9 Trends A Marketer Picked Up At Essen

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A look at a "shop within a shop."

Germany’s IPM Essen is more than a trade show. It’s truly an experience filled with new ideas, trends and inspirations. Here are nine trends I saw at the January 2012 show that was built on the bells and whistles you can use to make your product pop.

1. Color Trends

The hot colors at Essen, as well as at Paris’s Maison d’oject January 20-24, were grays and slates. I also saw lots of pink and purple undertones; metallic and pearlized colors; and monochromatic blends of purple and heathers. Fun animal prints were just about everywhere, too – even on containers and wraps.

2. The Shop Within A Shop

Another recurring theme I picked up on was the shop-within-a-shop concept. I saw many plant racks or shelving units with beautiful garden banners creating the perfect destination to shop for flowers. To me, the shop within a shop is the perfect solution to draw attention to product, or if space is limited. Product all of a sudden has an identity, which is exactly what entices consumers to buy.

3. Minis, Minis, Minis

Minis are very hot as well. Some are as small as 2 inches. Minis make great impulse purchases all year round. From fun to elegant, there was no shortage of adorable miniatures.

4. Feathers & Fabrics

Dressing up commodity plants with picks, feathers and fabrics is popular, too. Adding a simple pick can immediately add value to a plant. Plus, picks add color and, before you know it, they become a must-have design element.

5. Glitter Is In

Another enhancement you couldn’t miss at Essen was the bling on containers and plants. Glitter is hot in fashion , home design and even cell phone covers. Now it’s popular on flowers. Glitter, once considered too flashy, is now a completely acceptable accent. Succulents with glitter are a hot design element in upscale restaurants. A little glitter works in almost any room décor. Glitter offers the added “wow” element that make rooms come to life.

6. Ribbons Have Arrived

Ribbon embellishment has been a strong fashion and home décor trend for a while now. The concept has now happily arrived in the container world. Ribbon accents were added to all kind of containers, including ceramics, wickers, plastics and tins. Ribbons are a perfect accent to add a touch of color and texture. My favorite find was a ceramic container with a simple gingham-patterned ribbon. Love it!

7. Organic Feelings

There is also a huge trend in using natural products as design accents. Elements of nature not only have the visual appeal, but they have an emotional appeal as well. Natural products evoke feelings of the outdoors.

8. Vintage Is An Opportunity

The “new” vintage trend has been popular in fashion, and I was pleased to see it on containers in Essen. There is a certain comfort that comes from celebrating our heritage. You cannot go wrong with adding a touch of vintage to a container or even a plant tag. Adding a brief history or plant origin can be fun for consumers. Memories of yesteryear are always appealing.

9. Bird’s The Word

Owls and chickens are the hot creatures this year. From containers, picks and tags, there were no shortage of the two. Both add a cute, whimsical touch that have a global appeal.

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