The change in the consumer trends has a great impact on the social and economic sectors of a society (Higham, 2009). It affects the profit, operations, products and other systems of businesses and industries. Modification of consumer’s attitude upon the products and brands adjusts the worldwide trends of commerce as well. Nevertheless, a change of consumers’ preferences has both advantages and disadvantages, which affect firms as well as every single person (McLoughlin & Aaker, 2010). The following information presents a discussion of some trends for the year 2012 and their advantages or disadvantages.
Trendwatching.com released an issue article listing 12 crucial consumer trends of 2012. One of them is the “Screen Culture”. The subtext written there says, “In 2012, ‘life’ will take place via ever more pervasive, personal, immersive and interactive screens”. The trend shows that consumer’s attitude and behavior towards products are now more inclined to what is often called “realistic images and movements”. Even the video posted under this section shows the difference between a child, using the iPad, and a child, looking at the pictures in a magazine. Although, nowadays many game players, including young people and adults, enjoy this trend, it is applied not only in video games but in work as well. Offices are now using the benefits of wide screens, presenting reports, statistics, plans and goals. People also enjoy the ease in using these high-tech gadgets; the most convenient feature, like “touch screen”, gives an ability to easily move images or words on the screen. The fact is that people today prefer products that are presented to be realistic to those that are unmoving; people are looking for entertainment not only in movies and games but in simple things as well. Thus, information technology is an important factor for retailers for gaining sizeable benefits (Humby, Hunt, & Phillips, 2008). Nevertheless, a wide applying of this trend also has some considerable disadvantages. The problem is that many children today are spending most of their daily time in front of a screen. Leading inactive life may influence negatively on the children’s health. Another example concerns gamers; a lot a people playing video games are satisfied with the picture on the screen and do not realize that actual playing football or basketball would really improve their health condition compared to virtual playing. In some sense, “Screen Culture” promotes ‘realistic’ things, but sometimes the attitude towards them is not adequate.
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Another trend that people look forward is the “Flawsome”. The trend suggests that 2012 consumers are more inclined with brands that behave more humanly and show off their flaws and imperfections. A lot of people are not satisfied with today’s advertisements on TVs and billboards, because most of them often overemphasize their products and brands. In commercials on shampoos, for example, models demonstrate a ‘perfect’ hair, shining brightly and waving in the air; however, everybody knows that such an effect is almost impossible to get at home, just using a shampoo. The main aim of the “Flawsome” trend is to make people acquainted with brands, products, and other industries and show that each of them is true, having its positive sides as well as flaws. The article also states that each brand has to become closer to its consumers and to be always ready to change and modernize.
Consumer trends are additional forces that contribute much in the retail industry (Humby, Hunt, & Phillips, 2008). However, consumers are different and unpredictable as well as their preferences; today they are fond of wide screens, tomorrow they can get bored. Thus, producers and sellers should have their own diverse and specific strategies that will attract more consumers and try to satisfy their tastes.
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