Consumer Insights 2018
HOMEHIGHLIGHT ▸ Consumer Insights 2018
2018.02.27

The consumer mindset is under the microscope as companies, brands and designers try to encapsulate the moods, wants and needs of their target audience with innovative yet profitable, and ultimately iconic, products of the future.

 

The Millennial’s love of technology is a key influencer, but a consumer-driven shift is seeing functionality, efficiency and sustainability fast becoming essential elements that help marry the digital and the physical worlds. In a high-tech culture, a renewed emphasis on personal experience and values mean that design must also connect with consumers on an emotional level.

 

Today, we invite Trendstop’s team of experts to bring us the latest consumer insights that will be inspiring sectors from fashion, food, art and technology to interiors and beauty, into 2018 and beyond. Be inspired by four of the latest consumer mindset concepts that will be essential in informing your next collection. 

Emotive

The world’s increasing dependence on technology has created a new kind of consumer, interested in an immersive experience and looking to be more at one with nature by exploring and collecting new experiences. Emotional connectivity and sensory stimulation are key to a new generation of products. Caesarstone and British designer Tom Dixon have collaborated to create four kitchens inspired by the elements. Each one has been designed using specific colours and materials to complement fire, earth, ice, or air to deliver a unique sensual experience of tastes, smells, and visuals in each room. Designer Julie Helles Erikson’s _Abstract project in collaboration with Bjorn Karmann and Kristine Boesen, experiments with a more sustainable and conscious way of producing materials and garments whilst creating an intimate and personalised experience where consumers are involved in the generation of patterns. Consumers own personal stories along with webcam analyses their facial expressions are used to influence the coloration of a unique, personalised piece that will be kept for longer.

Trend takeaway: Consumer desire for immersive experiences creates a personal connection to products that fosters longevity and sustainability.

Phygital

Technology has become a part of everyday life, and is now taking the next step as the boundaries between the physical and digital world begin to blur. Consumers are looking for an immersive experience which makes their life easier through the use of personal data, online presence and social media. This concept is now being used in many different sectors to benefit both companies and consumers with millennials, in particular, happy to share their real- time location with brands they like in exchange for nearby offers. Bringing meaning to data collection and usage is the next big challenge. Kailu Guan is an up-and-coming fashion designer who combines fashion design, material/textile innovations and wearable technology. Her latest collection ‘KG Project’ is a breakthrough in terms of realising the unprecedented possibilities for storytelling and fashion experience, brought to life through an accompanying app that created an augmented layer using sound, animation and movements triggered by the physical collection. The importance of tech to consumers is highlighted by the development of practical, performance garments with an ecological ethos. Junya Watanabe’s solar-powered trench coat is a prime example, incorporating solar panels and a hidden power pack that can charge a smart phone on-the-go.

Trend takeaway: The adoption of wearable tech by high-fashion designers and established brands illustrates how interest in this sector is increasing.

Vitorino Campos Spring SPFW41
Season-less

The fashion industry’s “see now, buy now” experiment is underway. Fashion has become a global affair where luxury goods can fulfil the needs of different customers all over the world regardless of hemispheres and seasons, this is driven by consumers wanting to purchase the perfect season-less product that will last. Sao Paulo are the first Fashion Week to make the move to season-less presentations because of high production costs and inefficient infrastructure associated with selling products that only have a six-month shelf life. Instead of naming collections spring/summer or fall/winter, each edition will be numbered. Following their own timetable, London-based brand PER/Se only release 1 item every 2 months to create “less but better” garments. They believe “less” is optimal and substance is paramount, with functional clothing featuring secret pockets, smartphone slots and earphone loops for a “hands free existence”. PER/Se's manifesto also echoes concerns raised by furniture giant Ikea's head of sustainability, that the western world has reached "peak stuff". A further indication that the consumer mindset is switching focus from fast fashion to forever fashion is the evolution of seasonal colour palettes. Moving away from stereotypical colours such as pale, icy pastels for Fall and deeper, darker, denser tones for summer, freeing the consumer from the rigidity of the fashion calendar and promoting garment longevity.

Trend takeaway: Season-less dressing brings efficiency and sustainability benefits to both company and consumer.

Elevated Essentials

The constant influx of new technologies to the market, can be confusing for the consumer as primary product functions and usability become more difficult to discern. Companies must re-evaluate their products to ensure emphasis is placed on convenience and functionality while elevating everyday essentials for a 21st century consumer. Maximum functionality in the ‘essential item’ is key for this generation, an idea encapsulated in the Baubax LLC Jacket. With features like a 2 second inflation neck pillow, eye mask and blanket pocket for the dedicated traveller or early morning commuter. Zippers extends to become a 4-inch pen with a soft tip stylus, integrating the consumers love of technology into their apparel. Entrepreneur Kevin O’Donnell is also revolutionising travel with the innovative ModoBag. Combining the easy transportation of a scooter with a compact suitcase silhouette, a USB charging port and UL approved smart charger, Modobag is redefining the concept of luggage. Functionality in the home is key, as living space is a key design factor for interior products. Spatially-aware company, Aotta, incapsulate this attitude in the LOLO Micro Kitchen; a set of compact cabinets, neatly disguising essential kitchen appliances in animated pods and enclosed drawers. This new mood of efficiency is informing the beauty brands such as Nuori Cosmetics who’s range of products, stripped back to their core elements and free from harmful preservatives and additives, are solely focused on skin health. A back-to-basics approach is seeing a resurgence of low-tech. To counteract consumer overreliance on productivity apps, Perfect Notebook is designed to help plan, act, monitor and reflect upon life with easy-to-follow guides and notes in a simple book format. Stationary company kikki.K have also adopted this mindful approach to journals with a series of beautifully designed notepads encouraging positive thinking and forward planning.

Trend takeaway: Re-evaluating tech products ensures more highly functional and efficient technologies for consumers seeking low/no-tech alternatives.

 

Trendstop is a trend forecasting agency and consultancy with the finger on the pulse and an eye firmly to the future. With Trendstop’s trend forecasts, designers have the fundamental tools to build a collection that is not just conceptual, but carries the right elements to attract buyers’ attention and make a new label commercially viable.

Interested in finding out more from Trendstop? Trendstop are offering FASHIONALLY readers 20% off, email constantinos.tsikkos@trendstop.com now.

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