Anyway, I stumbled across a pretty interesting free newsletter recently called "Trendwatching.com." The current issue focuses on a trend it refers to as "Inspirience," which the authors define as the desire to replicate within the internal space some of the best features of the public space. So people have brand name products generally associated with retailers of one stripe or another in their homes: Starbucks cappucino makers, Westin hotels' Heavenly Beds (which as a frequent traveler I can aver are indeed heavenly), or draft Heineken beer in the entertainment center.
Here's an excerpt from the current newsletter:
So here's what TRENDWATCHING.COM suspects to be the next big thing in the world of domestic bliss: INSPERIENCES. Basically, in a consumer society and outside world dominated by experiences, preferably branded, designed, themed and curated to the nines, the INSPERIENCES trend represents consumers' desire to invite brands offering experiences exclusive to the (semi) public domain, to set up shop within their own domestic domain. Needless to say, before they're allowed to pass through the front door, some of these experiences need to be stripped from the dangers, annoyances, and unwanted interactions with strangers that normally come attached.
So what's driving the home-upgrading and INSPERIENCE trends? Well, try one or more of the below:
• Rampant individuality -- we are all Masters of the Youniverse these days, our homes turning into highly connected, sophisticated control and entertainment centers.
• Post 9/11 insecurity -- 'let's stay in and invite some friends' says it all.
• Unheard-of levels of prosperity for hundreds of millions of MASS CLASS members from Sao Paulo to Singapore to San Francisco, and ever-higher demands for comfort and quality from 'mature' and experienced consumers. (Americans alone spend more than 125 billion USD annually on remodeling their homes!)
Those references to Sao Paulo and Singapore incidentally are not gratuitous attempts at globalization. According to their home page, Trendwatching.com is the result of reports from more than 2,000 trend spotters from more than 50 nations and regions. I can almost hear the reaction now: "We're libraries, why should we care about what's going on in the consumer marketplace?" All I can say is to that is since those same consumers also consume library services, it behooves us to know as much as we can about them, right? Looking at the world through the prism of a different but related industry like retailing can help us gain new perspective.