Trends For 2023: The Changes Shaping The Year Ahead

Another year of challenges, surprises, innovations, loss, and hope is where we start to look at what’s ahead for the new year. Foresights and trends are generated through an understanding of our cultural ecosystem and what’s changing, what’s motivating people and all the adjacencies in the system that will give those changes momentum. This year we’ll identify the themes and forces pushing change forward expressed through a few examples.

1. Reordering

You’d think that almost 3 years of a pandemic would be enough time to adjust to new schedules and routines, but the upheaval, combined with other events, has stimulated change in sectors and product categories affecting many aspects of life. People, consumers, and citizens are still working out the details.

Work: For the most part parents wanted their kids back in school but wanted to work from home to add balance to their lives. Some generational preferences aside, hybrid work is here to stay.

Employment: The Great Resignation gave way to Quiet Quitting just as the tech industry starting laying off workers. Non-profits and government agencies are thrilled at the prospect of skilled tech workers now on the job market.

Politics: The Political divide is reordering as independent and swing voters shifted their ballots to the Democrats surprising the pollsters once again.

Food and Beverages: Sober-curious has moved to full on sober for a growing number of consumers fueling NA bars, cocktails, and canned/bottled drinks. NielsenIQ reports that “Between August 2021 and August 2022, total dollar sales of non-alcoholic drinks in the US stood at $395 million, showing a year-on-year growth of +20.6%.”


Education: According to Pew, a tipping point, building for years, has been breached as “women are more likely to have a 4 year degree.”

What This Means For Business

Expect more shuffling and contradictory behavior as consumers evaluate priorities, dreams, and values that work for the way they want to live.

– Those employees that can or want to make a change now have the chance to do so.

– Customers and consumers will be looking for the products and services that meet their moments and dayparts needs.

2. Exploring

Whether it’s breaking the monotony of the last few years or an epic trip, consumers want to see, learn, and experience something new or discover what’s out there. Now, fun new technologies can help you plan adventures, play with virtual worlds, or explore ancient history.

Travel: You’ve already heard about revenge travel soothing the itch for the once homebound. The trend continues with bleisure travel (mixing business and travel) and the digital working nomads that pair a chosen experience with work obligations all of their own design.

Space: The James Webb Space Telescope is letting armchair explorers go where no man has gone before with answers to questions about “14 billion years of cosmic history,” as Axios explains, and the visuals are stunning.

The New York Times said, “Anything having to do with space will be big as people look for the optimism and inspiration that seem in limited supply on Earth.”


– AI and ChatGPT are getting all the press right now and it’s very cool. My own experiments were nothing I could use but impressive nonetheless.

– The metaverse, AR, and VR are going to continue to bring exciting and fun experiences to brands and retail. A fantastic example from Nike around the World Cup takes you inside a delightful fantasy experiment and then into their own Footballverse. And it’s great branding.

What This Means For Business

– People will never tire of opportunities to learn and explore. Customers will be looking for experiences that surprise and delight as it reminds us of the possibilities of who we can be.

– Technology will continue to enable new customer experiences. “We’re settling into a ‘new abnormal,’ where virtual and real worlds collide every day,” Mastercard CMO Raja Rajamannar.


You’ve heard the world’s dreadful combination of crises, instability, and uncertainty called a permacrisis, polycrisis, and now eternatragedy. No matter the name, it will continue to be an ongoing stress of varying degrees depending on who you are and where you live.

Conflict: The war in Ukraine is a horrifying battle for independence and democracy.

Environment: Polar vortex is so old news. We’re now adding “atmospheric rivers” and “bomb cyclone” to the news, with “weather events” alerting us to droughts, blizzards, hurricanes, and fire tornadoes.

Crime: USA Today reports that in 2022 “more than 6,000 children and teens were injured or killed in shootings.”

“Hate crimes increased by nearly 5% in 15 major U.S. cities, according to Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism.

Mortgage rates: Rates are coming down, now at 6.4%, but that’s still too high for many would-be home buyers.

Trust:Gallup reports that Americans’ Trust In Media Remains Near Record Low” and Pew finds that “American trust in government near ‘historic lows’.”

Cyber Threats: Forbes reported that “this could be another banner year for ransomware and other cyberattacks, which can be costly crises for companies. In 2022, the average cost of a data breach in the U.S. was $9.4 million, up from $9 million the prior year.”

What This Means For Business

The language alone is scary, confusing and can feel overwhelming. Stressful news is inevitable but brands can help. Research has shown that consumers want brands to take a stand and help solve societal problems and it will continue beyond 2023. Companies need to be a source of stability, information, and authenticity.

4. Welcoming

Lost in all the competing news and change is a pool of good news, innovations, and improvements.

Health: Adding to the news of the advances in vaccines, there have been breakthroughs in “cancer-fighting viruses, gene therapies, and a new class of hair loss drugs.”

Gas: The price of a gallon of gas is approximately $3.20, dropping significantly from a year ago.

Goods: The supply chain backups are not completely solved but finally flowing in the right direction.

Teen Mothers: Teenage pregnancy rates continue to decline.


– “Global solar PV (photovoltaic) capacity is set to almost triple over the 2022-2027 period, surpassing coal and becoming the largest source of power capacity in the world.”

– The development of fusion energy is “a major breakthrough” and hints at a potential net zero energy source.

What This Means For Business

Optimists hang onto every bit of good news. It reassures us of our potential, our humanity, and hope for the future. Help customers see the contributions your brand makes to improving lives and communities, locally and globally.

5. Empowering

People continue to seize newfound power and strength to claim (or reclaim) their rights or simply to be heard and appreciated. Hope and progress are being felt around the world, but setbacks, risks, and real danger exist for some on the frontlines of change.


– “According to the National Labor Relations Board, there were 1,249 union elections in fiscal year 2022, a nearly 50% increase from the year before,” but there is still a long road ahead for union supporters.

Salary transparency in job postings will prompt people to talk more openly about their own compensation and enable job seekers to gain more information about their value in the marketplace.”


The New York Times reports that “Calling yourself a climatarian is so 2022. The new term is regenivore. It’s no longer about eating sustainably, which implies a state of preserving what is. A new generation wants food from companies that are actively healing the planet through carbon-reducing agriculture, more rigorous animal welfare policies and equitable treatment of the people who grow and process food.”

– “A Gartner survey revealed that, for the first time ever, CEOs placed environmental sustainability in their top ten business priorities for 2022 and 2023 (it ranked number 8).”

Women’s Rights: Following the September 16, 2022, death of Mahsa Amini, Iranian women and men have taken to the streets to protest their oppressive regime in the face of a brutal crackdown and grave personal risk.


– Web3 technology is a blockchain-based, decentralized, incorporates NFTs, DAOs, cryptocurrencies and more bringing customers into the brand to co-create products. Cool.

– The World Economic Forum has reported that “consumers are key to tackling the global crises – let’s work with them. Consumers increasingly want to be active agents of change in the energy, food, and broader climate crisis.”

What This Means For Business

Voices are getting louder.

Communities: From revolutions to policy change, pushed to a breaking point, citizens will fight to be heard.

Companies: Recognizing consumers as partners in achieving your goals builds goodwill and loyalty.

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