Monday, November 28, 2005

Less is More?

The Zandl Group!
They advertise "If you want to see the world through the eyes of young people, you've come to the right site." Home Accents Today writes Zandl Group outlines 2006 trends in which theyt say
Wine bars are starting to replace martini lounges, as young adults become more wine savvy. Stodgy and elitist is being replaced by contemporary and modern.

Retro kitsch is growing because it's fun and communal and is a direct response to the uniformity and mass-sameness of the dominant culture. This trend will play out in girls roller derby, drive-in movies, spelling bee bar events and mid-century modern design at the high (Jonathan Adler) and low end (Thomas O'Brian at Target).

Southern influences are on the way as more people have moved to the South, raising the region's profile and influence. Population has grown by 25% in the last 15 years and the South now represents 36% of the total US population. While known for its conservatism, it also is starting to have a great influence on hipster-cool, e.g. growing popularity of country music from classics like Johnny Cash to contemporary, e.g. Keith Urban, western-inspired attire (shirts, belt buckles, boots), taxidermy, (e.g. Freeman's restaurant NYC) and growth of Jack Daniels whiskey.

Small is big with micro-segmentation, niche brands and personal authenticity topics of conversation on the business front. This development is fueled by the Internet, which has allowed consumers to veer off the mainstream path of "bigness." The concept of sustainability also comes into play as Americans face a future of limited resources for many people today, big equals greedy, crude and in bad taste. McMansions and SUVs have peaked while smaller homes/apartments and smaller cars are gaining cachet. And, it's not just about gas-guzzling it's a new mindset.

Other examples of small being preferable to big include restaurants with small plate menus, artisanal/small batch cheeses, chocolates and beer, cable vs. network, indie movies vs. blockbusters, iPod DJing vs. LP collections, flying jet blue vs. one of the big (often bankrupt) national carriers.

Buzz marketing goes on the defensive. As the legality of this kind of marketing gets called into question, companies may find instead of helping them to get a positive message out, manufactured buzz only pollutes and detracts from their brand image.

Consumers will become even more demanding. The Internet conditioning of consumers has led to a 24/7 orientation for entertainment, media, shopping and services. As cities become fully wi-fi and as video iPods become commonplace, consumers will increasingly expect what they want, when they want, where they want it.

After watching 60 Minutes last night about McMansions of 12,000 square feet for 3.6 people, they tide may be moving to smaller more efficiaent if Zandl Group is right.

Bev & Mike

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