As we enter into another new year filled with the promise of success and prosperity, we dust off Gumas’ trusty Challenger Brand crystal ball to see what’s in store for 2018.
For many business owners, marketers, investors and mere observers, the ability to see into the future would be a tremendous advantage and a dynamic superpower that could lead to great wealth and probably more than a little adventure. If only you were able to predict which industries would be emerging in the next 12 months, and how you could take advantage of this knowledge to improve your own business. If only.
Well, lucky for you, we have looked ahead and would like to share with you the top 10 emerging Challenger Brand industries for 2018. You’re welcome.
To look ahead, we must first look back on 2017 and see what sectors showed the most growth. According to Inc., the five fastest-growing US industries were:
- Travel & Hospitality – 201% (aggregate growth rate)
- Media – 198%
- Energy – 174%
- Security – 171%
- Real Estate – 168%
Add to this recent history a bit of Challenger Brand intuition based on an aging population, increased globalization, demand for renewable energy, deregulation and ever-emerging technology, and you get the following top 10 emerging Challenger Brand industries for 2018:
- Health Care – A gorilla industry of $1.7 trillion, poised to grow even larger with our aging population and the need for advanced elderly care. At-home elderly care might represent the biggest opportunity in the next 12 months.
- Physical Therapy – A strikingly fast-growing off-shoot of the ballooning world of Health Care is outpatient rehabilitation. Today there are more than 100,000 physical therapy practices in the U.S. and with our aging and more sedentary population, this number is sure to grow rapidly.
- Translation Services – The world is shrinking and the need to bring the world’s population together is growing. According to the Census Bureau, Americans speak more than 350 languages in their homes making the need for intuitive and efficient translation services obvious and critical.
- Green Energy – Perhaps this is old news, but from an employment standpoint, the green energy industry has been steadily hiring more and more people. Of particular interest are wind turbine and solar photovoltaic technician/installer jobs, which are projected to grow over 100%. Notably, the U.S. has become the world’s top wind energy producer, according to the American Wind Energy Association.
- Green Construction – As noted above, real estate has returned as a mega US industry in 2017, and much of that growth was due to green-based construction initiatives. More than half of all commercial buildings built last year were environmentally sustainable and energy efficient. The US government is inspiring this green growth, both commercially and residentially, with grants and tax credits.
- Cannabis – The national trend to deregulate marijuana throughout the US has led to massive opportunity agriculturally and via retail. Not to mention the thousands of ancillary business opportunities associated with an industry that is expected to double in sales by 2020, going from $7.4 billion in sales in 2016 to $20.6 billion in 2020, according to Arcview Market Research.
- Virtual Reality – One of the more exciting technological advances of late has been the emergence of virtual reality; recreationally and commercially. More than a dynamic gaming platform, there are thousands of commercial applications that will come to light in 2018. According to online resource, Statista, the virtual reality market is projected to grow from an estimated $500 million global market size in 2016, to $24.5 billion in 2020.
- Video Games – Because of the meteoric growth of virtual reality, the video game industry will benefit mightily with the advancement and affordability of VR headsets and gaming integration. Gear up for the next massive video game wave.
- Digital Forensics – More than just cybersecurity, the ability to both preemptively protect against nefarious hacking and recover from such an intrusion is becoming a basic cost of doing business. This emerging industry helps enterprises and individuals find lost data on personal and company devices, as well as global company networks. Businesses dedicated to tracking down hackers and other cybercriminals will also become more visible this year. Digital forensics is expected to grow 14% or more annually.
- Artificial Intelligence – If not the fastest growing, certainly the most fascinating sector within technology is AI; just ask Siri, Alexa or Cortana. No longer a “Minority Report” vision of the future, AI has become part of our everyday Cell phone voice recognition, as well as virtual assistance, has changed the way we gather information, entertain ourselves and simply get through our day. This is an exploding market that is projected to reach $70 billion by 2020.