10 trends for 09

My New York colleague, Marian Salzman, our resident Porter Novelli trendspotter,  last week shared the following predictions for 2009.  She also adds some food for thought here.

Trend 1: Value and Values – When our values were all about having more, doing more and being more, “value” meant more for the money. Now, new values—stability, sustainability, cooperation and peace of mind—are taking hold. How much are we willing to pay for them?

 Trend 2: A Heartland Home Base – Barack Obama’s hometown of Chicago has become the focus of intense global interest. Will its combination of heartland values and big-city, multi-ethnic vibrancy make it the epicenter of a more resourceful and responsible era?

Trend 3: The Ultimate Reboot – Experts argue whether global financial systems—and other systems—need a reboot, an overhaul or total replacement, but one thing is certain: We need a fresh start come January 20, 2009, and we can’t make the same mistakes again.

Trend 4: Generational Power Shift – Often considered young Boomers, Cuspers (born 1955 to 1964) are taking the lead in government and business, and they are a generation in their own right. Barack Obama is just one of several global leaders from this overlooked group. What are Cuspers like, and how can marketers engage them?

 Trend 5: Reevaluating the Role of the Sexes – With many millions of women in a stronger position than ever due to higher education and years of work experience, a new sexual balance is playing out at home and at work. How will women—and men—respond in light of today’s financial turmoil and personal setbacks?

Trend 6: The True Third Place – Whether engrossed in a newspaper or watching a film, people have long used media to access a Third Place—a respite between work and home. Now, thanks to 21st-century media, we can create our own distinctive, self-curated Third Place: a multi-layered blend of tangible and virtual. Will we use this retreat as a digital social club, or as an isolated hideaway?

Trend 7: New Meanings of Privacy – What does privacy mean in a world where ordinary people expose themselves to the judgment of millions on reality shows? Will attention-seekers and privacy-seekers alike end up hiding in plain sight—blending into the crowd as millions and millions post personal happenings on blogs and social networking sites?

Trend 8: Looking Beyond Consumption – Years of sustained economic growth led consumers to expect a lot more than functional benefits from their purchases; fun, status, power, desirability, belonging, distinction and self-esteem were requisites, too. As the Reboot unfolds, what will happen to consumption as we know it?

Trends 9: Taking Risks to Fix Health Care – Today’s health care system is too costly to fix … and too costly to ignore. Stakeholders have the potential to turn this lose-lose situation into a win-win that unleashes new levels of scientific, economic and health benefits—but only if they are willing to take risks to overcome the hurdles of vested interests.

Trend 10: Harnessing Technology for Early Warnings – Starting now, citizens expect their leaders to see economic crises and other threats coming and to deal with them effectively before things implode. Technology has had a hand in today’s financial panic. How quickly can we use it to create a global early warning system that will help protect us?


2 thoughts on “10 trends for 09

  1. Nick Cowling

    Trevor – I look forward to reading more of your posts, as I’m just reading your blog for the first time.

    Some good info in this post, but regarding Trend 1, I feel that more than questioning how much more people are willing to pay, I would suggest that organizations that don’t embody or at least respect these values will find themselves on an endangered species list and no one will care.

    Trend 5 seems to be a continuation of what has transpired over the past decade. Women have been the focus of most consumer focused organizations for some time because they ARE the decision maker in more than 80% of decisions related to the home and family (Joanne Thomas Yaccato calls it the 80% Minority http://www.thethomasyaccatogroup.ca). In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a retail sector that doesn’t covet the female customer, including such iconic and traditionally male oriented retailers like Canadian Tire, The Home Depot and Future Shop. Many sectors have woken up to covet her as well — banking, insurance, auto, telecom and even gaming…

    Lastly, Trend 7 is fascinating. It’s amazingly true that society has gone from being protectionist and borderline paranoid about Big Brother to posting everything you ever want to know on Facebook, so they can update ‘friends’ from high school they haven’t connected with for 20 years.

    Again, a great post. I look forward to reading more from you.


  2. Nick, thanks for your comment. I agree that organizations need to be seen to genuinely respect these new values. For the most part, the larger the org, the greater the chance that people will view it skeptically unless it has a credible history of doing the right thing.

    As for trend 5, even though marketers have focused on women as consumers for years and decades in some cases, the influence of women outside the home goes beyond what they buy. Their influence increasingly impacts business and popular opinion. Marian Salzman is one example of this fact.

    I also find it fascinating that people share almost as much personal info on Facebook as they do offline. I suppose this very public disclosure is the driving force of “social” media.

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