Skip to main content

The 5 Emotional Drivers that Influence Global Trends

In this article, I talk about the 5 key influences that impact on global consumer trends. I showcase 10 of the key trends we have identified that are relevant to home and lifestyle brands for 2020-2021.

We are all aware that consumers are influenced by trend. Trends allows designers, product planners and merchandisers to create freshness. With an ever-increasing focus on home and lifestyle products in all types of media, the management of trend within a product offer is more difficult and crucial than ever. There are so many trends to consider!

Markets have become increasingly dynamic and hyper-competitive. Businesses often don’t have the time to study nor manage trend as part of a commercial differentiation strategy.

It is critical to make a prudent trend choice and to align it to your product development, brand values, and customer. In reality there is just not enough time and too many trends to interpret and understand for most businesses.

At MC&Co. we are passionate about trend interpretation. We take our many years of industry experience and help brands successfully and efficiently manage trend into a sustainable profit. Each year we research, identify, curate and study home lifestyle trend globally from both a social and product perspective. In 2019, we identify 24 important trends being exposed to consumers that are relevant for product planning and development in 2020-2021.

From an anthropological perspective, there are 5 emotional drivers that are reflected in these trends. These drivers enable us to filter trends into categories by applying filters. Are they classic or romantic? Masculine or feminine? Youthful or mature? These filters help us understand each trend as it relates to an underlying consumer.

The 5 Emotional Drivers are:

1. Nostalgia:  Finding comfort in the past

Nostalgia: “Colourful Cote”: Derek Castiglioni; “Kooky Kitsch”: Jonathan Adler
  • Colourful Cote: Think St Tropez to Positano. This celebration of Mediterranean summer celebrates colour and pattern with eclectic consideration. It’s a relaxed, confident expression of the alfresco attitude. Perfect for the Australian Summer.
  • Kooky Kitsch: Eclectic, individual, retro and bold. Think late 60’s groovy Palm Springs, 70’s playboy mansions and early 80’s. Miami vibes are celebrated in grand gestures. This is a trip back in time to the hedonistic daze.

2. Opulence:  “The renewed interest in luxury and prestige.”

Opulence: “2nd Gen Asia”: Soffit Interiors; “Golden Age”: Brabbu

Grand spaces and elegant intentions are what this concept is all about. A look back at times past when bigger was better.

  • 2nd Gen Asia:  2GA style adopts the cultural cues from the world’s fastest growing economies. European glamour and clean lines with just a nod to Asian heritage; namely a sprinkle of Japanese and Chinese inspiration. Think cherry blossom and oriental accents.
  • Golden Age: This trend is opulent and nostalgic. This trend reinforces an obsession with wealth and extravagance. Sometimes described as New Deco, there are touches of gold ever present. Think drinks cart fully stocked with cocktail glasses.

3. Grounded: “A desire to reconnect with spiritual values and unplug from the digital world.”

Grounded: “Honest Tribal”: Raw Decor; “Raw & Simple”: Tigmi Trading

This is one of the most influential concepts in design trends today. It is aspiring to be authentic and real.
Trends influenced by a grounded ideal include:

  • Honest Tribal: An exotic trend that has been stripped back to the essentials. Primary accent pieces range from “ebony noir” to blond or even pure white. It is tribal by suggestion. This trend brings back the value of crafts.
  • Raw & Simple: Embracing unrefined simplicity, this trend can be surprisingly mature and sophisticated. Wood, concrete and stone are celebrated. Perfect lines and irregular shapes live in harmony. Imagine concrete benches and floors.

4. Escape: The fantasy of bringing your vacation home.

Escape: “Island Verde”: En Eimis; “Spice Road”: Alinea

“I want to live my vacation every day” is the driving emotional force behind the escape influence.

  • Island Verde: Continuing the Crusoe theme, the ocean is overtaken by the shoreline. Natural fibres and weaving are key elements here.
  • Spice Road: Where Desert Craft is about dusty arid landscapes, this trend is about the oasis. Palettes range from vivid to dusty and monochromatic. It is a pop of colour in the desert.

5. Playful “A focus on frivolity over substance. A rebellion against seriousness in design.”

Playful: “Memphis Sportive”: Microsoft Office; “New Euro”: Jaime Hayon
  • Memphis Sportive: Part 80’s Memphis, part Bauhaus, part sports graphic. This trend is distinct by its use of bold block colours and is influenced by music. Strong shapes and unashamed “Bang”.
  • New Euro: The name says it all: The new European aesthetic. Primarily driven from Spain, Portugal and Italy. With distinct forms and palettes, this playful trend is the toast of the continent.

With an explosion of trend information, it can be challenging to understand strategically the trends that are relevant to your brand. Merchandise teams are more time poor than ever before. They are exposed to so much conflicting trend information. Identifying a trend is just part of the job, now you need to work to understand which one appeals to your consumers’ aspirations and hip pockets!

This is where MC&Co can help. As part of our curation and identification process we apply a scientific filter over each trend. We understand whether they are commercially viable, whether they are emerging or declining and how quickly. We can help home and lifestyle brands own a trend – which delivers you a well-executed trend aligned assortment.

You get a seamless integration between merchandise, marketing, operations and logistics. Your consumers engage with and buy confidence and repetition.

To understand which trends for 2020-2021 are right for your brand and market position, get in touch for a tailored trend consultation based on your consumer insights. We will walk you through all 24 of our forecasted trends and help you determine which one is right for your consumers. This ensures you make a prudent trend choice and empowers your team to take qualified entrepreneurial product opportunities. Imagine the power of getting your whole team singing from the same score!

If you’d like to know more, Contact Us.

Latest Articles

Our team has many years of experience in marketing, branding, product development, and more. Learn from our experience marketing products and building successful global brands…


We help you make sense of trend. Enjoy a preview of our home lifestyle trend intelligence. Discover how the right strategic trend decisions will help your business grow.

MC&Co Sanctuary

This wellness-focused interior design trend impasses many dimensions. Relaxation, connection and healthy living inspire these spaces.

Learn More

AW 2021 Interior Trend Forecast

Our Autumn/Winter Interior Trend Report for 2021 is now ready for presentation. Please contact us if you would like to book at session.

Learn More

Colour/s of the year

Colour of the year, or Color of the year…there are always more than one.

Learn More

2nd Gen Asia

2nd Gen Asia (or 2GA) style adopts the cultural cues from the worlds fastest growing economies. European contemporary design, Japanese clean lines, Singaporean sensibilities & Chinese nuances come together.

Learn More

Understand our Trend Intelligence

Be the first to know about emerging trends for home and lifestyle brands and our trend intelligence by registering here.

Where have we been seen?

Our product developments have been seen in these world-class retailers.


“Michael is a wonderfully inspiring international brand and product development "guru" when it comes to working within the homewares, furniture, and lighting arenas..”

Linda Simpson

Imagination Network

“Michael has highly developed skills in product development, which he manages through a series of meticulous processes ensuring product adaptation and alignment with target market as well as disciplined compliance with range assortment plans..”

Iain Campbell – Former Managing Director

Strandbags Group

“MC&Co's robust process of identifying and interpreting global trend is second to none. The level of detail in and commercial application of their process is profit focus and relevant from a market leading position. love their work..”

Danni Hosking Haley-Head of Homeware

Country Road

Read More Testimonials
Pinterest Twitter Facebook Linked In Instagram Youtube