10 Cross-industry trends that have been radically accelerated by the coronavirus


The prospect of a pandemic has been a well known systemic risk for many years, but no one could have predicted the exact timing or nature of the current coronavirus crisis.

That’s often the way with trends: the big shifts are well known; there are many weak signals; but it’s hard if not impossible to know exactly the timing and shape of the bell curve that most trends follow. Will they stay niche for one year? Three years? Or suddenly see accelerated mass adoption because of some external trigger?

That’s why at times like this, when everything seems to be in flux, it’s useful to be able to look at trends that were already ‘out there’. Which new behaviors have early adopters and pioneer brands already been embracing? Which trends looked years away from the mainstream (and so were easy to ignore), but now feel primed to become totally normal in a matter of months, if not weeks?

On an organizational level, times of crises can be both threatening and liberating. Most of the executives we speak with are painfully aware of the gap between their oil tanker-sized organizations and their new, agile startup competitors. But cultural change is hard, without a big shock that means all the old ‘rules’ can be broken. This is that moment.

Here’s a selection of 10 emerging consumer trends we’ve been tracking for some years, that offer powerful early signals of what people will value and their priorities in a post-coronavirus world.

Download the full report (for free) to explore related innovation examples and suggestions of how to apply these trends. As you scan these trends ask yourself: are we prepared for these new behaviors? Are we ready to meet these new expectations?