Summary of Trends for 2011+

I’ve been cruising around the web for information about trends for 2011 (so you don’t have to) and here’s what I’ve found that interests me. This is essentially a summary of what a few trend watchers, researchers and consultants are saying. I’ve given credits and links after each set (i.e. these are not mine but I have done an edit on some).

1. Distributed Co-creation moves Mainstream
2. Making the Network Organization
3. Collaboration at Scale
4. The Growing “Internet of Things”
5. Experimentation and Big Data
6. Wiring for a Sustainable World
7. Imagining Anything as a Service
8. The Age of the Multisided Business Model
9. Innovation at the Bottom of the Pyramid
10. Producing Public Good on the Grid

Global trends
1. The mobile time machine
2. Potential for crises in water, food and electricity
3. The global technology race
4. Competing in the BRIC—and beyond
5. Growing influence of “we and me” not just “they”
6. The rise of new power brokers
7. Interdependence and competition across industries, not just within
8. Fight to own the new consumer
9. Generational gaps
10. Tensions of globalization and fragmentation

1. More from less: A world of limited resources
2. A personal touch: Personalisation of services
3. On the move: Urbanisation and increased mobility
4. Divergent demographics: Older, hungry and more demanding
5. i/World: Digital and natural convergence

1. Prepare for the Worst
Consumers thinking defensively. In the UK, 43% of consumers say “Trying to add to my rainy day savings/emergency fund” is a priority for this year, up 15% from last year. In the US, a third of consumers say they’re using debit rather than credit, and debit transactions are forecasted to rise nearly 60% between 2000 and 2010. Consumers want to know what they’re getting themselves into: no loopholes, no hidden costs and no pricey upgrades. So 2011 may see the need for brands to demonstrate how a product or service delivers long-term benefits or prevents problems down the road.

2. Retail Rebirth
With online experiences developing rapidly, for bricks and mortar retailers, discounting is a no-win battle against the internet. In the UK, 47% of consumers are only buying clothes on sale, offer or promotion and 35% say their choice of store is determined by special offers or discounts. In the US, 35% say their choice of store is determined by special offers or discounts. In 2011, brands may need to get more creative to lure consumers into stores, offering more than just retail and be a venue, not just a shop. Service may extend into advice and demonstrations, while exclusivity and environment may also be key aspects to engage consumers with real life, not virtual, shopping experiences.

3. Where its App
With smartphones becoming the dominant mobile force, QR codes and app technology will pique interest, provide portals into unique experiences and improve our quality of life. In the US, sales of smartphones grew 82% from 2008 to 2010. In the UK, 28% of consumers own a smartphone and by 2015 iPhones will make up 11% of all total devices used in the UK. As consumers are empowered like never before, 2011 will see people take a deeper interest in where they are: from the city to a specific store. Geography and status can be redefined through retail, presenting brands with an opportunity for increased location based services, promotions and solutions. To capitalise on consumer awareness of technology, brands will need to take QR codes beyond niche understanding, using it to explain and offer exclusive content. Rather than displacing our interaction with the physical, this technology has the potential to reinvigorate relationships with brands, retailers and with each other.

4. No Degree, No Problem
Economic uncertainty has changed the workplace and the meaning of job security for the foreseeable future. As a result consumers will continue to question higher education’s ROI and alternative channels for learning will gain credibility. In 2011 we may see more lifelong learning in the workplace, corporate sponsored degrees and companies investing in employees through education and training rather than salary or benefits. Meanwhile learning while doing, rather than learning in a lecture hall, may become a focus and with DIY education gaining steam, there’s an opportunity for brands to play host.

5. On Her Own Terms
Women are earning and learning more than men, creating new gender roles in business and consumerism. In 2011, age is no longer an easy marker for lifestage. Opportunities lie for brands to focus less on the year the female consumer was born, and more on where she’s at with her life right now. In the US in 2008, 27% of men reported being the sole cleaner in their household, in 2010, that number jumped to 32%. Meanwhile, among under-35s, more UK women than men research financial products online. So, 2011 may see a counter trend to the ‘metrosexulaity’ of men in a ‘masculinization’ of women. Implications for how brands market to women will be big, especially in sectors such as automobiles and sports. With men helping around the house more than ever, there may be an opportunity for brands to cater household products, as well as retail experiences accordingly.

6. Retired for Hire
People are working beyond retirement – either due to financial need, or because they have grown attached to a lifestyle of leisure and pleasure. With half of Americans having no retirement account, the number of over 65s working will reach nearly 20% by 2014. In the UK, 77% of over 55s plan to continue working after retirement age “in order to enjoy and prolong a better standard of living”. In 2011, this group may prove an untapped market for advertisers, affecting a number of consumer sectors. Vitality, energy and longevity become key product qualities in the food and drink sector, while health and beauty messages may need to centre on anti-ageing properties, nutraceuticals and older models to reach this target group.

7. The Big Issue
Our attitude toward weight is polarising, pitting the rise of the super-healthy against the eternal appeal of indulgence. In the UK, almost a quarter of women wear clothes in sizes 18 and over, a third of men wear XL clothes or bigger and more than 30% of UK children are now classed as overweight. Meanwhile 34% of US adults age 20 and over are obese. Therefore, 2011 may see a wider array of products catering to an obese market: from portion control and more info on packaging to low-cost healthy fare and products to firm and salve chaffed or sagging skin.

8. Garden State
Modern city dwellers have a growing love of gardening and a need for nature and with fresh, organic produce still economically out of reach for many, consumers are finding their own ways to bring healthy home. In the US, 26% of internet users purchased vegetable seeds in past year, 19% bought vegetable/flower garden fertilizer and 27% like to grow vegetables at home. While in the UK, 1 in 5 consumers grow their own fruit & vegetables and the UK Allotment waiting list has grown 20% in 2010. In the US, 40% of people with a garden agree “Growing fresh food to cook with” is important. In 2011, rural tourism, working farm holidays and garden leisure may benefit – while rising food and commodity prices may see a boost for seed sales as this trend develops.

9. Who Needs Humans
As we move into an ever more digital era, automated technology has machines replacing people – for better or worse. While cashier-less checkouts have become commonplace, we’re starting to see machines creep into new territories, including hospitals, libraries, pharmacies and the home. Therefore, 2011 may see certain jobs permanently displaced by technology – that includes service jobs, not just manual or factory work. But backlash and balance seeking may lead to an increased cache for hyper-personal goods and services

Mintel reveals consumer trends for 2011

1. Cloud Computing.
Cloud computing services exist along a spectrum from open public to closed private. The next three years will see the delivery of a range of cloud service approaches that fall between these two extremes. Vendors will offer packaged private cloud implementations that deliver the vendor’s public cloud service technologies (software and/or hardware) and methodologies (i.e., best practices to build and run the service) in a form that can be implemented inside the consumer’s enterprise. Many will also offer management services to remotely manage the cloud service implementation. Gartner expects large enterprises to have a dynamic sourcing team in place by 2012 that is responsible for ongoing cloud sourcing decisions and management.

2. Mobile Applications and Media Tablets.
Gartner estimates that by the end of 2010, 1.2 billion people will carry handsets capable of rich, mobile commerce providing an ideal environment for the convergence of mobility and the Web. Mobile devices are becoming computers in their own right, with an astounding amount of processing ability and bandwidth. There are already hundreds of thousands of applications for platforms like the Apple iPhone, in spite of the limited market (only for the one platform) and need for unique coding. The quality of the experience of applications on these devices, which can apply location, motion and other context in their behavior, is leading customers to interact with companies preferentially through mobile devices. This has lead to a race to push out applications as a competitive tool to improve relationships and gain advantage over competitors whose interfaces are purely browser-based.

3. Social Communications and Collaboration.
Social media can be divided into: (1) Social networking —social profile management products, such as MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn and Friendster as well as social networking analysis (SNA) technologies that employ algorithms to understand and utilize human relationships for the discovery of people and expertise. (2) Social collaboration —technologies, such as wikis, blogs, instant messaging, collaborative office, and crowdsourcing. (3) Social publishing —technologies that assist communities in pooling individual content into a usable and community accessible content repository such as YouTube and flickr. (4) Social feedback – gaining feedback and opinion from the community on specific items as witnessed on YouTube, flickr, Digg,, and Amazon. Gartner predicts that by 2016, social technologies will be integrated with most business applications.

4. Video.
Video is not a new media form, but its use as a standard media type used in non-media companies is expanding rapidly. Technology trends in digital photography, consumer electronics, the web, social software, unified communications, digital and Internet-based television and mobile computing are all reaching critical tipping points that bring video into the mainstream. Over the next three years Gartner believes that video will become a commonplace content type and interaction model for most users, and by 2013, more than 25 percent of the content that workers see in a day will be dominated by pictures, video or audio.

5. Next Generation Analytics.
Increasing compute capabilities of computers including mobile devices along with improving connectivity are enabling a shift in how businesses support operational decisions. It is becoming possible to run simulations or models to predict the future outcome, rather than to simply provide backward looking data about past interactions, and to do these predictions in real-time to support each individual business action. While this may require significant changes to existing operational and business intelligence infrastructure, the potential exists to unlock significant improvements in business results and other success rates.

6. Social Analytics.
Social analytics describes the process of measuring, analyzing and interpreting the results of interactions and associations among people, topics and ideas. These interactions may occur on social software applications used in the workplace, in internally or externally facing communities or on the social web. Social analytics is an umbrella term that includes a number of specialized analysis techniques such as social filtering, social-network analysis, sentiment analysis and social-media analytics. Social network analysis tools are useful for examining social structure and interdependencies as well as the work patterns of individuals, groups or organizations. Social network analysis involves collecting data from multiple sources, identifying relationships, and evaluating the impact, quality or effectiveness of a relationship.

7. Context-Aware Computing.
Context-aware computing centers on the concept of using information about an end user or object’s environment, activities connections and preferences to improve the quality of interaction with that end user. The end user may be a customer, business partner or employee. A contextually aware system anticipates the user’s needs and proactively serves up the most appropriate and customized content, product or service. Gartner predicts that by 2013, more than half of Fortune 500 companies will have context-aware computing initiatives and by 2016, one-third of worldwide mobile consumer marketing will be context-awareness-based.

8. Storage Class Memory.
Gartner sees huge use of flash memory in consumer devices, entertainment equipment and other embedded IT systems. It also offers a new layer of the storage hierarchy in servers and client computers that has key advantages — space, heat, performance and ruggedness among them. Unlike RAM, the main memory in servers and PCs, flash memory is persistent even when power is removed. In that way, it looks more like disk drives where information is placed and must survive power-downs and reboots. Given the cost premium, simply building solid state disk drives from flash will tie up that valuable space on all the data in a file or entire volume, while a new explicitly addressed layer, not part of the file system, permits targeted placement of only the high-leverage items of information that need to experience the mix of performance and persistence available with flash memory.

9. Ubiquitous Computing.
The work of Mark Weiser and other researchers at Xerox’s PARC paints a picture of the coming third wave of computing where computers are invisibly embedded into the world. As computers proliferate and as everyday objects are given the ability to communicate with RFID tags and their successors, networks will approach and surpass the scale that can be managed in traditional centralized ways. This leads to the important trend of imbuing computing systems into operational technology, whether done as calming technology or explicitly managed and integrated with IT. In addition, it gives us important guidance on what to expect with proliferating personal devices, the effect of consumerization on IT decisions, and the necessary capabilities that will be driven by the pressure of rapid inflation in the number of computers for each person.

10. Fabric-Based Infrastructure and Computers.
A fabric-based computer is a modular form of computing where a system can be aggregated from separate building-block modules connected over a fabric or switched backplane. In its basic form, a fabric-based computer comprises a separate processor, memory, I/O, and offload modules (GPU, NPU, etc.) that are connected to a switched interconnect and, importantly, the software required to configure and manage the resulting system(s). The fabric-based infrastructure (FBI) model abstracts physical resources — processor cores, network bandwidth and links and storage — into pools of resources that are managed by the Fabric Resource Pool Manager (FRPM), software functionality. The FRPM in turn is driven by the Real Time Infrastructure (RTI) Service Governor software component. An FBI can be supplied by a single vendor or by a group of vendors working closely together, or by an integrator — internal or external.

1. Social Business
2. Immersive Interface
3. Hybrid Web
4. Connected Device
5. Mobile Cloud Service
6. Continuous Intelligence
7. Open Collaboration
8. Service-Driven Network

Computer word

1. The recession is transformational.
Since late 2008, many companies facing reduced top-line growth have eked out profits with deep cuts. In many cases, those savings have been held aside, awaiting the right moment. Odds are, that moment will come in 2011. For IT shops, business growth could require new technology, but additional IT resources may not be added as quickly. Senior IT leaders should be planning now how to meet the demands of anxious CEOs with smaller staffs and shorter timelines.

2. The spotlight remains on cost-saving technologies. Given the recession, it’s no surprise that virtualization, the head-slappingly obvious money-saver that was hot well before the recession, is even hotter now. A year ago, Gartner named it the No. 1 technology for 2010, based on a survey of CIOs. I’d put it there again for 2011, followed by cloud computing , software as a service and, to a lesser degree, business analytics.

3. Mobile is exploding. Everyone can see this. But are IT shops focused on the management, support and security challenges that come with mobile computing? A huge percentage of employees are bringing personal quick-access storage devices to work and putting sensitive documents and e-mails on them. And here come tablets. Over 30 new tablets were announced or delivered in 2010, and they’re inexpensive enough that a lot of people are buying them.

4. Software is undergoing rapid change. Take the public-cloud phenomenon and stir in largely Web-based mobile applications, and you’ll see the start of a software trend that could transform the way we work. When you connect meaningful enterprise data to tablet computers served via your data center, private cloud or hybrid cloud, you’ve got a transformational technology. For years we’ve been trying to unchain knowledge workers from their desks so they can interact with one another and work wherever they go. There is a potential to create near-real-time business communication without us having to work at that full time. The days of large, monolithic, LAN-connected, proprietary enterprise apps are numbered

5. Enterprise 2.0 will run its course. Crowdsourcing information (the real value of Web 2.0 for the enterprise) is a powerful tool. It’s a simple way to help us avoid starting every new undertaking from scratch. It shapes ideas and provides valuable insights. And it’s on its way to becoming pervasive. But it’s not a technology; it’s more like a business strategy. The hype surrounding Web 2.0 technologies will die down, and business use of these tools won’t be thought of as a key trend in 2011.

In Computerworld’s Forecast 2011 survey, respondents said cloud computing is the most over-hyped technology, but they also said it’s No. 2 on the list of technologies with the most promise for 2011. Both sentiments are true. Cloud computing holds more potential for cost savings than virtualization, but is it ready for prime time? And cost savings might not even be the cloud’s main advantage. Its biggest benefit might be the fact that it makes it possible to provision server and storage capacity quickly.

All the World’s a Game
The Urgency Economy
Non-Commitment Culture
Eat, Pray, Tech
Retail as the Third Space
Creative Urban Renewal
Worlds Colliding
Outsourcing Self-Control

1. Pink
2. Ethinic
3. Textural
4. Blue
6. Clourful
7. Folk
1.Random acts of kindness:
Consumers’ cravings for realness, for the human touch, ensure that everything from brands randomly picking up the tab to sending a surprise gift will be one of the most effective ways to connect with (potential) customers in 2011, especially beleaguered consumers in North America, Europe and Japan.

Urbanization remains one of the absolute mega trends for the coming decade, with about the global population currently living in urban areas. Urban consumers tend to be more daring, more liberal, more tolerant, more experienced, more prone to trying out new products and services. In emerging markets, these effects tend to be even more pronounced, with new arrivals finding themselves distanced from traditional social and familial structures, while constantly exposed to a wider range of alternatives.

3.Pricing Pandemonium:
Mobile devices and social networks allow consumers to constantly receive targeted offers and discounts, even at the point of sale from a rival brand, as well as join interest groups. Brands should target consumers with offers and features such as instant mobile coupons and discounts, online group discounts, flash sales, and dynamic pricing based on real-time supply and demand.

4.Made for China/Emerging Economies:
In 2011, expect an increasing number of ‘Western’ brands to launch new products or even new brands dedicated to consumers in emerging markets. Growth in consumer spending in emerging markets far outpaces consumer spending in developed markets, and Western brands are favored more than local brands in emerging markets. Western brands including Levi-Strauss, Apple and BMW have already capitalized on this trend.

5.Online Status Symbols:
In 2011, recommends that brands supply customers with any kind of symbol, virtual or ‘real world,’ that helps them display to peers their online contributions, interestingness, creations or popularity. This includes personalized social networking memorabilia as well as location-based games and contests which award virtual or real-world prizes.

Growing numbers of consumers will expect health products and services in 2011 to prevent misery if not improve their quality of life, rather than merely treating illnesses and ailments. Products such as mobile health monitoring devices, as well as online health apps and health-dedicated social networks, will serve the multichannel wellness needs of consumers.

7.‘Twin-sumers’ and ‘Social-lites:’
Both of these types of online consumers identified by are critical to spreading positive word-of-mouth recommendations. Twin-sumers are consumers with similar consumer patterns, likes and dislikes, and who are hence valuable sources for recommendations on what to buy and experience, while social-lites are consumers who consistently broadcast information to a wide range of associates online.

8.Emerging Generosity:
This trend is about brands and wealthy individuals from emerging markets (especially China) who will increasingly be expected to give, donate, care and sympathize, as opposed to just sell and take. And not just in their home countries, but on a global scale. It’s a profound cultural change and a consumer demand that their counterparts in mature markets have had a few years to getting used to.

9.Planned Spontaneity:
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, 2011 will see what calls full-on “planned spontaneity.”

Brands can expect to see consumers in 2011 rushing to sign up to services (the planned part) that allow for endless and almost effortless mass mingling with friends, family, colleagues or strangers (the spontaneity part). A developing segment of this trend is consumers signing up for mobile services that passively and constantly broadcast their location.

When it comes to ‘green consumption’, brands should expect a rise in “eco-superior” products; products that are not only eco-friendly, but superior to polluting incumbents in every possible way. says brands should think of a combination of eco-friendly yet superior functionality, superior design, and/or superior savings.

Fractional ownership and lifestyle leasing business models have re-emerged, with services such as car-sharing and public bike programs enjoying success around the globe. For many consumers, access is better than ownership.

Cox & Kings (Luxury travel trends)
1. Multi-Destination Vacations
Because travelers want to get the most out of their vacations, there has been an uptick in multi-destination vacations. Expect to see an increased interest in combined itineraries such as India and Bhutan or Peru and Argentina. With new air routes coming on board such as LAN’s route between Lima and Iguassu, visiting two countries in one trip is more convenient than ever, affording travelers the opportunity to experience exactly what they want from a combination of countries.

2. The Revival of Group Tours
With the economic recovery still in progress, many travelers are looking for the same exotic travel experiences at a lower price point. Group tours provide a more value-driven travel option without compromising the once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.

3. Contemporary Cultural Travel
A history-laden location is no longer enough to satisfy today’s intrepid travelers. 2011 will see a desire for more meaningful interactions with artists, trendsetters and experts local contemporary culture.

4. The Resurgence of Travel Experts
While once a great resource for travel information, the Internet has become so oversaturated with non-relevant information that sorting through the mass of travel sites, reader reviews and booking engines has made booking exceptional travel experiences a dicey process at best. This paired with more specialized and specific requests by the traveler has caused a resurgence in working with tour operators and travel agents.

5. Not Just Seeing But Learning
The popularity of educational travel will continue to thrive in 2011. Travelers are interested in learning and doing, not just seeing. “Demand has increased for specialized learning experiences – everything from sushi-making in Japan to photography excursions in Argentina. People want to come away with a strong emotional connection with a destination and bring back more than just memories, but a skill they can actually use from a vacation.

6. Ride the Rails
A number of new luxury trains have launched in the past year, causing a renewed interest in rail travel that will increase throughout 2011. Rail travel is an easy and comfortable way to maximize travel time, allowing travelers to see a large number of sites without having to pack up and fly or drive between these locations.

7. Experiential Family Travel
The face of the family vacation is changing and they are extending far beyond a week-long island refuge. The demand for hands-on experiences that focus on learning and doing as opposed to just seeing will increase in 2011.

8. “Bucket-List” Experiences
2011 will see in increase in extremely unique, “bucket-list” experiences in far-flung destinations. Travelers are looking to tick those must-see travel experiences off their lists and are now seeking the experiences that will allow them to return home with bragging rights among their friends.

9. One of a Kind, Specialty Travel Experiences
Niche travel will continue to grow throughout 2011. From culinary tours to yoga retreats, travelers are looking for specialized itineraries catering to very specific interests.

10. Top Destination Picks for 2011
Libya, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Colombia and Jordan.

Gardening trends from the Vancouver Sun

1. The garden as an outdoor living room
2. Food gardening
3. Community gardens
4. Green walls, green roofs
5. Dahlia revival
6. Container gardening
7. Rock bubblers
8. Lawnless gardens
9. Gardening classes
10. Hardy evergreens

Hard copy article source Vancover Sun 1 January 2011, Garden Trends for 2011 by Steve Whysall.

Finally, a report from Nomura, the investment bank includes these nuggets…

1. Muted economic recovery in developed regions
2. Good growth out of Asia
3. Inflationary pressures mounting
4. Euro area fiscal crisis deepens but Euro remains
5. Investment pull-back in China
6. Pent-up demand breaks through in developed nations
7. Gradual recovery in UK

15 thoughts on “Summary of Trends for 2011+

  1. Fascinating list of lists! I especially found “Outsourcing Self-Control,” “Planned Spontaneity” and “Random Acts of Kindness” from businesses interesting. Guess I’d better get busy on my list of 2011 trends!

  2. Random acts of kindness is an interesting one and links very strongly to the way in which really excellent companies provide tiny, unexpected, things (See the book Batteries Included by Nigel Barlow). Personally, I am more interested in this on an individual level. Have we further to go with selfish, self-centered, narcissistic behaviour or are we at the very early stages of a shift towards more of a group orientated collectivist attitude? (although beware of people bundling selfish individuals together and calling it civil or community based behaviour).

  3. BTW, here’s my final list of trends for 2011

    1. Uncertainty
    2. Volatility
    3. Rage
    4. Religion
    5. Formality
    6. Food inflation
    7. “Long land”
    8. Digital disenchantment
    9. Pyjamas
    10. No Trend

  4. Just spotted in the Globe and Mail

    I’m just putting the finishing touches to a menu of food trends for 2011 (a collaboration with Charles and Wayne at The Food People). In the meantime I spotted this list of food and drink trends in today’s issue of the Globe & Mail.

    Food trends

    1. Vegetable ash
    2. Olive oil alternatives
    3. Locally grown global produce
    4. Sea buckthorn
    5. Drinklable snacks
    6. Healthy indulgence
    7. US invasion
    8. Artisanal cheese
    9. Better breakfasts
    10. Old-school dishes

    Drink trends

    1. A brown tide (brown spirits)
    2. Guerrilla shoppers (value shoppers)
    3. Baskin Robbins at the bar (flavoured spirits)
    4. A crack in interprovincial walls (regulation)
    5. Locapours rising (localism)
    6. Wine with extra fruit
    7. A better pink cocktail (Negroni on the rise)
    8. Canadian wine goes au natural (organic & sustainable)
    9. The other cabernet (cabernet franc)
    10. White the new red

  5. Pingback: links for 2011-01-07 « This Much I Don't Know

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