Pink also believes companies will need to speak the language of meaning to customers. Using a car ad as an example, he says, "It will be less about external matters (a flashy car taking curves at high speed) and more about internal matters - having meaningful family discussions within the quiet of the car."
BOTTOM LINE: Pink says companies should think "substance over style" in what they produce and how they market. The savviest managers will also reduce brain drain by creating work environments that help employees maintain both professional and personal lives.
BEYOND COCOONING WITH FAITH POPCORN
For nearly a decade, says Faith Popcorn, an internationally recognized trend predictor and author of the business bestseller Clicking: 17 Trends That Drive Your Business and Your Life, a national nervousness about our well-being has been gaining steam. That anxiety, which she calls AtmosFear, has been further fueled by the events of September 11, she says. "We're threatened by the air we breathe, the water we drink, antibiotic-resistant viruses, commuters with road rage, E. coli in our fast food, cancer-causing chemicals all around us. ..."
On an individual level, "people will push to work at home and to keep a closer eye on their family," she says. "Home and office will merge more vigorously than ever."
On a corporate level, Popcorn says this trend will have executives reconsidering where they conduct business. Some companies will weigh the lures of small communities that offer easy access to major cities. Think suburbs versus inner city, low-rise office on campus versus downtown skyscraper.
Meanwhile, goods and services that address society's concerns have a growing market. Companies that focus on home decorating or home entertaining already saw boosts in sales in the early fall. Shoppers flocked to Home Depot, Pier 1 Imports, and other home-related retailers. They also picked up home electronics in greater numbers, while overall retail sales trended downward. Stock analysts think the nesting trend will continue, and so does Popcorn.