“Yes, these are turbulent times, but consumers can still get excited.”
Last week I attended the half-day Trend Seminar of trenswatching.com in Amsterdam that covered 17 Mega Trends, 35 sub-trends, and countless insights and related innovations, presented by Henry Mason, trendwatching.com’s Global Head of Research, and the amazing guest speaker Jody Turner from cultureoffuture.com.
I came back full of inspirations, new ideas, and many quotes to share. 500 slides are difficult to recreate in a blog post but I will do my best to share the most interesting trends, insights and data I learned from trendwatching.com. I definitely recommend everybody to attend the seminar if a chance passes by.
But first of all, what is a trend and why is so important to know and apply them in your business – new products and services, vision, concepts, marketing, advertising and PR.
“A manifestation of something that has‘unlocked’ or newly serviced an existing consumer need, desire, want or value.”
Trends are not a crystal ball that will guarantee you success in business, but give you insights that create inspiration, which leads to innovation and set you to succeed. After all, consumers will still get excited about good, useful, sustainable, brilliant products, services & experiences.
Here are the top 4 macro consumer trends for the next 18 months.
The most expensive, the biggest, the blingest…
But status can also be about acquired skills, about eco-credentials, about generosity, about connectivity… to be unlike the others. All of which makes for a far more diversified STATUSPHERE.
Virtual visibility is social currency. After all, what does it matter if it’s not seen (& recorded) online?
“Consumers will be as focused on their personal brands as you are on yours. Are you paying them the proper respect they desire?”
Consumers crave the new: because it represents innovation, advancement, excitement, experiences and status. The online world is relentlessly accelerating and amplifying everything: information, excitement, attention.
“63% of women and 73% of men ages 18-34 say they don’t go an hour without checking their phones.”
Forget information overload. Consumers face an almost total lack of information.
“Offline is online: success will be about seamlessly bringing those features that consumers love about the online world, into the offline world”
Between May 2011 and February 2012, the number of smartphone owners getting real-time location-based information on their phones rose from 55% to 74%.
“Brands need to move from just ‘having nothing to hide’, to showing and proving everything they do.”
If governments can’t keep secrets, do you think your brand can? Smartphone-toting consumers are embracing a world in which they can find out about anything they see or hear, even if they don’t know what it is or can’t describe it in words.
From total transparency, to real time relevance, to knowing everything that is happening around and even inside one’s body, consumers have never been more INFOLUSTY.
4. “D”: DISCOVER & DECIDE
74% of online shoppers discover new products through reviews and recommendations on websites and social media sites.
“92% of global consumers say they trust earned media (word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family), above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18 percent since 2007.”
Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with 70% of global consumers trusting them, an increase of 15% in four years. That’s F for friends, fans and followers, who influence consumers’ purchasing decisions in ever more sophisticated ways.
This is not about your social media marketing strategy or optimization. In fact, this is not about marketing at all. This is about being (genuinely) liked, if not loved. Then the rest will just happen.