Looking at business trends for 2013

Consumer trends aren’t like the seasons: they don’t play out exactly across calendar years.

Whether a business is for profit or not-for-profit, it relies on consumers to purchase and use its products.

As the end of the year approaches, one of the interesting and fun things to read are trend articles to see what people will be doing/thinking/buying in the coming months.

Consumer trends aren’t like the seasons: they don’t play out exactly across calendar years.

They emerge through all kinds of cross-pollinations and combinations of ideas, behaviours, and innovations, and once they’ve emerged they constantly evolve.

A few interesting consumer trends for 2013 that trendwatching.com is talking about are:

Presumers and Custowners – a growing trend where consumers want to weigh in on new products before they’ve even been created and through crowd funding platforms invest in the company that makes them.

The amount consumers spent on crowd funding platforms has risen from just US $530 million in 2009 to US $2.8 billion in 2012 and is expected to rise to $6.2 billion in 2013.

The message: if you’re launching a great new product check out this method of getting it off the ground.

Mobile moments – in 2013 consumers will be looking to their mobile devices to do even more multi-tasking.  Examples are an Austrian library system that delivered classic literature to commuters via QR codes in bus stops (please take note, ORL) or market research surveys that are delivered to your phone where participants are rewarded with free air time.

New Life Inside – a new sustainability trend of products and services that actually contain new life inside.

Rather than being discarded or even recycled these products can be given back to nature to grow something new.

These symbolic statements of a company’s values will resonate with consumers, especially if there is real commitment behind them.

Examples are disposable chop sticks or pencils with seed capsules in the ends.  Stick them in water and they grow; use the remaining wood as a plant support.

Celebration Nation – a trend where symbols, lifestyles and traditions that were previously downplayed will be a source of pride for domestic consumers and of interest to global consumers.

We’ve heard similar information from TOTA who have told us that Summerland is uniquely positioned to attract cultural explorers.

Made locally – a resurgence in domestic manufacturing made possible by new technologies and made necessary by rising labor costs overseas, long lead times and fragile global supply chains.

Stats show that four out of five shoppers notice “Made Locally” messages and are more likely to buy that product.

Trends like these are more than fun because you can use them to inspire new and profitable innovations.

And while these may seem like big company/urban ideas, they can still be applied to our businesses and work here in Summerland.

Use them to inform your marketing, inspire a new business concept or create a new experience for a target market.  In 2013 celebrate the innovators and business leaders in Summerland!

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at president@summerlandchamber.com or Christine Petkau at  manager@summerlandchamber.com.

Arlene Fenrich is President of the Summerland Chamber of Economic Development and Tourism.  All of the members of the Board of Directors serve as volunteers.