It’s no secret that nostalgia is a powerful tool, and the recent Pokemon Go craze among millennials proves that. But if you didn’t jump on the Pokemon Go train early on, don’t worry. Trends are constantly changing, and the next huge digital trend could be just around the corner.
So what other trends have the potential to appeal to millennials through nostalgia? From classic 90s toys like Tamagotchi to the revival of Star Wars, there are countless fads from previous decades that are primed and ready to be made new again.
These 10 entrepreneurs from YEC share their predictions for the big digital trends we may see in 2017.
1. Personal Robots
In the next 12-18 months, we’ll see a rise of robots that have the ability to autonomously follow us around — on the ground or in the air. These will be supported by a home that can be controlled via voice like the deck of the Enterprise. The coolest parts of the entertainment of our youth are coming true now and appealing via nostalgia.
2. Seinfeld References
With the era of nostalgic digital crazes upon us, I think there is the potential for many more fond millennial memories to become trends. With both Friends and Seinfeld being cult-favorites during the ’90s, I wouldn’t be surprised to see “Kramergeddon” or something of that sort becoming the next big thing.
– Jason Kulpa, Underground Elephant
3. Star Wars VR App
Millions of millennials became hooked by the phenomenon of Star Wars with the release of “The Force Awakens” in 2015. While most millennials were born decades after the release of the first episode of Star Wars, they were able to connect with the series and many went back and watched the initial episodes. There is an extraordinary opportunity for Star Wars to release all prior episodes through a VR app.
4. I Spy With Geolocation
I Spy is one of those great games that we all played as kids. With the focus on geolocation and the social aspect that drives much of our communication, it would be great to add an I Spy app that brings this together. It could even be a way for brands to insert themselves into the game and tie promotions to specific contests.
5. Health and Wellness Sharing
Millennials are very interested in health and wellness as part of their daily activities. If you could capture the fun that millennials used to have in gym class at school, playing dodgeball or capture the flag, and tie that into a social sharing app, you might create a new craze. The key is to make it a social sharing experience.
6. Scavenger Hunts
Scavenger and treasure hunts may become a popular way to incorporate a timeless classic contest into an app that delivers lists of things to find. It can be tied back to your brand with prizes for winners competing in different cities. Teams could be formed with friends or with those met online who share similar interests.
7. Augmented Reality Dungeons and Dragons
I’m sure many of us spent nights playing Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) in garages and basements with friends. Now, imagine if the playground of an AR D&D were the actual world. You’re walking in Central Park with your band of friends and you just defeated a band of ogres near the Met to get a magic sword that will help you kill a dragon waiting for you at the zoo. Cool, right?
– Daniele Gallardo, Actasys
8. Music Videos on Native Mobile
There was a time when MTV was the place to watch new artists launch careers through videos. The debut of Michael Jackson’s Thriller video was a defining moment in the pop star’s career. I believe that the millennial generation would embrace a native mobile platform that used video to help launch the careers of new artists.
9. “POG” Branding
It’s the year 1995 and the playground is like an underground black market for POG trading; tiny little cardboard circles were treated like prized possessions because they had some scene from Star Wars or Animaniacs on them. Now, if you could create a similar experience of collecting, trading and battling brands with a touch of nostalgia, you could bring back POGs and brand marketers would rejoice.
– Christopher Swenor, East Coast Product
10. Tamagotchi Digital Bots
Tamagotchis took school playgrounds by storm in the 1990s. Soon, we will be playing with modern-day equivalents in the form of “chatbots” that are accessed through messaging platforms. Rather than using physical buttons, we will feed and play with our digital pets through conversational text, gifs, video and emoticons.
How to Grow Your Brand with Upcoming Digital Trends
There you have it, an expert glimpse of what future trends and areas of interest could be the next big thing in your niche. No matter what your current brand or business is, it could be a huge benefit to cover each of these elements and figure out how you could possibly integrate them within your business. This could be a simple as running a social contest and giving away a prize from any of the categories, or simply writing a blog post that intertwines any of these upcoming trends with your audience or business.
We already know there is going to be a massive demand for content in this new upcoming trends in the coming months. How are you going to take advantage of them?