Trends in Two Minutes is a monthly bulletin of trends hitting businesses across Asia-Pacific with a focus on marketing and communications. 
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Muslim Millennials Represent New Opportunities For Brands

In 2015, it was estimated that the global Muslim market was worth approximately US$3.9 trillion. By 2021, that figure is expected to climb to $6.5 trillion. Crucially, this growth will be driven largely by Muslim Millennials – a demographic that has yet to be fully engaged by many global brands. And, with 62% of the global Muslim population based in Southeast Asia, opportunities abound.     

Travel, in particular, represents a key area for growth. By 2020, it’s expected that there will be approximately 150 million Muslim travellers worldwide – with the most popular destinations for young Muslims being Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan. However, even brands not operating in the travel sector can benefit from engaging with the growing demographic.

For example, Muslim millennials are also expected to have a substantial impact on the growth of pharmaceuticals, finance, cosmetics, fashion, and media. Communications strategies like promoting halal-friendly products and services, connecting with Islamic calendar events like Ramadan and showcasing Muslim millennials in collateral, therefore, may benefit brands across many sectors.

Safe, Supportive Workplaces Have New Value In Modern Era

Over the past decade, workplace culture has become increasingly important in regards to talent acquisition and retention. However, recent developments may have made it crucial. Initially coined in reference to travel in the modern era, ‘permanxiety’ is progressively becoming a global, industry-agnostic phenomenon – with significant implications for the employer-employee relationship.

With a myriad of conflicts evolving worldwide, widespread economic stress and widening gaps of inequality, people around the world are being subject to consistent anxiety in many aspects of their lives. This has resulted in a need to feel safe, supported and stress-free.

In addition to the obvious impact on multiple consumer sectors, the rise of permanxiety represents both a challenge and opportunity for employers to communicate greater value to prospective (and existing) employees through strategies that showcase safe, supportive workplaces – across both internal and external communication channels. 

Our surveys on civility from both 2017 and 2018 have found that most Americans view their workplace as a sole bastion of civility in an increasingly uncivil world. By focusing communication on ideas of respect, support and care in an era of seemingly inescapable anxiety, employers can leverage a difficult trend to build value for their business and their people.

Could Your Brand Be Forgotten By Absent-Minded Consumers?

Over the past five years, various terms have emerged around technology’s impact on our natural ability (or inability) to remember and recall information – ‘digital amnesia’, for example, or ‘digital dementia’. In essence, experts suspect that the accessibility of search engines and technology is leading us to ‘outsource’ our memories to devices and the internet.

Every time a memory is recalled, it’s thought to reinforce a person’s connection to that memory. As we are no longer required to recall many things ourselves, our connections to our memories are thought to be growing weaker. As technology evolves further, these developments are expected to have profound implications around communications and brand management.

With recall relationships between consumers and brands weakening, organisations may wish to invest in more diverse communication strategies to cultivate more points of connection with their audience. Voice-related search, image filters, streaming playlists, podcasts, video, print and live brand activations are all areas that companies can explore to improve memorability.

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