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November 2009 | As the future is uncertain, and the past is, well, the past, instant-gratiﬁcation
seeking consumers are embracing the ‘now’ with more passion than ever before. And despite this
trend’s seemingly ephemeral character, it is rich in solid, applicable trend examples.
In our June 2009 Trend Brieﬁng, we covered FOREVERISM. But even then, we pointed out that the
need for everything that is (right) now/current/real-time, is being satisﬁed in numerous novel ways,
with (wait for it) the online world showing the way forward.
Dubbed 'NOWISM', this mega trend has, and will continue to have, a big impact on everything
from your corporate culture to customer relationships to product innovation to tactical campaigns.
And yet you probably only have a few minutes to spare on it so we’ve done our best to keep this
Trend Brieﬁng digestible.
Let’s start with a deﬁnition:
NOWISM | “Consumers’ ingrained* lust for instant gratiﬁcation is being satisﬁed by a host of novel,
important (ofﬂine and online) real-time products, services and experiences. Consumers are also
feverishly contributing to the real-time content avalanche that’s building as we speak. As a result,
expect your brand and company to have no choice but to ﬁnally mirror and join the ‘now’, in all its
splendid chaos, realness and excitement.”
*In the end, just like all our other trends, NOWISM represents a case of consumers jumping on
something the moment they actually can. So, the need is never new, the new ways to fulﬁl it are.
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course collecting endless new experiences. No wonder tourism is
and will remain one of the biggest industries in the world. For
more on transient lifestyles, see our TRANSUMERS brieﬁng.
In the still rapidly expanding online world, instant gratiﬁcation is
even easier to obtain: 'digital' has become synonymous with 'in-
stant'. Furthermore, if something digital/online is too slow, too
cumbersome, too poorly written, or too boring, a substitute is
only a search term and a click away. And yes, this is indirectly
setting consumers' expectations for the 'real' world, too.
The power of all things ‘NOW’ can be traced back to the eternal
lure of instant gratiﬁcation and our current consumer societies
handily accommodating and encouraging this relentless pursuit of
instant information, communications, pleasure, if not indulgences.
En passant reducing the ‘now’ to mere minutes, if not seconds.
It’s been a steady build-up: For a broader, societal view on NOWISM, (re-)read Zygmunt Bau-
man's musings on what he has dubbed Liquid Modernity. Here
are some snippets to get you going:
In an age of abundance, with a reduced need for non-stop secur-
ing of the basics, and physical goods so plentiful (and/or ecologi- "Liquid Modernity" is Bauman's term for the present condition of
cally harmful) that the status derived from them is sometimes the world as contrasted with the "solid" modernity that preceded
close to nil, only consumption of the experience* and thus the it. According to Bauman, the passage from "solid" to "liquid"
now, the thrill, remains. modernity has created a new and unprecedented setting for indi-
vidual life pursuits, confronting individuals with a series of chal-
In fact, many ‘ﬁxed’ items run the risk of becoming synonymous lenges never before encountered. Social forms and institutions no
with boredom, hassle (Maintenance! Theft! Going out of style! longer have enough time to solidify and cannot serve as frames of
Repairs!), eco-unfriendliness, and sinking a large part of one’s reference for human actions and long-term life plans, so individu-
budget into one object (which impedes spending on multiple ex- als have to ﬁnd other ways to organize their lives.
periences). Individuals have to splice together an unending series of short-
term projects and episodes that don't add up to the kind of se-
* Trends are never ‘or’, they're always ‘and’. There is, of course, quence to which concepts like "career" and "progress" could be
always a need for roots, for non-transient relationships, for shelter. meaningfully applied.
People, consumers, still need a base, and still need to be sure the Such fragmented lives require individuals to be ﬂexible and
basics are at least available at all times . Owning does imply a adaptable — to be constantly ready and willing to change tactics
certain level of security, something that others can’t just take away at short notice, to abandon commitments and loyalties without
from you. regret and to pursue opportunities according to their current
availability. In liquid modernity the individual must act, plan ac-
tions and calculate the likely gains and losses of acting (or failing
to act) under conditions of endemic uncertainty."
This focus on experiences, this living in the now, instead of in the
future, this lust to collect as many experiences and stories as
soon as possible, is addictive. Take travel: these days, it's more
of a basic consumer need than a luxury. It’s about detachment,
fractional ownership or no ownership at all, trying out new things,
escaping commitment and obligations, dropping formality, and of
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• More than 30 percent of the people who visit a business
for service expect instant attention - in some cases even
if they do not have an appointment. (Source: Beagle
Research Group, August 2009.)
• According to Mintel's Global New Product Database,
new energy drink product launches increased by more
than 110 percent from 2004 to 2009, boosting sales in
that sector during the same time-frame by more than
240 percent. (Source: Mintel, August 2009.)
Caffeinated soap, anyone?
In the past, both in our free Trend Brieﬁngs and our paid Annual
Trend Reports, we’ve spoken about phenomena like ‘FSTR',
'HYPERTASKING', 'BOOST' and ‘SNACKONOMY'. These trends
illustrate how more activities are being crammed into ever dimin-
ishing timeframes, how convenience is king, how products and
services are literally becoming smaller or more fragmented so
budget conscious and/or time-poor consumers can collect as
many different experiences as possible, how caffeinated drinks,
shampoos and chewing gum provide consumers with energy to • Ofﬁce furniture manufacturer Details’ Walkstation is an
prolong the 'now', and so on. electric, height adjustable work station attached to a
For your amusement (or perhaps it’s ammunition for your next commercial grade treadmill with a maximum speed of 2
innovation session?), a handful of stats and signs of the times all miles per hour, and is designed to allow ofﬁce workers to
paying tribute to a world in which currency truly is the new cur- burn up to 100 calories per hour without leaving their
rency: computer screens(!)
• A Datamonitor consumer survey in April/May 2009 es-
tablished that less than half of consumers across 17
countries are satisﬁed with their work-life balance. Vari-
ous commitments and demands from work and
personal/family life have contributed to the feeling of
time-deprivation. People are looking for speed and con-
venience and anything that allows them to feel more in
control of time. (Source: Datamonitor, August 2009.)
• Nearly half of all women (47 percent) said the big stress • Expected to go on sale in December 2009, gScreen's
in their life is the demand on their time. 45 percent said dual-screen Spacebook laptop features two 15 inch
they don't have "enough time for me." (Source: The screens. Last year, Samsung launched the SyncMaster
Boston Consulting Group, August 2009.) 2263DX, a 22" monitor with an additional 7" screen that
can be attached to chat, browse the web, view photos
• "The Checkout" report found that 28 percent of June etc.
2009 shoppers describe themselves as "preferring to
spend more if it saves them time." This was up from 23
percent in May. Additionally, the number of customers
(28 percent) who responded that "saving money by
shopping around" was their top preference fell from 33
percent the month prior. (Source: M/A/R/C Research
and Integer, August 2009.)
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Enough theory and signs of the times: let's get organized. Here
are (just) three distinct NOWISM developments ready for you to
run with: the emergence of the real-time web, the growing value
of events and performances that are 'live', and the many ways
commerce is going truly 'instant'.
With everything from drinks to shampoo now coming with a caf-
feine boost to help consumers make even more of the now, its no
surprise anti-energy drinks are popping up, too:
• Launched in August 2009 and claiming "euphoric relaxa-
tion", Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda uses Fijian kava ex-
tract, which the company claims mirrors the effects of
alcohol without the negative side effects. The soda also
contains passion ﬂower extract, a calming herb used to
treat anxiety and insomnia. Similarly, Canadian Slow
Cow is positioned as a "relaxing, anti-energy drink”,
promoting the beneﬁts of de-stress rather than speeding
A visualization of (gigantic) global online trafﬁc from The Internet
For NOWISM on steroids, look no further than the burgeoning
‘real-time web’. As netizens are insatiably lusting after (and con-
tributing to) up-to-date info on other people, products, events,
news and so on, they are thus obsessed with real-time publish-
ing, real-time search, real-time reviews and price-comparison,
real-time news, real-time conversations and more.
And yes, Twitter is the current, deserved poster child for this
phenomenon. It's no wonder that even Google founder Larry
Page stated that "Twitter has done a great job of real-time search.
I think we’ve done a relatively poor job of... things that work on a
per-second basis. I’ve been telling our search teams for some
time, you need results for every second. They laugh at me. I don’t
think they understand this. I think we will do a better job of some
of these things now". (Source: Wired, August 2009.)
Total number of tweets, in real-time
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The Twitters of this world of course offer a truly real-time snap- between 2008 and 2013, reaching over 2 exabytes per
shot of what the world is thinking, doing, protesting (if not ﬁght- month by 2013. (Source: Cisco, 2009.)
ing) for and against, loving, reviewing, buying, feeling, attending,
traveling to, donating to, gossiping about, asking for, hating, • The number of Orange 3G mobile broadband customers
wearing, watching, eating, reading, drinking, listening to... need had increased to 21.7 million at 30 June 2009, compared
we go on? with 13.4 million in June 2008, an increase of 62% in
Brands obviously can and have to tap into this GLOBAL BRAIN
and its ONLINE PULSE of unheard scale and scope (never before • The overall number of individual mobile users in Western
has business intelligence been so in your face), but they then also Europe is set to grow to 344 million at year-end 2014. By
have to become part of it, engaging in (and initiating) conversa- 2014, a third of Western European consumers will own
tions*. And not only are these conversations visible in real-time, internet-enabled phones compared with 18% in 2009.
they’re visible to everyone. To all one's existing customers, poten- Mobile Internet adoption is set to grow to 39% in West-
tial customers, employees, competitor's employees, journalists, ern Europe in 2014 from 13% in 2008.(Source: Forrester
and so on. Research, August 2009.)
For dynamic brands, living in sync with NOWISM, this will mean a Expect all the usual NOWISM suspects, from Twitter to Facebook
world of real-time customer service, real time (price) offers, real- to Google, to intensify the battle for dominating screen space on
time product and advertising testing, real-time Q&A, real-time the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Booklet 3G, Palm Pre, Apple
feedback, real-time co-creation. For static brands, NOWISM will Tablet and every portable device that is online 24/7. We ain't seen
mean a painful, lifeless future. nothing yet ;-)
* For more about ongoing customer conversations, co-creation
and beta-mindsets, (re-)read our FOREVERISM brieﬁng.
Don’t have a ﬁnger on the online pulse yet? Not yet taking your
brand’s online pulse? Take your pick from the following random
list of real-time search engines, content aggregators, alerting
services, friend ﬁnders and so on:
• Almost.at. An online application that aggregates news
from sites such as Twitter, Flickr, Youtube in real-time.
The site then allows viewers to tag messages from users
who appear to be actually witnessing an event, and that
user's future posts will be given prominence in search
Until recently, 'mobile' was NOWISM's missing link: everyone is results.
now online when at home, in the ofﬁce, or near a hotspot, it's
hard to check or contribute to real-time information if individuals • Collecta. Claims to be one of the fastest real-time
are ofﬂine while truly on-the-go. No longer. Count on consumers' search engines on the web, gathering photos, videos,
INFOLUST (including lusting after knowing what friends, family, status updates, tweets, news articles, and blog entries
celebs, colleagues, foes and so on, are doing/saying/thinking as these items are posted.
right now) to go completely mobile. Some numbers:
• CrowdEye. A real-time social search engine that allows
• Globally, mobile data trafﬁc will double every year users to see a snapshot of Twitter activity related to their
through 2013, increasing 66-fold between 2008 and search term, it also analyses tweets, retweets and links
2013. Mobile data trafﬁc will grow at a CAGR of 131% to determine important topics.
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• Facebook (Real Time) Search. Facebook’s search fa- • Tweetdeck is a browser that users can download to
cility is capable of real-time search, allowing users to view and interact with multiple real-time social network-
view public posts from the site’s vast collection of mem- ing feeds from their contacts on Facebook, Twitter and
bers around the world. MySpace.
• FriendFeed (owned by Facebook) is an online platform • TweetFeel. TweetFeel gathers recent tweets mentioning
that allows members to aggregate shared content in a search term and evaluates those tweets for positive
real-time. A users’ feed can be populated with content and negative sentiment.
such as links, images and video, which can then be
shared within groups or be published to websites, blogs • TweetMeme. A service that analyses tweets in real-time
or Twitter. to determine the most popular links that are currently
being shared, also allowing users to search and share
• Google latitude. Allows users to share their current lo- links.
cation with their Google contacts via their browser or
mobile device. • Tweet on the Street. Searches tweets in real-time to
provide the latest rumors regarding both technology and
• Google Wave. Allows users to create and edit rich- celebrity news.
media ‘waves’ in real-time, with changes immediately
visible to all participants. • Twendz. Analyses posts on Twitter, using a keyword-
based system to determine the real-time sentiment re-
• Google Real Time Search (well, kind of, as reported garding trending topics.
recently by Omgili).
• Twitter Search. Twitter’s own search facility, which en-
• Happn.in. Collects and aggregates the most popular ables users to ﬁlter real-time information using search
phrases used on Twitter within 20 miles of major cities terms and a variety of advanced search operators.
around the world.
• Twitvid. A service that allows users to post videos to
• Livestream. A live broadcast platform, available in both Twitter by creating a dedicated URL that will be included
free and premium packages, that allows users to stream in their posts.
live video anywhere on the web using a player widget.
• Yahoo’s Friends on Fire. A Facebook application that
• Picfog is a real-time image search engine that monitors allows users to share their location with their friends,
tweets for image links and then provides continually up- posting updates and invitations directly onto a map. It is
dated thumbnails of the latest pictures; these can also powered by Yahoo!’s Fire Eagle location-based social
be searched by category, keyword, user or location. service.
• Scoopler A real-time search engine that constantly in- Sure, there are dozens more: a good list to continue your real-
dexes live updates from services such as Twitter, Flickr, time explorations is ReadWriteWeb's Top 50 Real-Time Compa-
Digg and Delicious. nies. And by the time you're done checking those out, plenty of
new real-time start-ups will have popped up, no doubt reported
• Socialseek. Through an aggregation of data from key- on by other real-time ﬁrms.
words, the application analyses news sites, blogs, Twit-
ter, YouTube, Flickr, and more, to give an overarching For more insights on the Real Time Web, make sure you read
and geographically segmented perspective of consumer JWT's 'The Now Web', and ReadWriteWeb's 'Primer' on the
sentiment. See also Viralheat and Peoplebrowsr. topic.
• Topsy. A search engine that indexes results based on On our end, we're already working on a NOWISM-meets-ONLINE
the frequency that they are mentioned in real-time, also PULSE update that will include (among others) more examples
taking into account the inﬂuence of the people that are about NOWISM and GPS / location-based services (as well as
talking about them. the interplay between NOWISM and LOCALITY at large), and the
possibilities to form real-time, one-off communities for anything,
• Trendsmap. An interactive world map that displays cur- which in some ways is the ultimate in ephemeral in NOWISM. So,
rently trending topics on twitter, presenting recent tweets yes, we're asking for your patience here ;-)
and links for each topic.
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A (pleasant?) side effect of LIVING THE LIVE is that ‘live’ cannot
Here's an easy prediction: all things ‘live’, anything that even has be edited, controlled or censored and therefore offers the possi-
a hint of 'performance', will continue to rise in value in a NOWISM bility of boredom-beating surprises. And surprises, excitement,
world. We've dubbed this LIVING THE LIVE; a NOWISM sub- controversy, scandal, realness, and rawness is exactly what many
trend that thrives on: consumers are openly or secretly craving. Top ratings and top
trafﬁc for anything 'raw' that slips through in a sanitized, tradi-
• Experiences trumping physical possessions, especially tional corporate and media environs are easy proof.
when the one-off factor (uniqueness!) and limited access
get thrown in as well. So, in the next 12 months, anything that is live (Concerts! Election
nights! Parties! Tastings! Football Games! Musicals! Festivals! So
• The online world acting as a giant copy machine of all You Think You Can Dance!), tied to a speciﬁc place and time will
things digital or prone to digitalization (the COPYCON- be a brand booster, or a direct revenue source, or both. If you
OMY), leaving only the experience (and related STATUS execute these well of course ;-)
STORIES) of a live performance that cannot be copied.
Some easy-to-digest LIVING THE LIVE examples, mostly from the
• The fact that even with rampant individuality and virtual entertainment business:
relationships, human beings do have a deep need to
occasionally congregate with other warm bodies in real- • US reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance
world venues and to share and wallow in communal launched a live tour in September 2009. Fans of the
emotions such as enjoyment, sorrow, longing, or anger. show can see the top 10 ﬁnalists performing live on
stage at 40 venues across the US.
• Madonna's "Sticky and Sweet" world tour (2008-2009)
made USD 408 million, making it the highest grossing
tour ever for a solo artist. Madonna toured 32 countries
and performed 85 shows.
• In September 2009, Scotch single malt Laphroaig and
Kentucky bourbon Maker’s Mark hosted Distillery LIVE
2009, which aimed to celebrate the relationship between
the two whisky brands. The live interactive online tasting
was hosted at the Maker’s Mark distillery in Kentucky,
where distillers from both companies educated consum-
ers about their whisky and offered advice such as food
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There's a market for semi-live performances, too:
• New York Metropolitan Opera's Live in HD uses HD
satellite technology to broadcast opera performances to
theaters and cinemas for a global audience. The 2009/
2010 season comprises nine shows commencing in Oc-
tober 2009 and screening over 40 countries worldwide.
• Through the NT Live initiative, which began in mid
2009, London's National Theatre ﬁlms performances live
and in high deﬁnition, then broadcasts them via satellite
to 50 venues across the UK, along with 100 more in the
US, Canada and Europe.
NOWISM is responsible for a spate of instant (e)commerce con-
cepts: who ever said retail was dying? Learn from NOWISM initia-
tives that revolve around alerts, pop-ups, vending machines, and
linking instant info to instant buying. And that's just the begin-
SEE/HEAR/BUY thrives on (mobile) NOWISM technologies that
P.S. Check out this recent LIVING THE LIVE advertising example
allow consumers to quickly ﬁnd out more about an item, a song,
from American Airlines. Remember, when applying trends, one or anything else they hear/see, and then buy it. This short over-
of the easiest ways to get going is to use your trend insights to view of experience-and-buy services should get you going:
speak a particular audience's language. In this case, linking ﬂying
to live experiences, as opposed to downloading them, is at least • Shopsavvy, an Android app, allows the user to scan
trying to incorporate an element of digital lifestyles. However, as almost any barcode using the phone’s camera, and it will
those living a digital lifestyle are unconditionally passionate about then search over 20,000 online and local retailers to ﬁnd
doing so, we would always opt for avoiding even the slightest the best price. Once the best deal has been found, users
negative undertone when squaring off the real world to the online can either purchase online, or use the phone’s built-in
one. But that's just us.
Google Maps feature to ﬁnd their way to the store.
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• Californian SnapTell says half a million iPhone and An-
droid users have downloaded its application (which,
unlike Shopsavvy, allows users to photograph a product
using cameras in their handsets, and then upload it to
the website for reviews, recommendations and best
prices), resulting in more than 1.5 million image queries
so far. More than one in three buyers click through to an
online retailer, earning SnapTell commissions.
• SnapTell is owned by Amazon.com, who recently also
released its own, free, Android mobile application. This
allows users to take photos of an item on their phone, or
scan a barcode, and then have Amazon search for the
same product online, enabling immediate comparison
with the physical-retail price. If the price is right, users
can purchase the item securely from their mobile device.
• SEE/HEAR/BUY pioneer Shazam, which was launched
in 2002, offers a mobile app that allows users to identify
tracks by recording a small clip of music. The app “tags”
the track with a name and artist, and then allows users
to purchase the music through an online store. The app
Leave it to NOWISM-loving marketers to come up with vending
also offers features for sharing tags within social net-
machines that sell more than snacks and beverages. Some ran-
works and for viewing additional content such as videos
dom examples of how anything can be made instantly available
on YouTube and artist biographies.
Related: Midomi’s iPhone app offers a variety of ways • Barcelona company Lof (short for 'Lo Fresco') has de-
for consumers to identify music. They can record a clip veloped a range of vending machines that only dispense
of live music, hum, sing or say the name of the song and healthy food, from prepared fruit and ready meals to
Midomi will name the track and provide links to online gazpacho soup.
content such as music videos and lyrics. Users can also
click through to buy the song immediately.
• Redbox specializes in the vending of DVDs via self-
service kiosks. Redbox kiosks are located throughout
• ColorSnap is a free iPhone application developed by US
the US in fast food restaurants, pharmacies, grocery
paint brand Sherwin-Williams. Launched in 2009, the
stores and convenience stores, leasing out DVDs from
application allows consumers to match the color of a USD 1 per night.
photo taken on their iPhone with over 1,500 colors listed
in the Sherwin-Williams database. This color and the • Launched earlier this year, US based U*tique bills itself
complimentary color pallete is then sent to the phone. as the world's ﬁrst interactive, automated luxury store for
Next: a 'buy now' link to a DIY retail chain? "life's little emergencies and indulgences". Debuting at
Los Angeles retailer Fred Segal, U*tique lets consumers
So... Who's going to build similar SEE-HEAR-BUY services in
learn about selected luxury and personal-care products
2010 for looking up movies, television shows and even commer-
and have them dispensed with a swipe of their credit
cials by just saying a few lines? And how will these instant gratiﬁ-
card. Only 50 products are available at any given time,
cation services further shape expectations among infolusty shop-
and all have been handpicked by product specialists
with backgrounds in global beauty, trend-hunting and
innovation. The technology features a touch-screen in-
terface, interactive LED lighting design, and a behind-
the-scenes robot that delivers products from secure
storage into consumers' hands.
• German farm 'Peter-und-Paul-Hof' has begun selling its
fresh produce in vending machines. The specially de-
signed Regiomat machines sell milk, eggs, butter,
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cheese, potatoes and sausage in thirteen German towns
• The Standard Hotel chain in the US has introduced a
retail concept by placing vending machines stocked with
designer swimming trunks in their hotels. Quiksilver and
André Balazs' have partnered to ﬁll the vending ma-
chines in the New York, Los Angeles, Hollywood and
• Bike manufacturer Trek set up a prototype Trek Stop
Cycling Convenience Center in Madison, Wisconsin.
Located outside (and operated by) bike shop Machinery
Row, the Trek Stop is a convenience center for cyclists.
The vending machine is stocked with bicycle products
such as spare tubes, patches, tire levers and more,
along with food and cold drinks.
• InstyMeds have developed vending machines to dis-
pense medication. The machines are designed to be
placed in doctors’ ofﬁces, clinics, emergency rooms and
other healthcare facilities. Each holds 100 of some of the
most often used medications, ranging from pills to drops
to creams and so forth.
• Two British companies now sell their version of portable
The Icecreamist pop-up store in Selfridges until November 2009
ballet ﬂats in vending machines at nightclubs: Rolla-
soles sell for about GBP 5 and come in four colors: Hi What can we add to a ‘trend’ that, ever since we coined* it in late
Ho Silver, Gold Digger, Back to Black and Pink. After- 2003 (“If new products can come and go, why can't the stores
heels are similar rollable ballet ﬂats which have the that display them do the same?"), has gone from a temporary
added feature of being recyclable. example of temporariness to a NOWISM ﬁxture on every
marketing-strategy-to-do list? POPUPPING aka pop-up stores,
• Last year, US Electronics retailer Best Buy installed pop-up shops, and pop-up retail, now encompasses all tempo-
vending machines at 14 major US airports as part of a
rary brand manifestations that add an element of surprise, ur-
successful pilot program for the company's new Best
gency, and must-have/must-see to shopping, dining, entertaining,
Buy express kiosks. The kiosks are large vending ma- lodging, exhibiting and so on.
chines that carry cell phone and computer accessories,
ﬂash drives, MP3 players, headphones, gaming devices, Two developments within this sub-trend to watch:
travel adapters, and other items that are likely to appeal
to customers on the go. 1. Due to the recession, an increased availability of afford-
able retail space has made it easier and more attractive
• Kosher Vending Industries in the US operates "Hot to set up pop-up stores and manifestations in some of
Nosh" vending machines that deliver hot kosher meals in the most prestigious (and high-trafﬁc) shopping areas
90 seconds. The company originally launched with more around the world.
than 50 locations in New York City and has expanded
nationwide through partnering agreements and regional 2. With pop-up stores being so abundant, and thus the
licensing. surprise factor for consumers greatly diminished, expect
brands to focus on more outrageous manifestations.
Also expect a shift in their attention from merely selling
or introducing new product lines to turning pop-ups into
centers of learning, having consumers try out (concept)
products, and, above all, having conversations with cus-
tomers. In other words: real-world manifestations of
CUSTOMER-MADE strategies (pop-up labs, anyone?)
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As the number of recent POPUPPING examples is endless, and • Kogi Korean BBQ sells its Korean/Mexican fusion food
rapidly available, we’ve highlighted just one (but it’s a tasty one!): primarily through two trucks that are always on the move
to new locations in the Los Angeles area. To know where
• The Icecreamists is a UK ice cream brand that has po- to ﬁnd them, customers must follow Kogi on Twitter.
sitioned itself using premium, X-rated ﬂavors. The Sex
Pistol is the most recent ﬂavor, which is available exclu-
sively at The Icecreamists' shop, which opened in Lon-
don's Selfridges department store last month and will
close in November. Mixed into ice cream is ginkgo bi-
loba, arginine and guarana - all promising to increase
blood ﬂow and energy level. Before serving, The Sex
Pistol is doused in La Fee Absinthe. This is administered
from a drip-bag into a pink water gun and then ﬁred at a
heated sugar cube, which drops into the ice cream. The
Sex Pistol is deemed so potent that sales are limited to
one per customer, and retail at GBP 11.99 each serving.
* We’re not sure whether this is something to be proud of, or
deeply ashamed • Designed by creative agency Poke in London, much-
publicized BakerTweet allows bakers to keep their cus-
tomers informed of what's cooking. Because bakery
kitchens don't tend to be hospitable to electronic de-
vices, BakerTweet uses a specially designed box that
can withstand the messiest kitchen conditions. Bakers
begin by creating an account online with BakerTweet,
detailing all the baked items they want to Twitter about,
along with the body of the Tweet that will be sent out for
each product. The wall-mountable BakerTweet box cap-
tures that information, allowing bakers to turn a dial to
select which item they want to Tweet about at that mo-
ment and then push a button to send the full Tweet wire-
lessly to Twitter. Customers following the bakery then get
An effective old-school URGE ALERT: Krispy Kreme’s neon Hot
Alerting is the new searching. No wonder that real-time alerts
aimed at stimulating impulse buys (if not urges) are taking off:
• Launched in San Francisco in early August 2009, Curtis
Kimball's mobile Crème Brûlée Cart has attracted more
than 8,000 Twitter followers, who rely on his tweets to
ﬁnd out exactly where he'll be, and what ﬂavors are on
• The Warm Cookie Radar from Specialty's Cafe & Bak-
ery sends customers email alerts when batches of just-
baked cookies have rolled out of the oven.
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ﬁnancial wealth (bigger houses, bigger bank accounts, bigger
cars) at a forever-postponed later point in time. In many cases,
the virtue of waiting is nothing but an effective way to kill any kind
of creativity, joy, daringness and spontaneity. Which is not to say
that NOWISTS don't care about the future, but future priorities
As always, as a brand and as a professional, the best thing to do
is to look for what works (NOWISM can offer transparency, com-
munications, joyful experiences, convenience, while NON-
NOWISM can offer self-restraint, peace of mind, care and reﬂec-
tion). Dismiss the excesses, instead of opting for a black-and-
white approach to what is an inevitable societal shift (never for-
get: one generation's indulgence always becomes the next gen-
Remember Walter Mischel's marshmallow experiment?
(Photo courtesy of Steve0041)
The rise of NOWISM will no doubt be accompanied by endless
fretting about how civilization will succumb to the lack of delayed
gratiﬁcation. Expect NOWISM for many to become synonymous
with (and blamed for) shallowness, short attention spans, explod-
ing credit card debts, excessive focus on instantly satisfying
urges, an unwillingness to face (and build) a better and sustain-
able future, indifference to the past (and all its lessons).
While all of this warrants serious attention, the pro-NOWISM
camp will point to the dissemination of crucial information, the
leveling of the playing ﬁeld for individuals and organizations, the
potentially beneﬁcial effects on the environment of a consumer
society shifting towards 'now' experiences (including virtual ones)
versus consuming resource-heavy physical goods, and so on.
Embrace the now, and learn how to make it work for you, too!
NOWISM enthusiasts will also point out that traditional, much The NOWISM trend is as big as they come, and we had serious
praised preparing-for-the-future attitudes are often obsessed with challenges not letting this brieﬁng balloon into dozens and doz-
avoiding any risk in (bourgeois) life: the sole focus is on securing ens of pages.
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The bottom line: while the appeal and inﬂuence of ‘now’ has been
building for years, societal attitudes, sky-high consumer expecta-
tions and new technologies are currently converging in such a
powerful way that brands truly have no choice but to go ‘real-
time’: in their business intelligence processes, in their customer
conversations, in their innovation labs, in their distribution, sales,
marketing and branding departments...
The many examples above (from new ways to monitor the arena
to how to engage customers to clever new products and services
catering to infolusty, instant-gratiﬁcation loving consumers),
should provide you with enough ammunition.
Time to (ﬁnally) get real & go with the zeitgeist ;-)
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