Next year consumers will be subjected to flash sales, partake in group buying, crave online status symbols and have companies monitoring their moods, according to a recently released report.
"11 crucial consumer trends for 2011" by trend analysis company trendwatching.com suggests that the increased role of social media in our lives and the rapid urbanization of our society combined with a rising consumer desire for "realness" will fundamentally change the relationship between consumers and brands next year by forcing brands to become more flexible, more engaging and increasingly personal.
In addition to these ideas, trendwatching.com also suggests that in 2011 being healthy will become as important as having the latest or biggest status symbol; as a result consumers will expect products not only to treat illnesses but to also improve their quality of their life.
Lastly, consumers in 2011 who choose to go green may be motivated by more than environmental concerns, as trendwatching.com expects the quality and performance of green products to be superior to that of the non-green alternatives.
11 crucial consumer trends of 2011
Random Acts of Kindness
Trendwatching.com believes that as people become willing disclose more about their private lives via social mediums such as twitter or facebook, brands will attempt to relate to consumers' craving for realness and engage customers by randomly sending them surprise gifts.
With increasing proportions of the world's population living in urban areas, brands will attempt to engage urban consumers, who are believed to be more liberal, tolerant and daring, by targeting products at specific cities rather than countries.
The rise of group buying sites such as Groupon and the continuing growth of instant communication means that news of new deals can spread quickly throughout social networks, giving rise to brands targeting consumers through flash sales and increasingly limited offers.
Made for China (if not BRIC)
Trendwatching.com believes that the continued economic growth of developing countries such as China and Brazil will lead to brands targeting products specifically towards consumers in these countries, altering the product to accommodate different physical features, traditions or lifestyles.
Online status symbols
The continued rise in importance of online status symbols will see brands offering consumers an increased variety of online symbols to display on social networking sites and the rise of status symbols that bridge the divide between the online and real worlds similar to the personalized Facebook memorabilia currently available.
Trendwatching.com believes that good health is now as important to consumers as having the newest status symbol. As a result in 2011 consumers will spend more on health products and services and expect these goods not only to treat illnesses but to actually improve their quality of life.
Social-Lites and Twinsumers
Consumers in 2011 will rely more on person to person recommendations. This is mainly due to the rise of "twinsumers" - consumers who share similar likes and dislikes and are valuable sources of product recommendations - and "Social-Lites" - consumers who discover new products and broadcast these experiences to their social network.
In 2011 consumers will expect wealthy individuals and brands from emerging countries - particularly China - to give, donate and sympathize rather than just sell and take. Brands engaging in this behavior are more likely to have a positive consumer image, as statistics from trendwatching.com show that 86 percent of consumers believe businesses should place equal weight on society's interests and business interests.
9. Planned Spontaneity
With increasingly fragmented lifestyles, instant communication tools and a willingness to publicize personal locations, consumers in 2011 will be signing up to services that allow endless and effortless meetings with friends, families or strangers and even offer suggestions such as where to go, who to meet with and what to do.
As more and more consumers are buying or considering buying green products, 2011 will see companies switch from marketing the environmental benefits of their products to a niche group to taking on the traditional market. The eco-products of 2011 will be superior to their polluting alternatives and be marketed in a way that will appeal to eco-skeptics as well as environmentalists.
Trendwatching.com predicts that 2011 will be the year when leasing and sharing schemes cross over into the mainstream consciousness. Big brands such as car manufacturers will begin to compete with independent car pooling clubs like Zipcar, and local authorities will also get in on the action with a rise in the number of schemes similar to Autolib - the electric-car sharing scheme due to be launched in Paris in 2011.
Source: 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.