Pretailing to predict consumer trends


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Predicting consumer trends is at best an unpredictable art form but one with rich rewards for prognosticators who get it “right” and, at times, punitive financial consequences for those who don’t. Yet, it is an enduring objective of business minds with social media and technology being strong drivers for better outcomes. A sort of melding of the two is behind a potentially more accurate platform labeled “pretailing”.

Trendwatching a self-described “independent and opinionated trend firm” predicts that this new mode of consumption” that sees consumers treat crowdfunding platforms as the new shopping malls.” The term “pretail” was coined by the Integer Group, a company that straddles the branding-selling continuum. It is premised on the idea that crowdfunding is a venue for “current consumer demand for the most innovative, exciting and unique products” and the ability to be better served than elsewhere “by an army of entrepreneurs and start-ups”.

Per trendwatching what set this new setting apart is that for the “first time ever the diversity, inventiveness, and sheer number of innovations on offer in the consumer arena can actually match the imaginings of consumers. That’s a crucial new equality of supply and demand: one that did not exist when consumption happened in traditional offline/online stores.

Crowdfunding has been around at least since the time the Statue of Liberty was erected but lately has been put to more quotidian uses including raising money for real estate and is being labeled in a less than flattering way as a “disruptive” technology. But critics and critiques aside, involving customers in spotting if not creating a new trend will likely lie at the heart of future successful innovations of products and services.

Whether the generators of ideas for these products or services get paid for it is another matter; nearly ten years ago and the Citizen by Trekshare were heralded as precursors of businesses that enable that. That distinction now belongs to tripadvisor, a website that inarguably benefits massively from consumers with no direct pecuniary gain for the latter. As a petri-dish for ideas, tripadvisor is beyond rich in content; mining that to produce the next big thing in the travel industry could give the notion of pretailing on crowdsourced platform an entirely new meaning and dimension to the travel trade.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Vijay Dandapani
Since August 1993, Vijay Dandapani, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Apple Core Hotels, has been instrumental in the company's growth and development, including acquisitions, six hotel renovations and the implementation of state-of-the-art computer systems. A hotel industry veteran, Dandapani, is also a member of the Board of Directors for the following associations: Hotel Association of New York City, NYC & Company, NYSHTA (New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association), and the International Hotel Motel & Restaurant Show at Javits.


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