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Top 20 Trends in 2012

2012 Consumer Trends Forecast by Trend Hunter

— February 16, 2012 — Business
Social Fitness, Digital Graffiti and Pop Culture Vacations -- Today we hunt Trends in 2012!

20. Digital Eating - Internet martini bars, paperless cafes and robot-ran restaurants. Digital devices in restaurants are enhancing engagement and interactivity has become imperative -- even to culinary experiences.

19. Pop Culture Vacations - Consumers can now vacation like James Bond or Hello Kitty in outlandishly themed hotels. Accommodations are taking inspiration from the movies and media in order to offer their guests unique experiences. Nothing says memorable like staying overnight in a recreation of Batman's lair!

18. Renovated Tradition - From tattoo tea parlors to pop-up coffee shops, retail experiences are getting a makeover that has them evolving into one-stop-shops that offer a variety of services.

17. Virtual Fashion - Twittering shoes, Twitter handle necklaces and Facebook frocks all illuminate the increased tie people have to their online realities. The lines between online social media and physical existence are being blurred by youth culture.

16. Interactive Out of Home - From bus stops that are interactive to ones that dispense sunscreen or have coffee tables, it's evident that some brands are taking advantage of idle consumer minds. Bus stop branding is just one way to capitalize off of consumer boredom. Imagine waiting for your bus while relaxing in a comfy IKEA sofa -- now that's an unforgettable experience.

15. Adapted Ethnicity - Headdress fashion, skin color controversy and ethnic editorials. Globalization has been accelerated with the rise of the Internet and as such, pop culture and customs are spreading far beyond the borders of their birthplaces.

14. Social Fitness - With the rise of social media and virtual interactions online, social fitness has become relevant in terms of its team motivation strategy. The ability to track and share exercise or diet activities makes individuals accountable to their network and provides that extra incentive to consumers. Businesses catering to youth culture such as Apple, Microsoft and Nike have been wise to take advantage of the public's current obsession with virtual social currency.

13. Ecoducation - Educational facilities are no longer focused on nurturing the mind, but also the environment as well. Classrooms have now become eco-conscious places of learning housed in energy-efficient structures; this highlights a shift towards eco-minded businesses, green organizations and educational institutions alike.

12. Instant Entrepreneurship - Innovations such as virtual entrepreneurial games, MBA grad marketplaces and creative seed funding have made it easier than ever for business-minded individuals to connect with other like-minded individuals and create their empire in a few simple steps.

11. Superhero Reality - Heroic jewelry, clothing and even dating sites for adults have been springing up in the light of the murky economic climate. Today's consumer is looking for inspiration and hero-inspired products with a lighthearted, playful nature are drawing all ages in.

9. Digital Decor - LED lighting, heat-sensitivity and other technology-rich decor options are making living spaces capable of interacting with their inhabitants for more immersive and convenient experiences. While wallpaper was once regarded as an old-fashioned way of decorating, it's now being renewed with refreshing hi-tech elements.

8. Digi-Tail - Holographic greeters and augmented reality greeters are just a few examples of how consumers are pursuing increased interactivity in their daily experiences. Retailers looking to supercharge sales are setting themselves apart by using the latest cutting edge tech products to improve in-store experiences.

7. Plastic Rebellion - Shocking images of photoshopped deformities, brutal post-surgery recoveries and freakishly manipulated faces all look to rebel against the notion of achieving conventional beauty through the knife and push the emerging "anti-plastic" movement.

6. Social Business - Many businesses are now discovering that they don't have to sacrifice a sustainable business model in order to help solve some serious social issues. Social business is becoming wildly popular as several one-for-one businesses, fair trade organizations and socially conscious entrepreneurs are making great profits and re-investing them to further their social causes ranging from women's rights to AIDs. This concept coincides with Trend Hunter's co-launch of -- a venture dedicated to raising awareness of innovative social businesses around the world.

5. Invisible Design - Illusory staircases, disguised eco abodes and transparent televisions. Consumers are obsessed with minimal design as seen with the rising popularity of see-through furnishings and hidden decor elements.

4. Techadence - From flashy flash drives to ritzy keyboards and mouses, consumers are on a quest for a taste of lavish customization in all aspects of their lives. Computers have now been welcomed into the fashion family and are being altered to be fashionable and functional.

3. Unlabeling - Minimalism is an extreme trend penetrating the world of logo and packaging design. Consumers are craving clean details and more subtle marketing tactics.

2. Digital Graffiti - Once considered a part of the counterculture movement, light graffiti is now the used in everything from art and fashion to marketing and viral videos. Traditional mediums have been replaced with hi-tech simulated street art from projectors.

1. Lesscapism - The emergence of capsule hotels, garbage hotels, cargo B&Bs as well as temporary hut housing alludes to the old saying "less is more." As consumers are working with less disposable income since the credit crunch, they are seeking getaways that provide an extraordinary experience while remaining inexpensive. The foundation of this trend illustrates a fact many businesses lose sight of in times of economic uncertainty: crisis creates opportunity and those businesses that exploit chaos will ultimately come out on top.

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