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Our September edition offers some of the most potent consumer and business trends around, so never a dull moment for those of you are into new business opportunities (NATIONS-LITE), changing consumer behavior (SEE-HEAR-BUY) or the new world of personalized serives (COUNTER-GOOGLING).

P.S. We kindly invite you to tell your friends and co-workers about TRENDWATCHING.COM. It will make you look in-the-know, and will make us an even more prominent entity in this field. With more than 23,000 subscribers we're certainly getting there, but the more the merrier! And have you checked out our rapidly expanding 'idea spotters' network yet? More than 500 savvy spotters in 50+ countries already participate.
Thanks in advance, and stay tuned for our October issue, due 24 September 2003.

In their ever-expanding search for a luxurious and hassle-free life, prosperous 'global citizens' and businesses are increasingly taking the bait from developers/countries offering resorts, holiday homes and offices in what TRENDWATCHING.COM has dubbed NATIONS*LITE*: a light version of a country or society, like a Diet Coke, stripped of annoying 'features' like crime, bad weather and excessive taxes. Which leaves the good things like sun, nice villas and glittering shopping malls.

Consider it a nation-version of places like Disney's Celebration (a Disney-owned and operated town), Florida's many gated communities, or Las Vegas/Dominican Republic/Isla Margaritha resorts. A fantasy land, with the only difference being that it is for real. The most fascinating new embodiments of NATIONS*LITE* that TRENDWATCHING.COM is currently tracking must be the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the 'Freedom Ship'.

The UAE, a small Gulf state between Oman and Saudi Arabia, is outdoing itself to become the first NATION*LITE*. UAE consists of seven emirates, of which the two largest, Abu Dhabi (the Emirates' capital) and city state Dubai, provide over 80% of the UAE's income. Dubai is a hotspot for out-of-this world mega-projects geared towards businesses, well-to do tourists and second-home buyers from all over the world. The federal government, keen on making the UAE less dependent on oil and natural gas, is investing heavily in sectors such as tourism, aviation, re-export commerce, and telecommunications, all of which is creating a boom in trade and tourism, the latter which should see today's 5 million annual visitors mushroom to an incredible 40 million a year in 2015.

An overview of the most remarkable achievements and developments that are turning the UAE into a NATION*LITE* for prosperous HOME TROTTERS from Asia, the Middle East, the EU and South Africa:

The Palm, the self-declared 'eighth wonder of the world': two enormous man-made islands resembling palm trees, stretching out in the crystal clear waters off Dubai (click here for pictures). The 9,000 owners of The Palm's luxury villas and apartments -- due to settle there from early 2006 on -- will enjoy great weather, ocean views and freehold ownership. Tourists and transumers will be able to choose from 40 boutique hotels, all offering a unique country theme and type of guest experience. At five kilometres in diameter (and adding 120 kilometres of beach shoreline to Dubai), the islands will be visible from space.

The World Islands: in development by the same company that owns The Palm (Nakheel Corporation), this project will consist of a series of 200 islands, positioned strategically to form the shape of the globe's continents. 5 Kilometres off the coast of Dubai, it will be 5.5 kilometres in length and width, and cover 60 million square feet, including 10 million square feet of beach. The 200 islands will vary in size and will be themed to show some similarities to the specific country they represent. Basically, NATIONS*LITE* within a NATION*LITE*. This is where even TRENDWATCHING.COM is lost for words ;-). The development will cater specifically to the elite residential and tourist market. Total completion of the project is forecast for 2008.

The 'Financial Free Zone', targeting asset management, private banking and reinsurance, complete with its own courts (source: FT), will be joining three other Free Zones: Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and the Dubai Ideas Oasis.

An ever growing portfolio of spectacular, world-class hotels from the Jumeirah International Group, which consistently win global awards for being the ultimate in luxury and for their hard-to-miss architecture. For example: the Emirates Towers, rises 350 metres (1,148 feet), making it the tallest building in the Middle East and Europe, and 10th tallest in the world. And the '6 Star' Burj Al Arab Hotel, which boasts the world's largest Atrium lobby, and is called the most luxurious hotel in the world.
This month, they'll be joined by Madinat Jumeirah, the region's first 'Grand Boutique Hotel'. Scheduled to open fully in Autumn 2004, it will be a more complex and extensive hotel/leisure development than any the world has seen in the last 25 years. (TRENDWATCHING.COM likes the 'Grand Boutique' idea, definitely a trend in itself: applying the success factors of small boutique ventures to larger entities. W Hotels in the US/Australia is another good example. Stay tuned!)

Dubai Duty Free Airport and award-winning Emirates Airlines (voted the best airline in the world by the UK's Official Airline Guide for the past three years) are spending billions to have the infrastructure in place for those 40 million visitors and semi-inhabitants that will be traveling back and forth in 2015. Two months ago, Emirates announced the biggest order in civil aviation history, worth USD 19 billion, at the Paris Air Show 2003, including 21 new Airbus A380 Double Deck Airliners, and more than two dozen leased long range Boeing 777s.
Dubai International Airport was recently ranked as one of the fastest growing airports in the world, and is undergoing a USD 4.1 billion expansion. The Duty Free shopping area at Dubai Airport ranks fifth in terms of revenues, after London Heathrow, Singapore, Amsterdam and Paris.

Want even more? There's the USD 10 billion Dubai Marina Complex, which will eventually cover 53 million sq. feet, and house a community of 100,000 residents, with a meandering creek linked to the Gulf waters at its core. Or check out Dubai Healthcare City, a USD 1.6 billion project aimed at turning Dubai into a global hub for specialised healthcare (get medical help, then recover in 5 star resort-style? TRENDWATCHING.COM is tracking that trend, too!). >> Email this trend to a friend.

With no end in sight for their collossal NATIONS*LITE* projects, the UAE obviously will remain high on our trend-tracking list. For business opportunities, see below.

[+] Click to view images of NATIONS 'LITE'
















Want the opposite of UAE's deserts when it comes to NATIONS*LITE*? The world's first residence at sea, The World, is a 200-metre, 12 deck cruise ship that contains USD 2 to 7 million apartments. Sailing since March 2002 and forever circling the globe, The World has an average occupancy of 275 residents and guests, with an equal number of international staff. Want to board? Invest? Sell to its wealthy inhabitants, who are 40% American, 40% European, and 20% South African, Australian and ROW? Click here for the 2003/2004 itinerary. A sister ship may soon be in the works (source: the Sydney Morning Herald).

However, 275 residents don't really make for a bustling NATION*LITE*, so to the rescue comes the Freedom Ship, an ambitious, USD 11 billion idea, that -- if ever realized -- would see the development of a vessel that could house up to 40,000 residents! With a design length of 4,500 feet, a width of 750 feet, and a height of 350 feet, the Freedom Ship would be more than 4 times longer than the Queen Mary.

Like The World, the vessel would continuously circle the globe, covering most of the world's coastal regions. Its large fleet of commuter aircraft and hydrofoils would ferry residents and visitors to and from shore. The airport on the ship's top deck would serve private and small commercial aircraft (up to about 40 passengers each). The proposed vessel's superstructure, rising twenty-five stories above its main deck, would house residential space, a library, schools, and a first-class hospital in addition to retail and wholesale shops, banks, hotels, restaurants, entertainment facilities, casinos, offices, warehouses, and light manufacturing and assembly enterprises. Whether the Freedom Ship will ever take to the seas remains to be seen (new exterior designs were recently revealed), but the itinerary looks tempting enough!


Floating NATIONS*LITE* may become claustrophobic if you don't like your wealthy neighbors. And the UAE is seven hours by plane from Europe, and gets boiling hot in the summer. But a global class of millions of wealthy citizens, many of them youthful seniors, from Danes to Lebanese to South Africans, WILL increasingly vacation or even settle down in NATIONS*LITE* for care-free, five-star living. Whether it will make for a better world, TRENDWATCHING.COM doesn't know, but if you're a marketer, a manufacturer of luxury goods, a travel expert or a fellow trend watcher, a round-trip ticket to Dubai on Emirates Airlines to check out the scene, seems like a smart investment to us. Then mix in powerful trends like FLORIDASATION, HOME TROTTING and IMMI-MERCE, TRANSUMERISM, NON-CYCLICAL RICH, and it all comes together for NATIONS*LITE*.

We'll be tracking this trend closely to bring you new NATIONS*LITE* opportunities soon: from tourism and travel to retail, real estate and private investment. More to follow in future editions. >> Email this trend to a friend.

Other trends and new business ideas that are connected to the NATIONS*LITE* trend:



[+] Click here to view images of FLOATING













Pay attention, marketers: remember Roger & Peppers, evangelizing 1:1 customer relationships back in 1997? Well, just when you finally have your company's customer databases and filtering tools all worked out, and you actually identified that Lego-loving dentist in Taipei and emailed him a personalized offer for a family holiday in Denmark, Google changes the name of the game with a vengeance.

The art of 'Googling' (checking people's backgrounds on the internet via search engine Google) -- which started out as a useful tool for weeding out psychopaths from the online dating game and performing a quick double-check on an applicant's claim about his or her astonishing career -- will soon be an integral part of corporate 1:1 marketing strategies.

With consumers disclosing their most intimate secrets online (voluntarily!), Google has essentially created a 'domestic database', i.e. a world-wide database loaded with your customers' details and profiles, with a depth of information your company's database can only dream of.

So instead of consumers Googling you before they buy your services, you should Google THEM, and instantly get more personal information than you'd ever be able to capture with traditional 1:1 in an entire life-time. TRENDWATCHING.COM has dubbed this emerging trend COUNTER-GOOGLING, and the opportunities are tasty!

A real-life COUNTER-GOOGLING example? The Bel Air Hotel in LA already Googles first-time guests upon arrival, based on their reservation details (name and address), leading to personalized services like assigning guests a room with morning sun if Googling shows the guest enjoys jogging early in the day (source: http://blog.outer-court.com).

Where to start? All you need is a name and some address details, to make sure you're COUNTER-GOOGLING the right customer. Best chance of hitting the data-jackpot? Three million or so bloggers: consumers who keep an Internet diary, revealing to all the world their commercial preferences, daily doings, recent holiday photos, habits and customs, family matters and what have you. And what about millions and millions of online resumes, showing detailed career paths, marital status and 'life and work objectives'? ;-)

Sure, putting COUNTER-GOOGLING to work could be seen as a form of spam. It may even feel creepy to some consumers. But as always, honesty will do the trick: if consumers put their entire life stories online, and you as a company candidly refer to this public information AND make them an offer they can't refuse, more sales may be on the way. And bloggers, savvy consumers by nature, will no doubt introduce a 'no unsollicited sales' seal, the moment they grow tired of COUNTER-GOOGLING, making it clear what's off limits and what's fair game. Smart bloggers could even, in a dedicated section of their page or site, list the goods and services they don't mind getting personalized offers for!

On the marketer's side of things, TRENDWATCHING.COM sees a massive opportunity for COUNTER-GOOGLING experts; specialized companies who'll be Googling customers non-stop on behalf of 1:1 marketing-prone corporations like airlines, banks, hotels, e-tailers and car manufacturers. A logical extension for direct marketing companies, who until now have only collect broad socio-demographic data.

How to get started? Ask your sales department for a list of 25 recent first-time customers (names and addresses), start COUNTER-GOOGLING, and be amazed at what you'll find, learn and dream up! Repeat for 25 long-time clients. Interesting, huh? Oh, and please DO send us your first COUNTER-GOOGLING experiences for our next newsletter! >> Email this trend to a friend.
















Our other site, Springwise New Business Ideas, is even more hands-on: it brings you nothing but cool new business ideas and companies, proven successful with consumers in a certain country or region, and thus, in our global community, well positioned to take off in the rest of the world. That's why the free Springwise newsletter is now the global no. 1 inspirational source for new business ideas enthusiasts.

Previous newsletters included everything from British budget-cinemas, Japanese Keitai-straps and Dutch urban car-sharing ventures to investment services for asset-rich women in the US.

Joining thousands of business professionals who already subscribe is quick and easy: just go to www.springwise.com.

Click to view the Springwise newsletter

Trends featured in earlier newsletters become part of TRENDWATCHING.COM 'Premium' service (our extensive online trends monitor and database, which will launch late September 2003), and continue to be relentlessly tracked for new related business ideas and examples. Here are a few easy-to-digest examples:

"Vast groups of immigrants now travel back and forth between their old and new homelands. New business opportunities galore, especially on national holidays, from the US to China."

It's now official: London is the world's premier HOME TROTTING capital! The Economist reports that, as a proportion of its population, AND in absolute numbers, London now attracts more foreigners settling down temporarily or permanently than New York or Los Angeles. The city is such a cosmopolitan mix -- from the 100,000 Russians to the 300,000 Australians who call London their home -- and geographically better positioned for 'coming and going' than for example New York, that London resembles a giant beehive, with low-cost airlines, ferries and 'chunnel' trains shuttling back and forth HOME TROTTERS like there is no tomorrow.

Madness? True, property prices continue to rise into the stratosphere, public transport is screeching to a halt, and the West End and City districts rank number one and two on the list of the world's most expensive office locations. But with 67% of all new immigrants coming from high-income countries, there's still enough money going around to fund multiple trips a year (if not monthly ones) to the home country.

A global bonanza for anyone in transportation, telco, travel, accommodation... Or real estate, as the 'native locals' increasingly cash in on their sky-high valued property and move to smaller towns in the region. And let's not forget IMMI-MERCE: Russians feeling homesick will want their pickled herring and Georgian wines, and Aussies will surf to 'In London' to get their community-fix (and their Australian beer).

'Cool Britannia' may have lost a bit of its shine, and the city's hustle and bustle may not appeal to lovers of NATIONS*LITE*, but London is still the city to watch if you want a glimpse of the HOME TROTTING future! >> Email this trend to a friend.

Other trends and new business ideas that are connected to HOME TROTTING :



"Where graffiti meets vanity: catering to the obsession of ordinary citizens wanting to leave 'something' behind."

Remember personalized stamps? TRENDWATCHING.COM just got its own, and we're HAPPY. Now let's see what other branding-obsessed companies will succumb to this very cool example of CORPORATE GRAVANITY!

And one more: first we brought you the 'Human Mars Bar', now we bring you true LOGOVANITY, executed to the nines: the 'Honig' apron, personalized with a chef's own name, in corporate Honig style (Honig is a Heinz-owned brand selling instant soups, meal enhancers, etc). There's even a Top 20 of most popular apron names: with 'Oma' (Dutch for 'Granny') occupying number one. Want one? For now, it's only for Dutchies, but 'LOGOVANITY' is too much fun (and too much of a great branding tool) to be ignored by other, international B2C brands. >> Email this trend to a friend.


[+] Click here to view examples of GRAVANITY


Discovered a cool new business idea? Unearthed an exciting new consumer trend? Feel like you're something of a part-time idea spotter as it is?

If so, then check out our Springspotter Network: a diverse and global network of 500+ business-savvy individuals from more than 50 countries, who email us whenever they 'spot' a promising new business idea or consumer trend. We pay per submission, and signing up is a breeze. More? >>


"Instant gratification, already fuelled by the web, is undergoing an upgrade with the arrival of SEE-HEAR-BUY: the capability to buy anything you see or hear, wherever you may be. "

We highlighted British 'Shazam' last December, in our other newsletter, Springwise New Business Ideas, and pointed out the international business opportunities. Quick recap: Shazam enables mobile phone users, when hearing a song they like but don't know the name of, to dial '2580' and point their phone to the music source, then receiving a text message (SMS) with the name of the artist and the track. Buying the track is facilitated by partners such as Amazon.co.uk.

Well, ever since December 2002, they've received millions in funding, closed deals with portals like MSN, attracted more than 500,000 users in the UK, announced expansion into Germany (together with Vodafone) and now are eyeing the Austrian, Dutch and Italian markets. No word on the rest of the world (though China could be in the works, source: Brand Republic), so this is still an interesting arena for European, North-American, Asian and South American telcos, as well as for potential competitors for the Shazam concept. Regarding the latter: more new SEE-HEAR-BUY business concepts in the upcoming September issue of the Springwise Newsletter, including some very clever barcode ideas! >>Email this trend to a friend.

Other trends and new business ideas that are connected to the SEE-HEAR-BUY trend:
1. Ask your mobile to name that tune (Shazam)
2. Billboards are talking back (Hypertag)



"How certain focused and well respected brands are cashing in by enriching other, more all-encompassing brands. Think Godiva bonbons popping up in boutique hotels."

TREND UPDATE: Automotive brands love having other brands pop up in their mobile creations. Or at least that's what we've learned from relentlessly tracking our BRANDED BRANDS trend. Earlier this year, we highlighted Japanese car manufacturer Lexus proudly promoting Mark Levinson audio systems, and Aston Martin cars teaming up with exclusive Scottish audio systems manufacturer Linn to 'standardize' each Aston Martin Vanguish with a GBP 6,500, 12 loudspeaker Linn Sound system.

Well, there's more where that came from. Please add to your (inspirational) list:

Bentley and Breitling -- Breitling Professional Instruments (watches) have created a dashboard clock for the Bentley Continental GT. The Breitling clock is housed in the centre of the limo's wing-shaped fascia panel: it's the first time ever that a watch company has been able to claim a piece of a Bentley's passenger compartment.

Puma and Mini -- On a hipper, and slightly more affordable note: PUMA has styled a Mini (unsurprisingly christened the 'PUMA Mini Cooper S'), applying PUMA's air mesh footwear technology to the car's seats, 'injecting' more comfort and breathable shock absorption (like NIKE Air inside Cole Haan shoes!).
After the official launch in Frankfurt (source: motorsportsforum.com), the PUMA Mini will go on an international tour which includes a visit to Puma flagship stores in London, New York, Santa Monica, Santa Barbara, San Francisco and Milan.

P.S. Returning the favors, there's also a new Bentley watch, manufactured by Breitling and inspired by Bentley's design and adorned with the coveted Bentley logo. You'll also be able to buy exclusive MINI driving shoes, based on Puma's motorsport shoe. So who's next!? Adidas and VW Beetle? What about Gucci or Prada for BMW's leather upholstery?
Well-known brands of this world, unite and get creative ;-) >> Email this trend to a friend.



[+] Click here to view examples of BRANDED BRANDS

Our October newsletter, which we'll send out on 24 September 2003, will bring you trends like 'FLAT FEE FURORE', 'MAIN STREET AVENUE', and 'POCKET PATTERNS'. Don't forget to subscribe!

Issue 10
September 2003



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