Key Consumer Trends

by Jules Sowder

I thought it would be helpful to share the following consumer/buyer trends, which may have implications for companies and organizations from a strategic marketing perspective. While the trend information is first key to high-level decision-making (product/service strategies, branding and image, messaging, operational standards, etc.) - it also will impact marketing plan development and tactics... including trade show participation.

Relating to exhibiting, this includes what you do with your entire approach to trade shows, as a key component of your marketing mix. In other words, there may be implications for presenting your offerings, communicating your benefits, building and using exhibit booth displays, (pre- during- and post-show) event marketing activities, giveaways, etc. Of course, any changes on the exhibiting front need to complement and be thoughtfully incorporated into a holistic marketing approach.

Each of the 11 trends below were compiled and published by an independent research and analysis company -, which was founded in 2002. According to the firm's website, coordinates a worldwide network of analysts and spotters to identify emerging issues and opportunities for marketers.


"Random Acts of Kindness" - This involves organizations putting concerted focus on monitoring buyer needs, wants and moods - and then surprising them with initiatives of kindness.

"Urbanomics" - This involves staying in touch with the impact of rapid global urbanization, which says equates to hundreds of millions of more daring, more experienced consumers.

"Pricing Pandemoniuim" - Of course, buyers have always looked for special discounts and value. This trend focuses on member sales, group buying and GPS-driven deals that are opening the doors to pricing challenges and expectations never before seen.

"Made for China" - Expect an increasing number of 'Western' brands to launch new products or even new brands dedicated to buyers in emerging markets.

"Online Status Symbols" - With more and more hours spent with "screen time," individuals will embrace symbols (virtual or 'real world') that portrays their online contributions, creations or popularity to their peers and competitors.

"Wellthy" - Consumers will increasingly expect health products and services to improve their quality of life, and be fun, rather than merely treating illnesses and ailments.

"Social-lites and Twinsumers" - An increasing number of individuals will broadcast, compile, comment, share and recommend content, products, purchases, and experiences. This has huge implications for every organization in terms of branding, image and awareness messaging.

"Emerging Generosity" - Companies, brands and wealthy individuals from emerging markets (including China) will increasingly be expected to give, donate, care and sympathize versus just sell and take. And not just in their home countries, but on a global scale.

"Planned Spontaneity" - With dense urban environments offering consumers any number of instantly available options, and with cell/smartphones having created a generation who have little experience of making (or sticking to) rigid plans, consumers will embrace an live-by-the-moment lifestyle as more the norm.

"Eco Superior" - When it comes to 'green consumption', expect a rise in environmentally friendly products that perform better than older, more polluting options.

"Owner-Less" - With major companies and governments putting their weight behind sharing and renting offerings, models that do not include purchases or ownership are tapping into the mainstream consciousness.
For each of the trend summaries above, you can find details by visiting's website.

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