Sohwakhaeng, Wolabal(Work-Life-Balance), Yolo...Have you ever heard of these words? These three words were the biggest buzzwords for 2018. At the every end of the year, experts present a report that analyzes various issues and predicts next year’s buzzwords. Seoul National University’s Consumer Trend Analysis Center has introduced buzzwords that they believe will lead consumption culture every year through the book Trend Korea Series since 2007, and in 2019, the year of the golden pig, it presented a forecast of consumption trends with 10 English buzzwords that can be represented through the acronym – PIGGY DREAM. Let’s learn about the buzzwords for 2019!
P lay the concept The first buzzword is not just a ‘concept,’ rather the ‘direction of a concept.’ With the emergence of a ‘Floating Generation,’ which refers to a generation that cannot concentrate on one thing at a time and is bombarded with lots of information simultaneously, the trend is to consume concepts that are no longer functions. Therefore, we will see companies’ efforts to emphasize intuitive aesthetics and instant feelings rather than cost-effectiveness and quality. By posting concept photos with hashtags on social media, such as Instagram and Facebook, one becomes a conceptual designer to show off his/her own uniqueness and individuality. Have you ever traveled from place to place to take a picture called a ‘Life Shot?’ If so, then you are the ‘conceptor,’ a person who creates his/her own personal concept.
I nvite to the ‘Cell Market’ You’ve probably seen a lot of single operators selling information and products based on their talents through SNS or other platforms. The background of this trend is ‘Cell Market,’ which means a market divided into individual units like cells, and ‘Sellsumer,’ which means that consumers sell products by themselves. A typical feature of the cell market is the simple process of selling and consuming because the boundaries between consumers and sellers are ambiguous. Selling products through SNS can reduce production costs and design costs for opening an online shopping mall, and the risk of inventory mismanagement is also low as the product is ordered on a pre-order basis only. And it’s easy to predict that the cell market is going to make a huge difference in terms of the enormous number of individual Sellsumers, even if their individual influences are slight.
G oing Newtro ‘Newtro’ is a new term combining ‘New’ and ‘Retro,’ which is a new way of enjoying a retro style. Retro and Newtro seem similar, but they are exactly different. If Retro is defined as reproducing the past which can create familiarity, Newtro is defined as an old, unfamiliar thing placed in a new context. The irony is that the age 10 to 20 generation who doesn’t know the past is enthusiastic about Newtro. What has made them enthusiastic about old things? First of all, it’s because of the desire for something new and fresh. Every new product released has been digitized. It’s simple, light, and convenient, but it often doesn’t connect with humanity. Newtro is attractive in that it allows people looking for a more powerful connection to be stimulated in a completely different or fresh way rather than just for novelty. The second reason is the reminiscence bump which is a psychological term for trying to return to the past because the more anxious you are, the more relaxed you need to be in order to relieve your stress and rest. Newtro is not selling the past; it is borrowing the past to sell the present.
G reen survival The age of ‘eco-compulsory’ has come – where being mindful of the environment is no longer a matter of choice, but of survival. The world produces around 330 million tons of plastic every year, but only 9 percent of the plastic is recycled: 79 percent is waste. The environmental movement has emerged as a global challenge to protect the right to survive beyond the level of public relief or public campaigns. Starbucks, for example, introduced a straw-free cup lid in November of last year and has applied the straw-free cup lid to iced drinks that do not need to be mixed or mixed with whipped cream-free drinks. In addition, plastic straws, which were previously available for customers, have been replaced with paper straws, but they are not readily available to customers, unless requested. This policy has been implemented nationwide. As a result, Starbucks Coffee Korea says its average monthly straw usage has decreased by about 50 percent (based on data available as of 12 February 2019). Thus, lowering environmental consumption or ‘green survival’ is now becoming a necessity, not an option.
Y ou are my proxy emotion Have you ever used emoticons to express your feelings in messenger programs like Kakao Talk? In Kakao Talk, emoticons are used at a rate of 2 billion emoticons per month. While the fact that people use emoticons because they are a more comfortable way to express their feelings, it also means that more people are hiding their real feelings behind emoticons and photos. People who are used to digital devices have a hard time communicating, and thus we have the concept of ‘Emotion agents.’ Emotion agents can be divided into three types depending on the role they play. The first is to act as an ‘Emotional proxy’ who is ‘feeling instead’ of emotion through maximized empathy. One looks at the vivid emotions of the emotional agent and feels like one is actually experiencing them. The second character is the role of ‘Emotional spokesperson’ who expresses emotions that are difficult to express on one’s own. Lastly, there is an ‘Emotional manager’ who chooses the right emotions for one’s situation. These three types have one thing in common: looking at one’s feelings in the reflection of others.
D ata Intelligence What should we eat today? What are we going to do tomorrow? The data will tell us the answer. With the remarkable development of information technology, data, and algorithms, artificial intelligence is intertwining and changing the paradigm of decision making. These data-driven decisions can be called ‘Dacision,’ a combination of ‘data’ and ‘decisions.’ The use of data is growing in all industries, not only in security, but also in distribution, finance, transportation, travel, and accommodation. However, this huge potential of data intelligence can have devastating consequences depending on who uses it. Therefore, the nature of borderless online data requires the world to jointly establish a legal and institutional technical foundation for its collection and utilization.
R ebirth of space Today’s offline consumption space is changing into a variety of forms that can generate synergy like chameleons that change the color of their body depending on surroundings. This is called ‘Chamelezone’ and is a trend in which certain spaces are transformed into new identities, beyond one of their inherent functions, through collaboration, experience, renewal, openness, sharing. The biggest reason that offline spaces are looking to transform is the rapid growth of the online business. Offline stores, which felt a sense of crisis as a large part of the real economy moved online, are one way to improve their competitiveness. Space is the best place to implement the keywords Concept and Newtro trend. And just as Newtro has caught the attention of its novelty, we can see that the trends of 2019 will get the limelight according to how new they are coming to people.
E merging ‘Millennial family’ As family forms vary, a new family custom has been created called the ‘Millennial family.’ Now, it’s a term that refers to Millennials who have a family. Millennial refers to the generation born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. In their 20s and late 30s, they received the most education under the protection of the baby boomers, and they grew up with digital technologies such as Internet, and cell phones to enjoy information and communication in new ways. In addition, the term ‘Yolo’ is best implemented as they seek a satisfactory life by setting standards rather than following the traditional lifestyle formula with strong self-love. What are the characteristics of this Millennial family? The first is that household chores are being pursued with a mind to cost-effectiveness. The characteristics of the Millennial family are that they want to spend more time with their families by reducing the amount of time preparing food. The second thing is that parents are changing their roles. They are characterized by listening to their children’s stories, communicating through dialogue and solving problems like friends, not authoritarian or not unilaterally communicating knowledge or devoted to their children. In terms of married couples’ roles, men and women are moving away from the dichotomy of economic activity and women’s domestic activities, and together they are doing household chores and economic activities, just like the two of them do their jobs.
A s being myself ‘Na-na land’ means loving yourself by your own standards rather than by other people's eyes or social customs. If La-la land is the city of the dreamers, then Na-na land is the land of opportunity where those who love and care for me have settled. The ‘Na-na Landers’ who live in Na-na land are characterized most by their denial of standardized norms and customs. Instead of comparing themselves with others, they accept themselves as they are, oppose the lifestyle of the older generation, and pursue their own lifestyle. Those who are looking for Na-na land also have a high capacity for ‘difference’ and a high understanding of others. Na-na land is the destination of the journey to find true self-esteem.
M anners maketh the consumer Following Wolabal(Work-Life-Balance), there is now a movement toward a ‘Wocobal(Worker-Consumer-Balance)’ that aims to achieve a balance between workers and consumers. Based on Wocobal, the term ‘Manner consumer’ was coined. A ‘Manner consumer’ means a consumer who has the proper manners and not the unconditional and one-sided kindness of a worker. Consumers are becoming more recognized as being a party to the trade and a faithful consumer. Consumers should bear in mind that they have basic obligations as economic subjects, such as fair trade, compliance with market order. And the fact that consumers abuse their powers over workers was the result of forgetting these contractual obligations and responsibilities. Therefore, it is important to recognize that the faithful performance of one’s responsibilities is essential for one’s rights as a consumer to take a step closer.