Where is the market headed for 2008? While those who read this website often aren’t tracking such knowledge since they’re the trendsetters, a valued resource in discovering what trends they’re setting is through Trendwatching and their report, 8 important consumer trends for 2008. Here’s a look at each one and how they apply to cool towns:
1. Status Spheres – “a variety of lifestyles, activities and persuasions, which can be mixed and matched by consumers looking for recognition from various crowds and scenes.” Example: Prius drivers. Cool town status sphere? People who co-develop/crowdsource their own places to live, work and play.
2. Premiumization – “no industry, no sector, no product will escape a premium version in the next 12 months.” Example: Bottled water. Cool town premiumization? How about a de-premiumization of urban lofts that are high style and low cost.
3. Snack Culture – “embodies the phenomenon of products, services and experiences becoming more temporary and transient; products that are being deconstructed in easier to digest, easier to afford bits, making it possible to collect even more experiences, as often as possible, in an even shorter timeframe.” Example: Smart cars, H&M. Cool town snack culture? Car sharing, bike sharing, ipads.
4. Online Oxygen – “control-craving consumers needing online access as much as they need oxygen”. Example: Mobile phone ubiquity. Cool town online oxygen? Ubiquitous wi-fi access (ie a digital infrastructure replacing an asphalt one).
5. Eco-Iconic – “eco-friendly goods and services sporting bold, iconic design and markers, that help their eco-conscious owners to visibly tout their eco-credentials to peers. Example: Honda FCX Clarity. Cool town eco-iconic? The upcoming crowdsourced Elements green restaurant in Washington DC.
6. Brand Butlers – “assisting consumers in smart, relevant ways, making the most of your products and whatever it is your brand stands for.” Example: Charmin restrooms. Cool town brand butler? Developers allowing beta communities to co-develop their own places via collaborative websites.
7. MIY – Make It Yourself – “digitally designing products from scratch, then having them turned into real physical goods.” Example: Ponoko. Cool town MIY? Of course, there’s the co-development of a place, but beta community members can potentially digitally design their own residences.
8. Crowdmining – “when co-creating, co-funding, co-buying, co-designing, co-managing *anything* with ‘crowds’, the emphasis in 2008 will move from just getting the masses in, to mining those crowds for the rough and polished diamonds.” Example: Netflix’s $1 million prize for how to best predict consumer movie preferences. Cool town crowdmining? Identifying and rewarding the best designers, from architecture to logo design.
Image source: Your Daddy.