TrendWatch: Back to Basics

in Strategy & Trends | by Ethan Lyon

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By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer

Definition
Returning to a simpler time is what back to basics is all about—when modesty and humility were valued. Practicality is key to those modifying their daily lifestyle and simple pleasures are cherished now more than ever.

Spin
Practicality—Having tons of stuff isn’t practical. It’s fine to have the extras in life–no one’s denying anyone of that–but tons of stuff isn’t fine. Driving around in a military vehicle is the pinnacle of stuff and that’s frankly not cool. We’re going to be making smarter decisions by focusing our purchases on practicality, not unfettered desire.
Minimalism—As we find new ways to go back to basics, we’re going to de-clutter. De-clutter means removing the excesses and useless junk from our lives. In our journey of finding ways to get rid of the excesses, we’re going to re-prioritize what holds value and what can get tossed. It’s our search for cleaner, better lives that gives way to “back to basics”.

Examples
H3—There was a time when people were practical; when someone would ask, “Why are you driving a military vehicle (Hummer) to work?” This trend is re-emerging as the sales of smaller, more efficient cars are replacing gas-guzzlers. Now the coolest crowd of celebrities can be seen driving around in their Priuses. The waitlist for a Prius? Try 3-4 months, depending on where you’re shopping.
Iceland—Icelanders are avoiding imported beers (as they are pricier) resulting in the increase in popularity of local brews. Beer is a simple pleasure Icelanders are just not willing to give up even amid an economic downturn.
Affluent Shopper—Whether you’re making over $100,000 or not, great value is still great value. Affluent shoppers shop at Target, Wal-mart and Home Depot more than any other store (Affluent Survey). Though affluent individuals have more money, practicality is still valued and will continue to be in the future.

Key Words
Simple, Modesty, Pleasure, Sacrifice, Practical

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