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Jeremy Gustche, Chief Trend Hunter (INTERVIEW)

Gutsche Discusses Gamified Shopping Experiences

— March 24, 2013 — Business
Jeremy Gutsche, the founder, CEO and head honcho of Trend Hunter, has a certain fascination with manufactured addiction through gamified shopping experiences. Beyond being the face of Trend Hunter, Gutsche is also a published author whose popular book 'Exploiting Chaos' gives 150 ways to spark innovation during chaotic economic times. The Alberta native is also an accomplished public speaker, sharing his thoughts with audiences all over the world.

What is your favorite trend and why?

I would love to talk to you today about my favorite trend, which for this year is manufactured addiction. Manufactured addiction is a step up from what we saw with Groupon and all those daily deal sites. Basically, it's putting this power in the hands of the retailer. We've seen gamification, the idea that little rewards in a video game style, can be applied in real life. These ideas have started to hit the retail world. Studies show that when you're going to a daily deal site or hoping to get that next big deal, your brain is actually releasing dopamine that makes that shopping experience more fun. What we're going to see a lot of more this year would be retail brands integrating these shopping experiences into their social media platform, their daily deal sites with you. They'll tailor a mobile experience where you check into a store you like to get a deal right away or certain points and rewards programs to energize that retail experience.

How do you define cool?

For me, cool is the pursuit of the next big thing. Something cool passes the 'I have to tell someone' test because it's unique or gets you excited and you have to talk about it.

What's your secret to uncovering the best trends?

My secret to uncovering the best trends is to look beyond the mainstream media. To look for all those niche discoveries that are popping up all over the world. That's what I love about Trend Hunter. It's this community where all these experts are finding unique things that inspire and sharing them with the rest of the Trend Hunters around the world.

What's you favorite thing about working at Trend Hunter?

My favorite thing about working at Trend Hunter is that we're helping people around the world find better ideas faster. If I rewind to my own history, all I ever wanted to do was be an entrepreneur, but I could never figure out my business idea. Basically, I spent a decade in the corporate world looking for that idea, when finally I started Trend Hunter as a place where people from around the world could come to share their own ideas. I hoped that one of them would inspire me with a business idea themselves. When Trend Hunter took off, I was really excited because now my job is actually helping other people find their ideas.

What's your favorite accomplishment?

My favorite accomplishment would be that Trend Hunter has this community around it of people that are so excited to find and pursue the next big thing. If I bring that back to home base a little bit more, my favorite accomplishment would be the team that we've created in our Trend Hunter office. There's so many people here that are passionate for this cause that we have to supercharge innovation and help people find better ideas faster. It's been so cool to see our culture and team that are so excited about what we're trying to do.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was little, all I ever wanted to do was to be an entrepreneur. Actually, my first business, which was a pretty good business idea, I would steal my parents' stuff when I was seven to ten. I had a little storefront where I would sell it back to them. It was a great business model because you know that there's demand for the product, they love whatever you're selling, the costs are really low and you've already got the retail space. That was the first business idea.

In what ways do you see the business world changing?

The most remarkable way that business is changing is that the consumer now has a voice. It used to be that you'd create your message and you'd try to broadcast the same concept to everybody. But, social media gave the consumer a message. It changed the broadcast world from one, to many, to many to many. That basically changes how an advertiser, or a marketer or a retailer needs to think about their consumer. Suddenly, the store front becomes more important; you want to tailor experiences for your customer. I think the coolest thing in the world is really seeing how social media is changing the way we communicate, interact and even shop.

Is there anything you'd like to add about Trend Hunter?

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