Each year when I put together the Trendcast report, I am amazed at just how on-target the trends noted are in actuality.
In the last Blog post, I shared some early thinking and observations.
I previewed one showing with a great group of real estate and development folks just before Thanksgiving. Last week, I showcased the deck with some peers in New York.
Over this past weekend, I had the opportunity to have lunch with some retired college professors. We talked about the trends while sipping coffee. They quickly connected with Trendcast #7 – Revival of Self-Crafting Trade Skills.
A number of the professors have retirement homes in the Appalachian Mountains. They talked about how amazed they are with the student participation in the regional trade schools. They then went on to confirm that colleges and universities are now adding trade skill classes into the curriculum as well.
I shared that classes like wood-working, home remodeling, automotive self-maintenance, metal working and furniture refinishing are all the rave in the university extended education offerings in the city.
Shows like Flea Market Flip, Barnwood Builders, Texas Flip, Rehab Addict, Renovation Realities and Fixer Upper are all the rage with Millennials.
Another interesting confirmation…
Trendcast #2 – Migration to Town Square Suburbia – is something that I see and experience whether I am driving in the ‘burbs of New Jersey, Illinois, Washington State, LA or even here in the Suburban maze of Atlanta.
Intown living is promoted as the hip, cool and long-term trend that is changing the cityscape of America in media-land. And just as the news-media was off-track in their predictions concerning Trump, the news-media is quickly realizing that those indie-cafes are fading from intown scene as the real estate costs climb.
Today, the WSJ printed an article titled, “Suburbs Outstrip Cities In Population Growth.”
As the article notes… “Suburbia in the 50 largest metros (DMAs) makes up 79% of the population of the metros, but accounted for 91% of the population growth.”
Wow… well it just has to be the GenXers that continue to live out there… right?
Here’s another quote… “Overall population growth, diversity and even younger residents are out-stripping the urban neighborhoods … three-quarters of the people age 25-34 (Millennials) live in the suburbs.”
As I note in the Trendcast report, the urban, "in-town" neighborhoods are being transformed alright… but unfortunately, they are quickly becoming the 2016 version of the cookie-cutter, mall-brand ‘hoods that the trendsetters seek to avoid.
Today, I drove through an area of Atlanta called Buckhead. It’s the neighborhood that is often featured on Housewives of Atlanta. Some have even gone so far as to label it the Beverly Hills of the South.
As I drove through Buckhead, I was amazed at all the new apartments and condos being built along the famous beltways like Lenox Road, Peachtree Road and North Druid Hills. The problem is that all the buildings being built, all look the same.
As much as suburbia was cookie-cutter when built, its now very mid-century cool. Town squares that developed are actually more real than the urban city centers.
2017 is less than 30 days away as write this Blog post.
Hang on tight.
The trends cited in the 2016 Trendcast are sure to rattle the marketplace. Changes coming from Washington just upped the ante 10 times more.
Here’s the 2017 Trendcast…
#1 – Generation Alpha
Millennials are the focus of the media and marketing mavens right now. In 2017, the leading edge of Zoomers turns 17 years of age. Generation Alpha is now the coined term for the age 0-2 population in the U.S. Get ready for more focus as those Alphas start talking. BTW, right now they text on the iPhones with the Emoji graphics!
#2 – Migration To Town Square Suburbia
See the intro text of this Blog.
#3 – Mobile Cocooning
Many of you travel with your careers. When you stay at the chic hotels and branded-chains like EVEN Hotels, Moxi, Aloft or Element, what percentage of the folks staying at the hotel are in their rooms at 8p versus in the shared common space? What’s driving the whole craze of the Tiny Houses? Think about it and text me as you are riding on the shuttle bus.
#4 – The De-massing of Retail
Target is now micro-targeting and GAP is trying to figure out why sales are dropping at record pace. Indie coffee houses are growing at record speed while the Starbucks CEO is stepping down.
#5 – Mid-Century Homecoming
In cleaning out closets many Baby Boomers are discovering that an app like Letgo.com just might net more than the tax deduction of a donation because Millennials covet Mid-Century “collectables.” Those suburban houses built in the 60s and 70s that many Boomers label as "tear-downs" are fueling the next wave of home renovation and remodeling.
#6 – The Culture of Perceived Disconnection
In the 2016 Trendcast, I identified a group as the “Unconnected Sub-Generation.” Going into 2017, I have modified the Trendcast as The Culture of Perceived Disconnection. Check out the resorts, spas, homesites that all rally around the concept of being "unplugged." Think about what “unplugged” means in terms of the iPhone, iPad and social media rage. Think about what this means in terms of brand positioning!
#7 -- Revival of Self-Crafting Trade Skills
See the intro text of this Blog.
#8 – Reconstruction of Past Models
We all know that the U.S. cannot go back to the economic model that fueled mass production and mass marketing back in the 1960s, but that craving for a re-prioritization is fueling an economic, governing and political reconstruction. We all know that Millennials are now bearing kids and not tossing aside their iPhones, but look at what’s on the rise with “time-out” boxes in restaurants and family dinner tables.
#9 – Need For Personal Interaction
I cite Millennials and their hovering “helicopter” parents as a major change agent that is causing business to reconsider the automation of their service delivery models. Whether it’s the personalization of the Chipotle burrito or the personal credit union member-partner-onsite assistant explaining credit-line avails or the designer working with you and your Mid-Century “new” home, personal interaction is coming back full-speed ahead.
#10 – Prescription Wellness
Whether it’s a dietary plan, a stress management plan, a paced exercise and fitness plan, a prevention-stay healthy plan, the move right now that doctors are refocusing revenue around is the whole craze of staying healthy and being well. While not a rage this year, there are health insurance options that are beginning to surface that are advantageously priced around prevention. Watch more to hit in 2017 as Washington tackles the re-engineering of Obama-care.
If you go to our website, you will see that dwelling out and beyond the walls of office-town and co-working America and getting out and observing, listening, conversing and actively being involved with all the experiential diversity of what makes up the marketplace is what drives EXPERIENCE.
For more details and the impact of the trends, my phone number direct is 404.245.9378. But be ready to move fast to capitalize on the change. Life is too short on our end to meet up with businesses that simply sit back and listen.