Get consuming: 12 trends to watch out for in 2012

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Consumer needs never stay still, and entrepreneurs and businesses need to stay ahead of the game in 2012. We’ve compiled a list of the top 12 consumer trends to keep you on top of your game:

  1. The Chinese economy – and tourism – is booming, and businesses from all sectors will be paying particularly attention to keeping them happy, tailoring specific products and services to their needs and actively marketing to them. Not surprising, seeing as Chinese travellers made over 30million trips overseas in the first half of 2011 alone.
  2. New technologies and apps will see consumers taking control of their health destiny, generally taking more ownership by monitoring and recording their health and making lifestyle changes as necessary.
  3. Bargain hunting has become cool. It’s not just the saving – it’s about the thrill of the chase and the admiration of savvy shopping smarts. Rich or poor, consumers will be looking for the ultimate deal.
  4. Eco awareness will increase. Businesses will look to recycle not some but all their products, and they’ll do so in an environmentally friendly way.
  5. Google and Mastercard are speeding up the march towards a cashless society (although you’ll still need some notes in 2012) with an innovative new system of rewards, offers and payments.
  6. City dwellers will continue to invigorate the markets with their creative and vibrant existence, despite their tendency to be lower-income, with vast global opportunities to tap into when catering to this demographic.
  7. Consumers will continue to become increasingly willing to share information and contribute to campaigns (as long as it’s simple!). The improvements for products and services will be invaluable.
  8. Consumers will like their brands to be human – that is, make mistakes. Companies that embrace the good and the bad feedback, and own up to their mistakes, will win fans (as long as they do something about those mistakes, of course!).
  9. Screens will continue to be big, especially with the explosion of social commerceiPads, smartphones, clouds…expect to see even more interactivity and immersion.
  10. Retro rules – as well as bargain hunting, trading in will be big for savvy consumers.
  11. Boundaries will break. Consumers will expect their brands to push the limits of the norm. Successful brands will break the mould and stir up society.
  12. Point and know – the visual will replace the text form of knowledge. Think QR codes – see something, Want to know more. Point. Know. Search via images instead of words, or through sound.

That’s just 12 consumer trends we know about – and they’re bound to keep us guessing. Let us know if we’ve missed anything out!


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