Year end recap lists are fun, but I’m more intrigued by those that dare to look ahead. Ann Mack is director of trendspotting for JWT marketing group. These are just a few emerging trends she says we should watch for in 2011:
The Nail Polish Economy: The old story goes, women treat themselves to lipstick during times of economic uncertainty. But Mack says nail polish sales continue to rise, making it the “it” accessory. Look for unusual takes, like leather nails and purposefully chipped nails. And watch for unexpected brands to get in on the trend: Volvo, for example, is offering polishes that match three color options for the new S60.
High-end temporary tattoos: One has only to look at Eva Longoria Parker’s tattooed ode to her soon-to-be-ex to shy away from permanence. “We’re a non-commitment culture,” Mack says. As such, temporary skin art is gaining popularity…beyond grade-school birthday parties. Chanel and House of Dereon are among the fashion houses doing limited addition temporary tattoos.
Virtual Mirrors: A camera displays a customer’s image on a screen, which then overlays various types of makeup, allowing shoppers to preview products and play with options. It works with clothes, too – and allows shoppers to share looks via mobile and social media. Shiseido is rolling out the technology in Europe; Wal-Mart is testing it in the U.S.
F-Commerce: Look for more opportunities to buy and sell without ever leaving Facebook. Victoria’s Secret, 1-800-Flowers.com and Delta Airlines are already doing it.
Costlier Cotton: The global cotton supply has taken a hit due to a severe drought in China, floods in Pakistan and other disturbances. As a result, Mack says consumers will likely feel the effect with higher prices.
Bamboo: It’s already touted as the sustainable building material of the future. Now, Garnier Nutrisse Hair Color is using bamboo extract in its HerbaShine for “radiant color.” Mack expects to see more bamboo everywhere from bicycles to clothing to kitchenware.
Tube-Free Toilet Paper: Toilet paper is undergoing its biggest change in a century, Mack says. Kimberly-Clark’s Scott Naturals is coming out with a tube-free version (currently being tested in select U.S. stores), and we’ll see more brands follow suit in a bid to better compete on the green front.