Trendspotters say 'intelligent objects' will rule market in 2013
By Jason Cato
Published: Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, 8:43 p.m.
Technology should continue to dominate consumer trends in 2013, though that should surprise few.
“This reflects broader shifts and developments we've been following for the last several years,” said Ann Mack, director of trendspotting for New York ad agency JWT Worldwide, which compiles an annual list of 100 things to watch. “This reflects how integral technology is to our lives, how businesses are responding to technology in our lives and how consumers react to it.”
Among the top trends for the new year identified by JWT are tech-laden accessories called “App-cessories.” Among the examples are Oakley's Airwave ski goggles with GPS and Bluetooth capabilities.
“This is part of a larger trend in intelligent objects,” Mack said.
Other technology trends include techie camps for kids and click-and-collect shopping in which consumers make purchases online but pick up products at a store.
Technology will play an integral role in a trend Duquesne University marketing professor Audrey Guskey calls “screening fans.” Consumers will use apps and websites to get best prices and reviews through their smartphones, tablets and computers.
“Consumers are more savvy because of the information at their fingertips,” she said. “And it absolutely will continue to grow, not just in the numbers of people using it but in the times we use it — not just at the holidays.”
“Consumers are looking for ways to save money,” Guskey said. “And bragging about bargains is now fashionable.”
Customers can cash in as companies continue to reward loyalty and appeal to a targeted audience by providing coupons and discounts for repeat business. Guskey's advice for consumers?
“Don't spread yourself out,” she said. “Pick one or two stores and shop there so you can become a VIP.”
For those who want less technology instead of more, don't fear. This year will feature tech-less trends, as well.
In the JOMO, or the Joy of Missing Out, movement, people will eschew social media, endless news cycles and instant email access for information when they want and need it, Mack said.
To that end, peer-to-peer experiences such as off-the-beaten-path tours led by locals and private cooking lessons with professional chefs featured on Gidsy.com will be popular.
“Any trend with any significant weight and momentum will be with us for a while,” Mack said. “We follow trends that will be with us in 2013 and beyond.”
Jason Cato is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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