It's sometimes quite tough to see how the world is changing when you're in the thick of it and the changes are happening relatively slowly. When looking at the past it's really easy to see trends ;but in the present they can be somewhat elusive. If you can see how things are changing, you have a powerful advantage as you can adapt and stay more relevant in your consumers' eyes while being able to offer more of what they're really looking for. This can help prevent a rival startup slipping into your market by capitalizing on one of these trends. You stay ahead of the curve and are seen as an innovator in your market, slowly gaining market share over time.
Here are some of the current trends we are seeing crop up all over the place:
History: With the economic collapse people are finding comfort in the past, great events of yesteryear and legendary tales. Associating your brand with one of these can create a strong, familiar bond.
Simplicity: People are extremely fed up with the overly complex lifestyles we've forged for ourselves. People want to de-clutter, have less devices, less admin, paperwork and the stress that accompanies it all. Brands that are sensitive to this and maintain a simple, clear offer and more minimalist design can do well to cut through all the clutter people are trying to avoid.
Green: Environmental awareness shows no signs of slowing down, and it remains a hot point for consumers in almost every market.
Work: Slowly people are waking up to the fact that working ridiculously long hours at the office is not bringing them the kind of deep and meaningful fulfillment they were hoping for. With the advent of flex-time, telecommuting, working from home and even rest areas at work, people are wanting to work less, even if it means a pay cut to spend more time with their families, pets and friends.
Phones: People are spending a lot less time on their laptops and more time on their phones. Likewise people are texting a lot more than talking. This fosters short, snappy conversations with friends and less hour-long surfing sessions. People are more likely to Google for an answer to something than to aimlessly surf to kill time on their phones. Another interesting fact is that according to Nielsen, 12% of Superbowl viewers were using their phones throughout the games to surf and text.
The more your brand can show sensitivity to these trends in 2012, the better off you will be next year.