Eleven Trends for 2011

Eleven key consumer trends to watch in 2011 include acts of kindness from brands, the developed world launching products for emerging economies, and online status symbols, according to consumer insights firm trendwatching.com.

Following is a brief overview of each of the 11 consumer trends which trendwatching.com predicts will have a global impact on marketers in 2011.

1.Random acts of kindness: Consumers’ cravings for realness, for the human touch, ensure that everything from brands randomly picking up the tab to sending a surprise gift will be one of the most effective ways to connect with (potential) customers in 2011, especially beleaguered consumers in North America, Europe and Japan.

trendwatching.com advises that the rapid spread of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook among consumers gives brands previously unavailable insight into their moods, wants and locations, and also provides a new direct channel to deliver acts of kindness.

2.Urbanization: Urbanization remains one of the absolute mega trends for the coming decade, with about the global population currently living in urban areas. Urban consumers tend to be more daring, more liberal, more tolerant, more experienced, more prone to trying out new products and services. In emerging markets, these effects tend to be even more pronounced, with new arrivals finding themselves distanced from traditional social and familial structures, while constantly exposed to a wider range of alternatives.

3.Pricing Pandemonium: Mobile devices and social networks allow consumers to constantly receive targeted offers and discounts, even at the point of sale from a rival brand, as well as join interest groups. Brands should target consumers with offers and features such as instant mobile coupons and discounts, online group discounts, flash sales, and dynamic pricing based on real-time supply and demand.

4.Made for China/Emerging Economies: In 2011, expect an increasing number of ‘Western’ brands to launch new products or even new brands dedicated to consumers in emerging markets. Growth in consumer spending in emerging markets far outpaces consumer spending in developed markets, and Western brands are favored more than local brands in emerging markets. Western brands including Levi-Strauss, Apple and BMW have already capitalized on this trend.

5.Online Status Symbols: In 2011, trendwatching.com recommends that brands supply customers with any kind of symbol, virtual or ‘real world,’ that helps them display to peers their online contributions, interestingness, creations or popularity. This includes personalized social networking memorabilia as well as location-based games and contests which award virtual or real-world prizes.

6.’Wellthy:’ Growing numbers of consumers will expect health products and services in 2011 to prevent misery if not improve their quality of life, rather than merely treating illnesses and ailments. Products such as mobile health monitoring devices, as well as online health apps and health-dedicated social networks, will serve the multichannel wellness needs of consumers.

7.‘Twin-sumers’ and ‘Social-lites:’ Both of these types of online consumers identified by trendwatching.com are critical to spreading positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Twin-sumers are consumers with similar consumer patterns, likes and dislikes, and who are hence valuable sources for recommendations on what to buy and experience, while social-lites are consumers who consistently broadcast information to a wide range of associates online.

8.Emerging Generosity: This trend is about brands and wealthy individuals from emerging markets (especially China) who will increasingly be expected to give, donate, care and sympathize, as opposed to just sell and take. And not just in their home countries, but on a global scale. It’s a profound cultural change and a consumer demand that their counterparts in mature markets have had a few years to getting used to.

9.Planned Spontaneity: With lifestyles having become fragmented, with dense urban environments offering consumers any number of instantly available options, and with cell /smartphones having created a generation who have little experience of making (or sticking to) rigid plans, 2011 will see what trendwatching.com calls full-on “planned spontaneity.”

Brands can expect to see consumers in 2011 rushing to sign up to services (the planned part) that allow for endless and almost effortless mass mingling with friends, family, colleagues or strangers (the spontaneity part). A developing segment of this trend is consumers signing up for mobile services that passively and constantly broadcast their location.

10.Eco-Superior: When it comes to ‘green consumption’, brands should expect a rise in “eco-superior” products; products that are not only eco-friendly, but superior to polluting incumbents in every possible way. Trendwatching.com says brands should think of a combination of eco-friendly yet superior functionality, superior design, and/or superior savings.

11:Owner-less: Fractional ownership and lifestyle leasing business models have re-emerged, with services such as car-sharing and public bike programs enjoying success around the globe. For many consumers, access is better than ownership.

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Social Media: Uniqlo v Twitter, Heinz v Facebook, Tipp-Ex v YouTube

Japanese clothes retailer Uniqlo has found a novel way of encouraging U.K. shoppers give the brand a big presence on Twitter — by reducing the price of clothing pieces every time someone sends a tweet about an item. The “Lucky Counter” promotion has been running ahead of the relaunch of Uniqlo’s U.K. e-commerce site this week, and has seen the brand’s name appear in Twitter’s trending topics list for the country. In a web page dedicated to “Lucky Counter,” users can choose from 10 pieces they would like to see discounted on the website when it relaunches on September 9.
Consumerist points us to an interesting Heinz ketchup bottle that features an unusually prominent call to action, asking users to friend the brand on Facebook.

Tipp-Ex invites viewers to script ending in YouTube spot
An innovative use of YouTube by correction fluid brand Tipp-Ex offers viewers the chance to choose what happens next in a video clip after a reluctant hunter refuses to shoot a grizzly bear.

When tactics aren’t enough: the Tipp-Ex viral (asourceofinspiration.com)
An Interactive YouTube Campaign By Tipp-Ex (mindjumpers.com)
Uniqlo’s U.K. Twitter Campaign Looks to Be a Perfect Fit for Retailer (adage.com)
Adventures in Advertising: Youtube + Tipp-Ex (tech.fortune.cnn.com)
Tipp-Ex Lets You Make A Hunter Hump A Bear In Interactive YouTube Campaign (socialtimes.com)
This Week’s Best YouTube Ad Campaign: Tipp-Ex Impresses With Custom Interactive YouTube Video (reelseo.com)
Interaction Video Key To Viral Success (viralblog.com)
Boring Product, Great Ad: Tipp-Ex Channels Subservient Chicken (clickz.com)
Amazing New Interactive Youtube Campaign By Tipp-Ex – Bear Included (marketingconversation.com)
Interactive YouTube Video Clips The Next Trend For Viral Videos? (elliottlemenager.com)

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Social Media: Facebook v Narcissists, Foursquare v Hyperactive/ Hyperpassive

A new study suggests that many Facebook users are narcissists with little to no self-confidence. York University researchers inspected the profiles of 100 students and concluded that those “with comparatively lower self-esteem scores and higher narcissism scores not only spent spent more time on Facebook, but also tended to ‘self-promote’ more than the students with higher self-esteem scores and lower narcissism scores,” reports the Huffington Post. It seems that a disproportionate amount of time spent uploading pictures, updating statuses, and appending information to one’s profile are all signifiers of insecurity and self-obsession. A more in-depth description of the study is available online—which is quite self-promoting of the researchers, isn’t it?


Two Types of Consumers Are Using Check-in Apps: Hyperactive and Hyperpassive
The two breeds are emerging and diverging, thanks to the onslaught of location-based services. What’s changing now is that mobile technologies are finally in place to meet both types of consumers. The hyperactive consumer is the one checking in everywhere on Foursquare, racking up badges and mayorships while leaving tips at every venue. The hyperpassive consumer is less of a known entity because there haven’t been as many options to serve him. The one with the most hype right now, if not the most promise, is Shopkick, an app that lets consumers earn kickbucks (all too reminiscent of Schrutebucks from “The Office“) just by walking into stores and potentially even walking into different departments and locations such as the dressing room.

Two Types of Consumers Are Using Check-in Apps: Hyperactive and Hyper-Passive (adage.com)
Facebook users ‘more narcissistic’ (telegraph.co.uk)
Facebook lures narcissistic, insecure: study (untreatableonline.com)
Facebook finds fans among the narcissistic and self-loathing: study (techvibes.com)
Facebook draws the narcissistic, insecure: Study (calgaryherald.com)
As Suspected, Facebook Is Popular With Bad People [Antisocial Network] (jezebel.com)
Study: Use Facebook Heavily? Then You’re A Vainglorious Malcontent. (crunchgear.com)
Narcissists, insecure people flock to Facebook: study (ctv.ca)
Are Facebook users really more narcissistic? (salon.com)
New Study Says Facebook Users are Narcissistic, Insecure (shoppingblog.com)
Narcissistic College Students Spend More Time on Facebook (psychcentral.com)
Facebook Activity Correlate To Low Self-Esteem & Narcissism (webguild.org)
Frequent Facebook-er? You could be a narcissist. (holykaw.alltop.com)

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Alex Bogusky Tells All (x2)

“Alex Bogusky, the Elvis of advertising,” writes FastCompany ” has left the business. Is this a New Age midlife crisis or his greatest rebranding campaign? The philosophy behind much advertising is based on the old observation that every man is really two men — the man he is and the man he wants to be. –– William Feather”
Alex gives his version of events on his blog …

Two Ad Students Make Cross-Country Pilgrimage to CPB
Meantimes, “two Miami Ad School students, Santiago Cosme and Vicor Javier Blanco, on September 3, plan to travel from New York to Boulder without spending a dime. The pair hope the kindness of strangers will feed, clothe, house and transport them to advertising nirvana.. Why? We have no idea. They aren’t even seeking a job at the agency as far as we can tell.  They’ve got a website, a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, a Twitter account and a Foursquare account. Whether or not the pair ever make it, we’ll know everything there is to know about their journey thanks to social media.”

Alex Bogusky interview in Fast company: the narcissism, the rancor, the cruelty (adland.tv)
Is Alex Bogusky a Sociopath? [Redemption Song] (gawker.com)
Alex Bogusky’s whopper advertising freakout (blogs.ft.com)
Bogusky, Creative Ad Star, Is Leaving Advertising (mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com)
For Alex Bogusky, Money is Never an Issue (adrants.com)

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Mad Men shill for Unilever

Unilever Launches ‘Mad Men’ Blitz
Says a spokesman” “Unilever created the vignettes to showcase its iconic brands and celebrate their heritage on a hit show that is culturally relevant to consumers today. Consumers are craving nostalgia. The featured brands are prominent today and were popular in the 1960s, when ‘Mad Men’ is set.” Interestingly, the first reactions from viewers and bloggers haven’t been positive, with complaints about how the ads too closely mimic the show. On the “Mad Men” Facebook page: “Who is Dove soap trying to fool with that fake Mad Men commercial!? That is how I felt, like Dove was trying to steal Mad Men’s thunder!’.

And there’s more: “Despite hating the weak, we-suckered-you-into-watching-our commercial, Dove did generate some talk about … Still, subconsciously, I’m sure next time I buy soap I will see the Dove brand and automatically think SCAM ARTISTS and buy Ivory instead.” A blogger griped, “I usually love Dove commercials but I found this one to be way off-target from their ‘women loving themselves’ branding.

    Dove ‘Mad Men’ Commercial Causes Controversy; Unilever Says It’s Witty Parody (stylelist.com)
    Dove make ads just for Mad Men, women have the ideas, get no credit (adland.tv)
    More Fake ‘Mad Men’; More Real Ads (mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com)
    Advertising: Commercials in ‘Mad Men’ Style, Created for the Series (nytimes.com)

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    Autmotive v Social: Ford Facebook Explorer, The Megane Experiment

    Ford is the first car manufacturer to use Facebook rather than an auto show to reveal a new model, its Explorer SUV. Prior to the reveal, which took place online today (26 July), Ford had been using the Ford Explorer Facebook page to gain publicity for the car and now has more than 46,000 fans. A series of videos and events, including conversations about the new car with Ford executives that replicate the experience consumers would have at an actual auto show, are available to watch through a live video link on the page. As part of the campaign, Ford will give away an Explorer to one of its Facebook fans, picked at random.


    The Megane Experiment
    Renault marketing strategy associates Renault with Gallic culture, akin to its “Nicole and Papa” ads of the 80s and 90s. The aim of the campaign is to improve UK sales of the Megane saloon. Ads will contrast the Côte d’Azur resort of Menton with Gisburn in Lancashire to establish which has the greatest “joie de vivre”. The tongue-in-cheek spots will compare a swimming pool in Menton with a puddle in Gisburn, and show a French couple at a sunny seaside restaurant and a British couple outside a pub in bad weather. A 10-day teaser TV and print campaign, launching this week, will claim Menton contains more than 21 Meganes, while Gisburn has none. Consumers will be directed to a website at themeganeexperiment.com, which will follow the journey of Claude as he drives a Megane from Menton to Lancashire. From next month, a follow-up TV, print, radio and digital push will follow Renault’s attempts to give Gisburn greater joie de vivre. Extra content will be avail-able on YouTube and Renault TV. I disagree that the French have “joie de vivre” though: generally they are chain smoking, shrugging and miserable.

    Ford Reveals 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook (offonatangent.blogspot.com)
    2011 Ford Explorer REVEALED: Can This New Model Save The SUV? (PHOTOS) (huffingtonpost.com)
    Ford Shows Off New Explorer to Facebook Fans with Full Day Of Content (insidefacebook.com)
    Ford to unveil 2011 Explorer on Facebook (reviews.cnet.com)
    2011 Ford Explorer Changes The Game (ridelust.com)
    Ford to unveil redesigned model on Facebook (newstatesman.com)
    Scott Meis: Ford Facebook Reveal Day = Smart Digital Launch (scottmeis.com)
    Ford unveils lighter version of Explorer (kansas.com)
    Inside the 2011 Ford Explorer Facebook Reveal (mashable.com)
    OMG LOL: 2011 Ford Explorer to get Facebook reveal (autoblog.com)

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    Social Media: Ben & Jerry’s vs eMail, Cascadian vs FarmVille

    Ben & Jerry’s is abandoning its e-mail marketing initiatives to focus exclusively on social media advertising. It will be among the first large brands to make that leap, reports New Age Media. (via Mad Company). Its e-mail marketing initiatives consisted largely of a monthly newsletter – until feedback it received from customers suggested that the majority of them would prefer to be contacted on social media sites. Going forward, it will send one e-mail update each year to customers, and focus on using its Facebook and Twitter profiles to engage regularly.

    Cascadian Farm Becomes First Branded Crop in FarmVille
    Organic brand Cascadian Farm is becoming the first branded organic crop to be offered in Zynga‘s popular online game FarmVille. Beginning July 19 through July 26, Cascadian Farm will give FarmVille players such benefits as coupon offers, organic farming and green living tips and – per the game’s philosophy – the opportunity to enhance their farm. The campaign was developed with the support of Sterling-Rice Group. The brand has recreated the real Cascadian Farm – located in the Upper Skagit Valley of Washington’s North Cascade Mountains – virtually, with the online fruits and vegetables planted in similar fashion. There’s also an avatar farmer called “Farmer Joe Cascadian,” who’ll serve as the “virtual” tender to the brand’s own FarmVille farm. Users can request to be his neighbor by friend-ing him online on his Facebook page.

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