Monday, October 15, 2012

A Glimpse Into The 2013 Emerging Trends

Its not easy writing a business blog right now.

I’ve actually sat down to write an update several times over the past couple of weeks… but it’s really not that easy to do.

Here is the U.S., many of us trendcasters and blogging soothsayers are awaiting the results of the upcoming November election.  There is no question that the outcome of this election will be a market game-changer one way or the other.

However, no matter the outcome, there are some trends emerging that will be market changers over the course of the next several years.

Not to give away the full EXPERIENCE 2013 TRENDCAST, the following are a few of the trends that are hitting us right now.

The Emergence of The Working Class

Forget all the political hoopla and the politicians’ fixation on the middle class.  The real group of identification emerging is what is being termed the “Working Class.” 

Having a real job today is not only an asset, but it is quickly becoming a distinguishable point of difference.  Thanks, in part to neutralizing brands like Target, Taco Bell, Kia and Verizon, socio-economic class cultures are fading in many ways. 

What’s emerging is the unification of a group of folks that get up every morning, take a shower and go off to earn a living.  They work hard and pay taxes.  Their lives evolve around ensuring that the work gets done to secure that paycheck. 

They are retailers, plumbers and managers.  They work in fast food restaurants, office towers and delivery trucks.

They exist in contrast to a set of other groups who do not work to survive.  Some are retired, some are in search of work and some have elected to live off of monies granted to them by Uncle Sam… directly in a Federal job or off of the monthly checks and EBT cards. 

If you doubt that The Working Class is emerging, check out the latest new fall programming on the broadcast nets. 

The Blinding Glimpse of the Obvious (BGO) is that financial institutions are looking at one heck of an opportunity.

But if brands think that the way to grab onto this trend is simply to resurrect the beer, cigarette and CPG ads of the ‘70s, they will quickly see that what’s taking place today is something different.

Hand Made Values

The writing has been on the wall for a while that this trend would soon be hitting the streets.

With technology and automation, the marketplace quickly emerged with what many brands thought was going to save their shrinking shares… customer service. 

With everything from the cars we drive to the smartphones we use to the credit cards we slide to the insurance we click to online…  large brands believed that real people versus automated voice recognition would be true counter culture of our high tech society.

Not so.

What’s emerging is a return to actual real people, hands-on product engineering, manufacturing and retailing.

What we see hitting the air-waves of HGTV, History Channel, Food Network and TLC are hits like Holmes on Homes, Counting Cars, Restaurant Impossible and Cake Boss that brings true hands-on assembly center-stage.

Wendy’s and Burger Kings are re-introducing the hand-shaped burgers and Taco Bell is showcasing its newest fresh prepared salads.

“Hand-Built,” “Hand-picked,” “Hand-Assembled” and “Hand-Crafted” are emerging as brand differentiation descriptors.

Watch for the 2013 emergence of Hand Made Value-adds in everything from automotive to clothing to home décor.

Kitchen Central

The return of home-cooking might have been triggered in part by the Great Recession and the emergence of “close-to-completed” pre-prepared food offerings, but everything from tearing down the dividing walls to the emergence of the kitchen dining table will explode in 2013.

The showcase of the kitchen in home floor plans certainly is a post-2005 design feature.

And if true Mid-Century architecture wasn’t real-time-adapted, the kitchen would be relegated to the back of the home next to the garage.

But what’s emerging in 2013 is much more than just where kitchens are located on the floor plans.

Home-cooking is back in style… and with the convenience of the Saturday morning in-town farmer’s market, a lot of what’s happening is literally happening from scratch.

From Whole-foods to WalMart, expansion of fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and home baking products is requiring shifting display plans.

Dining room tables, seasonal place settings, silverware sets, name cards, cloth napkins and tablecloths are hot.

While Starbucks is now part of many commute-routes, home coffee makers are carving out a place on the counter top for that home gathering time with friends and family.  Even the old perks are appearing as hot grabs on E-Bay among the new Millennial homeowners.

With the inventory of bank-owned homes quickly diminishing and home construction rebounding, watch as kitchens emerge as home-central as Millennials begin their homesteading.

More Trend To Come!

This week I am heading down to South Georgia to meet up with a new client.  They run a blueberry juice farm that sits on the edge of the Okefenokee Swamp.

We are teamed up to tap into the changing face of the American marketplace.

If you are in the midst of planning for 2013 right now, you might want to wait until after Mrs. Smith and Mr. Jones hit the polling booths on November 6th

As we say every year… what is, is changing and what was, is history… for now!

The EXPERIENCE 2012 TRENDCAST will be posted on 12/1/2012.  These three market changers will be in that release with more to come!