CreativeSpace Webinar: 9 Trends for Spring 2023

Welcome to CreativeSpace, the new webinar from CreativeRace.

CreativeSpace Episode 001: November 2022 Webinar


As a strategy-first agency, we’re constantly scouting, seeking, searching for what’s just around the corner that will impact or move the needle for the brands and clients we work with.

As part of this, we realised early on that so many annual trend reports were out of date a few months in.

Let’s cast our minds back to January… Boris Johnson was in power, Russia hadn’t invaded Ukraine, and the Queen was still alive.

…And fast forward to November? We’ve had two Prime Ministers since Boris, the war is ongoing, and Charles is now King.

Things change… Quickly!

We work with brands day-in, day-out, and we know that campaigns, projects and briefs are rarely a year out, nor can they go live immediately.

We felt there was a lack of decent trend analysis and conversation covering that award midterm period.

We care about the world we’ll be living in 3-6 months…

  • What will be the biggest news stories?
  • What will consumers care about?
  • And what does it all mean for brands?

So we thought we’d fix it.

Introducing the CreativeSpace webinar

Our new webinar series gives brands and marketers a first-look at the stories and trends that are likely to impact us in the coming months.

What will people be thinking, doing and feeling?

We’ve broken our trends down into four key areas:

  1. Political / Economic
  2. Social
  3. Technology
  4. Environment

For the full low-down on the trends covered by Victoria in episode one, take a look through the webinar slides, check out the recording, or even listen on Spotify.

If you’d prefer to continue with this article, read on and we’ll summarise the key points of the first episode.

The overarching theme of episode one is that we’re on the back of a pandemic. After a momental global event, there always tends to be a big change or shift in thinking and behaviour. It pays to be a first-adopter, when it comes to the trends and fashions that follow.

Let’s break down some of the issues on our radar for Spring 2023.

Political / Economic

1. United We Stand

Will politics – so hot on the agenda right now – still be on the table come spring?

Never have we been so united as a nation against politicians – and that’s an interesting place for brands to tap into.

Rhetoric is likely to remain high as people are more engaged in political issues than ever before – but in a sort of united mockery.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Be ready to react quickly, adapt comms and don’t be afraid to have fun.

2. Ticking Time Bomb

Inflation, soaring interest rates, economic uncertainty – sadly whatever happens, the impact of Autumn ’22 won’t disappear overnight.

This means value is going to become paramount. Not just in absolute terms, but also relative. Offering financial value – wherever possible – is key, but more important is showing why the products you sell offer value.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Think about the product you sell (is it high price, low price, a one-off, something we have lots of?) and think about where it fits in your customers’ lives and how you can translate the benefit, and value, it brings.

allplants cost of living


3. Wishful Optimism

Whilst we might have a Christmas reprieve from the doom and gloom, off the back of potential blackouts in Jan / Feb and sky-high inflation, things are going to be tough for a while yet…

Unlike most recessions or downturns, we’re off the back of a pandemic – and a desire to embrace life again, or a wishful optimism, looks set to return as people seek ways to escape the ordinary.

But those four words – Cost of Living Crisis – aren’t going anywhere.

Customers will want to escape the ordinary, but may not be able to.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Look for ways to help customers with low-cost experiences or making the most of what we have, and engage in ways to step out of the humdrum and build excitement for the summer to come.

4. The Milestone Year

We’ve had nearly three years of COVID-led upheaval – which has mean postponing significant life events for many. Expect that to change, in the form of weddings a-plenty and that overdue baby boom.

Now we’re out of the uncertainty of the pandemic, we’re expecting a spurt of new offspring – with couples who delayed thinking about the future now more confident to start a family.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Look for ways to help customers either going through these momentous life changes, or celebrating others doing so.

Be it marketing comms for event-ready dressing, or tapping into habit-disrupting life changes – these are mammoth events that drive real behavioural change. And it’s a great excuse to stay relevant with thumb-stopping content that’s relevant but also reflective of the need to celebrate even in challenging economic times.



5. Time to (Virtually) Play

The metaverse. It’s everywhere. But is it going to take off in the mainstream soon? Probably not for most of us, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore it for now.

This is about long-term investment not immediate ROI – understanding the future before it’s here so you’re ready to act when it arrives.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Most brands have very little idea what’s going on or what the metaverse really means, so it’s the prime opportunity to make the most of this uncertain time.

Make your move, experiment, trial and adapt so you can hit the ground running when everyone else catches up.

fornite ralph lauren

6. Superapps

We all love convenience. Anything to make life simpler. It’s why out of town shopping centres have been such a hit – and the desire for convenience isn’t limited to the real world. The rise of superapps is coming, and soon.

In 2020, Facebook introduced shopping capabilities to encourage its users to make transactions on the social media platform rather than elsewhere. WhatsApp is currently experimenting with banking features. PayPal is in the process of combining payments, crypto and shopping.

Ultimately the aim of superapps is to be one of the remaining 30 or so apps on people’s home screens – with all the detritus deleted and pushed aside.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Your customer will likely be engaging, shopping, using superapps – even if they don’t know it – so it’s key to get your brand prominent and optimised for them.



7. Hot Hot Hot

Seasons are changing, and spring – once mild and stable – is increasingly volatile. It swings from one extreme to another like nothing else at this time of the year.

Despite this, we still plan weddings for July / August (two of our wettest months).

So, what does this mean for brands?

Think about how to harness this unpredictability within your marketing to stand out from the crowd - can you do weather activations, tailored messages or adapt launches (bringing forward summer launches for example). There’s nothing worse than getting a “spring is here, pick from our new range of sandals” message when it’s snowing outside.

spring heatwave uk

8. The Great CO2 Detox

It’s not just ‘bad’ categories that are addressing their CO2 impact. Low CO2 variants are becoming increasingly talked about as consumers wake up to the fact that everything they buy or use has a trail from origin to home.

We’re already seeing low CO2 options springing up, but as consumers become more aware, we expect a rapid shift to much more CO2 conscious consumption (just as we saw to plant-based a few years ago).

So, what does this mean for brands?

Think about your brand and supply chain – and the impact you have on the world. Even in high-impact sectors, there are ways to overcome the potential negativity by facing into the problem head-first and acting early to acknowledge and minimise your impact. But most importantly, whatever you do – contextualise what this means for customers with real comparisons.

wasa co2 detox

9. It’s Vintage Baby

The weeks of Extinction Rebellion protests we’ve just seen. The rise of vintage shopping. The exposés on fast fashion workers’ conditions.

Gen Z have long been aware, and advocates of, doing the sustainable right thing and shunning gratuitous purchases, but this is attitude-pervading and normalising across cohorts.

So, what does this mean for brands?

Avoid any unsubstantiated claims (see Nike offering to recycle trainers in all stores, but then not actually doing it in the UK). Think about your end-to-end supply chain and what you’d be proud / ashamed of – and how you can fix it. Think about how you can add less, not more, to the world with everything you do – from vintage resales to repairing old products.


And that’s it! Our key trends, themes and predictions for Spring 2023. Feel free to download the webinar slides for more detail on each of these key themes.

We’ll be back in February with the next edition of the CreativeSpace webinar. In the meantime, we’ll be publishing monthly trends and insights over on our CriticalReads newsletter, and of course on our social media channels.