Trends in Two Minutes is a monthly bulletin of trends hitting businesses across
Asia-Pacific with a focus on marketing and communications. 

In this special edition, we reviewed and analysed over 50 trends predicted to impact 2019 – and distilled their connecting themes. Read about the beliefs, innovations & variables shaping communications this year.

Received this from someone else? Subscribe now.

The Beliefs – The Rise of Ethical Consumerism

A unique cocktail of technological advancement, global unrest, growing youth populations and accelerating climate change will drive an explosion in ethical consumerism in 2019. While ethical considerations have been increasing in importance to consumers for several years now, that trend has rapidly accelerated and taken on new urgency in the current era.

In no small part, this is driven by the commercial advent of more socially engaged generations like the Millennial and Generation Z demographics – both of whom engage in higher rates of consumer activism than their forebears. But, additional pressure from adolescent activists, rapid mainstreaming of ‘green’ innovations like plant-based meats and electric vehicles, and a growing distrust in institutions has made ethical consumerism both more accessible and more important to consumers in 2019 than ever before.  

This will have significant ramifications for communications across all sectors. Whereas once an ethical stance or social purpose was viewed as a luxury in terms of attracting (or retaining) consumers, or a concern limited to certain industries, it’s increasingly becoming a necessity for all sectors. In 2019, businesses will need to find more ways to demonstrate their brand purpose – moving beyond the crucial fundamentals of watching carbon footprints, working conditions, and leadership diversity to fully engage consumers.

The Innovations – Fast, Automatic, Intuitive & Flexible 

With the mainstream arrival of an entire suite of long-feted technologies, businesses, brands and consumers will substantially shift the ways they access, store, process and communicate information in 2019 – moving from standard technology-driven approaches to more human-centric design across the information journey.   

In 2019, experts expect to see a significant boost in popular applications of voice-led technologies, 5G networking, virtual/augmented reality, artificial intelligence and blockchain. Collectively, these technologies represent a colossal shift towards more human-driven and intuitive communications; be that through streamlining individualised customer journeys via AI or creating more secure logistical processes via blockchain.     

In the coming year, a brand’s relationship to these innovations may determine their success within their sector. In terms of communication strategy, professionals may need to be mindful of how each innovation may apply to their industry – and how established messaging may be adapted to successfully navigate and capitalise on changes like voice-led search processing or augmented reality platforms.

The Variables – Navigating the Backlash

Over the past twelve months, we’ve seen a sustained erosion of trust in a majority of popular digital platforms. The suspected use of data analytics in terms of global politics and ongoing criticisms of platform mismanagement have heavily compromised public belief in the integrity of major social media networks. In 2019, this is expected to expand to a larger and more general backlash to traditional digital platforms.

The global community has already begun to anticipate this shift with developments in increased privacy regulation and new hybrid physical-digital retail locations. But, it’s believed that the technology backlash will only continue to grow in 2019. While often viewed as a predominantly digital-savvy, multi-screen demographic, a growing percentage of Generation Z have already quit social media, for example.

It’s an issue of especial complexity for communicators, brands and consumers alike. Attitudes and expectations continue to evolve in unpredictable ways. While digital backlash is significantly linked to ideas of data gathering, consumers uniformly prefer and expect a data-driven, individualised customer journey – with 83% of one study’s participants willing to surrender private data for personalised recommendations.

For communicators, this means strategies will need to be even more mutable and responsive to the shifting digital climate in 2019. With attitudes to digital technologies in such a volatile and heightened state, appropriate management of a brand’s use of data or artificial intelligence may be the difference between success and failure.  

Got more than two minutes to catch up on the latest trends?
Check out some of our previous issues here.

Subscribe now to stay on top of Asia-Pacific’s key marketing and communications trends.
Copyright © 2019 Weber Shandwick, All rights reserved.

Should you be interested to find out more,
or want to discuss how these topics impact your business,
please contact us at

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp