In 2021, Consumers Are Craving Products That Deliver Novelty and Fun

When the pandemic hit, most businesses recalibrated quickly. In many industries, this meant a lot of retrenching: cutting back on services, or for retailers, focusing on basic staples. So while there was plenty of innovation in terms of how companies served customers, there was a lull in the development of new products.

This trend is reaching its limit, according to Paul Earle. Earle, an adjunct lecturer of innovation and entrepreneurship at the Kellogg School with deep experience in new brand and business development, believes the year ahead holds a lot of promise for companies looking to innovate—thanks to a confluence of new needs, new habits, and a sense of relief and openness.

“The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 and ’19 was followed by the roaring twenties,” he says. “I think we’re going to see, again, a massive appetite for new experiences, for things that are fun, that are social, that bring us together.”

What exactly might this look like? Earle points to three predictions for the year ahead. Read More >>

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