2009 Trends

I’ve got 15 minutes till my marathon “2009 Planning Meeting” commences…ugh.  Love planning, hate meetings. Will someone please figure out a way to make these things tolerable?

To effectively plan for tomorrow, we must understand people.  To understand people, we must understand and forecast trends. It’s the difference between riding the front crest of the wave, or paddling like crazy all year long to catch up.

The most recent briefing from Trend Watching is out, and here is what they predict will be the 6 hottest trends for 2009 – think Kingdom advancement as you read these:

  1. NICHETRIBUTES – making products and services relevant by incorporating ‘attributes’ and features that cater to distinct (if not niche) consumer lifestyles and situations (think anything prefaced by “i”).
  2. LUXYOURY –  What will define luxury over the next few years? The answer to a large degree is, ‘luxury will be whatever you want it to be’. Find the right (status) trigger for the right audience, then coin it and build on it. This one is all yours. Downturn or upturn.
  3. FEEDBACK 3.0 – all about companies joining the conversation, if only to get their side of the story in front of the mass audience that now scans reviews. Expect smart companies to be increasingly able (and to increasingly demand) to post their apologies and solutions, preferably directly alongside reviews from unhappy customers.
  4. ECONCIERGE – firms and services dedicated to helping households go green in any possible way. How about helping consumers to make money by being green.
  5. MAPMANIA – Geography is about everything that is (literally) close to consumers, and it’s a universally familiar method of organizing, finding and tracking relevant information on objects, events and people. And now that superior geographical information is accessible on-the-go, from in-car navigation to iPhones, the sky is the limit.
  6. HAPPY ENDING – the most important side effect of more austere times is probably that consumers start questioning what truly makes them happy, which more often than not steers them towards the realization that happiness ain’t (just) about traditional consumption. Expect pockets of consumers to switch to lower-consumption models with surprising ease, and to look for different and less costly sources of happiness and thus, ultimately, status. Any way you can help them with that will be a guaranteed winner.

Time to TRY to pay attention….

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