noun, [ˈnaɪnti]-[naɪn] [lɪvz]
1: Too fast a pace, too little time, causes societal schizophrenia and forces us to assume multiple roles.
2: One of 17 known cultural and societal undercurrents, first identified by Faith Popcorn, whose shifting dimensions reflect the human experience as it evolves to define future consumer behavior.
In the 1980s, diverse forces conspired to speed up the pace of life. Faxes and cell phones made people available in ways they never had been before; women had entered the workforce in droves, and the zeitgeist shifted to an individualistic focus where “having it all” and “doing it all” became a new aspiration. When talking with her Trendspotting network, Faith Popcorn continuously heard reports of people being overloaded, overwhelmed, and stressed. Time became the new money: people wanted to spend money rather than time, and 80% of Americans said they were looking for ways to simplify their lives.
As consumers aspired to packing more into every day, Faith and her team advised clients on how best to fuel that—from “one-handed” breakfasts that could be eaten on the run to caffeine- and herb-infused beverages to help heighten energy and performance.
Faith Popcorn’s BrainReserve worked with Coca-Cola in Japan to harness this Trend. Knowing that the stereotypical “salary-man” was working nonstop and had to function on minimal sleep, we sought to create an elixir that would help these overtaxed individuals fall asleep more quickly, sleep more efficiently and awaken feeling deeply refreshed.
Tapping our TalentBankers for intriguing new ingredients, we developed Yumeru, a sleep-enhancing beverage rich in the amino acid l-theanine, which was relaunched as Glaceau Sleep Water and helped exhausted consumers function on less shut-eye.
Today, 99 Lives is evolving in astounding ways. Enabled by technology, consumers are “living in the blur”—adopting Gig Economy jobs and juggling multiple tasks to which AI matches them. They are moving around the globe as Digital Nomads, living in a series of networked transient homes, staying connected through virtual communities of people they’ve never met. The autonomous vehicle revolution frees up time previously spent driving and gives birth to a swath of new industries that cater to in-transit consumers needing food, relaxation, and stimulation while being whisked to their next destination.
The stress of multi-tasking provides fresh territory for innovation as well. Performance-enhancing tools—from nootropics that tweak concentration to micro-doses of hallucinogens to boost creativity to eventually implanted chips that enhance processing speed—will proliferate.
Recovering from this stress yields mega business opportunities as well, as frazzled consumers seek means to manage the relentless pace of daily life—from pharmaceutical soothers to cannabis-infused treats to regenerative pods.
99Lives clusters with Small Indulgences (stressed-out consumers want to indulge in affordable luxuries and seek ways to reward themselves) and Pleasure Revenge (consumers are having a secret bacchanal—they’re mad as hell and want to cut loose again). These express the ways in which stress relief is vital for survival, whether it means a small sip of artisanal alcohol or an all-night THC-infused VR session.
This Trend also dovetails with the escapism of Fantasy Adventure (modern age whets our desire for roads untaken) and Cashing Out (working women and men, questioning personal/career satisfaction and goals, opt for simpler living), as people dream of fleeting or permanent retreats from the daily race.
Tomorrow’s trends, Today