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Trends to watch in 2011


Our friends at trendwatching.com track, watch and anticipate trends that will affect us as consumers, as business leaders and owners, and certainly as marketing professionals.

They just released their top 11 consumer trends for 2011. I’ve pulled out a couple that we all need to be very conscious of as we plan our marketing efforts for next year.

After outlining the trend, I’ve added a few questions for you to think about as you map out next year’s strategy.

Trend No. 1: Random acts of kindness. Consumers’ hunger for realness, for the human touch, for something to celebrate in the face of the tough economy and to make them feel special brings this trend to the top of my list.

Examples of how this trend might be brought to life could range from a restaurant randomly picking up a patron’s dinner tab to a retailer sending a surprise thank-you gift or a B2B company upgrading someone to overnight shipping.

Question re Trend No. 1: This is about surprising your customers and prospects. How could you plan for and build in (it doesn’t happen accidentally) a little bit of delight?

Remember, your goal is twofold. Not only do you want to make your customer or prospect feel wonderful, but you also want your efforts to be worthy of some word-of-mouth promotion. So it has to be “storytelling worthy.”

What could you do in a seemingly random fashion, like Southwest Airlines’ enthusiastic flight attendants, that would generate some buzz and make your customers feel special and appreciated?

Next week, we’ll look at another trend that needs to be on your radar for 2011.

Drew McLellan is Top Dog at McLellan Marketing Group and blogs at www.drewsmarketingminute.com. He can be reached at Drew@MclellanMarketing.com. © 2010 Drew McLellan

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