Mintel 2011 consumer trends

Mintel released its 2011 global consumer trends this week. Did you hear? If not, oh boy, get yourself a copy before doing anything else. Before passing Go, collecting $200, etc. etc:

The trend predictions for this year are truly thought-provoking (and yes, I’m biased). Mintel’s leading consumer behavior experts took a long, hard look at people around the world and examined their current and past behavior, what’s weighing most heavily on them now and how they’re likely to react/act in 2011.

What I’d really like to talk about though, is myself. To which you probably ask: why? Are you, Joanna Gueller, really that important?

Probably not (but don’t say it to my face). Still, thinking about Mintel’s trend predictions has got me thinking about myself–a legitimate American consumer–and how the trends relate to my life. How they’re bound to come true for me, my family, my friends and my coworkers next year.

Trend: Prepare for the Worst – Yep, been there, done that. I’m a natural tightwad, but the recession has sent me even further off the deep end. I realize I’m more neurotic and fiscally cautious than the average American, but our family is saving more than ever. We’re finding cheap, simple ways to have fun and enjoying our new consumerist-light selves.

Trend: On her Own Terms – At the risk of painting myself as a controlling, demanding She-Who-Wears-The-Pants, I have to say this trend rings true for me. Between my husband and I, chores are split equally, salaries are near equal, financial decisions (and even AUTO decisions) are made by me, and frankly, if anyone has to stop working because of our upcoming baby, it ain’t gonna be me. Please give a shout out to my fantastic, accommodating and loving husband! Ours is definitely not a 1950s household.

Trend: Garden State – In our top floor, less than 1,000 square foot condo three miles west of Chicago, we don’t have access to much greenery. For two Wisconsin natives, this isn’t ideal. We’ve got a deck full of plant “experiments” (what can I say, not a natural green thumb). More impressively, at least half our neighbors have the same thing going on

So what about you? Where do you see yourself in these trends and more importantly, where do you see your target consumers? If your brand isn’t catering to people’s changing attitudes, fears and behaviors, then your brand isn’t competing in today’s world. Period.

Take a deep look at these consumer trend predictions and then at your target market. Where do they cross? Where do they conflict? Understanding how your shoppers will behave tomorrow helps you stay one step ahead, making them feel like you’ve answered questions they didn’t know they had.

Of course, this is much easier said than done. But Mintel can help! Check out our upcoming webinar on the trends or give us a call if you’d like to discuss the predictions in-depth. We can help you apply them to your business and brainstorm new and better ways to reach your customers.

In the meantime though, just have some fun with our trends. Read them with your family over dinner and laugh about how true they are for you. Give a copy to the neighbors. I think you’ll find a great deal you can enjoy (before you have to go back to work and be serious, of course).