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Top Consumer Trends for 2014
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What are the top trends that will shape the way Americans shop for the coming year? Ford’s 2014 Trends report looks into a crystal ball and here are seven of the top trends the automaker foresees—plus my take on how they might affect your business.

1. The Quiet Riot of Innovation: Ubiquitous and nonstop innovation makes it hard for us to absorb the pace of change.

2. Old School:
Perhaps as a result of #1, consumers are nostalgic for a kinder, gentler time when life was simpler and slower-paced. This nostalgia for the “good old days” is propelling demand for quality products and artisanal goods.

3. Meaningful vs. the Middle Man: The success of online marketplace Etsy points to consumers’ growing desire to connect directly with the people who make what they buy. That’s good news for entrepreneurs who manufacture or craft their own products. The “meaningful” part of the trend also reflects consumers’ wish not just to buy products, but to gain experiences.

4.  Statusphere: Status isn’t only projected through purchases but through social media status updates. Tap into consumers’ desire to share their purchasing habits online and you can get more reviews for your products, more activity on your social media accounts, and more customers to your business.

5. Vying for Validation:
At the same time as Americans are projecting their status online, a growing number may start asking themselves if seeking validation from strangers is really the best way to spend their time. This could lead to a pullback from social media or a focus on more selective social sites and groups, making creating quality content and truly engaging with customers more important than ever.

6. Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) vs. Joy of Missing Out (JOMO): Consumers are moving away from constant connectivity and instead of obsessing over what they’re missing out, are focusing more on the moment. Marketing messages that focus on the joy of full engagement in the “now” vs. competitive social media status-seeking will resonate.

7. Myth of Multi-Tasking: As the line between work and personal life blurs, more consumers will recognize the downside of “continuous partial attention” and strive to tear themselves away from devices to regain some control. Businesses that offer customers a break from being connected may stand to benefit.

Check out the full Looking Further With Ford 2014 Trend Report.

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