Ford Predicts Micro Trends for 2014

Micro trends are interesting. Did you know that just a third of the globe is connected by mobile technology? Or that worldwide, the average cell phone user checks his or her phone 150 times a day?

By Holly Reich
How about this? Sixty-two percent of adults worldwide agree that, when people react positively to things they share on social media, they feel better about themselves, according to a Ford survey.

You may be asking, “What does this have to do with cars?” “It takes three years to take a vehicle to market,” explained Sheryl Connelly, Global Consumer Trends and Futuring at Ford. ”What most of us don’t know is that one of the tools we use to bring it to market is micro trends.”

“What’s a micro trend?” Connelly explains it’s a trend with a short life, and those blips of a trend can be an accurate way of determining how people think, act, feel and … we’re likely to spend our money. Ford’s 2nd annual edition of 10 Trends for 2014 explores all that. In other words, what you do and think and say today may end up – in some convoluted way – in a car you buy three years from now.

Here are Six of Ford’s predictions:

1. Myth of Multitasking

yogaCan we do it all at once? Trying to manage multiple things at once is taking a toll on our efficiency, productivity and on our psyche. More companies are recognizing that mindfulness, rather than multi-tasking, yields better productivity resulting in higher profits.

Stand still, get a beer. Sentient, a Bulgarian beer company, has vending machines that ask the users to stand still for three minutes in exchange for a cold beer.

60 % of US pedestrians text, e-mail, talk on the phone or listen to music while walking.

Between 2004 and 2010, the number off US pedestrians treated in emergency rooms for cellphone related incidents rose around 300%.

2. Innovations Quiet Riot

girls with ipadFast-paced and disruptive innovation is becoming increasingly established…and pervasive. It is changing the way we work, play and communicate. These days, all it takes is a garage and a great idea.

In market for only four years, more than 1.5 million iPads are being used in schools.
Innovations like Kickstarter (fundraising), Groupons (deals on everything) and Rent the Runway (leasing designer clothes for as little as $20), are changing the business model.
3D printing is shifting the parameters of science. Scientists are working on printing human tissue with the goal of recreating organs for human transplants.

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