I always get excited when I read the Trendwatching.com annual trends report, and this year is no exception. Technology is driving many of these trends and because of this, a “re-positioning” of sorts continues to be forced upon businesses big and small. If you don’t keep up, you may not necessarily expire, but you will lose ground. Here are some points you’ll need to consider:
7. Idle Sourcing – Crowd-based problem solving will continue to shake up business processes and force innovation, but idle-sourcing is making it even less-difficult for consumers to contribute. With this trend, the consumer voluntarily signs up to allow Company A to capture automated real time data through their smartphone, within Company A’s specific areas of need. One example is Company A detecting street bumps and pot holes through smartphone sensors. Not sure where spas fit into this one, unless we have treatment beds that detect back or neck discomfort, or heating blankets that beep when they cause hot flashes beyond what might be normally acceptable in a woman my age!!
8. Flawsome – Brands that behave more humanly, including showing their flaws, will be awesome! Profit and personality can be compatible! Spas haven’t always been great at flaunting their Flawsome; in fact some would say over-promising with minimal flexibility in response to disappointment has made us non-flawsome; anti-flawsome; no-can-do-flawsome...you get my drift. So this trend is timely for spas I think. Working with the ever present risk of disappointment, it’s just good judgment to show generosity and humility when faced with our flaws.
9. Screen Culture – Our lives are literally unfolding on interactive screens. Screen fatigue? No way. This trend ranges from watching sports events on a screen attached to your shopping cart; to touch-activated windows that allow customers to browse retailer’s catalogs and hear about products through “whispering windows” acting as speakers. This causes me to have a vision of what I’ll call “spa-osks”. Kiosks with touch screens throughout malls, hotels, airports and lounges, where consumers can make any purchase, from any spa, for anyone, at any time. They can waive their smart phone at the electronic reader to make the purchase, leave an online video wish for the recipient, and go about their business. Far fetched? I don’t think so.
10. Recommerce – “Trade in to trade up” and unlock the value of past purchases – it’s the new buying. For example, Levi’s in Singapore offered customers a bounce back coupon, discount and vouchers when a customer brought in their old jeans and bought a new pair. And then there’s The Common Threads Initiative, where Patagonia, eBay and you make buying and selling clothing more sustainable. This is one that we can definitely apply to spas; look back to #3 “Dealer-Chic”. Maybe your spa clients can bring in their used jars of skin and body care products, and receive a percentage of that total investment amount, to purchase new products; OR redeem their total investment amount in services rendered for the last six months, as a percentage, to give as a gift voucher to a friend or family member.
11. Emerging Maturialism – Consumers are increasingly appreciating brands that push the boundaries with daring innovations and risqué experiences. For all of our cultural differences, the global consumer is remarkably alike in their needs and wants. With 100s of clients in 52 countries around the world, Spas2b has recognized and marvelled at this fact for years. We all know that sex sells, but that’s totally taboo in the spa world. But what may not be taboo is well-placed sexy humor. What if your couples massage service came with a spoof sex toy? Now that would get you “talked about”...and Facebook says that’s a good thing!
12. Point to Know – Bringing the consumer information instantly, about objects and people that they encounter. Like Google Goggles free image recognition app, which allows users to search for more information based on photos taken of barcodes or objects. And then there is Shazam which is a music recognition software that allows you to identify the song you hear. How many times have I been in a store and asked what the great song is that’s playing, and the clerk says, “I don’t know, it’s pre-recorded by our head office”.??? I need to get me one of those Shazam things. But can’t you see a spa-goer eventually being able to “point to know” the price and information on Spa skin care items, and wouldn’t that be a splendid selling tool for spas and of great value to the client? I think yes...and I don’t see this being too far off either.
So, I’m very pumped after researching these trends, and I hope you are too. Even if you apply just ONE of them to your business, remember what I always say “Focus, and never deviate from it”. Go on, just do it! I’ve already picked mine.