Analyzing Needs and Trends in the Macroenvironment.
Successful companies are those that can recognize and respond profitably to unmet needs and trends in the macroenvironment.
Opportunities are also found by identifying trends. A trend is a direction or sequence of events which have some momentum and durability. For example, one major trend is the “increasing participation of women in the workforce.” This trend has profound the implications for economic growth, family, business life, political power, and goods-and-service preferences. Identifying a trend, ferreting out the likely consequences and determining company opportunities are critical skills.
FAD – is unpredictable, short-lived, and without social, economic and political significance. TREND – predictable and durable.
* Reveals the shape of the future.
A trend according to futurist Faith Popcorn, has longevity, is observable across several market areas and consumer activities and is consistent with other significant indicators occurring at the same time. Popcorn has identified ten major trends and their implications for business decision making.
FAITH POPCORN POINTS TO TEN TRENDS IN THE ECONOMY
Faith Popcorn runs a marketing consultancy firm called BrainReserve, which she started in 1974. Her clients include AT&T, Citibank, Black & Decker, Hoffman La Roche, Nissan, Rubbermaid, and many others. Her firm offers several services. Brad Renewal, which attempts to breathe new life into fading brands; BrainJam, which uses a list of trends to generate new ideas; FutureFocus, which develops marketing strategies and concepts that create long term competitive advantages; and Trendbank, which is proprietary database made up of culture monitoring and consumer interviews. Popcorn and her associates have identified ten major trends:
1. Cashing out: Cashing out is the impulse to change one’s life to a slower but more rewarding pace. 2. Cocooning: Cocooning is the impulse to stay inside when the outside gets too tough and scary. More people are turning their home into a nest. 3. Down-Aging: Down-aging is the tendency to act and feel younger than one’s age. 4. Egonomics: Egonomics is the desire of persons to develop individuality so that one is seen and treated as different than anyone else. It is not egomania but simply the wish to individualize oneself through one’s possessions and experience. 5. Fantasy adventure: Fantasy adventure meets the growing needs of people for emotional escapes to offset their daily routines. 6. 99 Lives: 99 lives is the desperate state of people who must juggle many roles and responsibilities. 7. S.O.S (Save Our Society): S.O.S is the drive on the part of a growing number of people to make society more socially responsible along the three critical Es: Environment, Education and Ethics. These individuals are joining groups to promote more social responsibility on the part of companies and other citizens. 8. Small Indulgences. This describes the need on the part of stressed-out consumers for occasional emotional fixes. 9. Staying Alive: Staying alive is about people’s drive to live longer and better lives. 10. The Vigilante Consumer: Vigilante consumers are those who will no longer tolerate shoddy products and inept service.
John Naisbitt, another futurist, prefers to talk about megatrends – which are “large social, economic, political and technological changes that are slow to form, and once in place, they influence us for some time – between seven and ten years or longer
Deciphering and Responding to the Major Macroenvironment Forces
Companies and their suppliers, marketing intermediaries, customers, competitors and publics all operate in a larger macroenvironment of forces and trends that shapes opportunities and poses threats. These forces represent “noncontrollables” which the company must monitor and respond to.
Within the rapidly changing...