The principle is simple: People put more stock in what's scarce.
The rarer the stone, the higher the price. The more limited the
edition, the greater the status. The harder to get, the more the
value. No surprise, then, that pop-up retail first appeared during
the heyday of over-abundance in the early 2000s. With so much to be
had at the time, the only way to sustain value was to reinvent and
then reintroduce scarcity.
But nowadays scarcity doesn't need to be invented. An era of
limits and declines is at hand, so scarcity will be a
characteristic feature of the marketplace in 2013. Rare things will
be well at hand, with value attached.
Much of the coming scarcity will be in the natural world. Frogs
and other amphibians have been in decline for many decades, but the
rate of decline has triggered many alarms lately. Some scientists
have called it "terrifying." Frogs feature prominently in popular
culture, so as their numbers wither, their following will increase,
especially as a symbol of other environmental threats.
Much of the coming scarcity will be in the social world.
Technologies of all sorts are commanding more of our time, focus
and mental energy, thus creating a competition and trade referred
to as the "attention economy." Researchers at the Global Information Industry Center at the
University of California at San Diego estimated that in
2008 the average American consumed a torrent of 33.8 gigabytes of
information each day, up from 9.8 in 1980. As content providers of
all sorts, marketers especially, compete for people's attention,
costs are sure to rise.
Much of the coming scarcity will be the result of hitting
limits. Shortages of many sorts are forecasted, but perhaps the
most worrisome is water. Even with an overflow of everything else,
nothing can survive without water. Many things contribute to water
scarcity - poor infrastructure, depletion of natural reserves,
climate change, etc. Nearly 3 billion people are projected to live
in water stressed areas by 2025. This will make it imperative for
brands, at a minimum, to practice water conservation or face a loss
of goodwill with negative economic consequences. But good water
practices will also offer smart brands a point of difference to
To read more 2013 planning horizons check out the related
stories below, or visit The Futures Company website.
Source: The Futures Company