Sightings: 10 Trends For 2012
As we start 2012, we forecast a year of “Movement and Progress” across a number of dimensions, fueled by the world’s citizenry and macro trends at force. Here are 10 trends:
1. Hear Me: The Powerful Voice of Consumers. There are increasing signs that society is growing more discontented with the establishment, driving people to act and force change themselves. Consumers are pushing back, saying “no,” making their interests heard, and enacting change.
2. A New Business Model for Good: Rallying Behind Purpose and Values. Our society has reached a point where not only consumers but also corporations are searching and advocating for a truly hybrid professional entity --one that is born as a true do-good business and one that delivers more than just a bottom line.
3. The Future is Bright: Creating Moments of Positive. Amidst all the continued doom and gloom, it’s time for positivity. From fashion to technology, organizations and individuals are seeking positivity through brightness, kindness, and the boosting of spirits, helping to move us all forward into a more positive state of mind.
4. Growing Pains: The World Goes Small. With the population of the world reaching seven billion this year, the phrase “it’s a small world” takes on a whole new meaning. Product developers and marketers should consider serving new urban dwellers by doing more with less, catering to consumers’ need for greater utility while considering their constraints.
5. Just Don’t Do It: The Case for Using Less. Driven by urbanization, growing social awareness, and a growing consumer movement to live with less, we see a moving away from today’s throwaway culture. Instead, it’s a movement to avoid using resources at all, reducing our impact.
6. Education for Now: Building 21st Century Skill Sets. Given the skills required to win in today’s changing global and more urban marketplace, new forms of learning are focusing on building skills around creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship, social intelligence, and environmental and global awareness. The future will demand that these new skill sets compete among the global workforce.
7. Turn Up the Volume: Extreme Sensory Experiences. As we evolve with technology, one can only imagine that human abilities will become more advanced and that our desire for new, heightened experiences will grow. Technology will not disappoint by amping up experiences to multi-sensory extremes, feeding all our senses (sight, sound, smell, and touch).
8. Turn Me Off: Taking a Break from Technology. Look all around and we’ll find that most of us are engrossed, infatuated, and maybe even a bit addicted to technology. But we may just be reaching our limit. More and more people will turn technology off either voluntarily or by force to take a break from it all.
9. Oldie and a Goodie: Where Trust Resides. During this tumultuous time, with renewed skepticism in the establishment, culturally we are headed back to the past. But this time it’s not so much the whimsy of nostalgia; rather, it’s about the trust and comfort of the old world -- going back to those brands, cultural icons, and environments that we once believed in and relied upon.
10. Living Together, Winning Together: Collaborative Communities. Just as cities are natural ecosystems for evolution, innovation, and advancement, individuals, small companies, and organizations are creating their own ecosystems to foster interaction, sharing, and the cross-pollination of ideas.
As the world moves forward in 2012, there’s an opportunity for marketers to take advantage of these trends to build your business, your brand, and your brand’s connection with consumers to move and progress brands and businesses forward themselves.