18/01/2013 Statistics and MICE researches

13 for 2013: forecasts and trends by Marian Salzman of Havas Worldwide on technology, economy and real life

As is the case each year, for the past 17 years, Marian Salzman, award-winning  Trendspotter and CEO of Havas PR Nord America (one of the largest networks, worldwide, of market and communication agencies) presented a preview of her forecasts for the new year entitled “13 for 2013” on changes in attitude, beliefs, values and media preferences, and on wider shifts in the field of geopolitics which are transforming outlooks for brands, business and the way of communicating news. According to Salzman.  2013 will be marked by reconciliations, reactions, collaborations and native rising

 “As we head into 2013, technology continues to develop at a rapid clip, but major economies are limping along"  Salzman says. “Technological ideas that were flights of fancy in 2007 are now available to, and being used by, the masses. On the other hand, the feeble global economy has forced consumers, corporations and governments to change their expectations of many things we used to take for granted as everyday. The result overall is a radical reshaping of “normal".

Here’s a sneak preview of the 13 trends that will soon be available in a report on  iBooks:

1. Sound of the Year for 2013: Co. Life is a co-production, and collaboration is the hottest concept at work and at home ( especially there, as multi-generations gather in the communal nest). All the “co-“ words, which suggest collaboration (co-creation, co-parenting, commingle, coincide and coincidence)  take on bigger meaning, because “you + me” is somehow armour and protection against the wild world, and also brain food against all the negative consequences of individualism. 

2. Make solutions, not problems. Politicians always say they have the solution, otherwise they get taken down. Negativity has never won friends. Take, for example, the subprime crisis: nobody took notice of Nouriel Roubini and others who were causing “problems” with their concentration on impending troubles. 

3. 2013 Living: austerity and frugality. Consumerism will be replaced by collaborative consumption and micro-ownership  (1/12 of a car, 1/4 of a dog, 1/365 of a vacation home, etc.). It felt awkward when we started buying only essentials, then the economy bit us a second time. Now we expect consumers to reduce shopping and focus more strongly on reuse. 

4. Economies go alternative. New is now old. Old is next. Widespread use will be made of a cashless economy. New marketplaces for recyclable materials and experiments with local currencies will be opened.

5. What’s next for an imperfect world? Photoshop can clean up all kinds of imperfections, cosmetic dentistry can repair someone’s smile and a tutor can prepare students for test success. So how do we embrace and celebrate the less-than-perfect people, places and things that we consider authentic?  The yin (the search for perfection) and the yang ( the search for authenticity) lead to quiet a juggle in terms of handling these two trends. 

6. Dads: the new moms. Dads mind the kids and carve out new traditions and mores for raising the family. A new stereotype is being formed:  if ladies of the house were the target consumers in the 1970s, daddy bloggers will be the men to watch by 2015 as regards shopping choices on an international level.

7. The future of education: constant, ongoing learning. In the future, education will be continuous and only a clickstream away. The most industrious people will look at education as a lifelong commitment to personal relevance. Universities could cost a lot, but top-drawer instruction is now available for free online. 

8. Rethinking quality of life. Slowing down the pace of life is a dream scenario for most people, especially for those who have a stressful life and characterized by change. More emphasis will be placed on slow cooking, slowing down ageing and courtships. We’ll chase homey vibes (warm colours, scents and sensorial experiences) to offset frenetic paces and mobility.

9. What next for places ? SXSW made Austin, in Texas, the capital of cool.  Lost in Translation showed an avant-garde subculture of a new generation in Tokyo.  Savannah benefitted from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil to become a centre for young artists and young-at-heart retirees.  Pittsburgh reinjected itself with dignity and is now thriving, modern and full of energy. Those who invested in these places believed in a rebirth.

10. The rise of Africa. For decades we wrote off Africa as the slow cousin of the modern world, but today we’re beginning to see signs that this land of 1 billion people might become the new Asia. If the African market continues to expand, in the near future we will see this continent take centre stage in the next global economy.

11. The Big Burg theory. New supercities are materializing, and the biggest cities will grow even bigger, with more than 15 million residents and new big problems arising (from pollution to terrorism) but also the potential for new solutions. Most of these capitals will develop into emerging markets.

12. Reconnecting to reality with native cultures.  The return to native cultures is becoming a must in fashion and style, as well as in everyday life. In the search for real and authentic, native is becoming the ultimate proof point.  The native essence – knowing where something or someone is really from – will become an obsession in this increasingly virtual world.

13. 2013: The year fatigue set in. Fatigue is uber-trendy in almost every format. All kinds of “trendy” diagnoses are raging but none are as talked-about as chronic fatigue. Even medical journals have reported on diagnoses including that of adrenal fatigue. This might be the year in which fatigue takes root, involving all of us returning to a new way of living, without overloads, because everything will be a question of survival or reboot.

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