What Would The New Year Be Without A Trend Forecast?

January 13, 2011

Trend reports tend to catch my eye. It’s always interesting to see what the various “trendwatchers” see on the horizon.

So I took notice when I came across Trendwatching.com‘s “11 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2011.” (They call them crucial trends, after all!)

You can read the full list here, but I wanted to share a couple thoughts on a few that looked particularly interesting.

Random Acts of Kindness

I like this one a lot. It’s a modern day version of the movie “Pay It Forward,” yet companies are the ones who are finding more opportunities to share good deeds. Today’s social networking channels have made it easy for brands like Inteflora to send someone flowers to cheer them up after they tweet about having a rough day, or for Dutch airline’s KLM to surprise someone with a gift after they check in at the airport via Foursquare.

Online Status Symbol

With this trend, watch out for new status symbols that straddle the “real” and “online” worlds. From physical manifestations of digital status (think personalized Facebook and Twitter memorabilia), to online recognition of physical activities (status updates or badges based on real-world visits), consumers will seek to display their online status symbols in all arenas.

Social-Lites and Twinsumer

The idea of Twinsumer’s, consumers with similar patterns, likes and dislikes, is not new. However, the new trend for 2011 involves SOCIAL-LITES. These people are all about discovery, as consumers become curators; actively broadcasting, remixing, compiling, commenting, sharing and recommending content, products, purchases, experiences to both their friends and wider audiences. Again, today’s technology and social media channels make it so easy for consumers to share information and build what Trendwatching.com calls “Brand Me.”

Planned Spontaneity

Expect to see consumers rushing to sign up to services (the planned part) that allow for endless and almost effortless mass mingling with friends, family, colleagues or strangers-who-may-become-friends-or-dates (the spontaneity part). I thought this trend was interesting because it requires users to voluntarily and openly share mobile data. Trendwatching.com predicts younger consumers in particular, will openly volunteer their location data if the benefits are unique and interesting enough. The article points to LikeOurselves as an example of a service that allows users to quickly create a group and locate members within 20 miles, enabling spontaneous meetups.

Not only does Trendwatching.com provide a variety of examples for all 11 “crucial” trends, but these trendspotters conclude the article with a few reminders about how to apply these trends to actually make money including asking yourself if they have the potential to (and if so, how):

1. Influence or shape your company’s vision.
2. Inspire you to come up with a new business concept, an entirely new venture, a new brand.
3. Add a new product, service or experience for a certain customer segment.
4. Speak the language of those consumers already ‘living’ a trend.

So, do you agree with Trendwatching.com’s list of crucial 2011 trends? Do you have any others to add to the list?