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What Trends are in Store for us in 2022?

Marketers need to be able to monitor trends with an eye towards predicting what consumers will want next. While it is hard to predict the future, we can examine the current environment with respect to what might happen next.

In its yearly predictions report, international research firm Euromonitor forecasts what consumers will want and need. Companies then can use these predictions to consider the strategies that they might pursue.

Lifestyles in 2021 made radical shifts as populations continued to be impacted by the pandemic. To no one’s surprise, COVID-19 and the Omicron variant continue to be very important to the immediate future.  Marketers and businesses must evolve quickly to keep up with new demands.

Ten  predictions for consumers in 2022 include:

  1. Rethinking the supply chain.
  2. Climate change – a low-carbon world.
  3. Senior citizens and their digital adoptions and usage.
  4. Controlling personal finances.
  5. Prioritizing personal values and individual goals.
  6. The metaverse moves to reality.
  7. Increasing adoption of second-hand and peer-to-peer marketplaces.
  8. City dwellers want advantages of living outside of cities.
  9. The importance of self-care and happiness.
  10. The hybridization of being social.

These trends provide guidance for companies and marketers. Using these, we can gain insight into consumer values and behavior. If 2021 was a year that required us to be adaptable and resilience, then what does 2022 indicate?

What trends will impact you?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. The full Euromonitor report can be accessed at: https://go.euromonitor.com/white-paper-EC-2022-Top-10-Global-Consumer-Trends.html?utm_source=WSJ&utm_medium=article&utm_campaign=CT_22_01_18_WP_Top%2010%20GCT%202022%20EN
  2. Discuss the importance of environmental scanning and conducing SWOT analysis.
  3. Show the Euromonitor report to students.
  4. Divide students into teams.
  5. Have each team select one of the top 10 trends and prepare a discussion for the class.
  6. What industries and companies will be most impacted by that trend?
  7. What should marketers do to address the trend?

Source: Alcantara, A-M., (January 17, 2022). Ten trends that will shape the way we shop, eat and live this year, Wall Street Journal; Euromonitor International (January 18, 2022), Top 10 global consumer trends 2022.

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That Robot Can Dance!

We love robots. They are endlessly fascinating to us as we contemplate the technological advances that make robots useful to humans. They can carry gear, map territories, and enter spaces unsafe to humans. But of all their uses, we particularly like how robots can bust a move and dance (remember Spot the robot dancing to Uptown Funk?)!

Thanks to its incredibly animated robots and technology, Boston Dynamics may be the world’s most well-known robotics company. Boston Dynamics was originally an offshoot of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is now owned by Hyundai Motor Group. Its robots include Atlas, Spot, Big Dog, and Handle.

Programming the robots to dance was a daunting task, requiring hundreds of hours of work. The programming had to let robots balance, bounce, and (seemingly) even carry a rhythm. Atlas the robot uses a vast array of sensors, actuators, and a gyroscope to help it balance. It also contains three quad-core onboard computers. The result is an imaginative display of robotic versatility and possibility.

Dancing to the 1962 hit song “Do you love me?” by The Contours, Atlas and friends seem determined to get humans to love them indeed.

But can they salsa?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. First, show the video of Atlas and Spot dancing: https://youtu.be/fn3KWM1kuAw
  2. Bring up Boston Dynamics’s Web site: http://www.bostondynamics.com
  3. Bring up Boston Dynamics YouTube page with videos and show robots in action: https://www.youtube.com/user/BostonDynamics
  4. Dancing Spot can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/kHBcVlqpvZ8
  5. Discuss the concepts of products, product line, and product mix.
  6. What are commercial and business applications for each robot?
  7. What companies might buy robots (beyond the military)?
  8. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a business-to-business marketing campaign for robots.

Source:  Associated Press; Boston Dynamics

 

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Spot, the Robotic Dog, Now Prowls the Floor at Ford

Spot, the robotic dog from Boston Dynamics, is now prowling manufacturing plants for Ford Motor Co. Ford calls the dog “Fluffy” and it doesn’t act as barking security guard, but rather is helping to map and update engineering plans at several manufacturing facilities. Fluffy wanders the 2-million-squar-foot transmission plan floor with its digital engineering handler, using laser scanning and imaging to produce detailed and accurate maps that Ford engineers can use to revamp the facility.

You may have heard of Spot previously as one of Boston Dynamics intriguing robotic lines. Boston Dynamics now sells Spot for $74,500 (for commercial purposes only). Since September, Boston Dynamics has sold or leased more than 250 Spot robots. Spot is typically used in construction or the electric utility industry, but was also recently used at a hospital’s emergency department to help assess patients with Covid-19.

Spot weighs 70 pounds and is equipped with five cameras that give it 360-degree vision to avoid obstacles and travels at 3 mph for several hours, constantly gathering data (without needing dog treats or a place to pee). The nimble robot is able to navigate tight spaces that the average-sized person can’t reach. It can climb stairs, cross metal grates, and keep its balance on slippery surfaces.

At Ford, Fluffy scans the plant in half of the time as needed by humans, and significantly reduces costs while maintaining accuracy.

But can it fetch the newspaper?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the concepts of products, product line, and product mix.
  2. Bring up Boston Dynamics’s Web site: http://www.bostondynamics.com
  3. More videos can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7vVhkEfw4nOGp8TyDk7RcQ.
  4. Show a video of Fluffy at Ford: https://www.wsj.com/video/the-robot-revolution-is-happeninglike-it-or-not/33C97F82-2E8B-4371-B635-C3DE3E375671.html
  5. Have students develop a marketing campaign to sell Spot to businesses.
  6. Finally, make sure to watch Spot dancing to Uptown Funk! https://youtu.be/kHBcVlqpvZ8

Source:  Boston Dynamics; Engadget; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

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