Dragon Rouge Unveils Seven Macro-Societal Trends for 2012

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These seven trends will shape product and service brand innovation.

Brands that innovate through the lens of these macro trends can stay ahead of their consumers' evolving mindsets.

Dragon Rouge, the international brand consultancy, has released its seven macro-societal trends that will shape product and service brand innovation in 2012.

“With the emergence of strong new economies like China, Brazil and India, new attention focused on our fragile environment, and a growing celebrity culture where people are famous just for being famous, trends can reveal how and why consumers respond to brands,” says Eric Zeitoun, president, Dragon Rouge.

Dragon Rouge monitors macro trends over micro trends because they give a better indication of the long-term impact that political, economic and socio-cultural events can have over consumers’ attitudes and behaviors.

“Brands that innovate through the lens of these macro trends can stay ahead of their consumers’ evolving mindsets and create today’s innovative products that will be relevant tomorrow,” says Zeitoun.

Here are the Seven Macro Trends for 2012:

1.    Background: With the recent collapse of the economy, as well as many institutions, consumers are idealizing and grounding themselves in the past. Marketers can celebrate a sense of timelessness and integrate historical elements into their brands with typography that incorporates retro cues as well as classic and elegant imagery.
2.    Once Upon a Time: A reaction to the current crises, legends are now popular as consumers seek comfort in history or choose to escape into a world of fantasy. Brands can enhance storytelling with dreamy and romantic patterns. A resurgence of romanticism will be injected into brands by using imagery of flowers, animals and pastel colors.
3.    Simply Free: Tired of the excesses that drove our society into financial collapse, consumers are looking to simplify their lives. Stripped down communication will be evident in uncluttered packaging and graphic themes such as numbers and simple, clear benefits to make it easy for shoppers to choose a brand.
4.    Success: The democratization of luxury has made consumer market values meaningless. Brands will need to carefully manage the paradox between ostentatiousness and the timeless vision of luxury brands.
5.    Reconciliation: Shattered economies have created the need to mend the fabric of our own society and reconnect with meaningful values. Green consciousness inspires consumers to live in harmony with themselves and their environment. There is greater recognition that rebuilding the world starts at home. Brands that define their mission with a global vision and are built to last will get consumers to notice.
6.    I Am Virtual: Digital technology and other virtual tools have helped us create new types of relationships with others and the ability to share everything with them, but it has also led to a backlash as consumers feel isolated in their virtual world. Brands that can build their image through the use of virtual tools and provide experiences beyond the day-to-day will thrive.
7.    Imagine: There exists a tension between being grounded in values and the pull toward instant gratification and escape. Brands that cultivate and celebrate these differences and dare consumers to imagine and create something unique will find new audiences.

The ability to put these trends into perspective and action depends on what marketers are trying to do with their brands. “You need to decide which ones your brand will be leveraging and then build a game plan around them,” says Marcus Hewitt, Chief Creative Officer, Dragon Rouge.

To identify trends, an internal group of trend watchers across Dragon Rouge’s worldwide offices identifies early signs of macro-societal shifts by investigating key changes in early-adopting industries such as fashion, cosmetics, entertainment and design at large. These industries are usually first to mirror changes in society because of their relatively short life cycles.

Dragon Rouge (http://www.dragonrouge-usa.com) is an international brand consultancy founded in 1984 whose mission is to fuel brand values through strategy, innovation, design and communication. Our integrated network comprises a team of 350 professionals across seven locations.

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