Our philosophy at Join the Dots is that consumer trends are a result of our desire to satisfy basic human drivers and in particular the need to increase happiness. Recent research into Positive Psychology has identified that there are five areas which aid human happiness. From the academic work we have developed our own list of happiness drivers. They very much follow the work of others, but we have adopted slightly different labels to make them easier to understand. They are Karma, Focus, Success, Relationships and World.
However, the ways we seek happiness are continually evolving. They are influenced not just by external factors and the ever changing world in which we live, but also by the basic human desire for something new. From the confluence of all of these, trends emerge.
The ‘Focus’ driver tells us that happiness can be obtained from simply being in tune and aware of what is going on around us. Heightened awareness allows us to make better choices for our wellbeing.
In this ever faster, hyper-connect world, there is beginning to be a demand for digital downtime, slowing down, reconnecting with – and celebrating – everyday life, valuing the small things, relaxing and living in the moment. The digital world has spawned a generation of hyperactives who have a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Brands can help people by giving them permission to overcome this, and celebrating mindfulness and wellbeing. There is much happiness to be derived from this.
Yondr have encapsulated this trend perfectly by offering venues and artists the tools to create phone-free events and spaces. According to the company themselves, smartphones have become a \”distraction and a crutch in some situations – cutting people off from each other and their immediate surroundings\”. As people enter a venue, staff place phones into Yondr cases which lock once they enter phone-free zones.
Brands can help people reconnect with and enjoy the real world, enhancing \’the moment\’ and in doing so helping people recognise and value their lives even more.
To date, our research into consumer trends has focussed heavily on western consumers and as such we’re keen to understand whether the same happiness drivers apply to consumers in Asia and the rest of the world. Our new office in Singapore will allow a local Trends Consultant to work closely with our Consumer Trends Team in the UK to establish a happiness framework to help us get closer to Asian consumers.