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Offering tangible, human-led experiences to be the mainstay for brands

Regardless of sector or geography, today’s consumers and professionals are increasingly prioritising more tangible and human-led experiences. 

According to Weber Shandwick’s new report, ‘Connecting The Trends: New Humanity’, major global transformations in Technology, Audiences & Healthcare are motivating stakeholders of all kinds to seek out more human-led brand experiences than ever before – whether as employees, consumers or business leaders, stakeholders are demanding a New Humanity. 

Analysing 24 key communications trends from the past 12 months, ‘Connecting The Trends: New Humanity’ brings together an international panel of Weber Shandwick experts from EMEA, APAC, USA and Latin-America to help professionals navigate society’s broader shifts and deliver New Humanity for their brands and communities. It outlines the core development driving it all – a rising need for tangible, human-centric experiences. 

Three mega-trends are recognised in the report, which point to a global phenomenon motivating each development; a widespread need for a new human-led reality. 

  1. Digital Gets Physical

Attitudes to technology are shifting. With widespread uncertainty regarding social media, a resurgent trust in traditional print media, a global decline in smartphone sales and a rising belief that companies are prioritising online automation over customer experience, people throughout the world are rethinking their relationship with technology and seeking more human-led designs. 

  1. Increasing Inclusivity

Diversity is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. In 2019, the two most populous generations in the world will be Generation Z and Millennials – and the latter is expected to be the most economically powerful generation for the next fifteen years. With both generations prioritising diverse representation in their lives, workplaces, media and governance, there is a profound growth in new audience opportunities. 

  1. The New Health Perspective

We have never been more invested in our own wellbeing. With resultant shifts in expectations around workplace design, technology and dietary choices, it’s a development with impacts stretching far beyond the already-booming healthcare sector. In 2019, even seemingly frivolous decisions are partially assessed through the context of health and wellbeing.  

Taking all of the data in its entirety, it’s emphatically clear: stakeholders across the world are desperate for more tangible, human-led experiences. Whether that’s in the retail space, from their healthcare providers, from their technology, or from their employers. Whatever our context, we are all seeking a New Humanity.  

In some ways, it’s a search for authenticity in a world recently typified by misinformation and uncertainty. Or, a need for genuine connection after a decade of increasingly abstracted relationships. However, the crucial differentiator of the phenomenon is its universality. It’s not a discreet outcome of a specific trend or region but a reflection of a larger reality. The impact range of many of the highlighted trends, for example, spans even further than the provided framework. Our collective prioritising of health and wellbeing, by way of demonstration, has been significantly influenced by both new audience developments and shifts in attitudes towards technology. The acceleration of technology has allowed for more ethical consumerism.  

At the heart, it’s a very organic need. Amidst a whirlwind of change and transformation, we reach out to our people to find comfort, security and inspiration.  

Drawing on a global panel of Weber Shandwick experts, this report provides extensive analysis and advice for brands and professionals on how best to navigate and leverage these trends – and how to deliver New Humanity. 


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