“In economies that increasingly depend on (and thus value) creative thinking and acting, well-known status symbols tied to owning and consuming goods and services will find worthy competition from ‘status skills’: those skills that consumers are mastering to make the most of those same goods and services, bringing them status by being good at something, and the story telling that comes with it.”
They note that this is not an anti-business trend. “It still relies on a dominantly capitalist system, in which consumption remains important, yet is partly replaced by another highly valued, status-providing activity: mastering skills, and the show & tell circus that comes with it. Which opens entirely new markets for both providers of skills, and those skillful consumers who may become competing producers of (niche) goods and services.”
“Furthermore, ‘skills’ joining tangible, shiny things and mind-blowing experiences as providers of status is by no means the only shift to watch in the status space. What if a â€˜doing the right thingâ€™ lifestyle gains in appreciation? Where does leading an eco-friendly existence fit in, and the praise that one increasingly will get from that? Or the virtual world, in which oneâ€™s gaming skills, or oneâ€™s profile popularity (and number of friends), or even the appearance of oneâ€™s avatar determine how much praise or scorn is received?”
The trend report is structured in three areas:
- Dedicated status skills provider: “entities that are exclusively dedicated to helping consumers to acquire skills”;
- Corporate classes: “brands that are assisting consumers in acquiring skills as a way to make the most of their purchases from that brand”;
- “Ventures that enable consumers to show off their skills“.