diversity and inclusivity are celebrated, as it enforces unrealistic and often harmful beauty standards. This does not suit the contemporary consumer, especially post-pandemic, when many are re-prioritizing happiness and peace, as opposed to aspiration and accomplishment. 

    The ways in which brands can hop on this trend are virtually infinite:

    • Educate your audience about body neutrality and body positivity in your marketing communications
    • Make body neutrality a part of your brand values
    • Make your products more body positive
    • Quit marketing your fitness programs as a route to ‘perfection’, but rather as a solution that will make your customers happier and more content  

    You can start off by changing your social media marketing strategy and using VistaCreate’s body neutrality templates in your publications:

    So what?

    When competition in the business world is so tight, the only way for a small business to excel and grow is to stand out from the crowd. Promptly hopping on emerging trends will get you the first-mover advantage and bring more visibility to your business.

    This, however, is only possible if you’re aware of everything that’s going on in the world, what impacts it, and can adjust your business strategy accordingly.

    In this article, we’ve briefly discussed the findings of the VistaCreate x Trendhunter social trends report, introduced you to the businesses that are already successfully incorporating these trends into their strategy, and shared some actionable tips on how your business can do it, too.

    But surface-level insights aren’t enough if you want to grow your business. Download the full VistaCreate x Trendhunter report and read more about what to expect from the world in the nearest future, how these changes will inevitably have an impact on your business, and what you could do with this knowledge to advance your business. 

    And… Keep your eyes peeled for more useful information. This is only the beginning of our partnership with Trendhunter, and we’re already working on more content to get your business up and running. 

    Valerie Kakovkina

    Content marketing manager at VistaCreate. Valerie loves all things marketing, with her favourite areas being email marketing and social media. When out of the office, Valerie loves travelling, going to parties, and helping her friends with their art projects (oh to be surrounded by artists).

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