Yesterday, Ford Motor’s Global Trend and Futuring Manager (yep, actual job title) Sheryl Connelly unveiled the top ten trends shaping the world in 2014 as part of the motor giant’s second annual Looking Forward with Ford report.
The business of selling cars, it would seem, has gotten a lot more sophisticated than the horseless carriage of the Henry Ford era.
As Ford’s in-house futurist, Connelly and her team map the political, social, economic and cultural trends that are shaping the way people think, behave and buy around the world. They look at population and economic data, but, judging from this year’s crop of trends, they are also paying very close attention to data from social media. It takes three years to bring a vehicle to market at Ford, so it pays for the company to predict the needs of the near-future consumer, maybe before the consumer really recognizes those needs himself.
The 2014 trend report, the first to look globally, paints a picture of a consumer market that is simultaneously enthralled with and wary of the relentless pace of technological innovation. It’s a market that is starting to question the value of the “always-on” hyper-connected lifestyle, but is already dependent — maybe more than we’d like to admit — on the virtual embrace of technology, the adrenaline rush of a new “like” or a new follower.
Here’s a look at the top ten trends Ford expects to shape the market over the next 1-3 years, including a big shift in sustainability thinking:Click to continue reading »