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Consumer Trends Innovators Need to Be Aware Of in 2013

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Recently, we've been asking for product recommendations on LinkedIn from those who have attended an FEI event. One such recommendation, written by Mikel Cirkus, Global Director, Conceptual Design at Firmenich, included the following sentence "Innovation without foresight is like hunting blindfolded."

We couldn't agree more, and that's why the Front End of Innovation EMEA program is packed with sessions that will fulfill your foresight needs: from our annual Trenz'Walk: to our Future Trends summit, to our keynote address, "Tapping Into and Profiting from the Hottest Consumer Trends" with Henry Mason, TRENDWATCHING.COM

Trendwatching.com recently released their 2013 Trend Briefing, and you can bet that some of these spaces will be ripe for innovations. Take a look at some of our favorites:


'Emerging brands from all over are catering to emerging middle classes from all over.'

While the last two decades were about developed markets catering to emerging ones, and emerging markets increasingly catering to developed ones; now get ready for an explosion in products and services from emerging markets for emerging markets.

Think Chinese and Brazilian brands selling to the middle classes in Turkey, India or South Africa. Or vice versa.

On top of that, with these emerging market brands having cut their teeth operating in fast-rising emerging markets and catering to ever-more important emerging middle classes, expect even more of the next global mass market powerhouses to come from emerging markets.

The numbers sure are juicy: in 2013, the GDP of emerging markets will exceed advanced markets for the first time (measured in Purchasing Power Parity terms) to USD 44.1 trillion versus USD 42.7 trillion (Source: IMF, October 2012).

One exercise for anyone (whether you're in an emerging market or not) with global ambition: ask yourself who are the new power players in your industry?


"Digital technologies are the new medicine, as doctors and physicians turn to health apps and services to improve health outcomes.

We flagged the rise of DIY HEALTH* last year but increasingly, with over 13,000 health apps in the Apple app store it's not a case now of finding an app, but finding the BEST one, and ' given that this is a health issue ' one that is accurate and safe.

So in 2013, expect consumers to turn to the medical profession and medical institutions to certify and curate these products, with doctors also 'prescribing' them, much as they prescribe medicines, as part of a course of treatment. And for health providers, these digital 'medicines' promise to reduce costs by making consumers more aware of their health, improve compliance, and allow remote monitoring that can pick up warning signals earlier.

Even if you're not in the health industry, and think APPSCRIPTIONS isn't relevant for you, we bet that an hour spent considering the bigger underlying trend ' towards mobile driven service delivery ' could yield some profitable new insights.
* DIY HEALTH was about consumers using tech to track, manage, monitor and improve their health. Usually in an informal and self-imposed way."


"If data is the new resource, expect consumers in 2013 to start demanding their share of its value.

To date, the 'big data' discussion has focused on the value of customer data to businesses. Now, increasingly savvy consumers will start to reverse the flow: seeking to own and make the most of their lifestyle data, and turning to brands that use this data to proactively offer customers help and advice on how to improve their behavior and/ or save money.

Of course, this is nothing new in the world of entertainment (think film recommendations and re-read our TWINSUMER Trend Briefing from 2005 ;-) but in 2013 expect even 'mundane' industries to start taking consumers' data and making it useful.

A word of warning: brands will have to walk a fine line between offering consumers a valuable (and ideally seamless) service, and freaking them out with aggressive if not downright scary 'services'. Yes, consumers want to feel served to, but they don't like to be watched."

You can catch up on all of Trendwatching.com's "10 Consumer Trends for 2013" on their website. Which of these do you think holds the greatest potential for innovation? One of the above, or perhaps one we didn't mention here?

Register now to
join Henry Mason of Trendwatching.com and other leaders in foresight at the Front End of
Innovation EMEA. Save 15% off the standard rate by mentioning code: FEI13BLOG

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA with a
specialization in marketing. She is the voice of the Front End of Innovation EMEA event on twitter, Facebook & LinkedIn

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