Emerging economies are an increasingly important source of consumer innovations, according to consumer insights firm trendwatching.com.

Emergence of Developing World
trendwatching.com cites a number of statistics to support its premise that emerging economies are becoming a major source of consumer innovations that will have a global impact. For example, these economies have accounted for nearly 70% of world growth during the last five years, accounted for 34% of global GDP in 2010 and will account for 39% in 2015, and will account for two-thirds of world trade in 2050.

In addition, trendwatching.com says emerging economies contain a growing middle class of 2 billion people who spend $6.9 trillion USD annually. That figure is expected to rise to $20 trillion by 2050.

Developing Nations Offer Globally Relevant Consumer Products & Services
trendwatching.com has identified a number of consumer innovations with a global impact in 13 emerging economies. MarketingCharts will highlight seven of these innovations today, and six tomorrow.

China: BYD is the world’s largest supplier of rechargeable batteries. Domestically, the organization has branched out into the Electric vehicle sector and US and European expansion is rumored.

India: One Billion Minds is a prize-led innovation platform that connects problem-solving scholars with solution-seeking companies and non-profits. Launched in late 2009 by Sanjukt K. Saha in Kolkata and London, One Billion Minds challenges student and alumni crowds from universities worldwide to come up with innovative solutions to real-world problems. Prizes from the participating corporations include cash, professional recognition, and opportunities to interview for full-time or internship positions.

Malaysia: In June 2010, Malaysian Airlines included augmented reality technology in its mobile app. The technology enables users to determine their location and display the nearest airports.

Turkey: Mapenvelope, launched in early 2010 by Istanbul-based graphic designer Beste Miray as an application that allows users to select a location in Google Maps and then print the location with a personalized message. Once printed, the cut-out graphic turns into the inside of an envelope and can be sent to a friend via old-fashioned snail mail.

South Africa: Launched in early 2010, MiWorld is a concept bar that incorporates online components including a website, a digital wall and series of touch-screen tables that facilitate both digital and real-world conversation.

Brazil: Farinha Pura is a bakery in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which is using Twitter to promote its freshly baked goods. The bakery tweets every time a fresh batch of bread comes out of the oven.

Mexico: Led by Mexican beer brand Corona Extra, the Save the Beach effort aims to recover at least one European beach per year from destruction by pollution and other human-caused damage. In June 2010, to draw more attention to the challenge, the Save the Beach effort built a hotel out of garbage collected from Europe’s beaches. Created by German artist HA Schult and installed next to Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome, the Save the Beach Hotel was built from 12 tons of garbage and could accommodate up to 10 people.

Mature Consumers Seek Edgy Brands
Marketers tracking global consumer trends should also be aware that a growing audience of experienced, less-easily shocked, outspoken consumers appreciates brands that are a little bit more daring and outspoken, according to previous analysis from trendwatching.com.

trendwatching.com has dubbed this growing consumer trend “Maturialism.” According to trendwatching.com, consumers of today no longer tolerate being treated like yesteryear’s easily shocked, inexperienced, middle-of-the-road consumers. Able to handle much more honest conversations, unusual flavors and risqu? experiences, these consumers increasingly appreciate brands that are pushing the boundaries a bit.

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