All The Trends You Can Eat

Dec 08 2013

Now is the time of year that everyone writes about trends for the coming year. I’ve read through several today and captured my top ten in the list below. Many of the trends come from the JWTIntelligence Blog and the Trendwatching website as well as a number of other disparate sources. Both linked sites are well worth reading.

#1 Immersive experiences

JWT predict that entertainment, brand experience and narratives will become more immersive and enveloping, something I write about in Brand esSense. This is truly the way to grab attention and spark customers’ imaginations.

#2 Do you speak visual?

JWT also argue that we are all moving to a more visual ‘vocabulary’ that is gradually bypassing the need for text - photos, emojis, video clips and the like are moving us toward a more visual language (which our brains are well designed for of course).

#3 Impatience, rage and mindfulness

JWT talk about three trends which are arguably reactions to the same aspect of modern life - the ever present shadow of technology. They claim that the “always on” culture is making consumers ever more demanding to get things quickly and easily in an impatient and impulsive society. The down side to this is a growing fear and resentment of technology among many, leading to a greater value in things that have a more “human” face. This links to a third prediction of the increasing need to experience everything in a more present and conscious way, and the mainstreaming of “mindfulness” in a bid to shut out distractions and focus on the moment (see #1).

#4 Mobile as a gateway to opportunity

For many Asians, mobile devices present a great opportunity to help yourself, help others and change lives, by making available products and services that were previously impossible to access. Finance, business tools, health care and education have all become more available to more people.

#5 Telepathic technology

I don’t know about you, but I am increasingly scared by how much the internet knows about me and my preferences, as ads appear almost immediately I have searched for something online, even on a different site or device. Add technology that can recognise emotions and you have an environment where messages and services can be highly personalised as though someone is reading our minds.

#6 Space strapped

The population explosion and urbanisation of Asia, means that we all have less and less space to work and rest in. For example, in Mumbai each citizen has 1.1 square metres of open space, one-eighth of what the UN advises, and 26 times less than a citizen of New York. This means a great opportunity to find innovative ways to use space more effectively, such as Daewoo’s wall-mounted washing machine and ultra-slim fridge and the Armadillo-T car developed in Korea that folds in half to save space.

#7 Secondhand status

The rising middle classes in Asia are ever more curious to try new things, but still have limited purchasing power (and a culture of frugality). There has been a growth in trading up, trading in and reusing products. even luxury items are not immune, and Trendwatching say that 300 new secondhand luxury stores opened in the past year in China, in second tier as well as major cities. Their annual turnover is estimated at almost 5 billion US dollars.

#8 Crowdcracked

There is an increasing use of technology to empower younger Asians to find solutions to problems and to challenge the status quo. Chinese netizens regularly expose new cases of corruption through social media, through collective action. Similarly, concerned Thais have set up a crowdsourced website portal to track corruption cases, and recent flood victims used Google Map as a resource to compile and share information.

#9 Korean food wave

More than one list of food trends is predicting that the Korean wave will extend to food and drink. That sounds good to me. Korean food cuisine has always been enjoyable, especially when mixed with beer, as Koreans traditionally do.

#10 BYOF

My personal favourite trend is the increasing numbers of bars which allow customers to “bring your own food”. We’ve all been to “bring your own bottle” restaurants, but the ideas of being able to bring your own food and customise your night out sounds great. There have been several bars opening across America which allow patrons to do this, and I hope this trend extends to Asia soon.

Which trend is your favourite?

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