Trend Watching 2014: Top 3 Trends To Look Out For

We’ve survived the first half of 2014!  While we were busy getting our summer wardrobe ready, the trend setters worldwide have been working hard to present to us all the novelty we will see this year. And boy, do they have some fun stuff in store for us?!

No matter what market or industry you’re in, if you’re obsessed with catering to evolving consumer needs, desires and expectations, you will prosper through even the most insane global upheavals, whatever their flavor. In 2014, 2015, 2016 and beyond.  Getting excited yet? Here is a handful of consumer trends that are begging to be applied in the next 12 months. By you.  For you.

Guilt-Free Status

Ever feel guilty for unintentionally damaging our planet?  Take a moment to think about your daily consumption and the impact it has on our planet and society.  Let’s face it: some habits we simply cannot change. But this year, you won’t have to with the Guilt-Free ultimate indulgence. The time has finally come to create products and services that deliver a guilt-free status fix by being one of these:

  • Tesla Model S will act as instantly recognizable signals of great sustainability. The Tesla is a luxurious emission-free all electric vehicle that only available at Tesla dealers. This ensures a great buy for you direct from the Tesla makers and getting rid of the middle man in the process.
  • Visibly guilt-free: high status, chic or fashionable products that are visibly sustainable, ethical or healthy will deliver a GUILT-FREE STATUS hit. Get inspired by Nudie’s rugs made from recycled jeans (featured below)
  • Storied. If a product or service isn’t known or visible, it will need a GUILT-FREE story that the owner can tell others (and impress them with).  Example: Liberty United: a jewelry line created from decommissioned guns and bullets. The brand aims to help take firearms off the streets and a portion of the proceeds goes to nonprofits working to reduce gun crime.

Stoked yet?

Tesla Car Future

Tesla S

nudie

Nudie Rugs

Liberty United Firearm Bullet Recycled Jewelry

Liberty United Re-purposed Jewelry

Crowd Shaped

In 2014, more people will be bound to pool their data, their profiles and their preferences, in groups to shape new goods and services.  Social media, eCommerce, endless read/watch/play lists, smartphone GPS services and more, connected consumers will start creating vast profiles and data trails that relate to everything from their music preferences to their daily movements.

2014 is about to see two certainties:

  • The technologies that facilitate the creation and passive sharing of those data streams will become ever more ubiquitous (Google Glass)
  • Consumer expectations are amplified

The connected crowd comes of age, via CROWDSHAPING: new products and services shaped by the aggregated preferences or behavior of (small and big) groups of consumers, as expressed via their data.  Examples are listed below.

  • CheckinDJ is a crowdsourced jukebox that arranges a venue’s music playlist to match the overall taste of its current patrons. Users register online or via an app, and enter their favorite music genres. Once at a participating venue, they use an NFC-enabled device to check-in. The playlist at the venue automatically adjusts to reflect their taste. Individuals can earn influence points by syncing the app with their social networks and by checking in with groups of friends. Let’s get Checked-In!

checkinDJ

  • Kutsuplus: An on-demand minibus service that calculates an optimal route for those on-board

kutsuplus

Mychiatry

This term describes the growing trend of people who use technology to track their health, because trend setters believe the mind is the new body. Take for instance the Emotiv Insight. This sleek and wireless headset measures your brain waves and can tell you how your brain is doing, all from a mobile app. This device can tell you how your brain responds to different stages of focus, energy, stress and relaxation. An innovative brain fitness tool to help you better understand your mind. Astounding! Best of all, this item will soon be available to the public as the project already reached it’s goal with the help of the crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

EMOTIV INSIGHT Trend Watching

Which of these trends are you looking forward to seeing in your near future? For more trends to watch out for, visit trendwatching.com

Enjoy The Sweet Sounds Of Jazz This April

April is Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), dedicated to call the public’s attention to the wonderful sounds of jazz and to embrace it as part of America’s cultural heritage.

april jazz

The move to designate JAM was spearheaded by The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Throughout the years they enlisted the support of multiple government agencies and public organizations, and in 2003 the U.S. Congress and the President of the United States passed legislation supporting their initiative.

The month of April was selected for two reasons: 1. because it is towards the end of the academic year and school jazz ensembles are in the best shape to celebrate with public concerts; and 2. because April is curiously the birth month of several jazz icons like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Tito Puente, and Duke Ellington.

Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington

Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington

One of JAM’s goals is to encourage public venues, educational institutions, and broadcasters to highlight jazz with special programs during the month of April. At an individual level, JAM wants to energize people to listen to jazz, read about it, and support any events available.

You can be part of JAM by attending any jazz concert offered in your neighborhood, or by organizing an event, be it through a school, a church, or a city, if you are in the position to do it.

But really anyone can do a little something to celebrate the month just by paying extra attention to this fabulous music genre. Consider, for example:

  • Listening to a new jazz release.
  • Reading a book about jazz.
  • Searching for a jazz website.
  • Researching the difference between jazz and Latin jazz.
  • Listening to a jazz radio station.
  • Visiting a location important to jazz history.
  • Organizing a jazz listening party at your home.
  • Appreciating jazz related paintings/art.
  • Looking (or writing) a jazz inspired poem.

herbie-hancock

Herbie Hancock said: “It’s not exclusive, but inclusive, which is the whole spirit of jazz.” So join in this month in celebrating the smorgasbord of sweet sounds that jazz is! In due spirit!