Today’s children are exposed early to the consumer culture: brand-name products, shopping circulars, malls, concept toys, status symbols, and the whole “logic” associated with this culture. So they become little “consumer experts” at an early age. They can barely sit before they are enthroned like little royals in the shopping cart seat designed for them. Who’s responsible? And is it good or bad?
About the quest for meaning and emotional connection in a time of abundance. Read about the four consumer trends that describe the advanced stage of self-realization that the modern consumer has reached.
Domesticity or “homing” is currently the most dominant consumer tendency. We cultivate our homes as never before. However, we also cultivate domesticity outside the home. We buy homemade coffee “to go” down Main Street; we knit in the trendy café, listening to our personal music on our iPod. When the boundaries between private space and the public room break down, we long to create a private room.
The modern consumer is used to getting what she wants – especially the richest of them. Many are choosy, and willing to pay extra or wait longer for the right product — microbrew, ergonomically correct lawn tractor or a summerhouse with a view of the fjord. Increasingly many also wait for love – many willingly wait for happiness, marriage, children, house, and the trip to Paris. Imagine if you could get twice as much for the same price next week, or a much better chance comes along this summer?
Do we understand the consumption of the present and future when we debate whether consumption is a choice between good and evil, between happy self-realization and human and ecological catastrophe? No, says British anthropologist Daniel Miller, who points to a third possibility. Stores, management consultants, architects and researchers are actively testing that possibility. Read the four cases.
This weekend, professionals, amateurs, and enthusiasts meet at the food industry’s annual food Mecca: FoodFair 2020. We were there when the doors opened Friday morning.
Scenario 1: We are in a shopping mall, and it is Saturday morning. Ole and Kirsten are out shopping. In other words, Kirsten is shopping and is enjoying it, while Ole walks a few steps behind with his hands in his jacket pocket. They have been in the grocery store to buy food; now Kirsten wants to go “shopping.” After 20 minutes, in which Kirsten has zigzagged from shop to shop, Ole retires to a corner of the Café Metro for a pint of beer while Kirsten shops herself out. Will men learn to shop? Or don’t retailers care about half of their potential customers?
Lotti Törnros is a Swedish actress who is on tour throughout Scandinavia. She is used to standing on stage in front of large audiences and laying her life bare. And she’s fat! Read hear about Lotti’s critically acclaimed one-woman show “My Life as a Fatty.”
St. Luke’s, a British ad agency, has made a project about “new adults”, and it began with one statistic: 60% of 30–55 year olds are considering making a major life change in the next 18 months – this may include moving house, migrating, getting divorced or married, changing career or whatever. When so many people think about changing their lives, it’s safe to assume that everybody is looking for something. At St. Luke’s they wanted to know what it was. Read about what they found.
The difficulty of discerning the wisdom of hindsight of the future is the same as for all other futures research. There is no answer, only scenarios. The wisdom of hindsight of the future could be “We saved the Danish nation from drowning in cultural confusion.” It could just as well be “We created a multicultural Demark that let us succeed in a globalized world.”
In a market buffeted by global forces, you have to watch your step and navigate according to the trends that ensure your company’s future competitiveness. But how will the market look in just two or three years? Which trends should your company steer after to stay in the top leagues? We give our view of the 10 most important business trends.
Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games, Edward Castronova, University of Chicago Press, 2005.