By Karen Axelton
Market research firm JWT recently released its list of “100 Things to Watch in 2010.” While many of the items on the list may not seem directly applicable to your business, it’s worth scanning all 100. But to save you a little time, here are some business-related trends that stood out to us.
Alternative measures of prosperity: people and nations (France is one) will begin measuring success not by dollar figures like the GDP, but by “softer” factors such as the “triple bottom line” of people, profits and planet.
Buycotting: the opposite of boycotting, boycotting means consumers buy products to show their support of a company’s values.
If you sell fashion or housewares, brighter colors and ethical fashion (sustainably sourced materials made without sweatshop labor) are trends to be aware of.
In the world of technology, augmented reality, the superimposing of digital information over physical reality, will become mass. And while videogaming will grow even more, more game titles will be developed to be available as apps or through the cloud rather than as console-specific programs.
As people increasingly live their lives online, “lifestreaming” tools will emerge to help people manage all their social media and other accounts in one place. Electronic libraries will begin offering more digital or downloadable books to the public, spurring sales of Kindles and similar e-readers, which were already hot sellers over the 2009 holiday season.
In the world of food, exotic berries including aronia, maqui berry and yumberry (I’m not making that up) will become more popular for their health benefits. Consumers will become more aware of the “carbon footprint” of their food, and will increasingly seek to “green” what they eat. That will lead to more organic fast food.
But as more businesses make health claims that aren’t entirely justified (“nutritionwashing”), government will crack down and will impose stricter labeling rules; consumers will also become more cynical about nutrition claims.
Green will continue to be a strong trend. “Energy dieting” will be trendy as businesses and consumers spurred by cost savings and guilt about the planet seek energy-efficient appliances and equipment and ways to use less energy. And green retrofit services will remodel homes and businesses to be more energy-efficient and use green materials.
In retailing, “retail as third space” will give rise to stores that are also hang-out or entertainment destinations where consumers come to enjoy themselves without necessarily buying.