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Despite its convenience for shoppers, e-commerce inevitably falls short on one key metric: speed. Sometimes even overnight shipping isn’t fast enough, with consumers seeking the immediate gratification that brick-and-mortar shopping brings and increasingly less inclined to wait patiently, as we recently noted. “Once the offering is ubiquitous, speed will be the killer app,” Noam Paransky, a […]

Old-fashioned monthly subscription services—think Meat of the Month’s modern makeover—are on the upswing, as The New York Times recently noted. Subscribers to New York-based startup Birchbox, for example, fill out online beauty profiles, then pay $10 a month to receive a “birch box” filled with suitable sample-size makeup and skin care products; customers can buy full-size […]

One of our “10 Trends for 2011” is the emergence of a post-recession Non-Commitment Culture. Now more than ever, consumers are reluctant to commit to discretionary or big-ticket purchases. Flexibility is the way to a customer’s heart—or wallet. Verizon FiOS is capitalizing on this trend with its contract-free plan. This offer allows Verizon customers to […]

One of our 10 Trends for 2010 is Maximum Disclosure—the idea that brands will be pressured to provide more information about everything from ingredients to carbon footprints and sourcing. In the food industry, we’re now seeing rising demand for disclosure about provenance—not only because of interest in buying locally but because of fears around food […]

Technophobes, rejoice—new technologies are taking people back to some pre-digital habits. Handwriting—which has been shown to “boost the brain”—is making a comeback thanks to touch-screen technology and apps such as ABC Tracer and iWriteWords. ABC PocketPhonics, designed for children, instructs users to draw letters with a finger or stylus, then cheers correct entries. And for […]

Increasingly, the hyper-social, digitally savvy Millennial generation is driving marketing strategies. After all, Millennials represent the future of purchasing power, and they are more inclined to spend than older consumers. American Millennials cut back less than other demographics during the Great Recession, and according to consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow, have high expectations of their earnings potential, […]

In our digitized world, the office watercooler—a place to socialize and break from the workday—is just a click away. A poll by is the latest to stir worries about worker productivity, estimating that social media use by employees could be costing British businesses up to £14 billion annually. Needless to say, that’s a lot […]

2010 marks the biggest influx of personal care products for men to store shelves—and guys, especially younger ones, seem to be embracing them. According to surveys by both the National Retail Federation and Alloy, this year American college-age men will outspend women in personal care items (as well as other traditional “female” categories such as clothing and […]

Is your brain in the game? As the L.A. Times recently reported, “Mind Reading Is on the Market”—brain-wave monitoring technology, called EEG, is moving from the research lab to the consumer. From medical breakthroughs such as DARPA’s mind-controlled prosthetic limb and Toyota’s wheelchair to recreational applications, it’s mind over matter. Telekinetic games could be hot […]


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