Trend Briefing covering 11 CRUCIAL CONSUMER TRENDS FOR 2011

2 02 2011

Another year, another roller coaster of threats and opportunities. We tend to focus on the latter as, amidst currency wars and defaulting nations, there are more opportunities than ever for creative brands and entrepreneurs to deliver on changing consumer needs. From Brazil to Belgium. No rest for the wicked!

Before we get started…

As this is all about trends, and as ‘trends’ still can mean everything from ‘Ageing populations in Central-Europe’ to ‘Spring 2012’s skirt lengths’, we need to clarify that:

  • We’re tracking consumer trends. Not macro trends. Well, actually, we do track those, but don’t publish them. So, for 2011’s ‘geo-political-environmental macro picture’ check out sources such as McKinsey’s Global Institute and Global Trends.
  • Obviously, trends don’t just ’emerge’ on 1 January or end on 31 December. Professionals craving Top Eleven lists is something we gladly cater for, but all trends are constantly evolving, and all of the content below is one way or another already happening. Major consumer trends are more like currents than one-time killer waves.
  • We’re also not saying there are only 11 consumer trends to track in 2011; there are dozens of important consumer trends worth knowing about and applying at any given time of the year. We merely bring you a selection to get going. If you crave more, do check out other trend firms’ lists or purchase our Premium service, which includes an exclusive, 100+ slide/page 2011 Trend Report highlighting 60+ trends..
  • All of the above means that many trends we’ve highlighted over the last years will still be as important next year as the ones we discuss in this briefing. From MATURIALISM to BRAND BUTLERS.
  • Oh, and none of these trends apply to all consumers.
  • Last but not least, trend watching is about applying. About innovations. It’s hands-on. And about making money. So forget ‘Nice to Know’ or ‘Pie in the Sky’. See the last section of this Trend Briefing for how to apply these trends straightaway.

Brief overview of the 11 consumer trends:


In 2011, expect companies to monitor consumers’ public moods and act upon them with random acts of kindness…marketing may never be the same 😉 Read more »















Are you ready for hundreds of millions of more daring, more experienced consumers? Oh, and that’s just one side effect of rapid global urbanization… Read more »


Flash sales, group buying, GPS-driven deals: this year, pricing will never be the same… Read more »


Expect an increasing number of ‘Western’ brands to launch new products or even new brands dedicated (if not paying proper respect) to consumers in emerging markets… Read more »


This year, you can’t go wrong supplying your (online-loving) customers with any kind of symbol, virtual or ‘real world’, that helps them display to peers their online contributions, creations or popularity… Read more »


As good health is now as important to some consumers as having the biggest, newest or shiniest status symbols, growing numbers of consumers will expect health products and services in the next 12 months (and beyond) to prevent misery (if not improve their quality of life), rather than merely treating illnesses and ailments… Read more »


Expect even more consumers to become curators: broadcasting, compiling, commenting, sharing and recommending content, products, purchases, and experiences to both their friends and wider audiences… Read more »


Brands and wealthy individuals from emerging markets (yes, especially China) will increasingly be expected to give, donate, care and sympathize versus just sell and take. And not just in their home countries, but on a global scale… Read more »


With lifestyles having become fragmented, with dense urban environments offering consumers any number of instantly available options, and with cell/smartphones having created a generation who have little experience of making (or sticking to) rigid plans, this new year will see full-on PLANNED SPONTANEITY… Read more »


When it comes to ‘green consumption’, expect a rise in ECO-SUPERIOR products: products that are not only eco-friendly, but superior to polluting incumbents in every possible way… Read more »


This could be the year when sharing and renting really tips into mainstream consumer consciousness as big brands and governments put their weight behind this cultural shift… Read more »



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