A group of Dutchmen are watching us

They’re called Springwise BV. Their main purpose is to “scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds from San Francisco to Singapore”.

Their insights can be particularly valuable in developing brand strategies and tactics.

They’ve recruited a global network of “spotters”, some 8,000 of them. All the data collected is classified, interpreted, analyzed, transmuted, funneled, pummeled, condensed and finally reported at two different websites.

The mother blog is Springwise.com, “your daily fix of entrepreneurial ideas”. Its sister (presumably an aunt) is Trendwatching.com with the purpose of reporting “global consumer trends, ideas and insights”.

Both offer free newsletters and I believe they live up to their own press. It’s a valuable resource for those connected with branding.

As an example, here’s the way Trend Watching classified several new and emerging lifestyles. The website provides detail at On Our Radar 2007.

“TRANSIENT LIFESTYLES

“Attractive to consumers driven by experiences instead of the fixed, by entertainment, by discovery, by fighting boredom, who increasingly live a transient lifestyle, freeing themselves from the hassles of permanent ownership and possessions.

“We dubbed these consumers TRANSUMERS in our November 2006 briefing, and there will be many more of them in 2007.”

“PARTICIPATIVE LIFESTYLES

Especially for younger consumers, participation is the new consumption. For these creatives, status comes from finding an appreciative audience (in much the same way as brands operate). No wonder that it’s becoming increasingly important to hone one’s creative skills. Status symbols, make way for STATUS SKILLS?”

“CONNECTING LIFESTYLES

In a post-material world, all that’s left to covet is…. other people? From networking sites to buddy lists to meetup.org to a boom in members-only clubs, social status 2.0 is all about who you connect to and who wants to connect to you, tribal-style.”

“ECO-LIFESTYLES

“With the environment finally on the agenda of most powers that be, and millions of consumers now actively trying to greenify their lives, status from leading an eco-responsible lifestyle is both more readily available, and increasing in value.”

“ADD YOUR OWN STATUS LIFESTYLE(S)!

One thing you can’t go wrong with in 2007 is to ask yourself how your current and new products and experiences will satisfy a plethora of very diverse status seekers. In fact, once you get rid of the habit of only believing in traditional status symbols, there is no end to the number of STATUS LIFESTYLES you’ll be able to identify.”

It’s worth looking at the sites, subscribing to the newsletters, and for some, investing in their reports and profiles.

I’m adding Springwise to my blogroll.

Martin Jelsema
303-242-5975

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