One of my favorite websites is Trendwatching.com. Every month, they publish information on new trends they are following, and they are a great way to stay on top of things that are happening that may eventually affect the way we live and do business.
For September, they have identified 12 “mini” consumer and business trends that are on their radar. Below I’ve given you a quick snapshot of these trends. 1. TECH DOMESTICS
In 1999, Kevin Ashton, a British technology pioneer, introduced a concept he called the 'Internet of Things' whereby technology would be intimately involved with transforming our daily lives by using data gathered without any help from us. One example of this is the introduction of the Winter Wake-Up Alarm app.
This mobile application works like a normal alarm clock, but wakes you earlier than usual if it has unexpectedly snowed or frozen overnight. So you have enough time in the morning to dig the snow from your drive, de-ice your car and still leave for work on time. During the night, the Winter Wake Up app collects weather information for where you are. Based on this, the app decides whether it’s necessary to wake you up earlier. How much earlier is something you decide for yourself (e.g. 10 min. earlier if it’s freezing; 20 min. earlier if it is snowing). 2. CUSTOWNERS
CUSTOWNERS are consumers who move from passively consuming a product towards actually funding/investing, if not owning a stake, in the brands they buy from. Many entrepreneurs and small businesses don’t have the know how or inclination to seek out venture capitalists to fund their new business ideas. There are a growing number of websites that provide ways to bring entrepreneurs and investors together. One company identified by Trendwatching that personifies this growing trend is CircleUp.
CircleUp helps to connect consumer entrepreneurs and consumers who like the product or company and are willing to invest in its future success.
Here is how CircleUp describes their process, “Let's say there's a brand that you believe is going places. Maybe you know the owner. Maybe you're a customer. Or maybe there's just something about the company that seems like the next big thing. The point is, you want in - and now you can finally become an owner.”
3. ONE TOUCH WONDER
In today’s time-starved world, nothing can beat the simplicity and convenience of ordering or paying with a single touch, swipe, tap or button press. For Red Tomato Pizza in Dubai, they take advantage of this trend with the VIP Fridge Magnet that allows customers to order their favorite pizza at the touch of a button. Members of their loyalty program were sent free magnets, which use a smartphone's Bluetooth functionality to connect to the Internet. Once customers have pressed the button on the magnet, the pizza is delivered to their registered address.
For many, being an entrepreneur is a new status symbol, and tech entrepreneurialism is at the top of the pyramid. Young people especially are hungrily going after entrepreneurial opportunities, as they are empowered by online technologies that make it possible to both create and grow a business with little investment. The Teens in Tech Incubator in Silicon Valley is an eight week hands-on program for entrepreneurs between the ages of 13-19 who are serious about building products and learning about entrepreneurship. Other examples of teen-driven innovations identified by Trendwatching include Hiccupops, lollipops that cure hiccups, and Junior Masterchef, a spinoff TV series in Australia for kid chefs from 8-12.
5. ARTIFICIAL SCARCITY
Individualism has become the new status symbol. Consumers stand out by doing, visiting, owning, wearing, eating, driving, enjoying those products and services that (most) others don't and then telling the world about it. Now businesses are creating a way to stand out by capitalizing on ARTIFICIAL SCARCITY, a trend to provide products, services and experiences that take scarcity to a carefully crafted extreme. An example they identify is Adam Tensta, a Swedish rapper who launched his latest song online in a format which meant that only one person could listen to the track at a time. After installing the necessary app from Tensta's Facebook page fans that wished to hear his latest song had to take a place in the digital line. Other examples include The Doughnut Vault, a Chicago bakery that closes its doors after it sells out of doughnuts and does not reopen until the next morning and Liberty Coffee , a small speakeasy café in Singapore, that freshly roasts and serves single origin coffees and homemade cakes. They are open when they get a new shipment of coffee in for tasting i.e. on random days, and sometimes stay closed for over a week at a time. To find out when they are due to open, customers need to like and follow their Facebook page for updates.
Other “mini” trends they identify include BRANDED GOVERNMENT, NANNY APPS, JUICE JITTERS, SAFETY NET, TASKSUMERS, SUPER-ECO and REAL WORLD LIKING. check out the full article to learn more about these trends and how they might afftect your life or your business.
Source for this article is: www.trendwatching.com., one of the world's leading trend firms, Trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.
I hope you enjoy!
-- Don Morgan
Don Morgan is President-Elect of PSAMA and Head Rainmaker atRaindance Consulting, a business development and social media consultant in Seattle.
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