Introduction | This year, much as in previous years, some brands may be staring into the abyss, while others will do exuberantly well. And while we can’t offer any help to defaulting nations or bankrupt companies, we do believe that there are more opportunities than ever for creative brands and entrepreneurs to deliver on changing consumer needs. From Canada to Korea. Hence this overview of 12 must-know consumer trends (in random order) for you to run with in the next 12 months. Onwards and upwards:
In 2012, not only will consumers continue to hunt for deals and discounts, but they will do so with relish if not pride. Deals are now about more than just saving money: it’s the thrill, the pursuit, the control, and the perceived smartness, and thus a source of status too.
Read DEALER-CHIC in full (including examples from American Express, Nokitum and Daitan)
Read ECO-CYCOLOGY in full (including examples from Dell, Nike and Garnier)
Will coins and notes completely disappear in 2012? No. But a cashless future is (finally) upon us, as major players such as MasterCard and Google work to build a whole new eco-system of payments, rewards and offers around new mobile technologies.
Read CASH-LESS in full (including examples from Google, PayPal and Square)
The majority of consumers live in cities, yet in much of the world city life is chaotic, cramped and often none too pleasant. However at the same time, the creativity and vibrancy of these aspiring consumers, means that the global opportunities for brands which cater to the hundreds of millions of lower-income CITYSUMERS are unprecedented.
Read BOUP in full (including examples from PepsiCo, NCR and Aakash)
Anything that makes it downright simple- if not completely effortless- for consumers to contribute to something will be more popular than ever in 2012. Unlocked by the spread of ever smarter sensors in mobile phones, people will not only be able but increasingly willing, to broadcast information about where and what they are doing, to help improve products and services.
Read IDLE SOURCING in full (including examples from Street Bump and Waze)
Read FLAWSOME in full here.
Thanks to the continued explosion of touchscreen smartphones, tablets, and the 'cloud', 2012 will see a SCREEN CULTURE that is not only more pervasive, but more personal, more immersive and more interactive than ever.
Read SCREEN CULTURE in full (including examples from Sky, 8ta and Huawei)
Read RECOMMERCE in full (including examples from Decathlon, Amazon and Levi’s)
While cultural differences will continue to shape consumer desires, middle-class and/or younger consumers in almost every market will embrace brands that push the boundaries. Expect frank, risqué or non-corporate products, services and campaigns from emerging markets to be on the rise in 2012.
Read EMERGING MATURIALISM in full (including examples from Diesel, Johnson & Johnson and Sanitol)
Consumers are used to being able to find out just about anything that’s online or text-based, but 2012 will see instant visual information gratification brought into the real and visual world with objects and even people.
Read POINT & KNOW in full (including examples from Starbucks, eBay and Amazon)
Now, with 'trends' meaning everything from 'Ageing population in China' to 'Fall 2013's felt mania’, we need to clarify that:
For loyal readers, this is by now old news: the four ways to apply these consumer trends, and make some money from the innovations they spawn. Just ask yourself if they have the potential to (and if so, how):
For more tips on how to spot and apply trends, see our TIPS section. Easy peasy, no?