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 10 Key Trends of Natural Marketing in 2007 (Part 1 & 2)

The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) has published its list of what it considers to be the top 10 trends affecting natural marketing in 2007 and beyond, with the consumer's increased desire for control being the overriding theme throughout all of the highlighted trends. Here are the first five trends in our two-part issue. Be sure to check our next newsletter for the last five trends.

The NMI's first five natural marketing trends list for 2007 includes:

Trend #1 The Age of the Individual
The Age of the Individual is a reaction to mass marketing and a declining trust in the traditional authorities of church, government and the corporation, driving a culture of consumer-generated content, products and services that are "made just for me". Consumer customization will continue to expand, particularly in the health and wellness spectrum.

Trend #2 Seize the Moment
Consumers increasingly respond to temporary events in a culture that is less permanent and forever on the move. They demand greater innovation and exhibit a greater willingness to try new products, regardless of the brand. Consumers seek the thrill of discovery of new products and innovative packaging concepts. In addition, these forever-on-the-move consumers will drive new innovation in healthy convenience.

Trend #3 A 'Deeper Values' Experience
The retail and brand “new luxury” explosion that made consumers expect an extremely high level of experience at every touch point, is now evolving beyond the physical and emotional dimensions to the experience of fundamental core values. It is not enough to have it all - we also want to feel better about what we have, even if it means paying more for it. Sourcing, materials, trade practices and social causes become a part of the consumer brand experience.

Trend #4 Back to the Future
Consumers are embracing back-to-the-future simplicity, authenticity and a belief that quality is better than quantity. Consumers are gravitating to smaller, footprint retail environments for one-of-a-kind offerings and handmade goods. Products with legible labels, simplified ingredients and reassuring packaging are also experiencing success. Nowhere is this movement more apparent than the explosive growth of consumer brands, perceived to be small and authentic.

Trend #5 The New 'Fear Factor'
Scandals across religious, government and corporate institutions began the erosion of trust, while the explosion of widespread technology in a post 9/11 world is creating a highly fear-based society. This is translating into an increased desire for safer foods and beverages, organic and environmentally-friendly products, and significant opportunities for manufacturers and retailers to build market share through trust and reassurance.

Trend #6 It’s Reigning Men...
Men's personal care is the fastest-growing segment in the Bath and Body Care category, driven by the 'metro-sexual' phenomenon, creating permission for a broader target of men to participate in the category. Look for them to be increasingly accommodated in the traditionally female environments of grocery, drug and specialty retail.

Trend #7 The New Consumer-Centric Media
New media is putting the consumer in greater control in a content-driven world, changing the role of branding from one of authority, to that of a peer. Websites are increasingly enabling consumers to customize their online experience, creating tight-knit communities of like-minded people, thus driving word-of-mouth about products and services as a result.

Trend #8 Memory Fast Lane
Consumers have an insatiable demand for knowledge and learning as keys to self-actualization. With distractions and 24/7 connectivity intensifying, consumers find their ability to concentrate and retain memory being drastically reduced. Consumers across all age groups indicate significant concern about preventing concentration and memory problems.

Trend #9 Working Women Revisited
After years in the workforce, women (especially mothers) are struggling to find a happy medium with mealtime and health. A recent study linked womens’ entrance back into the workforce with a significant decline in children's diets, thus offsetting a range of health problems. This has resulted in working women looking for healthy convenience options in snacks and meals.

Trend #10 The Centenarian Century
Seniors living past the age of 100 (the fastest-growing demographic group) are raising concerns regarding society's preparedness and ability to deliver the healthcare, insurance, social services and financial resources required to support them. Significant changes lie ahead in retailing, product offerings and packaging solutions, financial services, and long-term healthcare and retirement options they will need.

---Source: The Natural Marketing Institute


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