It’s a new world, and it’s fast

“New and improved.” “Here today, gone tomorrow.” If either phrase rings a bell, it’s because both represent what consumers are lusting for in a two-fold fashion, as one relates to the other.

Welcome to this week’s Trend Whisperer, which looks into the consumer craving for “the new and the fast.”

Everything is moving faster thanks to the heavy-footed acceleration of the online world, putting consumers into a pedal-to-the-metal, high-gear mode. Take, for instance, the overnight success story of Instagram, which captured a mind-staggering 10 million users in less than one year. Then there’s Pinterest, the online pin board that categorizes your newest obsessions today while letting you easily and quickly update or delete them tomorrow. 

On the flip side of “faster is better,” with the good is the not so good, and sadly, this is the case with the 35 million users of Draw Something, captured in a blink-of-the-eye six weeks, who now are quickly abandoning the app for the competition — “newer” innovations.

Another perfect example of this infatuation with “fast” is my local neighbor in Orange County, California, Taco Bell, which sold a mind-boggling 100 million of its new Doritos Locos Tacos in just 10 weeks — the chain’s fastest launch in its 50-year history!

Pairing perfectly with our need for speed, and at a time when the entire world is emerging from a weak economy and into a new and improved one, “new” has never been hotter! In every B2C industry, new products, experiences or services are emerging daily. Take H&M, the price-point retailer for fast, trendy fashion, and its popular limited-edition designer collaborated collections being sold at unheard of pricing, which typically sell out in one day. 

Another fascinating statistic that supports our desire for “the new” is the claim by the World Intellectual Property Organization that more than 2 million patents were applied for last year, which is 1.4 million more than less than a decade ago!

As a side note, I would also like to point out that “new” is also the “new prestige.” In fact, supporting consumers in their pursuit of having the newest of the new — or being the first in finding, knowing, doing or owning something new — is an opportunity in itself. For example, two months ago Nike launched a limited-edition sneaker using a Twitter reservation system. Stores randomly tweeted specific product hashtags during the day of the release, and the first followers who included this in a direct message to the store were placed on a waiting list to reserve a pair of the sneakers! Needless to say, the successful tactic was chalked up as yet another success story for the marketing gurus at Nike. 

Remember, no trend applies to all consumers all of the time. And new doesn’t always kill the old. There is always value in heritage brands known to deliver trusted quality. It simply boils down to what’s currently capturing and holding consumer’s attention. I hope hotels can use this week’s Trend Whisperer as a tool to explore what new concepts, products, services and/or campaigns your property can create and run with. I look forward to hearing what you come up with!