If you’re in the retail business, I’d highly recommend checking out TrendWatching.com‘s consumer trends reports. In addition to being easy to read (compared to wonky economic reports), they’re usually out front instead of behind trends. (They coined the term, “pop-up retail,” back in 2004.) The recently released 2012 list contains trends that could be helpful for Hawaii businesses, including:
- Red Carpet: The arrival of more Chinese visitors has been talked about for years, and numbers are increasing. Will local companies put their APEC experience into practice?
- Dealer-Chic: Everyone’s always looking for a deal, and with online reviews and discounted group buying discounts nearly ubiquitous, what’s next?
- Cash-Less: I’ve already seen Square, the credit-card swiping iPhone app, at use by local farmers market vendors. Will we be seeing NFC (Near Field Communication) technology soon?
- Idle Sourcing: Some local companies have leveraged crowdfunding sites to start up their business, but what if someone creates an app where everyone can contribute information, like the location of potholes or places to get manapua? Certainly local government can use the help, but what else can be crowdsourced?
- Flawsome: All companies have flaws, but they can still be awesome. Do local companies address their bad reviews as much as they embrace their good reviews? This trend reminds me of town restaurant’s old ad that ran in Honolulu Magazine, quoting its dining columnist’s review, “I hated it.” (Disclosure: Honolulu Magazine is a sister publication of Hawaii Business.)
What do you think are the next big trends in local business?
Source: www.trendwatching.com. One of the world’s leading trend firms, trendwatching.com sends out its free, monthly Trend Briefings to more than 160,000 subscribers worldwide in 9 languages.