Monday, March 23, 2009

The Future is Green

According to Trendwatching.com's recent Trend Briefing, despite the recession the future has never looked Greener. Trendwatching.com is an independent and opinionated trend firm that scans the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas. They rely on a network of 8,000+ spotters in more than 100 countries worldwide. Their trend findings help marketers, CEOs, researchers, and anyone else interested in the future of business and consumerism.

According to the March edition of the Trend Briefing, although "financial woes may hold back some green initiatives, the future has never looked greener. Mainly because creating a more sustainable economy is not an option, but a necessity. And we all know that necessity is the mother of invention. Which is why this month, amidst crumbling banks, G20 meetings and stimulus plans, we highlight 12 eco sub-trends that any marketer or entrepreneur can act on today.

No, there won't be eco-fatigue in 2009, mainly because it's hard to ignore the mind-boggling fortunes (and accompanying power shifts and reductions in pollution) that are in store for those who figure out how to get the world off its addiction to polluting power sources and wasteful consumption.

So while banks are crumbling and multinationals are laying off people faster than you can say ‘downturn', every key player—from the Obama administration (find a short overview of its ambitious eco-goals here) to the Chinese government—plans to dominate the post-recession economy by going sustainable, including a heavy dose of rules and regulations. But it’s not all macro-economic-geo-political-powerplay. Recession or not, consumers will continue to demand responsible behavior from brands. Just one statistic: “Four out of five people say they are still buying green products and services today--which sometimes cost more--even in the midst of a US recession.” (source: Reuters).

Rest assured that the quest for an ECO-BOUNTY will continue at full force: ECO-BOUNTY refers to the numerous opportunities, both short and long term, for brands that participate in the epic quest for a sustainable society. Some of these opportunities exist despite the current recession, others are fueled by it, not in the least because of new rules and regulations. Downturn-obsessed brands who lose their eco-focus will find themselves left out in the cold when the global economy starts recovering.

So it's no wonder that we’ll continue to see a stream of eco sub-trends. Like the dozen or so relatively fresh ones you’ll find in this briefing, which are begging to be sustainably and profitably applied by smart entrepreneurs and marketers. Some of them are focused on the long-term (since when is a recession an excuse to not look beyond tomorrow...?), while others will help you come up with quick-fix, low-cost green innovations fit for recession-ridden times.**"

ECO-FRUGAL
ECO-STATUS
ECO-ICONIC
ECO-STORIES
ECO-INTEL
ECO-METERING
ECO-MAPMANIA
ECONCIERGES
ECO-TIPS
ECO-MATCHING
ECO-NAKED
ECO-STURDY
ECO-FEEDERS
ECO-GENEROSITY
ECO-PERKS
ECO-FREE
ECO-REWARDS
ECO-BOOSTERS
ECO-SUPERIOR
ECO-EMBEDDED
ECO-EDU
ECO-TRANSIENT
ECO-VERTISING
ECO-EXPECTATIONS

** Now, let there be no doubt that because of the downturn (and lower oil prices), we will of course see many green startups go bust in the next 6 months—especially those with high upfront investments and zero short-term revenues . And yes, some cash-strapped consumers will (temporarily) shun premium-priced green products and services.

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