12 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2012

Life is tough, but most businesses are not staring into the abyss. And for the brave hearted there are always opportunities for entrepreneurs to deliver on changing consumer needs.  One of the world’s leading trend firms, trendwatching.com scans the globe for emerging consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business innovations and sends out a free monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 business professionals in 180+ countries. At wanobe we’re happy to bring you an overview of trendwatching.com’s 12 must-know consumer trends (in random order) for you to run with in the next 12 months.

In 2012, all shapes, sizes and sectors of business, if not entire cities and nations, will roll out the red carpet for the new emperors; showering Chinese visitors and customers with tailored services, perks, attention and respect. (Including examples from Hilton, Starwood and Harrods.) More >>>

Expect to see consumers take advantage of new technologies to discreetly and continuously track, manage and be alerted to any changes in their personal health. (Including examples from Jawbone, Ford and Lifelens.) More >>>

In 2012, consumers will continue to hunt for deals and discounts, but do so with relish if not pride. Deals are now about more than just saving money: it’s the thrill, the pursuit, the control, and the perceived smartness, and the status. (Including examples from American Express, Nokitum and Daitan.) More >>>

Brands will increasingly take back all of their products for recycling, and do so responsibly and innovatively. (Including examples from Dell, Nike and Garnier.) More >>>

Will coins and notes completely disappear in 2012? No. But a cashless future is (finally) upon us, as major players such as MasterCard and Google work to build a whole new eco-system of payments, rewards and offers around new mobile technologies. (Including examples from Google, PayPal and Square.) More >>>


The majority of consumerism is urban, yet in much of the world city life is chaotic, cramped and often none too pleasant. Nevertheless, the creativity and vibrancy of these aspiring consumers means that the opportunities for brands which cater to the them are unprecedented. (Including examples from PepsiCo, NCR and Aakash.) More >>>

Making it downright simple (or effortless) for consumers to contribute will be more popular than ever in 2012. Unlocked by the spread of ever smarter sensors in mobile phones, people will be able and (more) willing to broadcast information about where and what they are doing, to help improve products and services. (Including examples from Street Bump and Waze.) More >>>

Why to consumers, brands that behave more humanly, including exposing their flaws, will be awesome. More >>>

Thanks to the continued explosion of touchscreen smartphones, tablets, and the ‘cloud’, 2012 will see a SCREEN CULTURE that is not only more pervasive, but more personal, more immersive and more interactive than ever. (Including examples from Sky, 8ta and Huawei.) More >>>

It’s never been easier for savvy consumers to resell or trade in past purchases, and unlock the value in their current possessions. In 2012, ‘trading in’ is the new buying. (Including examples from Decathlon, Amazon and Levi’s.) More >>>

While cultural differences continue to shape consumer desires, middle-class and/or younger consumers in (almost) every market will embrace brands that push the boundaries. Expect frank, risqué or non-corporate products, services and campaigns from emerging markets to be on the rise in 2012. (Including examples from Diesel, Johnson & Johnson and Sanitol.)More >>>

Consumers are used to being able to find out just about anything that’s online or text-based, but 2012 will see instant visual information gratification brought into the real and visual world with objects and even people. (Including examples from Starbucks, eBay and Amazon.)More >>>

View all 12 full trend descriptions, including examples of brands from around the world already making the most of these trends at www.trendwatching.com/briefing

About Wanobe, the business knowledge network
Writer, journalist and broadcaster, sixty-something David likes nothing better than being with family and friends, eating out and drinking great wines, and scuba diving.

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