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2021 will redefine the 21st century
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2021 will redefine the 21st century 

As the pandemic continues to shape how societies function, human resilience and ingenuity has paved the way for innovation which is set to be the blueprint for decades to come, according to a new report from Accenture.“

Fjord Trends 2021” — the fourteenth in a series of annual reports from Accenture Interactive’s global network of designers and creatives — discovered that businesses will have the chance to map out new territory as they accept new strategies, services and experiences for changing human needs.

“Throughout history, after a global crisis, a new era of thinking begins,” said Mark Curtis, head of innovation and thought leadership for Accenture Interactive. “As we look to the future, a wealth of potential worlds opens up in front of us. Some are scary, some are exciting, and all of them are largely unexplored. What we do now will define the rest of the century. Businesses have the ultimate permission and space to think and do differently.”

This annual report discovered that COVID-19 has brought a lot of clarity and surprises, together with its chaos and strategies. It has brought to light what was truly important to humanity and has pushed forward community oneness and at-home innovation. Because of these, new sets of challenges were raised for businesses such as responsiveness, meeting consumers’ demands and being more empathetic. All these while fighting for survival.

Below are seven emerging trends which are expected to share business, customer behavior, and society at large:

1.      Collective displacement: This year has left most people in isolation and displacement, which is why consumers collective look for new ways and places to do what they love. The year 2020 has indeed changed how people shop, work, learn, socialize, parent and even take care of their health. With this, brands need to find new ways to offer new experiences to consumers.

2.      Do-it-yourself innovation: The current year saw that innovation has indeed spiked up as people continued to look for new ways to deal with issues in the most creative way possible. This was seen in how various people repurposed social media platforms like TikTok for their advocacies as well as using video games to stage concerts and get important messages out. The shift is now coming from brands who are creating conditions for personal innovation.

3.      Sweet teams are made of this: The relationship between employee and employer has drastically changed as work from home set-ups have been established. One example of this is having the final say over what people wear for a work-related video call within their own homes and even the responsibility if the right to privacy. There will indeed be a lot of prototyping the world of work.

4.      Liquid infrastructure: Businesses will now have to rethink their supply chain and the use of their physical assets because consumer behavior has drastically changed. Companies should continue to build agility and resilience to easily adapt to changes. Organizations should expect more of these changes to occur, which will all be driven by sustainability.

5.      Interaction wanderlust: Organizations should start to shift the way they design content and interaction for their digital spaces as consumers are spending more time on their screens. This causes a feeling of “sameness” because of the templated digital experiences.

6.      Empathy challenge: Now, more than ever, consumers have expressed how they stand with brands who express their values. The pandemic was able to shine a light on a lot of broken systems in the world. With this, businesses should strive harder to manage their communication and shape their brands in line with empathy for what consumers care about.

7.      Rituals lost and found: Because of the pandemic, a lot of rituals were disrupted such as birthdays or even funerals. This had a very big impact in terms of people’s well-being. With this, companies have the opportunity to help people bring back meaning to their lives by having new rituals that bring them comfort and joy. It begins by understanding a blank space left by a lost ritual and designing the right thing to take its place.

To read the report, visit: accenture.com/fjordtrends21.

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