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Listening to Jimmy Buffet is in this year. So is backgammon, Rosamund Pike and calling your mum. Air Fryers are out. Along with half marathons, saying ‘the last two years were crazy’ and explaining things to strangers online. 

A new year is here, and the Internet is predicting the trends that will define 2023. There’s a healthy mix of people sincerely anticipating what’s around the corner, while others are using the trend for LOLs. Saying you were study body president? Obviously: in.

It’s natural that the turn of the year has us looking ahead. In brand strategy, we’re trained to root the worlds we build on insight; to foresee the market moves and customer moods that will impact future business success. It’s this kind of research that gives us the confidence to tell clients: your positioning will last you five years.

But we can never be certain of what’s coming. And the comedy of the in/out forecasts highlights the impossibility of predicting the future. There’s always an element of randomness to cultural trends. Yes, there’s a strong chance that generative AI will dominate conversations, but Margaritaville might be in too.

So no, we don’t know exactly what this year will hold. But there’s excitement in the not-knowing. Our advice to brands is to keep an eye on trend predictions, but lead with their vision and people front of mind. Opportunities are born in uncertainty, so seize them. And remember to call your mum.

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“True confidence is moving forwards in times of uncertainty”

― Phil Stutz, Jonah Hill’s therapist (from Stutz on Netflix)
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Jill Hawkins of The Future Thief predicts the future for a living. For our compilation of Strategy Stories, we spoke to the trend forecaster about what she anticipated for 2023. Jill expects we’ll see the creation of communities around niche topics, the combination of emotional spaces with physical experiences and a rethinking of how brands can be a vehicle for positive impact on people and the planet.

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Also found in Strategy Stories, our friend Ben Cooper from eatbigfish, talks about the brands he expects to do well this year. His prediction? Those with a mission or purpose bigger than their category. "I think people will be asking: do I really need this? Does this give me a sense that I’m giving back in some way?" In particular, Ben calls out Who Gives A Crap, with a mission that’s been central to their operation for years. We’ve known and loved them for spicing up bog roll, but their new launch of Good Time soaps caught our eye over Christmas. 

Write an in/out list for your brand in 2023. Mix up a list of real predictions with randomness for full effect.

Hit reply to submit your prompt


Trick Mirror - Jia Tolentino

Best Freelance Tools for Creatives: Make 2023 Your Best Year Yet - Creative Boom
4 Leadership Trends to Watch in 2023 - Fast Company
Why You Need a Word of the Year - Out Of Office

The NDA Podcast - Katie Cadwell
Not Past It - Gimlet Media

Browse our page to see what the team is reading and a few of our favourite brand and copywriting books. When you buy from you're supporting independent bookstores. And we're donating the 10% affiliate cut from our store to BookTrust, the UK's largest children's reading charity. 

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