Internet trends: marketing research & predictions

The Lipstick Index: 5 Ways Recession Is Changing Our Lives

April 2nd, 2009 by and

Coping with the global recession has become more of lifestyle adjustment. TrendsSpotting adds to the Lipstick Index and reports five ways recession is changing our daily lives:


Latest fad in parenting “potty training”. Parents motivation to cut back on diaper expenses – resulted in huge surge of search “ for “three day potty training” ” (see this trend emerge through Google search). Still considering sanitary trends – according to Kimberly-Clark consumers are cutting back on toilet paper,  as put by CNBC reporter Jane Well “If you have less money, you buy less food, there is less to digest, which means less…”


Cutting on appearance expenses: while women are switching from hair salons to  do-it-yourself home hair color (see search volume growth for “hair color” capturing the “Dye Jones Index), men are growing the recession beard.


We are willing to dump our cellphone contracts & pare back on “extras” such as texting and mobile web access. New Millennium Research Council study suggests  39% of the Americans cellphone subscribers are likely to cut back on wireless service if the recession deepens over the next six months. One in five cellphone users who have extra features — have actually cut back or have considered doing so in the past six months. At the same time IBISWorld points out healthy 20.1% growth on VOIP. It’s likely that within next few months you will start calling up your friends/family more frequently using Skype /Jajah.


In the books industry – Cookbook sales are up – Amazon reported double digit growth.  If you are following Trendsspotting closely, its actually the DIY trend we reported earlier. More in books – the ebook: have a look at the rising ebook searches here (anything to do with kindle?) . IDPF reports impressive 75% year on year wholesale eBook sales growth during 2008 in US. And who is reading eBooks? It’s primarily women 40- 50 years old, with a higher-than-average income and education level.


Bartering is back. Craiglists reports 100% upswing on bartering boards traffic compared to last year. U-Exchange sign up almost doubled to 54,000 within an year. And how about exchanging your 10 Facebook friends for a free Burger-King whooper? Within a week after its launch 82,000 people bartered over 230,000 friendships on Facebook for a whopper.

    Our earlier coverage on recession indicators:

More emerging recession trends:

..and in case you are a marketer planning your advertising strategy, you better check the paid report covering recession advertising campaigns:
5 Dominating advertising approachs dealing with recession.

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5 Responses

  1. Missa Says:

    Great coverage. I just bought a box of hair color yesterday AND just wrote my own post dealing with the lipstick index. These topics are really timely and are good strategies for people to save money.

  2. Luna Says:

    Definitely – we’re all on SAVE mode right now. I’ve drastically cut back on my texting and recently switched from a contract cll phone to a prepaid – Of course my contract had already expired so I didn’t have to pay for the outragious cancellation fee! At any rate, I now use as many minutes as I purchase every month, so I don’t have to worry about the monthly surprise bill – This has really helped me budget my month a lot better.

  3. Shelly Miles Says:

    I agree that it’s time to tighten our belts,I’m not sure that I’m gonna start eating less but what I have done is cancel my cell phone contract and buy a Tracfone. Since then I have been saving nearly $50 every month and I’m still making the same amount of calls. I’m going to cancel my land line as well because since I bought the Tracfone I discovered that I can make long distance and international calls to about 60 country’s for the same price as a local call. I’ve started texting a lot and I’m saving even more because Tracfone only charges 5cents per text as apposed to 20cents I was paying on contract. This is a very real way to save without having to cut back so give it a try.

  4. DivaGirl Says:

    Prepaid phones are a great way to reduce cell phone costs! I used to be obsessed with my Blackberry, but as a college student, could no longer afford to spend all of that money on a contract phone. I decided to switch to prepaid and LOVE IT! I only spend only on the minutes that I use. I can also still text and make long distance calls.

    I would recommend it to anyone!

  5. LaSara Firefox, aka @Yoga_Mama Says:

    GREAT article. This is my new favorite marketing blog, for sure. (And I let everyone in my Twitterverse know that!)

    It’s funny, because my husband and I were just discussing the cell phone question last night.


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