A quick look at some of our favourite sources for trends sees 2016 as the year that technology (unsurprisingly), priorities (always) and sense of community (… not just the church) will all change and influence how we behave.

If we look beyond this and make a bit of an educated guess, based on what we have been hearing from consumers and clients alike, 2016 is also shaping up to be a year where we, as consumers at least, look to make things a little simpler.

It’ll be about delegating tasks to technology rather than being head down in it; the menial everyday stuff will be passed on to an app or a service provider allowing us to refocus on what is important to us. In his book Stuffocation, Wallman flags up instances of people getting rid of ‘stuff’ and, due to the psychological benefits of doing so, leading easier lives and feeling happier as a result.

A case of getting rid of the stuff that kills time, creating more time to spend on the things we love. Less is more so to speak and consumers are looking for ways to get time for x, y, z – whatever flicks their switch basically. 

There’s an argument to be made for brands doing the same, working out where it stands or can stand. Whether or not it’s a facilitator of free time, a destination for free time or … and let’s hope not… an inhibitor of free time. Understanding this and what to do about it can be exhausting. And if not done correctly can lead to brands jumping from one trend or fad to the next.

Instead brands could and should, work out what they actually mean – or could mean - to consumers. So that people see the value and want the brand as part of their lives, in the way that Lego and Adidas have, through no lack of hard work, worked out what lies at the heart of the cultures that exist around their respective brands.

It’s not a quick or easy task, but it is an achievable one and maybe 2016 will be the year when many brands take the lead from consumers and step back, work out what’s really important to them and start spending more time on doing the things they love.