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Innovation trends for 2021

Posted by Zoe McFarland on 11th February 2021

There’s no question that the pandemic has shaken up the world as we knew it and we’re seeing myriad new business and consumer trends surface as a result.

Trendwatching has been tracking sustainability, wellness and inclusion, but these trends are taking centre stage more than ever. Ipsos surveyed 21,000 adults from 27 countries and found that 86% would like to see the world change significantly and for it become more sustainable and equitable.

2021 means new products and services will emerge to fulfil these needs and some of the top innovation trends include:

Sustainable hospitality

In Columbia, Corona has launched Paradise Advisor, a platform that showcases eco-hotels to champion sustainable staycations and tourism. By tapping into the conscious consumerism trend reinvigorated by the pandemic it is helping the hospitality sector to fight back.

Embedded wellness

Wellness products are talked about widely in the media, but with many of us working from home now, big tech software vendors are beginning to embed solutions into their software to help boost mental wellbeing and improve work-life balance. Microsoft is partnering with mindfulness mediation app Headspace, meaning workers can schedule time to meditate during the day, such as before a meeting or during their scheduled ‘virtual commute’ — uninterrupted time to ramp up and down from work.

While our client Poly has launched new software to support its pro-grade hybrid worker hardware that has the option to add personal health and wellness tips throughout the day, such as suggested movement and hydration breaks.

Collaborative intelligence

This isn’t about robots taking human jobs, or autonomous cars, but the marrying of humans and machines to aid each other to produce the best and sometimes unexpected outcomes. Examples include researchers being able to analyse hard-to-reach areas such as agricultural land in New Zealand and measuring the biomass of forests quickly, precisely and quantifiably.

Greener operations

Building sustainable and ethical business operations and outputs will vary for every organisation, but there are some great examples. Yallah Coffee took its coffee on a 7,500-nautical-mile journey by wind-powered sailboat to the UK, reducing its environmental impact and giving back to its growers and customers in the process with fair pricing. While Epson PaperLab, a circular paper ecosystem, is now widely available in Europe. It produces new paper from old paper that you recycle within it, using next to no water. How cool is that!

What story do you want to tell that will make a difference to the audiences you serve in 2021?

Zoe McFarland

Zoe has over six years’ B2B technology PR experience across a variety of sectors, including artificial intelligence, cyber security, IT software, marketing technology, 3D printing and Unified Communications. With a flair for media relationships, Zoe has also honed her skills in other complementary areas, including international agency network management, events co-ordination and product launches. Zoe prides herself on delivering stand-out results for clients and immerses herself in their businesses to make sure the right message gets to the right media. Always on top of the latest trends, Zoe has a love for news-jacking and a passion for injecting new ideas for maximum campaign impact. Zoe is also the office panda enthusiast – not that it would take you long to notice once you see her desk!