On December 6th, Ford released its first-ever trend report, Looking Further with Ford, revealing predictions about consumer habits and behaviors expected to shape 2013 and beyond. In addition to the release, Ford held an event to in New York to discuss the launch of the trend report.

The event, held at Skylight West, was live-streamed, and the hashtag, #FordTrends, was used, so those following the feed via social, could submit questions to the panel.

The trend report discussion was led by futurists and trendsetters, which included Sheryl Connelly, Global Trends & Futuring manager for Ford, John Gerzema, Social Theorist and Executive Chairman of Brand Asset Consulting, Cheryl Guerin, SVP, Group Head US Marketing & Global Digital Marketing at MasterCard, and Grant McCracken, cultural anthropologist and senior lecturer at The Harvard Business School.

Ford’s trend report suggests, “2013 will be a year marked by acceptance and optimism rather than mistrust and disappointment by consumers.” The speakers discussed in depth how consumer habits and behaviors are expected to shape 2013 (and beyond), as well as, the idea that consumers are having newfound trust in companies and brands, to the rise of personal accountability.

In order to predict the 2013 trends, Ford looked outside the automotive industry to understand what was happening in social, technological, economic, environmental and political arenas. They realized it was important to gain insight into what influences consumers’ values, attitudes and behaviors; especially those of the millennial market. Sheryl Connelly, assisted to incorporate those insights into Ford’s inaugural trend report, capturing 13 micro trends, in which the brand will be watching over the coming year.

13 trends for 2013:

Ford’s inaugural trend report explores 13 micro trends for 2013, focusing on these key topics expected to influence consumers and brands in the new year:

  1. Trust Is the New Black
  2. Consumer Republic
  3. Get Real
  4. Pioneering Pathways
  5. The Micro Skills DIY
  6. Help Me Help Myself
  7. The Economics of Local Pride
  8. The Rise of the Intima-City
  9. Defying Distraction
  10. The Minimal Maximist
  11. Return to Your Senses
  12. Forever Young
  13. Post-Green

Through out the discussion, the panelists brought up points on how in order to reach today’s consumer, brands need to recognize needs on personal levels, and marketers should, “sell less and listen more.” Social media has created a sense of belonging for consumers in this, “want, what I want, when I want it,” purchase trend. Connelly and Guerin talked about millennials being examples of “really savvy consumers,” who although may not be moving out of their parents’ homes until after age 25, understand sometimes there has to be a tradeoff, to experience brands.

Ford’s 2013 Ford C-MAX was on display at the launch event. For Ford’s full 2013 Trend report, visit http://media.ford.com/images/10031/FordTrendBook2013.pdf.

- Danielle Marshall