• Business as unusual
Forget the recession: the societal changes that will dominate 2010 were set in motion way before we temporarily stared into the abyss.
As always, the future is unevenly distributed: one only needs to look at the Googles and the Amazons and the Zappos and the Virgins of this world to get a feel for 'business as unusual'. So not surprisingly, the trends in this briefing all touch on doing things differently, driven by changing consumer preferences and desires. Time to study and learn from those brands that you think are already mirroring today's more diverse, chaotic, networked society, and then outdo them ;-)

  •  URBANY       A forever-growing number of more sophisticated, more demanding, but also more try-out-prone, super-wired urban consumers are snapping up more ‘daring’ goods, services, experiences, campaigns and conversations.
Urban culture is the culture. Extreme urbanization, in 2010, 2011, 2012 and far beyond will lead to more sophisticated and demanding consumers around the world. 
  • Preparing for URBANY and more sophisticated consumers is one thing, running with this trend is another. So here's a hands-on sub-trend to get you going: URBAN PRIDE.

Basically, in thriving mega-cities, whose economic and cultural power already often surpass that of entire nations, inhabitants’ identities will be closely tied to a city's culture, its brand, its heritage, its 'being'. This means that for big brands, delivering city-specific products, services and communications that truly incorporate a city's character, will be a great, human and fun way to pay respect to urban citizens around the world.
Whatever it is you're selling or launching this year, it will be reviewed 'en masse', live, 24/7.
Closely tied to what constitutes status (which is becoming more fragmented), luxury will be whatever consumers want it to be over the next 12 months. Luxury. Is it a family of six? Owning a SUB instead of a SUV? Needing nothing at all? You decide.
Online lifestyles are fueling and encouraging 'real world' meet-ups like there's no tomorrow, shattering all cliches and predictions about a desk-bound, virtual, isolated future.
To really reach some meaningful sustainability goals this year, corporations and governments will have to forcefully make it 'easy' for consumers to be more green, by restricting the alternatives.
  • ECO-EASY:  
While the current good intentions of corporations and consumers are helpful, serious eco-results will depend on making products and processes more sustainable without consumers even noticing it, and, if necessary, not leaving much room for consumers and companies to opt for less sustainable alternatives to begin with.
  • Tracking and alerting are the new search, and 2010 will see countless new INFOLUST services that will help consumers expand their web of control. 
  • GENERATION G(ENEROSITY). It was big in 2009, and it will be even bigger this year. In particular all things EMBEDDED GENEROSITY. It incorporates all giving initiatives that make giving and donating painless, if not automatic (after all, pragmatism is the new religion ;-). This year, generosity as a trend will adapt to the zeitgeist, leading to more pragmatic and collaborative donation services for consumers.
On top of that, with collaboration being such an integral part of the zeitgeist, expect lots of innovative corporate giving schemes that involve customers by letting them co-donate and/or co-decide.
With hundreds of millions of consumers now nurturing some sort of online profile, 2010 is a good year to introduce some services to help them make the most of it (financially), from intention-based models to digital afterlife services.

2010 will be even more opinionated, risqué, outspoken, if not 'raw' than 2009; you can thank the anything-goes online world for that. Will your brand be as daring?

Source: www.trendwatching.com. One of the world's leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide.