Here in San Diego at The Market Research Event there are five (5) symposia today and one is on “Culture & Trends.”
I’m particularly looking forward to Saatchi & Saatchi’s presentation on the evolution of wellness and Coca-Cola’s presentation on “how macroforces are reshaping relationships, roles and the very idea of ‘consumer.’”
With all this thinking about macro-trends one excellent source for futurecasting is the Institute for the Future, based here in California (Palo Alto). the Institute recently published their futures map (2010 map of the decade). I highly recommend taking a look at it here. The map charts four alternative futures – (1) One step ahead of disaster, (2) Sustainability, (3) collapse, (4) transformation. It analyzses these four scenarios across several dimensions. The most interesting to me is the “water ecology” dimension.
Water is the next oil. Some of the more interesting water-driven outcomes in these futures are “water footprinting” and other conservation efforts. If the Institute is right, then beverage marketers, hydrated CPG companies, appliance manufacturers, lawn and garden companies, detergent companies and many others will be impacted. The convergence of many trends here (scarcity + ecological sensitivity among GenY + the LOHAS psychographic) could drive some significant change in how marketers and marketing researchers think about products with water in them.
It’s good to see more emphasis at TMRE on culture and trends. I suspect this emphasis will grow as MR becomes even more forward leaning and futures oriented.