TREND HUNTER was featured in the Bangkok post today. The article leveraged several of our CLUSTERS of INSPIRATION from the 2008 Trend Report. Below is the article:
Beginnings and trends
The morning after the year that was, for most in Thailand anyway, a “pig of a year”, I settle into the glow of the few remaining days of vacation left. It’s a time for relaxation, reflection and a healthy dose of introspection. Glad to see “the lost year” over and set sights on new beginnings. A new year, a new government, new resolutions and hopefully new opportunities lay ahead. But what will 2008 bring?
According to Jeremy Gutsche of Trendhunter magazine, a Canadian-based trend publication with a global community of 20,000 trend spotters, 2008 will see some interesting trends emerge. Let’s take a closer look at five notable trends coming your way in the New Year.
Brandaptation: Product diversification or brand extension is hardly new, but brands continue stretching beyond traditional boundaries by offering a wider product range, often unrelated to their original offering. This approach has enabled companies to cement their relationship with devotees and expose it to a wider audience.
A few luxury car manufacturers have expanded their brands by offering products such as home gyms like The Ferrari Unica, cellular phones with the Nokia Vertu Ferrari Phone - Ascent Ferrari 60, and Ferrari video games. Not to be outshone, Lamborghini has launched a coffee maker and Mercedes-Benz has jumped into optical fashion with 40 new frames. Porsche Design hasn’t been idle either, launching its Faucets range and footwear with Adidas. Goodness, there’s even a Mustang Cologne.
Vending ubiquity: New vending machines are reinventing the industry and they aren’t just for soda pop anymore. Japan blazed the trail in the eighties with vending machines dispensing a variety of goods including the much talked about female undergarments. The west has caught on and you can pretty much get anything from vending machines today that are legal.
Vending machines that dispense a free drink in exchange for watching a 30 second advertisement is an ingenious marketing tool. And while on the “back nine” why not solar-powered vending machines dispensing golf balls and cool drinks? The list goes on with vending machines serving exercise bicycles, nail art and pizza. In fact, you don’t even have to “get”. You can also “give” with charitable donation vending machines.
I Love Me: Vanity is a powerful driver and you can tap into “vain” and attract more business. Help your customers love themselves by providing them with products and services that cater to their narcissistic side. Now you can have your mug immortally preserved on a range of products, from canvases to stickers, to Kleenex boxes. Why play with a Barbie doll when you could create your own “mini me” at Tiny Pocket People? Or perhaps you prefer Look-a-Like Doll available from Hero Builders Custom Action Figures. If you love the idea of you on a canvas, transform yourself into pop art with TrendyPortrait.
You can even have a custom fragrance mixed using your own DNA at Smell Yourself Sexy. And finally, for the really vain there’s the Self Kiss Exhibit, “The hottest way to take your self-portrait” - kissing yourself.
Rental culture: From designer bags to celebrities, the list of ‘rentables’ is expanding exponentially. The vast quantity of temporary ownership services reflects the growing reluctance to commit to products, services and relationships. If items, particularly more costly ones, come with an option to rent, their appeal rises dramatically.
You can rent a garden, baby clothes, a pet, a friend or even a spouse, in case you don’t already have one. If that’s not to your liking what about Rent-A-Nerd or alternatively, Rent-A-Star. The list goes on and on.
Beauty by consumption: The paradox of our times, “we love to eat and we love to look beautiful”, has spawned a new wave of “nutraceutical” products. Marketers, recognising the fact, are helping us do both with dozens of new products that are touting their ingredients as beneficial for your health.
Food without function or beauty products that don’t have alternate benefits are a thing of the past.
For established brands such as Coca-Cola, this is an innovative way to diversify the product base. It has launched Coca Cola Beauty Tea and a cosmetic soft drink together with L’Ore’al, branded Luma.
If that’s not to your palate, perhaps you could “Drink Yourself Beautiful” with Borba Skin Care Products or “Eat Your Way to Healthier Skin” with Borba Skin-Care Chocolates. Perhaps after my New Year diet!
And as the sun sets over the Gulf and the first day of the year slips away, I think of T.S. Eliot’s quote, “For last year’s words belong to last year’s language. And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
Happy New Year.