12 crucial consumer trends for 2012
In 2012, much as in previous years, some brands may be staring into the abyss, while others will do exuberantly well, reports TrendSpotting.com in its annual presentation of hot trends: "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..."
The Red Carpet
In 2012, department stores, airlines, hotels, theme parks, museums, if not entire cities and nations around the world will roll out the red carpet for the new emperors, showering Chinese visitors and customers with tailored services and perks, and in general, lavish attention and respect.
(including examples from Hilton, Starwood and Harrods)
Expect to see consumers take advantage of new technologies and apps to discreetly and continuously track, manage and be alerted to, any changes in their personal health.
(including examples from Jawbone, Ford and Lifelens)
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.
(including examples from American Express, Nokitum and Daitan)
Brands will increasingly take back all of their products for recycling (sometimes forced by new legislation), and recycle them responsibly and innovatively.
(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.
(including examples from Google, PayPal and Square)
Bottom of the Urban Pyramid
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.
(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.
(including examples from Street Bump and Waze)
Why to consumers, brands that behave more humanly, including exposing their flaws, will be awesome.
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.
(including examples from Sky, 8ta and Huawei)
It’s never been easier for savvy consumers to resell or trade in past purchases, and unlock the value in their current possessions. In 2012, ‘trading in’ is the new buying.
(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.
(including examples from Diesel, Johnson & Johnson and Sanitol)
Point and Know
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.
(including examples from Starbucks, eBay and Amazon)
Source:. One of the world's leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide in 9 languages.