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2024: The Year of Eco-Nomics, Ego-Nomics and Echo-Nomics
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Towards the end of 2023, commentators had started talking about the era of ‘polycrisis’.  This was a not particularly welcome or needed upgrade on permacrisis – defined as an extended period of insecurity – to ‘polycrisis’  – a time of great disagreement and confusion that is caused by many different problems happening at the same time so that they together have a very big effect. So what impact will that have on the way that brands and businesses communicate with their customers in 2024.  We have spotted three mega trends that should help inform this moving forward.

Eco-Nomics

The era of the pledge is over.  People want to see businesses and brands taking clear and impactful action that leads to real change. 33% of boomers believe brands are responsible for making the world a better place.

From a business perspective, this is about partnering with other businesses who share your goals and ambitions around the urgent need to do things differently and how those shared goals translate into benefits for your industry and the people it serves.  For consumers this is about appealing to their conscious eco ego and helping reduce their feelings of guilt – whether that’s a daily household purchase or a ‘treat’ like going to the hairdressers.  It makes economic sense too, as more consumers are willing to pay a premium price to shop more consciously.

Ego-Nomics

This phrase, coined by Matt Klein, Head of Foresight at Reddit sums up nicely a number of trends consumers are adopting that brands and businesses would do well to respond to.  We are in the era of fandom – it’s well documented the impact the Swifties had on the US economy during Taylor Swift’s American leg of the Eras tour in 2023, but this has also manifested itself in the growth of niche fandoms – fuelled by Tik Tok and the community-based nature of platforms like Discord. This need for consumers to lean into their passions and interests, to create new milestones or ‘markers for modern achievement’ (Matt Klein) creates a clear pathway for brands to reach consumers.  Help them unlock and fulfil their ego and you will lock in their loyalty.

This could explain the rise of TikTok not only as a consumer platform but increasingly a B2B platform too, as purchasers look to fulfil their intent (previously a Google search) with some detail or content (previously a You Tube search) now with some context (TikTok search) that appeals directly to who they are and the nuances that are a part of their lives.

Echo-Nomics

We coined this phrase to articulate the huge trend for nostalgia that began emerging in 2023 and is now being embraced by the mainstream; it’s one that brands and businesses should ‘echo’ in their 2024 comms.  Due to this feeling of overwhelm and ‘polycrisis’ people are naturally searching for a time when they felt safe and life was less complicated – their childhoods, an echo of their past. This is big business – need I say Barbie? Play and playful comms are on the rise again.

Brands are using fun and play to take on complicated topics and make them more relatable and understandable. For example, the recently launched Nat West board game, All Mod Cons to educate people on financial fraud at Christmas.

People are searching for cultural cues from decades past that echo who they used to be and finding modern interpretations of them.  Again Tik Tok has created a huge and very shareable library of pop culture moments that are being rediscovered by a whole new audience – brands and businesses are increasingly having a part in those conversations.

From a business perspective, this is also about ‘learning lessons from legacies’ (Matt Klein), not repeating mistakes of the past but using the things that worked to be re-interpreted for 2024 and beyond.

Sarah Firth, Strategy & Creative Director

Our insight team at Speed would love to talk to you more about how your brand or business could harness these trends in your communications so please do get in touch with us.