What will shape 2023?
As we head into a new year, predicting what might come next may seem like an impossible task, however considerations for the latest trends and shifts that impact consumer mindset offer some key insight for how we might navigate our industry in 2023.
From consumers demanding clear sustainability messaging from brands to the continuation of criss-cross culture and an appreciation for the anti-aesthetic. Keeping our fingers on the pulse of change, we can help our clients stay informed.
Though not extensive, our 2023 forecast features insights that will impact our industry and will be key to align with as we continue to support our clients and stay up to date as this year unravels.
Sustainability on show
In 2022, consumers grew tired of the impassivity of brands guilty of inaction or greenwashing. Confused consumers, frustrated with corporate claims and pledges are looking to brands to display sustainability initiatives that are easy to grasp, with real and direct impact.
The responsibility of brands to communicate their green message in a clear and decisive way is even more important given that ‘what does sustainability mean?’ was the most Googled sustainability-related phrase of 2022. Brands, Governments, and business leaders are clearly missing the mark.
Brands can ensure they communicate sustainability to their customers by using sustainable materials in-store: tangible evidence of eco-focused behaviour. As well as this, they can shine a light on any pledges or initiatives they are committed to through education-led spaces or pop-ups.
For example, beauty brand Krave – created a pop-up ‘waste me not’, which aimed to exploit the wastefulness of the beauty industry. At the same time, the brand outlined their role in reversing this problem, stating that they reused over $1.6 million in retail value of unsaleable products that would otherwise have been thrown away, and wasted.
Criss-cross culture was a term born out of a multi-media approach to different brand, or retail experiences in 2022.
Fusing the digital, with the physical has been particularly enticing for GenZ who crave in-store experiences with social shareability. From tech playscapes to co-creational performance spaces in-store that lend themselves to GenZ’s appetite for content creation.
Nike Rise stores are a great example of what is to come this year. This innovative brand use AR to lure in experience-focused shoppers. These stores are home to several unique elements including Sport Pulse a digital storytelling platform that creates one-of-a-kind content within the store. Using AR, Nike shoppers can also use their mobile phones to learn more about different products and interact with animated wildlife, completing challenges to win gifts.
As 2023 takes hold, creating retail experiences that cater to a Gen Z demographic will be key as their influence and importance continues to grow. Spaces which lean into the newest technology, will also show consumers that your brand is keeping pace and maintaining relevance in a fast-changing climate.
Our third and final insight into this year is driven by a clear desire from consumers in 2022 for more self-expression, and imperfection. Clear evidence of this the fact that ‘Goblin Mode’ was voted word of the year 2022.
Battling ideas of perfection, and unattainable aesthetics on social media has empowered consumers to create a new, expressive ‘anti-aesthetic’. We already started to see people actioning a more real approach to social media, for example, with the advent of app ‘BeReal’.
This aesthetic also desires greater diversity, inclusion and new definitions of gender that allow people to have more fluid identities. By anchoring store design, or brand campaigns in more agile purpose, brands can cater to this demand.
As a business this is something MC Displays has been long-prioritising to ensure every gender, or body-type feels represented in the retail industry day-to-day. Creating mannequins with prosthetic limbs, or wheelchair mannequins are both examples of how we aim to capture a more diverse collection of identities.
American underwear brand Parade are amongst other brands who are translating their ethos in-store with inclusivity-pushing elements. This includes the use of AR to celebrate relatable bodies. Another example is from the brand Leak NYC, who have created a line of lingerie for expansive masculinity.
How can we help you action these trends?
1.Sustainability on show
We produce all our mannequins in Europe, reducing emissions by using local production and manufacture. As well as this, the mannequins are 100% recyclable with sustainable coverings. We are always searching for new ideas and materials to keep up with sustainable innovations, and support initiatives like Plastic Bank, which helps stop ocean plastic while improving the lives of those who help collect it. Actions like these matter more than ever as consumers grow tired of brands that cannot display tangible evidence of their eco-credentials.
2. Criss-Cross Culture
With years of visual merchandising experience, we know what it takes to curate an awe-inspiring display. We cannot emphasise enough the importance of embedding technology into your retail spaces looking ahead – but brands must not compromise on their physical store fixtures that help enhance the customer journey. MC Displays can support you in ensuring your displays help elevate your products in the best possible way to drive inspiration.
Keeping up to date with the changing mindset of the consumer, and trends in the retail industry allow us to stay informed and help us advise you in the best way possible when it comes to elevating your store displays. We have a whole range of mannequins that prize diversity and inclusion and can help you align with this a desire for a more relatable ‘anti-aesthetic’ to future-proof your brand as this year unfolds.