Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Briefly briefing you on brief trends...

I've always been an annual fan of TrendWatching.com. Once a year, we'll get an email from a lead designer pointing us to this year's Trend Report.

It's one of those websites that you'll forget about, not bothering to place into regular-surfing-rotation (considering you're far too busy with the important sites), then out of nowhere it'll ping your inbox and remind you that you only have 28 days to to buy your wife an Aveda store (seriously though, thank God for cyber Monday...yesterday, for lunch, I ate a big fat slice of previously amortized credit card debt).

Yes, this annual read is chock full of fun. First and foremost, let me baptize you about the site:

trendwatching.com is an independent and opinionated trend firm, scanning the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas. For the latest and greatest, we rely on our network of 8,000+ spotters in more than 70 countries worldwide.

Most of our findings are aggregated in a free, monthly
Trend Briefing, which is sent to 130,000+ business professionals in more than 120 countries. To read the latest edition of the Trend Briefing, please go to www.trendwatching.com/briefing/.

Basically, it's the bastard child of Best Week Ever, Consumer Reports, and the New Yorker New Yorker and Consumer Reports are in the midst of a very ugly paternity battle). It's funny, witty, very observant, almost borderline after-the-fact obvious.

I love trendwatching for coining the term trysumer. I've copied and pasted enough, so I won't even try to lift it from their site, so go here and check it out.

Too lazy? OK. Long story short: a trysumer is a daring consumer able to pick out new/exciting objects from a very saturated market of new and interesting stuff (seriously, go read their page...that was awful).

Trendwatching also calls us Generation Content. I love it.

But do you really need their lists? I'm not quite sure I would understand the report if I wasn't previously aware of current trends in the first place. Hmm. Tree falling in a forest?

This year's December briefing is just as good as ever, highlighting various issues (see: header picture) and touching on some should-be-obvious subjects. Renova black toilet paper even gets a mention, and we all know my feelings about that.

Once you're hooked on that, I suggest checking out all of their back-issues.

Here's an excerpt from this month's briefing:

..the rise of high net worth individuals (HNWIs) has an equally significant impact on consumerism. Consider the following numbers, from the 2007 World Wealth Report by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini:

-The number of HNWIs—individuals with net assets of at least USD 1 million, excluding their primary residence and consumables—in the world increased 8.3% to 9.5 million.
-The number of ultra-HNWIs—individuals with net assets of at least USD 30 million, excluding their primary residence and consumables—grew by 11.3% to 94,970.
-The BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) continue to play increasingly important roles in the global economy. China and Russia were among the top ten countries with the fastest growing HNWI populations. China’s HNWI population grew by 7.8% to 345,000 people and Russia’s has increased by 15.5% to 119,000. Brazil (120,000 HNWIs) and India (100,000 HNWIs) also showed continued strength.

With so much (new) wealth and disposable income around the world, not only is there money to be made from selling premium goods, there’s also a constant need for redefining what constitutes luxury, for what constitutes status in bling-driven consumer societies. If millions have access to the same premium goods, to the same premium brands, these premium offerings lose some of their value...