A Look Ahead

2010 is wrapping up quickly. We hope your holiday marketing campaigns are proving to be successful and your fourth quarter is finishing on a bright note. Next year will present new opportunities and challenges that will certainly keep us all busy. Most likely you have already developed a plan–at least for the beginning of the year–to reach customers next year. It is always interesting to look at what “the experts” think the top trends will be, and it can also be helpful to get some outside perspective on where people are at in general , both mentally and financially. The combination of these factors consistently shapes trends and spending patterns.

Trends to Consider for 2011

  • Organic/Natural- This trend is already well underway. People are looking to spend on organic and natural food choices. Health seems to be the reason for the food industry, but don’t be too surprised if you see this trend spill over into other industries. People are more aware of how products are manufactured and how manufacturing processes can influence both the environment and their health. While this might just be an offshoot of the “green trend” that has taken hold recently, it is clear that people want more sustainable and “naturally produced” (insert your own definition here as there does not seem to be a universal one) things around. Everything from the fabrics that are used to make clothes to the kind of car people buy based upon fuel source will have this trend’s fingerprints on it in 2011.
  • Home Remodeling- The Remodeling Futures Program at Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies has been widely cited over the past couple of months for their prediction of a distinct uptick in home remodeling in 2011. While this is great news for general contractors and hardware stores, other industries can learn and benefit from this trend as well. People are making due with what they have–but they still want it to be better. This mentality could be very helpful when selling upgrades, amenities and accessories for any type of product. Maybe pushing your top of the line model isn’t the answer (is #theboomisover a hashtag on Twitter?), perhaps you should be focusing on your capitalizing as much as you can off of your mid-level models.
  • Philanthropy- Recently AMA Tampa Bay hosted an event centered on corporate social responsibility. At the event our panel of speakers focused on the benefits of businesses’ being involved members of the community as opposed to entities that exist purely for profit. Our society seems to be taking a more charitable turn, at least in their expectations from brands, and is now favoring giving back. This is both a good thing for our society’s mentality and for marketers. You can step up your goodwill marketing efforts and really connect with people. Targeting still applies; just figure out which charities and non-profits complement your brands. Try event sponsorship or flat out promoting the charity to your customers, as opposed to sending out a million press releases about a monetary donation to really reach your audience.
  • Individuality- Yes, people have always wanted to be seen as individuals, but don’t sleep on this trend. Anything that you can offer that lets people personalize the things they buy is good. It gives consumers two things: the ability to express themselves uniquely and a feeling of autonomy. Many people like to share their personalities, and pretty much everyone benefits from having a degree of control over what they do and what they possess. They definitely have control over what they buy, so keep that in mind at the very least.

We hope that your holiday season has been everything that you wanted it to be. We also hope that you get some time to kick back, relax and get ready for another year.


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