We are all familiar with terms like BRIC and N11 and aware of the burgeoning middle-classes being created in China and India. But something outside of the purely socio-economic is happening. And it is happening to us, here in the so-called ‘developed’ markets. These developing economies are creating what — from a deliberately Western-centric perspective — we are terming a COGShift. This Centre of Gravity Shift is seeing brands and companies move their focus from Western markets to those of the developing world.
As part of its focus on emerging economies, WPP already has more than 28,000 employees in the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, a larger presence than that in the U.S. or U.K. According to the Boston Consulting Group, China is poised to account for 30 percent of the global fashion market’s growth in the next five years. And in 2009, whilst working for LSN: Global, we observed a blingamalism design trend that is becoming ever more pronounced.
A radical reading of this is that we — the Western consumer — no longer matter. We are – to use fashion parlance – so over. And what does that mean for a society defined by consumerism? We’re about to find out.