RESOLUTIONS – THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT
Need help keeping those New Years’ Resolutions? Technology expert Hap Aziz recently visited Fox’s Good Day Orlando to discuss Mobile Apps that can help you keep your resolutions.
Yes, there is an App for that.
Hap is the Director of the School of Technology and Design at Rasmussen College.
TRENDS #10: BEER
The other day, someone told me there is more beer in the world than wine. Now I can’t confirm that statistic, but with the resurgence in popularity of beer over the last few years and the rise of microbreweries it makes sense. About 10 years ago there were only a handful of microbreweries in the US and now there are over 10,000 of them. I predict that in 2011, beer is going to explode – even more than it has. Plus, the opening of beer-centric bars/restaurants such as Bangers & Lace, Public House and Longman & Eagle are helping beer novices, such as myself, embrace the current drink trend. So raise a glass and toast the New Year with a cold brew. Everyone will be drinking it in 2011!
HOPE FOR VETERANS
Sometimes getting a story told takes a little time. This is especially true when dealing with a complicated issue like PTSD. As many of you know, Zapwater has long supported the USO of Illinois. This past summer, we worked with Dr. Laura Bokar and The Fox Valley Institute to help share the story of veterans returning from combat and their struggles returning to daily life.
Kudos to ABC’s Stacey Baca for sharing this story. There is no better friend to the military and military families than Stacey.
TRENDS 9: A NEW GOING GREEN
“Green” was a major theme in 2010. From purchasing water bottles made with less plastic to using recycled paper products, many individuals and companies were recognized for their work toward becoming more eco-friendly. But as we approach the New Year, the general public seems to be tiring of this “green” word, and many even question the validity when it is used loosely as an adjective.
In 2011, I predict a trend away from green and toward sustainable. People will ask not who is recycling plastics, but who is benefiting the long-term sustainability of the environment. Green is an act, but sustainable is a lifestyle.
Zapwater client Blue Plate, a catering and food services company, is working to become fully sustainable. Its first step toward this end goal was to hire full-time sustainability coordinator Laura Lukas. She was tapped to make sure Blue Plate wasn’t missing any eco-friendly opportunities. She even followed the trash through the trash collection process for a day to ensure it was being recycled and disposed of properly. Now that’s dedication!
With preferred vendor status at more than 85 Chicago locations, including some of the city’s most well known cultural institutions, Blue Plate has an opportunity to affect eco-friendly initiatives at a wide variety of events, as well as promote similar initiatives throughout the city. These are a few steps that, together, not only make Blue Plate green, they make it sustainable, a business that operates in harmony with the environment.
These are just a few of the strategies Blue Plate is implementing to become sustainable:
*Blue Plate donates 200 lbs of waste each day to a farm that uses composted materials to produce plants, vegetables, etc.
*Blue Plate donates all unused food to the Pacific Garden Mission so nothing goes to waste
*Energy Star dishwashing systems have been installed to decrease water use
*Electronics, light bulbs, batteries, cooking oil, and other products are recycled daily
*Blue Plate serves local product when available and is initiating sustainable food choices and organic bar options
*Reducing paper products such as junk mail (canceled 200 print subscriptions within the first three days, cutting paper waste by 30%)
Many of these strategies are easy to apply at home. Happy holidays and have a very sustainable 2011!
TRENDS 8: THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT
The next big thing for businesses and marketing gurus everywhere is sure to be the explosion of mobile apps. Made popular by Apple, the term, “there is an app for that” is quickly becoming reality as consumers can track their caloric intake, pay bills, and even monitor home security through their mobile device. With their ability to impact sales, improve customer loyalty, and naturally broaden a brand’s reach – paired with the introduction of Zapwater client Red Foundry’s mobile app platform, which allows anyone to create a beautiful and complete mobile app inexpensively – apps are perfectly positioned to see remarkable growth in 2011.
Along with this app influx comes high expectations from consumers. I for one cannot wait until some of my favorite brands turn mobile. At the top of my Apple Store list for next year are apps for Gossip Girl (TV show), Chicago CTA updates (with push notifications), and an app that delivers daily inspiration photos and advice from Victoria’s Secret models (so I can stay motivated to get in shape before my Mexico vacation). What apps would you like see next year?
TRENDS #7: THE SMALL BUSINESS
There’s never a better time to go out on a limb and try an idea that’s been on the back burner than when you are out of work. Risk tolerance is much greater when there’s nothing to lose.
Look out for loosening of the credit markets and increased lending. Albeit with stricter guidelines, money will flow and those who’ve been sitting on innovative ideas will reap the benefits as the market stabilizes and consumer confidence is restored. Just think mobile apps and aging baby boomers.
TRENDS #6: BABY TRENDS
As one of Zapwater’s resident mommies I feel it’s my duty to cover baby trends for 2011. So, here are my top trends for this year…
Trend #1: Homemade baby food. Making baby’s food at home may have seemed like a far-fetched goal for working moms (I know it did for me), but with the help of new products it’s becoming a lot easier. My personal favorite is the Beaba Babycook Baby Food Maker which has helped turn making baby food into a simple, quick task rather than something I need to set half a day aside for. Besides the obvious benefits of homemade baby food (you know exactly what baby eats), it can also be a real money saver!
Trend # 2: Diapers.com. I had never even heard of diapers.com until after Austin was born, and I swear it’s the best kept secret among city-dwelling Mom’s! First of all, you avoid trekking through six inches of snow and getting frostbite during the winter. Second, the prices are cheaper than most grocery and drug stores. And best of all, it takes only minutes to order (especially once your recent orders are saved) and your baby supplies are delivered to your door within two days. You can order everything from diapers and wipes, to teething tablets, formula and toys!
Trend # 3: Baby goes green. Yes, even babies are going green these days. It may have started with BFA free bottles and cloth diapers, but now even disposable diapers offer green options. Take Huggies Pure and Natural diapers and wipes which use organic cotton outside, are hypoallergenic and include a touch of aloe and vitamin E. Check out their Web site for more details.
Okay, that’s it for me! We’ll see what (or who) pops up next!
TRENDS #6: MEAT LOVERS UNITE
Meat lovers unite. The Atkins Diet will make a comeback. Or, at least it will for me. Starting January 1st, I will embark on a year of ‘dieting.’ Stephanie Poquette, our newest Publicist, has cleverly come up with the name of my monthly blog for 2011: 12 Months to Die(t) For. It seems I have tried every diet there is and after much office laughter recounting my weight loss attempts, it’s been suggested I document my next journey. Well, wish me luck because here it goes.
TRENDS #5: MEGGINGS
When fashion trends are concerned, men typically don’t worry about trends shaking up their every day wardrobes. Male trends and styles do not change as often when compared to women’s fashion trends. But this may soon change as we know it.
Fashion Week in Milan presented lots of new and unusual men’s fashion trends that some may view a little too much to digest. Gone were what everybody expected to see including lots of men’s suits, shirts with little change in cuts.
The year 2010 was a huge year for leggings. Everywhere one looked it seemed women had decided to opt for leggings over pants. The time has come to brace yourself for MEGGINGS! Sound strange?? These were among the Spring 2011 men’s fashion trends as presented by Emporio Armani Spring 2011 runway. Get ready to see men walking on street in this hybrid version of jeans and leggings. Will this be something I sport around the Zapwater office? Stay tuned and find out!