Macro Societal Trends Impacting Innovation in 2008 Revealed: Analyzing Macro Societal Trends Allow Marketers to Stay Ahead of the Competition

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Seven macro societal trends that will shape product and service innovation in 2008 have been released by Dragon Rouge, the international brand and design consultancy.

The trend watchers in each of our offices track the early signs of these macro trends by analyzing the world of fashion, design, cosmetics and entertainment, because these early adopting industries have shorter life cycles and can therefore rapidly adapt to societal shifts

Dragon Rouge, the international brand and design consultancy, unveiled the seven macro societal trends that will shape product and service innovation in 2008.

"While an increasing number of self-appointed gurus track micro trends that are short sighted fads that engender me-too strategies, we believe that the art of innovation requires an ability to take a look at the bigger picture by tracking how macro societal trends shape society, and identifying how they translate into the trends that will shape innovation in a given market or for a given target," says Eric Zeitoun, president, Dragon Rouge USA.

"The trend watchers in each of our offices track the early signs of these macro trends by analyzing the world of fashion, design, cosmetics and entertainment, because these early adopting industries have shorter life cycles and can therefore rapidly adapt to societal shifts," says Zeitoun. "We compare and contrast macro trends across geographies and then select those that impact each geography."

Our US based trend watchers have identified the following macro trends and the brands that are embracing them:

1.    Conscience - Necessity to shape our own individual belief standards built around self-respect, respect for others, consumer citizenship and respect for the environment (i.e. Newman's Own, CARE by Stella McCarthy, Clif Nectar).

2.    Enough - Rejection of mass consumerism responsible for societal problems and desire to return to a pre-marketing era valuing human craft (i.e. Tito's Handmade Vodka, Bee Raw Honey, Le Labo).

3.    Silicone - Increasing value given to playfulness since innovation is better embraced if it comes with comfort and humor (i.e. Freeze 24/7 & Go, Candeloo Lamps, Method Omop).

4.    Gattaca - The virtual world is no longer a means to an end, but an end in itself (i.e. iPhone, Citi Smartmoney, One Touch can opener).

5.    Aesthete - The aesthetics cult is gaining ground in an ever more judgmental society (i.e. Sonia Kashuk eye shadow palette, Rembrandt, Wild Bunch & Co Beet Juice).

6.    Precious - Desire to create a personal space full of lavish and indulgent rituals in an ever more uncertain environment (Marie Belle Aztec Hot Chocolate, La Prairie Pure Gold, Estee Lauder Private Collection).

7.    All Together - Universality has become the norm, which calls for a re-definition of exoticism (i.e. Kombucha Wonder Drink, Tabasco Soy Sauce, Hamadi Ginger Soymilk Hair wash).

"Six of these macro trends are a mirror of each other, which reminds us of the contradictions and ambiguities of consumers that innovators constantly need to keep in mind," says Zeitoun. "Conscience, Aesthete and Enough are talking about rationally grounded emotions that keep us within our comfort zone; while Gattaca, Precious and All Together are inviting us to engage in an exploration of emotions that project us beyond this comfort zone. Innovators need to identify where the center of gravity of their current target or industry fits on that continuum, and incorporate the opposite macro trends in their innovation process to shift the paradigm and develop truthfully breakthrough innovations."

Because these trends evolve over time, the team of trend watchers at Dragon Rouge is already analyzing how they are changing. They will annually report on the evolution of these macro trends and release bi-monthly bulletins on product innovations embracing them.

Dragon Rouge, LLC, (http://www.dragonrouge-usa.com) is the largest independent brand and design consultancy with offices in Brussels, Hamburg, London, New York, Paris and Warsaw. The firm believes that sustainable value creation requires an ability to shift the paradigm by applying the mindset of entrepreneurial branding. Its portfolio of services spans the whole brand life cycle: Innovation and Creation (New Product Development, Naming and Positioning), Expression (Packaging Design, Corporate Identity, Messaging and Retail Environment), Implementation (POS materials, print advertising, Brand Tools and Training), and Evolution (Brand Architecture, Portfolio Management, Re-Positioning).

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JUDY KALVIN