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Resolution for 2012: stay on top of consumer trends

Claire Matthews describes itself as an “independent and opinionated trend firm, scanning the globe for the most promising consumer trends.” The popular website, which is a must-read for business people wanting to stay ahead of the curve, currently features a list of “12 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2012.”

The first of their predictions is probably the most important. It’s what they call “Red Carpet” – the phenomenon of rolling out the red carpet for that new and huge market, the Chinese (and potentially for Indians and Brazilians). Hilton Hotels, for example, has created a service called “Hilton Huanying” (huanying is Mandarin for welcome) which offers a range of services specifically tailored to Chinese visitors.

Retail giants Harrods, in London, and Printemps, in Paris, have also instituted Chinese services, and Australia has earmarked over $30 million to market the country to wealthy Chinese tourists. With Chinese overseas trips up by 20% in the first half of 2011, this is a trend that no tourism-related business can afford to ignore.instant visual gratification.

The other 11 trends are:

  • DIY Health: consumers will use new technology and apps to continuously track and manage their personal health.
  • Dealer-Chic: getting a good deal or a discount will be about more than just saving money – it’ll be about control and smartness, and therefore a source of status.
  • Eco-cycology: more and more brands will take back all of their products for recycling (let’s hope this one is true!)
  • Cash-less: fewer and fewer people will use cash, as big players such as credit cards and web giant Google promote the use of mobile payment technologies.
  • Bottom of the Urban Pyramid: lower-income city dwellers will become a new and huge target for brands.
  • Idle Sourcing: individuals will increasingly broadcast information about their activities in order to access improved products and services.
  • Flawsome: consumers will respond positively to brands which behave more humanly, exposing their flaws.
  • Screen Culture: the touchscreen experience will be more interactive than ever.
  • Recommerce: “trading in” will become the new buying, as consumers re-sell or trade in their possessions.
  • Emerging Maturalism: middle-class and/or younger consumers will embrace risqué, non-corporate products that push boundaries.
  • Point & Know: the use of QR codes and similar technology will increase consumers’ access to instant information.

To read much more about these trends, visit

Source: One of the world's leading trend firms, sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.


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