Tuesday, 3 December 2013

An equal and opposite reaction

This is the time of year when you get all those ingeniously named trends for the next year, such as this latest little lot from Trendwatching. I'm always amused by picking out the counter-trend to each one that's mentioned, sometimes in the same article.

My eye was caught by the Mychiatry trend - not content with people quantifying their bodies and bodily functions, people are now going to use technology to measure their minds. This trend is manifested via ideas such as an app to record, share and analyse dreams (as if other people's dreams weren't dull enough, you can now access a whole internet full of strangers' dreams) or headphones that detect the user's mood and play music accordingly from a database (I do hope that a human being of some description has been involved in the compilation and classification of the database.)

This trend, according to Trendwatching, is being fuelled by "those for whom mental health is (like physical fitness, career progress, and academic achievements) a new benchmark, yet another area for them to outperform their peers." Well, yukkety yuk. Can't wait for all these outperforming benchmark junkies to start wiring their kids up to these devices, too.

Swallowing back the admission that I did post a score I got on some pointless Facebook quiz the other day, I'll move quickly on to the next trend: No Data. This is much nicer. This is all about "brands that offer brilliant service while loudly and proudly eschewing the collection of personal data." There is certainly a need for this, with 82% of people on a global basis believing that companies collect too much information on consumers.

Unfortunately, Trendwatching can't offer up any examples on this yet.

Reaction, counter-reaction. Who's to say which way people will go in 2014? But one thing is certain - there will be no one certain answer. Planners and Marketers are best keeping their minds open, their antennae on alert, using all modes of perception.

Quoting Blake:
"May God us keep
From single vision & Newton's sleep."   

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