Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tapping Into and Profiting from the Hottest Consumer Trends

Keynote by Henry Mason, Global Head of Research and Managing Partner, TRENDWATCHING.COM

There's something to be said for opening your conference keynote, first thing the morning after the formal reception/networking event, with Psy's Gangnam Style music video. People suddenly seemed much more alert and were immediately engaged.

Henry did a great job of holding onto the attention of the crowd. We started with a quick review as the group, on three current trends: a Korean virtual refrigerator, Meet Me photo boards live streaming into local bars, and Eco-scooter taxis in Amsterdam. The purpose of this discussion was to demonstrate that we personally may not like a particular trend, but this should not stop us from exploring and understanding them, as they may be relevant for or to our customers.

He then touched on a few ideas to help shape our thinking in organisations, to ensure we stayed focused on the consumer and what is important to them, before the highlight of his talk - stepping us through what Trendwatching saw as the Top 10 Trends for 2013...

1. Presumers - consumers buying a product before it's even been made (think prototypes on kickstarter).
2. Emerging squared - emerging nations providing solutions for other emerging nations. Examples provided: yogoberry and airasia.
3. Mobile moments - more and more on the mobile. Examples were provided, including wechat from China.
4. New Life Inside - products 'seeded' with their future recycling initiative. For example, Sprout, a pencil that has a seed in the end that you plant in the ground when you have used up the pencil.
5. Appscriptions - the health sector starting to prescribe apps, for example, the Australian Government's antibiotics reminder app.
6. Celebration Nation - countries and cultures celebrating their differences and origins. Examples given were design houses NE-Tiger (China) and House of Masaba (India).
7. Again Made Here - a return to local manufacturing, aided by the growth of 3D printing.
8. Datamyning - a shift to the use of good (and personal/customised) data, not just big data.
9. Full Frontal - consumers are demanding more in transparency and accountability. An example given was the product testing facility built into on of the new flagship stores for H&M.
10. Demanding Brands - and brands are placing more expectations back on their fans. The example given was the Brazilian Vitoria samba football team dropped the red from their shirts to encourage their fans to donate blood.

Dr Claire McGowan is founding Director of Commercialisation Advisors Limited (COMMA) and been actively involved in technology commercialisation and investment. She has a PhD in Molecular Microbiology and MBA from Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand. She has experience in the venture capital and investment banking industries, as well as personally building and growing companies. Her passion is in assisting entrepreneurs and inventors to build successful companies. She achieves this through her board roles on research and investment organisations and IP Market, as well as her Chair role with The Executive Connection (TEC). @clairemcgowan @ipmarket

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