Product Trends in Global Marketing

Functionall (Trendwatching)

The people running the Trendwatching website do a real nice job finding different ways to look at things. As their name implies, they focus mostly on finding trends that may impact customers and businesses throughout the world.  What is particularly appealing about the site are the stories they publish, which contain extensive information and lots of marketing implications.

For instance, their February 2010 story focuses on products they call “Functionall.” This is the name given to products sharing similar characteristics, such as being smaller, simpler to use, energy efficient and several others, and also sharing a similar marketing strategy of being initially targeted to customers in emerging markets.  But while these products were primarily designed for emerging markets, they are now finding a place in more advanced markets as well.  The story offers a number of good examples of products that fall into this category and, consequently, is a must read for anyone interested in understanding how product decisions impact the global market.

Nestlé’s Maggi brand of instant noodles was first introduced in emerging markets such as India and Pakistan. The brand has since expanded to mature consumer societies, starting with Australia and New Zealand in 2008, where it is marketed as cheap health food.

What exactly does the story mean when it mentions “the democratization of design is a global phenomenon” ?