On the blog of Gensler architects Barry Bourbon always gives us, at the end of the year, a retrospective of what trends appeared the past year. This month he again pointed out 10 trends that got shape this year and will influence next year. I think with all points he hit the nail on it’s head but there are 3 that caught my attention because they aren’t talked about that much but seems to be just as significant.
Turning the pop-up into experience design: For years, pop-up shops have signaled fun if not fleeting introductions to new brands and new products, but my number one observation from 2012 is that pop-ups are here to stay. I don’t mean that we’ll see even more of the here-today-gone-tomorrow temporary shops (though I don’t think that trend is over), but rather I believe the experience that pop-up shops have provided is a major impetus for traditional retailers’ push to reengage their own customers. It’s about finding unexpected elements within retail – a health care advisor inside a grocery store or a tea shop inside a furniture store – that create value, convenience and unique experiences. Shoppers want to be wowed, and that’s a trend that’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
Elevated brand image overseas: As Western brands increasingly migrate to new international markets, it’s exciting to see prototypes adapt to global consumers’ tastes for innovative, boundary-pushing design. If it weren’t for the logo, would you have guessed that this is a Starbucks? I think this is another trend that has a long future; in fact, I think retailers’ willingness to test new ideas in new markets will raise the bar for design and branding back at home in the U.S., too. One to watch.
Department store reinvention: With credit to my colleague Kathleen Jordan for her keen eye on this trend, I’m especially excited about what department stores are doing to make themselves relevant again – improving customer experience, integrating technology, offering exclusive brands, and de-cluttering their store designs.
The seven other trends are
- Personalized coupons
- Digital transactions simplified
- Local made products
- Big data
- Brazil in the spotlight
- Design collaborations