"After Lyco Works asked just a few incisive technical questions, it became clear that we needed to rethink where the technology could be utilized.”

—Pete Canalichio
CEO at Brand Licensing Expert

Global Consumer and Business Trends

November 23rd, 2012

Notes from the 2012 Toronto Trendwatching meeting, Toronto ON, September 2012

Take-homes for Lyco Works’ Clients:

  • Advertising strategies should continue to evolve as both consumer status symbols and their purchase intent drivers continue to evolve.
  • Several new products and services reflect a consumer unmet need for timely, relevant information.
  • It is more essential than ever to ensure that brand promises are kept;- don’t oversell your product.

Henry Mason, Head of Research and Managing Partner of Trendwatching took us through an intense and colorful presentation of emerging and existing trends from around the world.  Henry provided insights on consumer and business trends, as well as how to apply the knowledge to build value for our businesses.  Jody Turner, president of Culture of Future ( then gave us a smashing talk on consumer generational demographics.  Jody discussed global brands that resonate positively to all generations – and what positive attributes they represented to each generation.  Jody presented cross-generational charting, new brand approaches for businesses, and case studies such as Starbucks, and Apple.

Henry explained that Trendwatching analysts synthesized global data from over 2,000 “Spotters” in over 100 countries to come up with four consumer MegaTrends, each containing multiple sub-trends.  Trendwatching named the MegaTrends “Statusphere”, “Infolust”, “Newism”, and  “D: Discover & Decide”.

Trendwatching focuses on current trends that are observed at or just prior to the presentation.  I wondered about the future trajectories that the trends put us on, and what could be done to effectively maximize the value of the learnings.  I came up with three take home action points:

  1. Advertising strategies should continue to evolve as both consumer status symbols and their purchase intent drivers continue to evolve.
  2. Several new products and services reflect a consumer unmet need for timely, relevant information.
  3. It is more essential than ever to ensure that brand promises are kept;- don’t oversell your product.

It was a good day, with networking in the evening.  There was so much information and wonderful learnings – however, I’d like to highlight a few of the trends and the supporting information selected from the presentations.  Please get in touch if you would like to know more about these.




Supporting evidence



Bringing online features into the everyday, offline world

“2011 – Mobile data traffic 8X size of the World Wide Web in 2000”. (Cisco 2012)


Real-Time Relevance

Real time is the only time

“May 2011 -Feb 2012: real-time GPS info on smartphones rose from 55% to 74%” (Pew 2012)

Boondoggle Weather dependent wake up calls

SK Telecom’s cart screens give real-time data.

Infolust DIY Health Apps and services to monitor own health

“2010 3MM health apps.  2012 13MM”.UK NHS health appsSano patch moniters blood chemistry

AgaMatrix iBGStar diabetes app

D: Discover & Decide


Product or Service discovery now happens by default

“There are over 3.2 billion likes and comments every day, or 37,000 every second.” (FaceBook, 2012)

“74% of online shoppers discover new products through reviews and recommendations on websites and social media sites”. (Barclays 2012)

D: Discover & Decide


Consumers look to new, trusted sources to help them decide on purchases

“92% of global consumers trust earned media (word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family), above all other forms of advertising—18% increase from 2007.”

“Online consumer reviews the 2nd most trusted advertising form at 70% –  15% in 4 years.”

 “47% of global consumers trust paid media (television, magazine and newspaper ads) – 20% drop from 2009.”  (Nielsen 2012)

D: Discover & Decide


Chinese, Indian & Brazilian consumers are already emerged markets

D: Discover & Decide

Emerged: Exception-all

New brands, entrepreneurs and innovations with global potential offer superior products and services, competing and even beating established brands.

Huawei: Ascend D Quad – world’s fastest smartphone; WeChat – over 100m users; Peak Games (Turkey)- 3rd largest social gaming at 30m monthly users; Chinese brand Bosideng opens flagship store in London; Peak sports brand and NBA sponsor opens sotre in LA; Natura – over 800,000 resellers in Latin America, Mexico & France; Herborist – from China to France;

D: Discover & Decide

Emerged: Red Carpet

Businesses around the world are catering to, if not rolling out exclusive services for Chinese visitors and tourists.

“Chinese tourists made 70M trips overseas in 2011, over 20% increase from 2010. Chinese tourists spend USD 72 billion, behind only Germany (USD 84 billion) and the US (USD 79 billion).”   (China Tourist Academy 2012)

“Chinese account for 20% of tax-free sales to international shoppers globally, up 59% in the year to March 2012.” (Global Blue, 2012)

Christie’s Chinese translation of En Primeur wine list; Hilton & Vivienne Tam’s Limited edition slippers by Hilton Huanying; Schiphol Airport’s Chinese translation app

D: Discover & Decide

Emerged: Made for BRIC

The increase in global brands will launch new products or brands for consumers in emerging markets.

Aston Martin’s 88 Limited Edition cars for theYear of the Dragon; Nike Year of the Dragon T-shirts & sneakers; Lucas Bols Yoghurt-based liqueur for Chinese markets; Hermès limited edition saris only available in Mumbai; Diageo Masala Marke vodka by Smirnoff.

D: Discover & Decide


With constant  choice and novelties, urban consumers are more focused on experiences, more sophisticated, more demanding and more mature.

“Growing cities could inject up to USD 30 trillion a year into the world economy by 2025.”(McKinsey 2012)

 “By 2030, China will have 221 cities with more than 1million people, India will have 68. In 2010, Europe had 35.”  (Foreign Policy, 2010)

D: Discover & Decide

Fuzzy-nomics – Sellsumers

Consumers can create and sell their own products

“31% of UK Internet users sold goods or services online in 2011, up from 21% in 2010.” (Office of National Statistics, 2012)

“2 million merchant mobile accounts in credit card payments.” (Square 2012)

D: Discover & Decide

Human Brands – Flawsome

Consumers embrace brilliant brands with flaws who are honest about their shortcomings. This shows confidence the product and respect for the consumer.

“68% of consumers trust reviews with both good and bad scores. 30% suspect censorship or faked reviews if there aren’t any negative comments or reviews.” (reevoo.com2012)

Live streaming feedback in Time Square, good and bad; McDonald’s Canada showing why burgers don’t look like the photos; Natura – open about socio-environmental progress in annual report;



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