Trends for 2009?

I love reading trend reports.  Lots of food for thought for your clients and I like to see if I agree of course.  Trendwatching have released the latest trend briefing in time for the New Year and it’s got some interesting ideas.

Out with the new and in with the old

I think the key trend coming out of this report and other sources, is that consumers are not so slap happy with the shopping so I guess the new slogan will be – out with the new and in with the old?  Which could mean two things:

1.   Purchasing old goods i.e. second hand.  Which is quite possibly going to be the trend in the car market, to avoid the huge depreciation of the first purchase (if people purchase cars at all), maybe hitting up eBay more, second hand stores and the new online swap shops.

2.  Getting more out of existing goods – so customising, adding features, just generally taking more care of what they already have (one can wish) and making more quality purchases so that they avoid having to dispose and replace at the rate we have seen in the past 5 years.

This second point also means that perhaps brands need to be thinking of new angles – for example a car manufacturer might try and push it’s ‘maintenance package’ or ‘guaranteed buy back price’ harder than the sexiness etc of their offering before.  This would then take the edge of a big purchasing decision and maybe provide the tipping point to convince them to buy new goods.

Luxury

The report talks about luxury being an ‘enriching personal experience and not only an ownership or consumption of an expensive obeject’.  So with people going back to basics a little more, luxury will essentially be the simple things in life: time for reflection, time with friends, nature, social experiences.  Luxury without the guilt complex e.g the new Rough Luxe hotel in London.  I really hope this will be the case and I think in certain segments of society it will – those with family and properties will spend more time at home, mainly because of the credit crunch.  But you know, for someone like me; single, renting, working in a fast paced industry; i’m yet to understand how this will really affect my behaviour and the psychology behind it in the immediate term.

Reactive conversations with consumers

Feedback 3.0 is also another theme – and hopefully brands will start to get this right – the idea that brands engage in genuine two-way conversations is clearly not new but hopefully brands will start doing this properly.  And along with them going out of their way to solve problems they find via social media on the spot.  I simply don’t understand why brands aren’t grasping this opportunity more fully.   It’s the opportunity for brands to understand their customers far better, to get their ideas and feedback (viturally for free!), to respond to negative reviews in a more proactive way and develop their brand and products. )There is also the element of  – I wouldn’t sit there in silence whilst someone insults me normally.  Would you?  So more twittering from brands and more sites like My Starbucks Idea. But let’s hope brands find a geniune way to do this, because we don’t need a cheese appreciation social network etc….(hmm or do we!?

Green

So what will happen to the Green issue?  Well, I agree with them on this – green will still be embraced, but not as a badge of honor, but for monetary reasons.  So brands need to be able to show customers how they can save money by being green rather than just shouting about how Eco-friendly they are.

Just a few trends i’ve picked out.  So now it’s your turn – how can you apply these trends to your brand and ensure that you are reacting to what your customer really values and needs in 2009?

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