By Rishi Dhir, Head of Strategy, EMEA, Siegel+Gale 

Our world is a wonderful and complex place. Granted, more complex than wonderful in recent times, but I have always been a big proponent of creating one’s own good times. I prefer to look to the future with optimism, and what better way to do that than by wiping the slate clean and starting a new year?  

As 2023 begins to rise above the horizon, it shines a light on a population that’s more seasoned and resilient than three years ago. I am sharing my thoughts on how recent history has transformed behaviours, and potentially shifted the trends for the next 12 months—and beyond. 

The Metaverse 

When Meta, formerly Facebook, renamed the company, it became evident how much importance it placed in the metaverse. However, while this evolutionary technology has massive potential, it’s not yet truly in control of its destiny. 

To gain the momentum needed to hit its expected heights, first and foremost, the tech needs to be adopted, and people need to buy into it. While there are endless possibilities for its use, from gaming to work, healthcare to shopping, the reality is that the supporting technology, i.e., 5G or broadband capabilities, is not yet advanced enough to make the most of this tech. 

Eventually, the infrastructure will catch up. Much like IoT when it first landed, we may see countless innovations, some incredibly useful, some less so. And while many of these innovations won’t endure, enough value will exist for the broader audience to adopt the overall technology. This will be a significant evolution in the virtual world, with many practical implications—for people and businesses.  Now is the time for brands to prepare. Get in on the ground floor and understand how to best leverage the metaverse to serve its client’s evolving needs. 

Bravery will be required—in adopting the metaverse and how brands intend to show up. As with all new technology, this will have vast amounts of power to do potentially good and bad; many pitfalls will reveal themselves. For example, leveraging data in ways that are not fully disclosed. And while this may provide short-term value for brands, if it results in long-term pain for customers, eventually, that pain may transfer to brands.

When preparing for this technology, organisations that recognize ever-increasing and ever-evolving customer expectations will be best positioned to avoid these stumbling blocks—something that can go a long way in forging customer trust.


In the recent US elections, the Republican Party was erroneously tipped to decimate the Democratic Party with a so-called red wave of victories. Instead, the Democrats kept control of the Senate; multiple reasons were cited as potential explanations. Most of which likely contributed to some degree, such as the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Another reason is changing demographics. Gen Z gains more voting and spending power as they age and hold their politicians and brands to higher standards of trust and transparency.

Trust is not a new phenomenon for companies. Many operate with trust as a core part of their brand, while others have been more willing to test the limits. Trust is difficult to build, let alone rebuild. And whether deliberate or accidental, it’s a lot easier to break.

More than ever, brands must adopt trust, transparency and authenticity as baseline positions. Expectations will continue to increase, as will the blowback on brands that disrespect these cultural standards; as the world increases in complexity, people will view simplicity akin to transparency and trust. Finding ways to ensure that trust is core to your business through elements like purpose and values can guarantee brands are aligning with increasing expectations in 2023 and beyond.


Increased complexity is driving the desire for streamlined experiences. But achieving simplicity can be challenging. It transcends an intuitive user interface or quick access to customer support. Simplicity strips away the clutter and retains the elements that provide genuine value; it is the intersection of clarity and surprise.

Simplicity will become even more critical in 2023. In a semi-post-pandemic world, particularly against the backdrop of high inflation and a cost-of-living crisis, buyers will strive to eliminate complexity from their lives. Brands that offer even a tiny gesture of simplicity can significantly impact their audiences’ lives, providing genuine value for both parties. 

It’s about more than simplifying everything at once. Focus on the points of the journey that matter most. Identify the areas of potential improvement that provide the most impact for customers. And use it as a starting point to adopt simplicity as an ethos.

Where do we go from here? 

One thing we know of our world today is that trying to predict anything is a bold move. But whether the result comes to light or not, we must recognize the drivers of those changes that we might see in the months ahead. Those drivers are clear. They are the need for brands to show up where people are, like the metaverse. Or trust, transparency, and authenticity becoming standard expectations for customers. And simplified experiences that remove complexity from their lives. 

The brands that recognise this will be in control of their destinies to create good times of their own.