The Youth Lab


We asked some of the brightest and boldest thought-leaders from the world of business and marketing, this question:

“What do you predict brands & businesses will do more of, and less of, in 2023?”

These 52 INSIGHTS will inspire, challenge and inform you of what’s coming our way for 2023:


1.“More scaling solutions through digital.” Shane McGonigle, CEO Marketing Institute Ireland

2.“More Social commerce. More Tik Tok, live-streaming tv channels etc...” Julian Boulding, Owner, thenetworkone.

3. “More brands will bring experiences & custom worlds to existing metaverses like Roblox and Fortnite while figuring out their role once the immersive, web3 enabled internet becomes a reality. They will spend less money on social media advertising and influencers as brands will realise their audiences are more engaged in games than social platforms.” Severin Matusek, Managing Director, co—matter

4. “More AI. A.I will go mainstream and become a valued and useful tool for marketers.” Jane McDaid, Founder + Head of Creative Innovation, THINKHOUSE

5.“Experimentation in Web 3.0 will definitely increase. And AI to make us smarter, connecting consumers to right products and messages at the right time. Ultimately businesses will continue to increase focus on creating better user experiences and keeping a focus on the fundamentals which will have a disproportionate impact on results , especially in a recession.” Fiona Curtin, Planning & Communications Director, Jameson, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard


    6. “Many brands in 2023 will focus on fewer, bigger, better. That doesn’t mean a lack of creativity or innovation. But brand owners will be expected to very clearly identify the key marketing levers that will help deliver their consumer and commercial objectives. It will be about the must do, rather than the nice to do.” Aoife McGuigan, Head of Marketing Lucozade Alert, Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I

    7. “They will be less inclusive of just trying to make NFTs or anything with the metaverse, the ones who do it, will enter these spaces by doing it really well.” Mark Luna, Digital Motion Creator, THINKHOUSE

    8. “Do less: Less quantity and more quality in creativity. I predict brands will invest more strategically in their creative, to generate a bigger impact for a smaller carbon footprint. The better the idea, the less you should have to share it.” Shane Kenna, Creative Director, THINKHOUSE

    9. “I also think we will build on the momentum we have built on Jameson by continuing to do really engaging & fun collaborations with brilliant artists. I think we will do less content creation. Instead we will be making sure that we really use the assets we have to connect with our consumers & ensure we are spending at threshold to get the message out.” Claire Tolan, Managing Director - Ireland, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

    10. “In 2023 for brands, more is more. It has never been more difficult for brands to stand out not only from competitors but all of the competition they now face for their consumer’s attention span. This is particularly key with Gen Z where minimalism does not reflect their vibrant personalities. Brands need to reimagine how people see and feel their brand, with experience being key in 2023.” - Scott Lawless, Account Director, THINKHOUSE

    11. “More brands will bring experiences & custom worlds to existing metaverses like Roblox and Fortnite while figuring out their role once the immersive, web3 enabled internet becomes a reality.” Severin Matusek, MD, Co-Matter

    12. “Personally, I also hope that we’ll see a little less indulgent, sheepish brands jumping aboard the hype train. Metaverse and NFTs, I’m looking at you.” Laura Swinton - Editor in Chief and MD, Little Black Book


      13. “Less Pledge signing.” Danny McCoy, CEO, IBEC

      14. “Take more of a stance on fossil fuels. Inspired by the recent HSBC decision to stop funding new oil and gas fields, brands and businesses will look up and down their supply chains and seriously consider whether they want to work with companies who work with fossil fuel companies.” Jonathan Wise, Co-Founder, Purpose Disruptors

      15. “More - Business solutions to sustainability challenges. Less - Short term thinking (hopefully).” Owen Keogh, Head of Sustainability, Musgrave Group

      16. "More life-affirming narratives in line with a 1.5 degree world. Less delay tactics and fear to engage with sustainability at the speed and scale required.” Laura Costello, Strategy Director, THINKHOUSE

      17. “Continue to drive messages and focus on sustainability.” Jessica Norris, Marketing Director IDL

      18.Move the dial on sustainability. Time is up on talking the talk, brands and businesses will (hopefully) underpin good intent with concrete action next year.” Sian Redmond, Director of Marketing Partnerships, Live Nation Ireland

      19. “Massive increase in sustainably focused business practices. We are long past ignoring the absolute necessity. A total intolerance to any attempts of greenwashing, people want to see action. More focus on credible brand partnerships to avoid backlash.” Amber Wilson, Client Service Account Director, THINKHOUSE

      20. “We will hone in on company culture that has integrity, vision and purpose in 2023. We’re no longer taking employees for granted or undervaluing the conscious consumers.” Avril Stanley Founder and Director. Body & Soul

      21. “In 2023 I would expect to see more brands & businesses move into purpose led marketing as well as using data more effectively to target their target audience with the right message, in the right place, at the right time.” Paula Nelms, Head of Benecol Marketing, Rasio Group.

      22. “Make popular what needs to be said.” Kerry Thorpe, Head of Integrated Comms, Ben & Jerry’s Europe

      23. “More Planet & People focus from brands and businesses and a continued growth of better business movements such as B Corp.” David Coyle, Head of Commercial Operations, THINKHOUSE


        24. “While brands and businesses have been gradually starting to get their act together when it comes to diversity and inclusion, accessibility has largely been ignored. It’s something that touches every part of a business, from product design to company culture and content creation. Whether it’s ensuring that online imagery comes with alt text or creating workplaces that are wheelchair accessible or approaching design from an accessibility perspectives, there’s lots of work to do. But with Google releasing its best practice guide All In in 2022, there’s no excuse. Brands like Microsoft, Maltesers and Degree have led the charge over the past couple of years but with an estimated 1.3 billion people across the world - that’s one in six - estimated to have a disability, brands that don’t embrace accessibility will be leaving so many people behind.” Laura Swinton - Editor in Chief and MD, Little Black Book

        25. "In 2023 we see life with a renewed sense of humanity. I hope to see greater inclusivity in how we create. We're not ‘target audiences’- we're individuals, humans, parents, citizens, dreamers, artists! Language and creativity are powerful tools in helping us drive real, positive and inclusive narratives." Lynsey Paisley, Head of Integrated Creative Strategy, THINKHOUSE

        26. “I predict big business will seek to demonstrate in more meaningful ways their commitment to inclusion and diversity. I predict Brands will pay less lip service to minorities and insist on adding real value to these communities instead.” Patrick Hickey, Chair and Chief Culture Officer at Mobility Mojo


          27. “The unpredictability of the world around us requires organisations to become much more Consumer & Customer centric than ever before. Brand teams need to get closer to what really matters for people, leaning into programmes that allow them to play a more tangible role in the lives of their consumers and customers – rather than falling into the many self-indulgent Marketing traps that tempt us within the industry.” Mark Noble, Marketing Manager, HEINEKEN Ireland

          28. “Listen more intently. Brands and businesses will need to listen more intently to meaningfully engage with their stakeholders: Listen to their concerns about the economic climate, climate change and personal privacy as well as understanding their hopes and dreams!” Rosemary Walsh, Marketing Manager, Frank and Honest Coffee, Musgrave

          29. “Listening to stakeholders to understand where they at in these strange times and responding in constructive ways that demonstrate that active listening. Talking more about 'what they have done' e.g. in terms of creating sustainable organisations and less about what they pledge to do in the future.” Dr Martina Byrne, CEO, The Public Relations Institute of Ireland & The Public Relations Consultants Association

          30. “Successful brands will always have the consumer at the heart of their decision making.” Aoife McGuigan, Head of Marketing Lucozade Alert, Suntory Beverage & Food GB&I

          31. “Very simply I believe businesses will focus on Cost of Living crisis and where their brands can help their current and/or new consumers.I think businesses will get closer to their customers and consumers…there’ll be less working in silos but more collaborative initiatives to benefit consumers.” Sharon Whelan, Marketing Manager, Birds Eye Ireland (Nomad Foods)

          32. “Prioritise loyalty programs. Providing clear value and exclusive experiences to their customers.” Mike Adamson, CEO Live Nation Ireland

            HIRING & REMOTE WORK

            33. “More Office attendance.” Danny McCoy, CEO, IBEC

            34. “Cut back on T&E type costs due to high cost maybe even considering downsizing office space with new hybrid working practices.” Jessica Norris, Marketing Director IDL


              35. “Businesses will definitely be looking at their bottom line and so less Chasing volume to focus more on value driving initiatives. And businesses will also increase their focus on talent attraction and retention with more flexibility and tailoring of benefits. ” Fiona Curtin, Planning & Communications Director, Jameson, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

              36. “ Rather than think of trying to address the Cost of Living Crisis OR climate change, they will work out ways to solve both at the same time.” Jonathan Wise, Co-Founder, Purpose Disruptors

              37. “I expect brands and businesses will continue to focus on the short term at the expense of the longer term health of the brand.” John McGee, Editor & Publisher IMJ & Adworld

              38. “Unfortunately they will return to short term planning. Less: Invest heavily in their brand - unfortunately. Less Taking risks.” Charley Stoney, CEO, IAPI

              39. “There will be more focus on productivity in response to inflation. I deliberately say productivity and not cost cutting, as the talent market is still so challenging many businesses will be seeking to increase the impact of their people. I think there will be less price increases (but we will still see them). Consumers have been able to absorb substantial price increases this year as many have drawn on savings from the pandemic. But the well will dry up and the price of many goods (energy and food) will go from being ‘getting expensive’ to ‘getting prohibitive’. We will see more customers change their purchase mix, brand loyalty etc rather than simply paying more for the same. Brands will need to get productive to retain share.” Derek Lande, Managing Director, Accenture

              40. “Less short term planning and tactical activation - moving towards building a sustained, deeper level of connection with consumers to propel brand equity.” Sian Redmond, Director of Marketing Partnerships, Live Nation Ireland


                41. “Trust is a growing issue and I think businesses will be forced to take more steps to be more transparent.” Gerard Ryle, Director, ICIJ

                42. “Champion authenticity and realness across social channels, led by the rise of channels such as BeReal. Prioritise clear, uncomplicated messaging to standout on mobile devices - Shorter, simpler soundbites.” Dylan Newe, Senior Social & Digital Manager, THINKHOUSE

                43. Brands will align themselves with more authentic and genuine ambassadors and influencers. I think 'aspiration' is now unattainable for consumers. They want to see real people, living real lives, raw and unfiltered. We saw the explosion of BeReal and the rise of relatable content creators. We’re here for it!” Laura Wall, Group Account Director, PR & Advocacy, THINKHOUSE


                  44. “I hope we’ll see a further rebalance between the focus upon reach versus resonance. It has become too easy to be ‘paint by numbers’ in your planning – relying on KPIs and metrics that have shifted Marketing too far away from the Art towards the Science.” Mark Noble, Marketing Manager, HEINEKEN Ireland

                  45. “In 2023 brands will do less unproven activity - return on investment will come under more pressure as a metric.”Conor Farrell, Head of Marketing Ireland - Suntory Beverage & Food

                  46. “Less performance-driven marketing that has little impact on long-term brand equity; less carbon intensive marketing; messaging overload - more keeping it simple and on repeat will help to cut-through.” Claire Hyland, Head of The Youth Lab, THINKHOUSE

                  47. “More: Measuring their marketing effectiveness. Put pressure on agencies to do more for their budgets.” Charley Stoney, CEO, IAPI

                  48. “I think next year we will be really evaluating the effectiveness of our spend to make sure we are cutting through with our activity. I think we will continue to talk to our consumers to ensure we are doing stuff that has impact.” Claire Tolan, Managing Director - Ireland, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard

                    LEAN INTO HOPE & JOY

                    49. “We’ll use the words ‘pivot’ and ‘scenario plan’ a lot less. Here’s hoping!” Mike Adamson, CEO Live Nation Ireland

                    50. “In the rise of the success of TikTok, brands will aim focus on creating entertaining video content to reach consumers who've become difficult to reach in an increasingly ad-adverse world.” Lauren Murphy, Senior Social & Digital Manager, THINKHOUSE

                    51. “In 2023, we’re taking things (some not all) a whole lot less seriously - fun that can be accessed by the masses needs to be on the horizon.” Fiona O’Grady, Content Strategy Director, THINKHOUSE

                    52. “Help people crack a smile. In this current world of uncertainty brands should dig for the positive and how they can positively help their customers while ensuring it's done in a sustainable and better business way.” Kieran O’Donovan, Head of Client Service, THINKHOUSE

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