At the end of every year the influential Oxford English Dictionary names a new “word of of the year” based on popularity and cultural impact. And the latest contenders making it to the podium all have digital DNA – the ubiquitous “selfie”, the much shared (and maligned) Miley-tastic “twerk” and the zombie-retailers worst nightmare “showrooming”.
Building on these big-impact neologisms, here are three digital trends for 2014 that we think every brand needs to know about.
1) Are we talking about me yet? [The Selfie] The rise of the selfie – self-portrait snaps – is indicative of how post-PC digital media is evolving into deeply personal media – with personal digital devices becoming both our second brain and a personal tool to manage our personal identity and image. As mobile devices become extensions of ourselves, expect brands in 2014 to use digital to offer a personal touch.
2) Zombie Retail Apocalypse [Showrooming] This holiday season there were big winners and big losers, with online sales for some big retailers up nearly 60%. The really big winners were retailers adapting to how consumers are increasingly using digital to compare prices and buy – and using stores to browse, pick up and return. 2014 message to traditional retailers: Evolve or die.
3) Is your Digital Twerk-tastic? [Twerk] Okay, so Miley’s twerking antics at the MTV awards were more physical than digital but they created big digital buzz. And creating digital buzz is what we’ll see more brands doing in 2014, using digital as a PR channel for running and publicising PR stunts. Whether it’s videos of Van Damme splits, FBI sketch artists telling women they’re more beautiful than they think or YouTube PR stunts featuring twerk fails, digital is the new medium for PR stunts.