January is the month for trend forecasts and I always try to keep my finger on the pulse as to what is indicated for the new year – whether it is in technology, design, wine…
One forecast gives much food for though. Trendwatching.com (it is pretty much in the name…) shares five trends that covers the economy, politics, society, sustainability and technology. Do read the article – it is one of the best trend forecasts I have seen – it gives examples and concludes with a bigger picture to help us understand meeting trends through innovation.
Regardless of your field of interest, you should find something in each of these five trends to guide you when it comes to being innovative with your products and services and savvy when it comes to customer expectations.
Of the five, one that I found particularly interesting is: Virtual Experience Economy.
We have talked about how experience has become more important than product. In the wine industry, wine experts and guides and ratings used to indicate the quality of the product. Today, with the focus on experience, wine estates have been developing tourism offerings and everyone, without being an expert on the product, can now enjoy and share their experience.
I look forward to seeing how these experiences will practically play out in a virtual environment, but if technology allows, it will mean that the ability component (affordability, accessibility, capability) is taken out of the experience. Suddenly anyone has access to the experience.
Trendwatching.com explains it as such:
“Well, status has always been defined by scarcity and abundance. In a consumer world of material abundance, the experiences people chose formed an increasingly important part of their identities. While limited and hard-to-access physical experiences carried even more elevated currency.
Next the VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE ECONOMY will shatter much of this logic: in a truly infinite and boundless virtual world the usual physical limitations of cost, accessibility and personal capability no longer apply to experiences, making consumers’ time the only scarcity.
As a result, the experiences an individual chooses will make an even stronger statement about ‘who they are’ as an individual than in the physical Experience Economy of the past decades. And that’s a status offer few consumers will refuse to embrace.”
Although one still needs to get your head around how this will work, it brings a whole new perspective to tourism as well as website design!
“Of course, this is a tech-fuelled trend. But success in the VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE ECONOMY will still require tapping into deep human behaviors… So ask yourself: how can you create virtual experiences that consumers will value – and want to share – more than they do their experiences in the real world?”
Alibaba’s Singles Day experience leads the way – see below.
Featured image source: Brandchannel.com