Numerous examples of innovation are present in 15 key consumer-facing areas of marketing, according to consumer insights firm trendwatching.com.

Following is a review of one key marketing innovation trend in seven of the 15 areas identified by trendwatching.com, with eight more coming tomorrow.

Status Skills
Spanish restaurant chain FresCo offers free English language lessons to its patrons. In February 2010, two of its 40 stores began offering two-hour sessions targeting professional workers with a focus primarily on everyday language and work situations.

Generation G
trendwatching.com has identified “Generation G” as a new generation of consumers with a generous mindset who prefer brands that include a charitable component. One such brand is cleaning products maker Method, which toured the streets of New York City in May 2010 with its “Wash Smart, Give Smart” truck to encourage people to donate clothing.

Through a partnership with Goodwill, San Francisco-based Method equipped a glass-walled truck with a mobile laundry room that was used to wash and dry clothes before delivering them to New York Goodwill locations to be resold. Passers-by were encouraged to spontaneously donate an item of clothing off their bodies, and as part of Method’s “laundry smarts” campaign, there was also a photo station, samples, games and prizes.

Locality
Despite rising globalization, most consumers still live and work in their local area. Taking a local approach to candy bars, Nestl? recently launched 19 new Kit Kat flavours in Japan that reflect food specialties of specific districts. Each flavor is sold exclusively in the region for which it was created. The Japanese Kit Kat varieties include yubari melon and baked corn from Hokkaido island; strawberry cheesecake from Yokohama; cherries from Yamagata Prefecture; and sweet potato, blueberry and soybean from the Kanto region.

Curated Consumption
Consumers who may be overwhelmed by excessive choice but still want variety seek “curators” to moderate their choices for them. One example is Panty by Post, a Canadian venture that offers women’s underwear by monthly subscription. Customers can order panties individually, or they can sign up for subscriptions lasting two, three, six or 12 months. A different panty is then sent every month.

Daily Lubricants
Daily lubricants are products that make consumers’ daily lives easier to manage. New York-based online retailer 3floz offers a range of luxury skin and hair care products for men and women, all in travel-friendly sizes of 3 fluid ounces (100 ml) or less. 3floz is also marketing itself as a sample site, catering to consumers who want to try out high-end beauty products without committing to pricey full-sized versions. International shipping is available, including delivery direct to hotels, as well as a same-day courier delivery service within Manhattan.

Brand Me
Consumers desire customized, personalized goods and a distinct online presence. Famebook and TweetNotebook both embellish custom notebooks with select online content: With BookofFame, Facebook users can create a unique notebook featuring a post from their Facebook feed at the bottom of each page. By connecting to Facebook from the BookofFame site, users allow Famebook to access their status updates, which are then used to create a notebook with one timestamped update on the bottom of each page.

TweetNotebook, meanwhile, features the user’s Twitter posts instead. Customers enter their Twitter name on the site, and it automatically populates each page in a blank 320-page notebook with one randomly selected tweet along with its timestamp and URL.

InfoLust
Consumers crave relevant, timely information, which is easier to provide than ever before thanks to internet and mobile technologies. For example, DailyRoads Voyager is a free application for Android-powered mobile phones that enables continuous video recording from moving vehicles. DailyRoads Voyager is intended to serve as what’s essentially a video black box for cars, recording everything but allowing users to keep only what they’re really interested in. The application works in the background to timestamp, geotag and save all videos on the SD card.

Status Moves Beyond Consumption
The definition of status is diversifying and moving beyond simple consumption, with implications for marketers seeking to achieve brand innovation, according to other recent findings from trendwatching.com.

Although the need for status is at the heart of every consumer trend, in mature consumer societies (such as the US), consumers are moving beyond owning the most and/or priciest items. As highlighted in trendwatching.com’s list of marketing innovation trends, status is now also tied to less tangible symbols such as acquired skills, eco-credentials, connectivity and generosity.

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