Top Trends 2023: Failed Alt Systems

February, 2023

In 2022 we saw several pivotal events, including FTX’s high-profile collapse. From the January 2023 Top Trends report, our trend Failed Alt Systems is rooted in what happens when new systems designed to be more egalitarian than their predecessors fail and an opportunity is created for new shepherds (i.e., brands) to meet the needs of more people.

The Culture Shift: 

Inspired by evolving needs and enabled by emerging technologies, new or disruptive financial, entertainment, and communication systems are often designed to be more egalitarian than their legacy counterparts and serve people who may have been excluded in version 1.0. But increasingly, we’re seeing them fail. 

For example, streaming’s time as the savior to cable’s woes was short-lived, and people are now frustrated by overwhelming choices and rising subscription costs. Crypto hasn’t taken off among Main Street investors as the commanding alternative to traditional investing, and the recent FTX scandal has only hindered people’s adoption. When billionaire Elon Musk bought Twitter and crowned himself the arbiter of free speech, thousands of employees lost their jobs and many of Twitter’s users — including brands — are left wondering what’s next from its impulsive new proprietor. 

Why it matters: 

People are looking at brands to help solve societal issues because they’re often more trusted than governments (11-point gap between trust in business and trust in government) — and much more trusted than billionaires. Legacy brands that have been a part of people’s lives for generations are among the most trusted. They can leverage the trust and consistency they’ve built over time to usher in new systems and rethink the role brands play in people’s lives. Brands have a chance to create platforms and services that empower the public and create new forms of value for all stakeholders, not just a handful of shareholders. 

To read the full 2023 trends report, click here.

*Source: Horizon Media Finger on the Pulse. Survey Fielded January 9-12; n=999

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