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Tapping Into Consumer Trends

By: Melinda Taschetta-Millane
Posted: January 28, 2011, from the February 2011 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

As a spa professional, you know the importance of keeping your finger on the pulse of consumer trends, and how to adapt these trends to the spa environment.

Each year, trendwatching.com releases its list of top emerging trends throughout the globe relating to consumer leanings, insights and hands-on business ideas. These trends are business-focused, and have definite applications that can be put into action both with your clients and with your own spa team.

  1. Random acts of kindness.In 2011, expect companies to monitor consumers’ public moods and act upon them with random acts of kindness. Get creative and make someone’s day!
  2. Urbanomics.Are brands ready for hundreds of millions of more daring, more experienced, urban consumers? Is your brand ready?
  3. Pricing pandemonium. Flash sales, group buying; in 2011, pricing will never be the same. What can your market bear, and is your pricing structure in line with that?
  4. Made for China. In 2011, expect an increasing number of Western brands to launch new products or even new brands dedicated to consumers in emerging markets. The spa industry is already seeing a trend toward the upswing of medical tourism and destination spa resorts.
  5. Online status symbols. Brands can’t go wrong supplying their customers with any kind of symbol—virtual or real-world—that helps them display to peers their online contributions, creations or popularity. Be sure your spa has a strong Web presence—it’s where the future is headed.
  6. Wellthy. Growing numbers of consumers will expect health products and services in 2011 to improve their quality of life, rather than merely treating illnesses and ailments. What role can the spa play in this?
  7. Social-lites. Watch as consumers become curators: broadcasting, compiling, commenting, sharing and recommending content, products, purchases and experiences to both their friends and wider audiences. Think Yelp.
  8. Emerging generosity. In 2011, brands from emerging markets will increasingly be expected to give and care versus just sell and take. Spas nationwide are exercising “giving back.” Today, less is more.
  9. Planned spontaneity. For connected, real time-loving urban consumers who have little experience in making (or sticking to) rigid plans, 2011 will see full-on planned spontaneity. Maybe a special discount for loyal clients is in your spa’s future next month.
  10. Eco-superior. When it comes to green consumption in 2011, expect a rise in products that are not only eco-friendly, but also superior to polluting incumbents in every possible way. What new ways will you find to move more toward the green spectrum?
  11. Owner-less. 2011 could be the year when sharing and renting really tips into mainstream consumer consciousness as big brands put their weight behind this cultural shift. Maybe leasing space is the direction to take instead of purchasing that larger facility.

How can, and will, these trends affect your business in 2011? Thinking conceptually and out of the box is what the future of business is demanding. There is a light at the end of that tunnel, and moving forward with an open mind and fresh ideas will guide you through to success.