In Culture & Trends at Join the Dots, we live and breathe consumer behaviour. From working across our research communities of 75,000+ consumers, to the insight we have into the lives of our leading edge Illume Guides, we’re able to identify new consumer needs and when they emerge.

As strong believers in Happiness Theory and Positive Psychology (more about that here), we’ve utilised our knowledge of consumer behaviour to develop a set of Happiness Trends for the UK consumer. The trends are essentially a set of needs that consumers are looking fulfil in order to make themselves happy, with each trend tapping into a basic human driver of happiness.

From our experience, we find new behaviours emerge in response to the changing macro environment – the big events happening outside of our immediate control, like the political situation and economic environment. This means as our macro environment changes, so do consumer needs and this creates new Happiness Trends.

To help keep track, we continually refresh our trends – looking at how the changed macro environment will impact consumers over the coming year. This process allows us identify needs and set predictions for the coming years, providing opportunities for brands to tap into these new need states.




We recently undertook this process once again. Through looking back at the turbulent 2016, we see that at present the UK is a nation divided. Our political and economic situation is in a state of transition, and our trust in traditional institutions is fragile. As a response, consumer expectations have changed significantly since our last trend refresh in 2016, and a new set of needs have emerged.

In response, we’ve left behind some of our 2016 trends, we’ve splintered off some trends into new directions, and were pleased to introduce some wholly new trends altogether – notably, trends relating to themes we explored in previous articles on brands, slow time, trust, and escapism.

So without further ado, click here to view our UK Happiness Trends


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