by: Rick van der Wal via Business and Games Blog

One of my favorite websites is Trendwatching.com. They list, analyze and explain upcoming trends, hypes and subtrends and present these findings in a very attractive and readable way.

With all the lists of predictions for the metaverse being posted, I wanted to see how they connected to the most important Consumer based trends. I’ll start by listing Trendwatcher.com’s own top 8, then analyze the ones most influential to Virtual Worlds.

  1. Status Spheres: A variety of lifestyles, activities and persuasions, which can be mixed and matched by consumers looking for recognition from various crowds and scenes.
  2. Premiumization: No industry, no sector, no product will escape a premium version in the next 12 months.
  3. Snack Culture: Catering to the consumers’ insatiable craving for instant gratification.
  4. Online Oxygen: Control-craving consumers needing online access as much as they need oxygen.
  5. Eco-Iconic: Eco-friendly goods and services sporting bold, iconic design and markers, that help their eco-conscious owners to visibly tout their eco-credentials to peers.
  6. Brand Butlers: Assist the consumer in smart, relevant ways, making the most of your products and whatever it is your brand stands for.
  7. Make It Yourself: The next frontier will be digitally designing products from scratch, then having them turned into real physical goods as well.
  8. Crowd Mining: When co-creating, co-funding, co-buying, co-designing, co-managing *anything* with ‘crowds’, the emphasis in 2008 will move from just getting the masses in, to mining those crowds for the rough and polished diamonds.

Excerpt from ‘Status Spheres: Online Sphere’

“Where to begin? In an online world or virtual world, social status 2.0 is all about who you connect to and who wants to connect to you, tribal-style. It also encompasses status gained from the number of views for one’s photos on Flickr, to the number of friends on Facebook, to one’s gaming skills and levels (just a snippet: Microsoft’s Halo 3 racked up USD 170 million in sales on its first day of availability, making it the hottest-selling title in video game history. Total sales since September 2007: 4+ million copies) to the good looks of one’s avatar, to finding out about whatever/wherever on anything before anyone else does.”

Excerpt from ‘Online Oxygen: Nethoods’

“One thing to watch is social networks of any kind going local, if not hyperlocal. Neighborhoods. Streets. Buildings. Floors. Like many subtrends, this one isn’t spanking new, in fact, we dubbed this opportunity NETHOODS (”neighborhoods, streets and even apartment buildings will get their own internet and intranet sites: not just to promote the many qualities they have to offer their (prospective) inhabitants, but also to provide communal interaction and localized services”) in 2003, but sometimes timing is everything, and now that networking on a grander scale is in place, connecting locals if not neighbors is just a business opportunity waiting to happen.”

Trendwatching.com predicts a good future for virtual environments. The e-commerce numbers keep rising exponentially, as well as the demand for instant gratification. These factors combine very well in virtual worlds due to the non-timelagged communication. The ‘Status Sphere’ trend is an interesting one, perhaps it will help to bridge the gap between those that still think spending real money (or earning real money) in Virtual Worlds is something extra-ordinary. The make it yourself trend I’ve already discussed as the ‘prosumer’ trend in this article, and its certain Virtual Worlds will facilitate the prosumer in the creation, production and selling their wares.

Source: trendwatching.com

Original Post: http://digado.nl/8-important-consumertrends-for-2008.html

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