November 30, 2012

Weekly Roundup: The World in 2013, conscientious consumption and nail polish for dudes

Posted by: in North America

Due to Thanksgiving Day office closures, this double-edition roundup covers items from the past two weeks.

-The Economist’s World in 2013 special edition includes a “top ten for business leaders” and a look at what to expect from the next report on climate change.

-A World Bank report warns that climate change could bring “cataclysmic changes” to the planet, according to Bloomberg.

-Bloomberg reports that low unemployment is reducing Brazil’s supply of cheap domestic labor.

-The Economist looks at demographic shifts in Mexico, where a “baby bust” and rising life expectancy will mean an aging population.

-Businessweek reports on why the U.S. birthrate is falling.

-Reporting on Black Friday shopping, The Wall Street Journal examines how brick-and-mortar retailers are aggressively “turning the tables” on online retailers.

-USA Today reports that Cyber Monday was a hit for small businesses.

-The Wall Street Journal spotlights “Shopping’s Great Age Divide,” looking at the widely divergent ways in which Millennials and Boomers approach the task.

-“Conscientious consumption” has survived the recession to become a fact of life, reports USA Today.

-The Economist considers whether and how traditional manufacturers will fight the advent of 3D printing.

-The housing market is starting to build in more space for multigenerational families, according to The New York Times.

-Businessweek asks whether concierge medicine represents the future of health care in the U.S.

-A design agency dreams up ideas of how three brands could evolve in 2030, via Fast Company‘s Co.Exist.

-Mediapost spotlights “5 Mobile Advertising Trends for the Holiday Shopping Season.”

-Hootsuite’s Ryan Holmes outlines “The Can’t-Miss Social Media Trends for 2013” in Fast Company.

-As a part of the “Ignition: Future of Digital” conference, Henry Blodget presented on the future of digital media, focusing strongly on the mobile revolution.

-A new Gartner study finds that by 2014, 80 percent of all gamified apps will fail to accomplish what they’ve set out to do, reports TechCrunch.

-With Americans using their mobile phones in ever more ways, a new study from the Pew Research Center outlines the most popular activities on the device.

-A new comScore report finds that Pandora and Twitter are the two most mobile-centric media properties, reports Ad Age.

-Quartz explores “why iPhones are no longer cool in China” and Samsung is on the rise.

-Fast Company breaks down why Google needs to “innovate the heck out of Android,” following lackluster numbers for shopping on Black Friday.

-The BBC reports on the rise of smartphone apps that help to enable therapy on the go.

-Campaign Asia-Pacific reports on a study that finds social games are more popular among women in that region.

-Digital Trends reports that a defining theme of this year’s LA Auto Show was how automakers are creating “connected cars.”

-The Guardian reports that Britain’s online dating market is booming.

-Despite perceptions to the contrary, Millennial males are sensitive and stylish, explains MediaPost.

-In the U.S., alcoholic cider is “poised for big growth,” states Nielsen.

-Chia is the new nutritional “it” item, reports The New York Times, with whole or ground seeds being added to fruit drinks, snacks and cereals.

-USA Today spotlights the new category of pod hotels, which offer travelers a place to rest … and little more.

-The Wall Street Journal reports on a craze for high-end candles.

-Nail polish, one of our 100 Things to Watch in 2011, continues its foray into new markets. This time, nail polish for dudes.

-Forget planking. The latest trend among young people is “milking,” writes The Guardian.

-Stay tuned: JWTIntelligence will be releasing its eighth annual 10 Trends report next week.

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  • Marriage gets marginalized
    September 25, 2014 | 5:00 pm

    One of our 10 Trends for 2012 was Marriage Optional: More people around the world are living together or remaining solo instead of marrying. Pew reports this week that 1 in 5 Americans age 25 and up have never married, a fundamental shift since 1960, when only about 1 in 10 could say the same. Millennials are especially ambivalent: Two-thirds of 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed by Pew agree that “society is just as well off if people have priorities other than marriage and children” vs. 53 percent of the next generation up (age 30 to 49).

    Europe is seeing a similar move away from marriage, driven by “austerity, generational crisis and apathy towards the institution,” notes The Guardian. It says weddings are at historical lows in some nations; last year Italy recorded the fewest since World War I. For a look at how changing marriage patterns are affecting families, see our report “Meet the New Family.” —Marian Berelowitz

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  • Room-sharing service Breather
    September 16, 2014 | 3:30 pm

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    Described as the “Zipcar for rooms,” Breather is an app that enables access to “beautiful, practical spaces” that can be rented anywhere from 30 minutes to a whole day. While sharing-economy players like LiquidSpace and PivotDesk offer work and meeting spaces, Breather positions its rooms as homey spots that can serve a range of purposes (though not, the founder assures, seedy ones). Rooms include the basics—a desk, a couch, Wi-Fi—as well as some fun touches like a candy jar. Lockitron technology lets users unlock doors with their mobile phones. Breather is available in New York, Montreal and San Francisco, and recently raised $6.5 million in venture capital, citing plans to “own every major market in America.” —Hallie Steiner

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  • Barco Escape’s immersive screens
    September 11, 2014 | 4:15 pm

    Maze Runner

    Escape is a triple-screen system from Barco that “allows you to truly be in the movies, not just at the movies”—in line with the rise of immersive experiences, one of our 10 Trends for 2014 and Beyond. Audiences at five U.S. locations and one Belgian cinema will get their first taste of the concept with next week’s release of The Maze Runner, about a group of teens trapped in a massive maze, which will feature about five minutes of immersive footage at key moments. ScreenX is among the other multi-screen, multi-projection cinema experiences we’ve highlighted. —Aaron Baar

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  • “Smart” personal safety
    September 2, 2014 | 6:01 pm

    Defender

    Earlier this year we wrote about the Guardian Angel, a pendant that alerts emergency contacts whenever wearers feel unsafe, created by JWT Singapore. Smart technology is addressing personal safety in other ways too. The Defender is a smart pepper spray that works in tandem with a mobile app, taking a picture of an attacker while contacting authorities. It’s in the final week of an Indiegogo campaign that has well exceeded its goal. Similarly, First Sign has crowdfunded a smart hairclip that detects physical assault, records the evidence and sends for help.

    Meanwhile, college campuses are embracing a more basic form of this tech, encouraging students to download apps like Rave Guardian and Circle of 6, which enable a chosen network to monitor a student’s GPS location during a night out. In a different vein, students at North Carolina State University made headlines last week for their Undercover Nail Polish, which changes color in the presence of “date rape drugs.” —Allison Kruk

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  • Nestlé’s animal-welfare standards
    August 28, 2014 | 10:00 am

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    We wrote about rising concerns over treatment of the animals that people eat back in 2012 as brands including Burger King, McDonald’s and Hellmann’s pledged to institute more humane practices. We also included Humane Food among our Things to Watch for 2013. The trend recently picked up more steam with Nestlé’s announcement of animal welfare standards for its suppliers worldwide, following an investigation by the group Mercy for Animals.

    “The move is one of the broadest-reaching commitments to improving the quality of life for animals in the food system,” notes The New York Times, “and it is likely to have an impact on other companies that either share the same suppliers or compete with Nestlé.” Observed the influential blogger Food Babe: “People want to know where their food comes from, and in order to survive the next decade, the food industry will have to change.” —Marian Berelowitz

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  • Alternative waters
    August 19, 2014 | 1:59 pm

    Vertical Water

    With the coconut water craze going strong, watch for more variations on H2O thanks to consumer interest in more natural alternatives to soda and openness to novel products. Antioxidant-rich maple water (made from maple sap) is gaining attention, while almond water from the startup Victoria’s Kitchen has secured space at Whole Foods and Target. As the AP reports, there’s also cactus, birch and artichoke water—made from either water extracted from the plant or boiled with the ingredient in question—whose makers tout their vitamin and mineral content, as well as their infection-fighting properties. —Allison Kruk

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  • Smart mannequins
    August 13, 2014 | 5:01 pm

    Iconeme

    One of our Things to Watch in 2014, beacons have been popping up everywhere from airports to restaurants to museums. But the biggest pickup for these devices—low-cost transmitters that use Bluetooth to precisely track consumers’ mobile phones and send targeted content—has been among retailers. Now, British retailers including House of Fraser, Hawes & Curtis and Bentalls are testing mannequins outfitted with VMbeacon technology from the startup Iconeme.

    A “smart mannequin” enables nearby shoppers with a related mobile app to get details about what it’s wearing and how to find the products in the store or buy them online. The big question is whether customers will be motivated to opt in; skeptics say the technology doesn’t yet provide enough real benefit. —Allison Kruk

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  • De-teching apps
    August 7, 2014 | 10:55 am

    De-teching—the idea that more people will choose to temporarily log off—was one of our 10 Trends for 2011, and in our 2014 trend Mindful Living, we discussed the idea that digitally immersed consumers will try to use technology more mindfully. Perhaps ironically, several new apps aim to help people do so.

    Moment tracks phone use and alerts users when they reach their self-imposed daily limit. Pause is “designed to help us reconnect with real life”; it encourages people to use Airplane Mode and engage in real-world activities, and attempts to turn this behavior into a game among friends. Finally, Menthal is part of a research project out of Germany that helps users find out, “Are you in control of your smartphone? Or is your smartphone controlling you?” —Marian Berelowitz

  • Intuitive eating
    July 29, 2014 | 5:00 pm

    Veggies

    As spotlighted in our 10 Trends for 2014 report, people are becoming more interested in Mindful Living, including the notion of eating more mindfully. And with consumers showing declining interest in dieting, the idea of “intuitive eating”—paying closer attention to the body’s hunger signals rather than following a strict regimen—has been steadily gaining traction. Recent media mentions include articles in Fitness and New Zealand’s Stuff, and a Refinery 29 writer is blogging about adopting the practice. With a recent analysis of studies finding that intuitive eating can be a successful strategy for people who are overweight or obese, watch for more consumers to embrace this anti-diet philosophy. —Allison Kruk

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  • Chinese mega-cities
    July 24, 2014 | 1:15 pm

    Tianjin

    China, home to the world’s second largest rural population, is expected to add close to 300 million more urbanites by 2030, when Shanghai and Beijing will likely account for two of the world’s Top 5 mega-cities, according to new UN research. “We are observing one of the most significant economic transformations the world has seen: 21st-century China is urbanizing on a scale 100 times that seen in 19th-century Britain and at 10 times the speed,” notes a new McKinsey paper on cities and luxury markets. China’s wealth will be concentrated in these urban areas: Over the next decade, McKinsey expects Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen, in addition to Hong Kong, to join the list of “top luxury cities.” —Marian Berelowitz

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