Monday, January 4, 2010

CultureLab's 2010 Trends to Watch

Top Ten Trends To Watch in 2010

CultureLab monitored social media chatter during the last quarter of 2009 to get a grasp on evolving trends. We also conducted in-market explorations in Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York. Finally, our Trend Summit in December was a success and helped us glean even more about the trends expected to make an impact in 2010! From lifestyle, technology, media and fashion to music, politics, consumerism and street culture, we explored it all. We're pleased to bring you CultureLab's Top Ten list of the areas we believe will be noteworthy and notable among the "New" general market -- the young adult, hyper-fragmented, tech savvy, diverse and cross-cultural group of consumers. Enjoy!

CultureLab Trends Summit Link

What to Look For in 2010

1.Proliferation of Netbooks and Cloud computing
The Year of Mobile Computing and the Cloud:

The continuing enhancement and availability of cloud computing will negate the need for storage and applications housed on your pc. Netbooks offer a price point and functionality that is appealing.

Netbook Link

2.The Return of Rage and Dissatisfaction in Music, and Politics:
Frustration at the status quo.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for teens stands at 26.7% (December 2009) College Students are also graduating with little to no job prospects. As this situation continues, there will be growing discontentment among these groups. We think it will surface in the areas of politics (2010 midterm elections) and in music and online social movement. Recently in the UK, we saw evidence of this. Take a look at this CNN video:

Rage Link

3. Couponing, and Thrift/Discount Shopping are here to stay

Money continues to be tight for many young adults due to high unemployment and high levels of underemployment. Young people do use coupons, and the research shows that it is not a fad. Also, Black Friday of 2009 ushered in a new era of people using social media to find the best deals. Promotional codes, online coupons and Twitter will be a necessity for retailers who want to get people to spend.

According to the PMA Coupon Council, coupons are more influential in purchase decisions to 18-24 year olds in four out of the eight retail categories measured than the general population, including:

* Electronics (37 percent vs. 23 percent)

* Apparel/Clothing (31 percent vs. 24 percent)

* Car/Truck (11 percent vs. 8 percent)

* Telecom Services (9 percent vs. 7 percent)

* 54 percent of 18-24 year olds were influenced to purchase a grocery product
(food/cleaning/beauty) because of a coupon.

* 46 percent of 18-24 year olds were influenced to eat at a particular restaurant
because of a coupon.

* 37 percent of 18-24 year olds were influenced to purchase a particular
electronics product as a result of a coupon. (PMA Coupon Council)

4. Out of Brokenness, New Ideas and New Industry

Throughout the course of our research in the last four months of 2009, we were struck by how many times we heard from young people that in their view things were "broken". They have witnessed a near collapse of the world economy, increasing unemployment, bankruptcies of established companies, etc. Brokenness however, is perceived as opportunity. They have the energy to bring forth new business models and new industries. We expect 2010 will be the advent of many innovative and green oriented industries.

5. Geolocation apps for the Mobile Phone will Explode

The popularity of applications like Foursquare in cities like New York and Los Angeles will gain more traction in other urban centers and become more mainstream. This will be the year of functional geolocation apps for mobile.

Geolocation Link

6. Pop Electro Disco supplants Hip Hop as the global beat

2009 may go down as the year of Hip-Hop's official marginalization. Hip-Hop is not dead it is just not the popular music focal point it once was in the previous decade. Look for more auto tune vox/electro beat/disco to be the dominant genre in 2010- much like it was in 2009. Lady Gaga, and her like minded compadre's will more than likely continue to move people to their beat.

Pop Electro Link 1

Pop Electro Link 2

7. Tried and True Will Be Best

Money-the lack of it-will be the 800 pound gorilla in 2010, people will be extra judicious with spending. Based on our research, people will gravitate to the tried and true. New products that don't address value and immediate and pressing needs will have a hard time gaining traction. Consumers are expected to stick with the classics and what they know. Take note of the Classic Americana fashion trend developing. We also predict that Vans sneakers will be the hot brand of 2010. Vans are classic, inexpensive and are offered in many colors and styles.

8. Technology Will Not Keep Us Together

Katy Alonzo, a social media researcher for Publicis, presented at our Trend Summit. Far from bringing us together Alonzo believes social media is ripping us apart. She spends much time monitoring online chatter, and she spoke ominously about some of the growing hateful chatter as it relates to politics and hate towards people of different ideaologies, class, or ethnicities. Just as in the offline world, people in the online world are comfortable with those who share their values, class, and identity. They tend not to reach out to others who may be different. Look for points of view to harden, and more strife and division to surface.

Technology Link

9. The Young and the Sharp

As times remain challenged and serious, people are going to dress up more in 2010. The era of sloppiness in dress and casual Fridays is so '00's. Young people are rediscovering "dressing up" and it is driven by a new pragmatic sense that to make progress, get a job, and be taken seriously you have to look the part. As one of our speakers at the Trend Summit, Michael Hastings-Black, mentioned, it is the "grown ass man" syndrome that is inspiring people to dress up more. Here is an example of this in the context of menswear:

Young and Sharp Link

10. The General Market Will Be Re-Defined

We predict that the 2010 Census is going to shake things up a bit on the demographic front. Marketers will be confronted with how to approach marketing to the fast growing second and third generation Hispanics born in the U.S. Also, the numbers of bi-racial young people will continue to grow and make an impact. It is our view, that these dynamics will force agencies and companies to redefine what the general market means. In the agency world, the traditional Hispanic agency will find its relevancy challenged as general market agencies will grab more budget at the expense of shops focused solely on ethnicity. Some may argue to the contrary but we support the view that as marketing budgets are challenged efficiencies in advertising will be sought.

General Market Link

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