Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rent a friend

Is true friendship extinct? Lonely New Yorkers are using rent-a-friend escort agencies to find people to go shopping or have coffee with. At http://www.rentafriend.com/ you can hire a person for purely platonic purposes. The site sas more than 200,000 people on its database who are either looking for or hiring themselves out as temporary friends.

And according to a Newspoll in Sun Herald 75 % of Australian pet owners believe their pets understand them better than their friends. 61 % of women admin to ”talking things over” with a pet.

I think it is a matter of trying to gain control, and to avoid being hurt. True relationships go deeper, and affects you. Maybe we don´t want that anymore?

Monday, August 30, 2010

No camera film, no more getting lost

Interesting list on what today´s kids will not experience: http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2011482_2011480_2011466,00.html

How big is the social networking universe?

Wow! Look at this picture from http://www.jess3.com/

Imagine this ten years ago, when we did not have either Facebook, YouTube or texting...

Blue is the new green

After the millenium there was crs, corporate social responsibility, then after Al Gore´s film, there was a period of caring for climate changes. But after red and green season, I predict we will see how companies care more about the colour blue, of people feeling sad.

Depression and lack of joy is a huge health problem, which will spread to the corporate budgets if management are not more concerned about the well being of their staff. A motiovational speaker at a conference every six months won´t cheer people up. I believe there will be a need at looking at the soft issues at workplaces, making sure people are happy and feeling useful and valued. There will be more carrots than sticks.

According to a report from Society of Knowledge Economics, around 80% of people in Australian workplaces are not “fully engaged at work”. The study (from Gallup) goes on to say this has a substantial impact on national productivity, costing businesses over $33 billion a year.

Few will feel motivated by fear and managers yelling at them to work harder. People who feel valued will be fully engaged, since most of us want to be seen and acknowledged. Research from University of Toronto show that actors who win an Oscar live longer than others, showing how important recognition is... How will companies care for their staff´s inner health in the future?

More about Society for Knowledge Economics: http://www.ske.org.au/

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Lack of religion may lead to selfishness

It seems like we slowly, slowly are getting less religious. The graph shows how Australians are connected, and there is since 1986 a tendency towards a religionless society. While immigrants are coming to the country, bringing their own belief system, that is at least not presented in these data from ABS.

Lack of beliefs in something "bigger" may affect our civil society and community spirit. Scientists from University of California gave volunteers overt or subliminal cues to activate brain circuitry encoding thoughts of someone who offered unconditional love and protection – a parent, a lover, God. The goal was to induce the feeling of security that makes it more likely someone will display, say altruism and not selfishness. It worked. People became more willing to give blood and do volunteer work, and less hostile to ethnic groups different from their own.

Since we have less real friends and more people stay single, this is combined with lack of beliefs in that there is someone else loving you, may create a "each to their own" spirit. I hope not.

Friday, August 27, 2010


Watching TV late, always having the mobile on, worries spinning around, sugary diet... More people seem to have problems with their sleep, which is not strange considering how we live.

After a period of energy drink obsession I believe the next trend is sleeping drinks. What about "white sheep" instead of "red bull"? :) The reason why people need Boost juice, guarana and energy lifts is after all that they don´t sleep well...

Johnson´s and other brands produce body lotions for babies; next in line should be a marketing campaign for adults. Other products can be herbal medicine, aroma therapy, special music, calming machines that stimulates your feet, and so on... Just wait and see!

Sleep deprivation leads to depression, diabetes and blurry brains. It is an important issue. A hot cup of milk may not be as "cool" as a "Mother" but it is definitely more on the target.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A directed world

There are now two jobs for people who manage the news (13,000 public relations consultants) for every person who actually produces the news (6000 print journalists).

From The Australian, Salt´s column today.

Brands need to see both high and low

I had a look at some trendspotting I did back in 2006 and it was a reminder of that even if we see a trend, it can easily change with circumstances. A brand always need to have its ear to the ground and be able to adapt to what´s going on now, and at the same time stay sane...

The trend I was collecting facts on was luxury. Wow, 5 years ago it was all about glam, wasn´t it? Bottled water with Swarowski crystals, gourmet food and words like "ultraposh" in our vocabulary. The more expensive, the better. The economy was booming, and Gen Y still thought this was Reality and felt on top of the world - immortal...The younger generation will change its values after this, which is probably healthy.

I got my first reality check during the dot com crash when being in New York to do PR for all those fluffy web sites with strange offices, and the towers fell just like everything else. 9/11, I lost my job, my sense of safety from growing up in a Volvo-socialistic-style Sweden, and the arrogance I had put on after having dot com money flooding in. Lost it all, but gained a more humble attitude.

Now the same thing is happening to Gen Y. GFC hit hard, they got asked to cut back and it was not all shiny and easy anymore. Today it´s all about lowering costs, and going cheap, cheap, cheap... Grown up and boring :)

But remember, that even if Newsweek, Cosmopolitan and The Economist are not presenting all the luxurious products anymore, the economy is still growing. We go through periods of extremes - ultraposh and megasavings - but the long term trends are the roots and on that level we ARE not directly starving.
Brands need to keep an eye on both levels, to not be swept away by the temporary mood of the culture or trust the long term graphs too much. This moment is just one in a life that contains of many.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Less happiness, because we are purposeless

In 1957, 52% of people in a Uk survey said that they were happy, compared to 36% in 2005. Despite the fact that the British have tripled their wealth over the last half century, they are not feeling emotionally better.

This may be connected with this study: In 1968, college freshmen in Us were asked what their personal goals were. 41% wanted to make a lot of money, and 83% wanted to develop a meaningful philosophy of life. In a similar study made in 1997, values had changed. 75% of college freshmen then said their goal was to be very well off financially, and only 41% wanted to develop a meaningful philosophy of life.

When you don´t live for anything else than to earn cash, life will not be meaningful. In our materialistic world we seem to have forgot to connect with our soul; we eat gourmet food but think junk thoughts.

Buy my book Happy Days on http://www.thelovecoach.info/ - it is your own joy gym that will help you smile. Also on www.youtube.com/carolinlovecoach

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Masterchef creates food snobs

IBISWorld predict sales of gourmet foods will be up by 60 % in 5 years. Yesterday I heard a guy predict that our future dinner parties with friends will be like cooking classes, where we are presented with a bunch of ingrediences, and 30 minutes to invent something extra ordinary! Well, I think easy come, easy go. Masterchef was definitely a huge success, but we live in a society that feeds on news, news, news. Whatever is on at the moment inspires us, and then... We´ll see. What do you think?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Unreality is the new reality

Trend watchers have been talking of a new craving for authenticity for a while, but I question that theory. Is it just a wish, or is it a real change towards reality? I think we have a tendency to seek back-lashes against trends, but the trend is still there.

Yes, there are signs of the truth coming out. Size 14 models are used on London Fashion Week cat walk, and Cleo is now saying NO to retouching. But research from Carlton United, conducted by Bernard Salt showed that nearly one in four of Gen Y guys said they actively manage their cyber profiles (Facebook) to project their `best self`. And just look at the sales of botox, fillers, make up, boob jobs... yeah, they are still there, alive and kicking.

Social networking gives us the opportunity to create a fancy self, and we need to keep up with it outside Internet as well... Whether we like it or not!

Story on models: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1214799/London-Fashion-Week-stylist-resigns-designers-decision-use-size-14-models-show.html

Story on Facebook: http://au.news.yahoo.com/a/-/latest/7741705/men-put-best-self-forward-on-facebook/2/

The photo shows me, seriously photoshopped! I had a manager for my Love Coaching business for a while and he suggested I would use this photo... but I´m sorry, I´m 37 and don´t look like that, lol.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

We LOVE or mobile phones

The first hand held phone was demonstrated in 1973, using a handset weighing in at two kilos.

Who could have known that we would see this boom? Practically everyone in the developed world owns a phone (blue line in graph), and most of us are addicted to it...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Population growth is goooood

My dear friend Johan Norberg, senior fellow at the Washington think tank Cato Institute and the author of the award-winning book In Defence of Global Capitalism, writes in The Australian today: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/populate-or-live-in-boredom/story-fn59niix-1225907494898

Open up for growth and prosperity!

Fear of germs!

Has social networking made us fear humanity? Sales of hand sanitizers is boosting; the concern of germs growing. 88 % of Americans said in a survey they are concerned about germs, bacteria and viruses when traveling, compared to 83 % last year. 77 % of American travelers said they are washing their hands more often on the road than they normally do, an increase of 17 % from one year ago.

Graph shows sales of hand sanitizer in the Us 06-09. (Nielsen)

Friday, August 20, 2010

The health delusion

More Australians are exercising regularly, 48 % now compared to 37 % in 2001, according to Australian Sports Commission. So why are we still getting fatter, and why are more an more people suffering from diabetes (see graph from ABS)? We live in a society that is schizofhrenic about health... People believe they are healthy, but facts show they are not. We exercise but balance it up with food and drinks. This will affect most industries. Bigger car seats, less sugar in yoghurt and a boost in sales of gym clothes...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Every second Aussie wants to quit!

It seems like Aussies are on the run from their jobs! In the last six months more than half of the Australian workforce has considered leaving their current organisation. A quarter have applied for jobs elsewhere.

Higher pay 77 %
Career development 55 %
Flexible work hours 41 %
Training and development 35 %

Source LMAs annual Leadership Employment and Direction survey of 28 000 managers and employees. Link

The era of connection - online

Stunning data show that people today have a very close relationship with their tech gadgets...

- One in three women check Facebook first thing after they wake up – before brushing their teeth or going to the bathroom.
- Nearly 40 % admit they are Facebook addicts.
- Almost 49 % of women felt that it´s ok to keep tabs on a boyfriend by having access to his account.
- Australians are now spending four times longer connecting with friends through social networking sites like FB and Twitter as on email. (41.6 min/10.1 min)
- One in four think their smartphones ”felt like an extension of their brain or body”.
- 3 % had named their iphone, 9 % were patting it, 8 % have been thinking that "their iPod was jealous of their iPhone"

At the same time as we are getting more and more connected through technology, our in real life connections are suffering. Having no real friends is a bigger health risk than obesity and alcohol addiction. But I still don´t see a backlash from our social networking anytime soon...

Source Cleo September (research from Stanford uni, Mark McCrindle and Oxygen Media/Lightspeed Research.

65 + is the new hot market

The demographer Bernard Salt published an interesting article in The Australian today. He speaks about that the Aussie population is growing faster in 4 age groups, which is now changing the consumer landscape.

"The first growth cohort is kids. We are simply producing, and possibly importing, more kids now than we did in the middle of the decade."

"The second cohort that expanded rapidly over recent years is the 24 to 28-year age band, which sits squarely within Generation Y. This is student heartland. It is also the target group for permanent migration and temporary workers. Growth in the 24 to 28-year population between 2006 and 2009 averaged 13 per cent, or double the national average."

"The third area where there has been significant growth is in the 60-65 cohort. Within a decade the number of 62-year-olds will be closer to 300,000."

"The fourth area of hyper growth is in what can only be described as the frail elderly. The baby population might have exploded by 11 percentage points between 2006 and 2009, but the number of people aged 100 and over jumped 53 per cent from 2440 to 3739."
Follow Bernard on www.twitter.com/bernardsalt

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hahahahaha LOL

The most successful bosses I have worked with has always been the ones who dare to laugh even when handling serious projects. Now it is proven that wxecutives who laugh more during a job interview obtain larger bonuses one year later. The size of their bonuses correlated positively with the use of humour during the interviews, new research from employment agency Hay Group shows.

The most scared people I have worked with never dared to laugh, which I must say always gave a negative result. Clients can sense your fear, and that makes you less trustworthy. Confident people have the courage to giggle.
I think laugh therapy and joy will be more common in workplaces in the future, as employers are looking for new ways to tie Generation Y to a job for more than a week. Money is not an important driver anymore; people are looking for emotional satisfaction rather than material rewards, which is getting more acknowledged.

A lonely world, a depressed people

Depression is the largest health problem of our time. The number of people feeling so sad they call themselves depressed is increasing. This graph shows how Australian women are feeling more depressed.

One reason for this can be that we lose our bonds to others. Over the last two decades there has been a three-fold increase in the number of Americans who report having no confidant, says researchers from Brigham Young University in Utah who have studied friendship.

Their research shows that people who have few or no friends are in greater danger than people who are fat or alcoholic.

A study from Duke University found that 25 percent of Americans have no close social relations at all. That’s up from 10 percent in 1985. And fully half of all Americans have no close relationships outside of their immediate family.

So even if we have lots and lots of friends on Facebook, it doesn´t mean we are connected at all.

More info: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38436685/ns/health-behavior