Forecast 2012

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In an increasingly competitive marketplace, understanding and executing on a trend can make the creation into an inspiration journey. These five insights for 2012, highlight innovation and consumer intelligence for building successful brands across all digital mediums.  


1. Global Locality

Farm-to-table, urban farming, and the slow food movement have encouraged communities to rethink the ideology of production and consumption—resulting a more tangible global awareness that replaces sustainability. As customers are encouraged to shop out of the recession, “Made in” matters with personalized products, from DIY crafts to foods made exclusively for specific markets, that prevailing over one-size-fits-all mass-production.

Reflecting a more cultural consciousness, global locality preserves tradition and diversity by promoting pride in community on a national platform that had been overtaken by large multinationals. The “Best of British” campaign by online retailer emphasizes quality and a quintessentially British aesthetic with a range of limited edition exclusives. In 2012, this ideology will shift from movement to prerequisite.


2. Smart Commerce

Couch commerce will leave the living room with technology paving the way for products and services to be available using location services, flash sales, and social networking. As “shopping” shifts from errand to leisure activity the act of actually purchasing something will be enriched with facts from the expansive detailed web and a growing cash-less community willing to log-in or swipe using a smartphones.

From house hunting to grocery shopping, the transparency of information (prices, reviews, opinions, status) and plethora of aggregators will fuel a strategic and smart approach winning at the commerce game with exceptional deals and/or time-savings. Mobile in 2012 will address concerns about safety and privacy of credit cards and drive smart commerce themes that appeal to primary household shopper without the less pressure or guilt.


3. Augmented Reality (AR)

Hand and hand with smart commerce is the acknowledgement that physical behaviors will move into in previously inaccessible environments taking place somewhere between real life and virtual. The marriage of new technologies with social media, smartphones, applications, and tablets will accelerate augmented reality beyond virtual fitting rooms, personalized window shopping, and virtual fashion museums — allowing brands to turn loyalty into entertainment and acquisition by changing relationships with the physical and digital worlds.

In 2012 it will become increasingly commercially viable to put a product into the hands of a customer—while decreasing workload and span of design. The opportunity to create virtual spaces in high traffic venues with minimal overhead will drive consumerism 24-7 with social connectivity.


4. Life Story Labeling

Online and offline, brands have struggled to create and maintain consistent and holistic presence as novel shinier concepts emerge in the market. In previous years, companies have embraced heritage positioning to assist in establishing exclusivity and maintain a bespoke appeal. In 2012, with the help of tracking procedures and transparency, digital storytelling will time-stamp relevant events with creative design, alternative packaging, and technologies

Merge with up-cycling, crowdsourcing, and eco trends, customers and consumables will invest in products that are guaranteed to be honest and authentic. Attaching a life story to digital ID’s (Facebook timeline) or a simple product (think a less extreme version of Portlandia “Ordering the Chicken”) highlights the humanity of brands with lifecycle and quality assurances that uplift confidence levels beyond subjective labeling (organic, natural, USDA-certified). Life Story Labeling will be the new editorial voice merging content and commerce.


5. Less-ism

In 2012, finding balance between the overload and unplugging will feed a human need to appreciate things as they happen with clarity and calmness—if only for fifteen minutes. A focus on recharging instead of escapism, will transform daily practices, social events and communication without digital disruption. Less-ism is one small step back for reflection while still maintaining the other foot in sharing, selling, and endorsing.

As the label “curated” looses luster, the virtual street will discover a redefined cohesive clarity where brevity will be applauded. J. Peterman style narratives, lengthy advertisements, and cluttered campaigns will appear inauthentic in contrast to our seven-second to make an impression, instant gratification culture.


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