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Top emerging consumer trends so far in 2017

Published on Tuesday, 9th May 2017, contributed by Stuff Advertising

Top emerging trends so far in 2017

Here at Stuff we’re always looking at what trends are going to influence advertising and how consumers are seeing the world. As we now move deeper into 2017, we can see that there has already been a shift in how brands are communicating. To understand future potential changes we’ve pulled together the top trends for 2017 that are being used in advertising messaging this year.

Firstly, here’s a few questions answered for you:

What is a trend?

A trend is general direction in which something is moving or changing. This post focuses on the trends that may potentially impact consumer’s decisions and how campaigns have and will react to this.

Why are trends important?

Simple – trend knowledge allows us to produce content that customers can engage with.

What happens if you don’t create content your customers can engage with?

Abercrombie & Fitch started in 1892 and in the last few years has closed 275 stores. To try and connect with their new customer they attempted a new ‘no logo’ image but still failed. They have neither evolved alongside their previous, ageing customers or mirrored potential new customer’s values.

So, what trends are we seeing in 2017?


This is an evolvement of the transparency trend, which many companies have utilised in the last few years. This trend is fuelled by a distrust of global brands and the Millienials and Zed Generation are more tolerant to advertising. Also, material goods are seen as less important – experiences are more important.

Lidl have created the #LidlSurprises campaign where skeptical customers of their products meet up with their producers. This took out the entirety of middle men in the advertising process and took the customer to the producer. Burger King amongst others have done a similar campaign – taking haters from Twitter direct to the product and filming their reactions.

No Limits

This trend has potentially developed off the back of the feminist movement – with campaigns like This Girl Can which empowered women, we are now empowering each individual. Those who live with boundaries will turn them into possibilities – with events like the Invictus Games (founded by Prince Harry in 2014), people are now celebrating and overcoming their limits – which is incredible.


We read recently that the pursuit for perfection is over – hip hip hooray! Life recently has been portrayed through posed photographs on Facebook and an edited Instagram filter. This trend will see a celebration of faults in a light hearted tone of voice with the message – if it’s not flawless, then you’re probably doing it right.

Unfortunately too, this trend is probably why Donald Trump won the election as people are tired of politicians not saying yes or no. Trump says what he thinks and even writes his own tweets – his voters see him as ‘real’ person.

This recent advert from Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is a perfect example of this realism trend:


Trends are usually associated with fashion and it is a good place to look for the structure of trends – especially pace. Last year Tommy Hilfiger took ahead in this race by creating ‘See Now, Buy Now’ runway shows. The shows are also broadcast live globally and all the clothes worn by the models are available to buy immediately online. To further resonate this immediacy trend and in homage to this, the trend magazine View 2 run by David Shah brought forward its usual release date by 6 weeks. This trend is very important – we will see it develop in our day to day action, more than just paying with a tap of a card.


This trend has been and will be around for a while, but we feel it will develop. The aim of this trend is to seem real, established and down to earth. In one of Nationwide’s adverts the spoken word poet Hollie McNish reads aloud her poem (in one take) about her six-year old daughter. It resonates with their customers about parenting.

Feminism & Empowering Women

This new campaign from Durex is a perfect example of how companies are communicating this developing trend. Durex says there is an inequality in the bedroom and created the tag – #OrgasmsForAll. Traditionally a male focused brand, it’s moving forward. Expect more male focused brands to follow suit.

Communication: Local & Community

Finally, the method of communication and value in what is being said is changing. People now see peer to peer recommendations as the only truth. One company that has done this very well is Talktalk. They have set up a hub on Mumnset – an online community dedicated to giving real, honest advice to parents from parents. This hub helps give support to parents about new technologies and safe internet use. So, not only have they got their brand on a site that people trust – they have a huge resource of comments and direct feedback to help shape their products.

What next?

One idea that came from a recent trend talk at Stuff was adaptability – with Brexit at the forefront of many people’s questions about the future, adaptability could be key not only for advertising messages but how agencies work too.

Look out for our next trends blog post.

Want more information on trends for your company?

Contact to chat about what trends your customers will want to engage with.

Written by Monica Tuffs – graphic designer and trend forecaster at Stuff.