I just was reading the recent issue of the trendwatching newsletter. I find tracking new trends to provide very useful insights into the markets, new businesses and emerging geopolitical and economic forces.
Some of the more relevant trends as listed by TrendWatching include:
Minipreneurs – this is the trend of consumers becoming entrepreneurs, this is heavily aided by online services like eBay and Paypal.
Hygienia – this is the trend of the mature global consumer being able to instantly and expertly rate the various factors for each and every good, service and experience on offer in the marketplace. These hyper consumers trained by years of consumerism and access to up to the minute detailed information for all the products and services are the future consumer.
No-Frills-Chic – exemplified by products from Muji or Ikea, these are low cost products that have a high degree of design and quality yet are still low in price. Often coupling superior customer service to deliver an overall positive customer experience, examples of this include Jet Blue or Song.