Trendwatching seminar

This year is much more exciting than last year. I get to do fun stuff again. And with fun, I mean mind boggling things: speak at seminars myself (I just love that), get invited for live blogging and attend seminars.

On Thursday I was able to participate in the Amsterdam seminar of I went there with Dimitri and Peter, my These Days strategy colleagues. Content is copyrighted, so I can’t share parts of the presentation, but I can publish and reproduce trend descriptions if I credit the source. So that’s the deal.

A good start to think about trendwatching is not to see it as futurism, but as something what’s already happening today. You can only play a role in the game you want to play if you understand what’s happening here and now.

Mature customers:

Today consumers are “MATURE”, they have everything they want and own more then one copy or flavor of a certain product (eg. I have an Ipod and an Iriver, you own an Xbox and a Playstation or you have 2 cars).

When buying a product, the experience becomes more important then the product itself. That experience could be consuming luxury (““ÜBER PREMIUM” is everything that is truly out of reach of the vast majority of consumers”) or a special story (friends of mine who visited the Belga Queen restaurant only talk about the special toilets: you can see true them until the moment you lock the door).

Mature consumers want the cheapest of the cheapest, the best of the best (eg. Ice Hotel Sweden) or the first of the first. Everything must be special in some kind of way. Mediocre is OUT.

New markets:

If you drive a car, you know prices were going up in the gas station last months. For me, it’s was the first time I started thinking about the economical evolution in China, India or South-Korea, their need for oil and their entrance in our consuming markets. This brings us globalisation and “MASS CLASS”. It’s not a coincidence our government visited these countries last week.

It’s an online world after all:

People want to be online just everywhere and that’s what brings us to a trend called “ONLINE OXYGEN“. Being online creates an online lifestyle and all web 2.0 applications (blogs, flickr, podcasting etc.) feed “The Generation C” (“captures the avalanche of consumer generated ‘content’ that is building on the Web, adding tera-peta bytes of new text, images, audio and video on an ongoing basis”). What brands (here listed with their annual growth rate in brand value between 2001 and 2005) do they consume: 1. Apple – 38%, 2. Blackberry – 36%, 3. Google -36%, 4. Amazon – 35%, 5. Yahoo! – 33%, 6. eBay- 31% , 7. Red Bull – 31%, 8. Starbucks – 24%, 9. Pixar – 23% and 10. Coach -22% (via brandrepublic).

This results in campaigns like Ford offering a free iPod Nano (the only thing you need to do is buy a car that’s worth €14.000) or hotels that focus on “wifi or free-broadband in your hotelroom” (I ended up not wanting to pay €9/2 hours in an NH Hotel last week, but enjoyed the free broadband access in a Swedish hotel – available in all Radisson SAS Hotels throughout Europe by the way).

We live and breath online: SeatGuru (pick the best seat, advised by other passengers) or Tripadvisor (check your hotel before you book). These sites lead to a trend called Twinsumer: “consumers … don’t connect to ‘just any other consumer’ anymore, they are hooking up with (and listening to) their taste ‘twins’; fellow consumers somewhere in the world who think, react, enjoy and consume the way they do”. Do you like LOST? If you are out of new episodes, Amazon tells you what other customers bought: Desperate Housewives, Alias or Star Wars and Episode III.

I would like to end this post, with a trend that I believe is key to big business “MINIPRENEURS”: “a vast army of consumers turning entrepreneurs; including small and micro businesses, freelancers, side-businesses, weekend entrepreneurs, web-driven entrepreneurs, part-timers, free agents, cottage businesses, seniorpreneurs, co-creators, mompreneurs, pro-ams, solopreneurs, eBay traders, advertising-sponsored bloggers and so on”. Google Adsense, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo… they let us make money and we make money for them. That’s a fair deal for most of us.

The colleagues were very proud: Nokia Concept Lounge, a These Days (my part-time employer) creation, was named a few times as an excellent campaign. During the interactive Session, my colleague Peter grabbed the mic and said: I’m from These Days and we made that campaign. Too late for NY and London, but hey, Amsterdam knows now.
Message to Erwin (no, not the Viking, but the boss): give Peter a salary raise.
Message to Peter: don’t forget my commission.

U zegt?
  1. dirk says:


    enverveert mij / ik lees gewoon niet verder

    then / than —> niet moeilijk –> eventjes oefenen–>


  2. dirk says:

    enverveert = enerveert
    typo 🙁

  3. Smetty says:


    Ik snap het.
    Ik ben de apenstaart ook al een tijdje beu.

Leave a reply.