Time to analyze trends

Time to analyze trends

As we are preparing for the new year, we should look into trends that will affect our lives greatly in 2013. Trendwatch.com listed 10 of them; here are the two I picked that were most relevant to consumer technologies.

2013 will see passionate consumers embrace two innovative new “consumption” models: becoming presumers and custowners.

Presumers love to get involved with, push, fund and promote products and services before they are realized. And thanks to countless new crowdfunding platforms and new manufacturing technologies that are finally tipping into the mainstream (and a burgeoning, global cult of entrepreneurialism at large) the coming 12 months will see them have more opportunities than ever to do so.

No wonder that the amount presumers spent on crowdfunding platforms has risen from just $530 million in 2009 to $1.3 billion in 2011 and to $2.8 billion in 2012 (Source: Massolution/The Economist, May 2012).
Custowners: consumers who move from passively consuming a product toward funding/investing (if not owning a stake) in the brands they buy from.

However, these increasingly business-savvy consumers are often looking for both a financial and an emotional return, and therefore only brands that are open, friendly, honest, trusted, transparent and somewhat “human” will prove able to attract enthusiastic custowners.

Launched in September 2012, Hong Kong-based ZAOZAO bills itself “your social pretailer.” The new online platform allows fashion designers to post prelaunch products and get funds for production via the site’s community of fashion-loving crowdfunders. The Turkish example to the phenomenon is www.projemefon.com, where all can post projects and wait for crowdsourcing.

In 2013 consumers will look to their mobile devices to maximize absolutely every moment. Hectic urban lifestyles mean that no amount of (micro) time will be too fleeting, or activity too absorbing, to cram in more content, connection and consumption or simply more fun.

All of which means the next 12 months will see an explosion in mobile moments: products, services and experiences that will enable mobile-loving consumers to embrace (seamless) lifestyle multi-if-not-hyper-tasking.

A survey of U.S. adult smartphone owners found that 63% of female respondents and 73% of male respondents don’t go an hour without checking their phone (Source: Harris Interactive, June 2012).

Cell phone users between 18 and 24 exchange an average of 109.5 messages on an average day, more than 3,200 per month (Source: Pew Research Centre, September 2012).

An academic study of Android users’ app-habits revealed that while users spend nearly one hour on their devices a day, the average app session lasted only just over a minute (Source: DFKI, November 2011).