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Applying global consumer trends to education – part 1

There are several trend reports coming out around the new year. One of the most anticipated trend reports is the one by Euromonitor International. It offers valuable insights into global consumer behaviour.


Annika Konttinen

lehtori, matkailuliiketoiminta
Senior Lecturer, tourism business
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Anu Seppänen

lehtori, markkinointi ja viestintä
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Published : 06.02.2024

After inspecting the Euromonitor report on global consumer trends for 2024, we brainstormed around how four of the trends could affect education and our teaching. Part 1 takes a look at two of the four trends, while part 2 focuses on the other two trends.

Ask AI: Explore potential for AI-integrated learning

Generative AI has become a transformative force, with applications ranging from creative content generation to resume drafting and travel planning. According to Euromonitor (2023), the “Ask AI” trend reflects the ongoing experimentation and evolving expectations of generative AI solutions. The potential lies not only in productivity and creativity but also in adapting these technologies to meet student and industry needs.

An “Ask AI” student is an individual who actively engages with artificial intelligence for learning purposes. The personality of such a student depends on various individual factors, including interests, learning style, and attitude towards technology, but overall, the main drivers for using AI in learning are curiosity and orientation to problem-solving. Therefore, generative AI should be integrated into learning, including course assignments, materials and commissions.

AI tools can be widely used for content creation and solving problems together with AI. Students could benefit from working in AI-related projects commissioned by the industry. The integration of these technologies into education can enhance learning experiences and prepare students for a future where AI plays a crucial role in various professional fields.

At Haaga-Helia, we encourage our students to experiment with AI and to use it in assignments as it already is very much in use by companies.

Delightful Distractions: Sprinkle daily doses of joy in all learning environments

“Delightful Distractions” has emerged as a crucial strategy for brands aiming to provide consumers with moments of joy, relief, and positivity amidst the crises, chaos and challenges of daily life. As Euromonitor (2023) states, these distractions, whether in the form of playful interactions, unexpected surprises, or vibrant designs, aim to uplift emotions and create memorable experiences.

In higher education, the integration of “Delightful Distractions” could enhance the learning environment by incorporating elements that evoke positive feelings and provide students with a mental break. For instance, using perky and positive messaging in educational materials, emails, or communication platforms can create a more engaging and enjoyable learning experience.

Educators can add vibrant colours, visual effects, or audio elements in presentations, materials, or virtual classrooms to appeal to the senses of students and make the educational content more immersive. Moreover, creating memorable and feel-good moments in the educational settings, such as surprise quizzes, engaging class activities, or themed learning experiences, can contribute to building stronger bonds between students and the learning process.

These tactics align with the broader trend of incorporating emotional connections into education, fostering a positive and supportive atmosphere for students. The younger generations are known to have shorter attention spans, perhaps due to their relatively high addiction levels to TikTok and similar apps where all information is conveyed in just a few seconds.

Whatever the case may be, we all benefit from a cheerful atmosphere on campus. Finally again, we have a chance to meet face-to-face, so it is worth celebrating our connections. Who knows, the closest colleagues of our students (and ours) might be AI-generated soon. To avoid the situation that our work will be done by machines, we must ensure that we, humans, are also needed in the future. Machines cannot emulate the human touch and the kind of emotions that only we can evoke in others. People skills and getting along with others are required even if we integrate our lives and learning with AI.


Euromonitor International. 2023. 2024 Consumer Trends.

Editing: Marianne Wegmüller

Picture: Shutterstock