sábado, 13 de junio de 2009

In today's new homes consumers want...

To cocoon
Less money, more fear, more stress? The home today is as much a place to hide and recuperate as ever. With increased access to new information within the home there is less and less need to leave it and less desire to do so.

Reaching out to global contacts and still having a developed identity is highly achievable and consumers are building a 'safe space' to retreat to.

Straitened budgets due to higher prices for basic commodities are driving people back into their homes: 72% believe "my home is my castle" and are spending more time at home; 43% are spending to feather their nests, with home entertainment atop the list. (The Culture of Recession, 2008, Faith Popcorn's Brain Reserve)
HR professionals will hear more employees talking about personal theft and crime, identity theft, workplace theft and violence. (A Bartender's Predictions for 2009, Fast Company, 30 December 2008)

Among those whose identity was always built around their home, the difference today is that their doors are often shut apart from to close friends and family, and character comes not so much from how you decorate each room but how each room supports and rejuvenates you.

In most countries, a majority say they enjoy entertaining at home, including around three-quarters of people in France, Argentina and Brazil (although only 40% of people in Singapore).
The British and Polish are similarly home-oriented, with two-thirds of them liking to spend much of their time there. Likewise, almost 70% of Americans consider their homes "an important part of who they are". (Homes and property: the global picture, WARC, September 2007)
Consumers want…

Relaxation, protection and often ultra-privacy.

Future urban oases will include both a need for belonging and interaction concurrent with a need for privacy. (Future Hotel Trends, WGSN report, December 2007)
From food and beauty to household cleaners, the market will see a widening range of products that soothe, energize or simply lift the spirits. (Mintel, Top trends for 2009, 12 November 2008)

Example solutions

With the new door lock system from Schlage, you get a door lock, a lamp, and a bridge unit which connects both of those things to the internet.
You can then not only lock and unlock your doors from your BlackBerry, you can see who's come and gone and when, by giving various members of your family their own passcodes on the lock's numberpad.
The BlackBerry service for Schlage's door locks (and remote-controlled house lamps and closed-circuit cameras) costs $12.99 a month. (pcmag.com, 10 January 2009)

To be easily entertained
What constitutes entertainment is personal and varied but what unites consumers is the ease with which to find it.

Taking television as a topical example, what is more instantly gratifying than thinking of what you want to watch, downloading it and watching it all - the while sat in front of a quality screen in a relaxing seat?
Those that offer real entertainment will have a significant competitive advantage. (Mintel, Top trends for 2009, 12 November 2008)

Consumers want...
Brands and retailers that up the stakes in entertainment by keeping up with technology and making delivery instant.
They're willing to pay for impeccable and easy service. Look at the example of iTunes - the majority of consumers who buy from iTunes do so because it's easier than searching for free downloads.
Netflix [the DVD-by-mail subscription service] posted fourth-quarter financial results which proved there is at least one entertainment company that is thriving in the midst of a recession.
Netflix reported earnings and revenue that bested analyst predictions and the company's own guidance - and future guidance was for growth, whether the economy recovers or not. (hollywoodreporter.com, Jan 26, 2009)

Example solutions
More US TV watchers are asking the same question as cable and satellite TV bills creep higher: why can't they just pay for the channels they want? Many technology and media companies are dreaming up new alternatives for delivering only the TV programmes viewers want.

The latest push into the living room aims to solve what has stymied earlier products, including the complexity of hooking up these devices, lack of content and relatively high prices. (Reuters, July 2008)
LG's wireless LCD TV, coming out in the second half of the year, has a box that all the components plug into which then streams the uncompressed 1080p data to the TV, while Toshiba's Cell TV, launching in Japan in 2009, can wirelessly stream separate 1080p signals to up to eight different screens around the home.

Cameras and camcorders are also connecting to the web through Wi-Fi to enable easy uploading of images and video, with Sony's CyberShot G3 being the world's first Wi-Fi-enabled digital camera that can upload photos and videos through any public hotspot due to its in-built web browser. (International Consumer Electronics Show, WGSN report, January 19 2009)

Logical environments
Consumers have shifted their priorities in many fields. In the home, practicality as well as good design is key, ease of living is more significant than status symbols and logic rather than tradition is paving the way for innovative new use of space and concepts of what constitutes a room.

The 21st century townhouse is an ever-evolving hybrid response to urban infill, a new form of living space that demands ingenuity and persistence. (Hauswork talks, London Festival of Architecture 2008)
Perched between art and architecture, form and function, the Rucksack House is a walk-in sculpture with its own spatial quality. A hovering illuminated space that looks like a cross between temporary scaffolding and minimal sculpture.

As mobile as a rucksack, this mini-house is intended to be an additional room that can be suspended from the facade of any residential building.
The Rucksack house offers a way of improving housing quality on an individual basis. New space gets slung onto an existing space by a simple, clear and understandable method. (Modern Architecture and Design News, convertiblecity.de, March 2008)

Consumers want...
Products that can help them to adapt their homes, alter existing buildings, add-on, rethink use and space by upcycling rooms and traditional use of space as much as furniture or soft furnishings.

WGSN loved the many micro-sized architectural projects that we've come across, often with small environmental footprints to match, such as the Micro-Compact Home and the contemporary prefabricated houses shown in the Some Assembly Required exhibition at LA's MOCA in 2007.
We also love Apartmenttherapy.com's annual 'Smallest Coolest Apartment Contest'. (Future Architecture, WGSN report, 31 May 2007)

Example solutions
Toshiba's Regza Design Concept is a slim LCD TV that can lean against a wall, eliminating the need for mounting and also allowing it to be used in a wider range of locations.
It also features mirrored glass to create a sense of depth and a built-in Solid State Drive for HD recording. (International Consumer Electronics Show, WGSN report, 19 January 2009)

Things to think about

Products that can be added to existing homes and buildings
Designs that rethink/recycle space as much as furniture
Products that can be altered for individual feelings, size, environment
Products that treat, energise or simply lift the spirits, however small
Designs that break the rules for individuals' whims

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