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2013 Trend: “Play as a Competitive Advantage”

It’s that time of year. No, not the holidays — time for end-of-the-year numbered list retrospectives and new year predictions.

Market analysis firm JWTIntelligence has identified 10 trends that will shape consumer mindset and behavior in 2013. Number 1 on the list? Play. Or, more specifically, Play as a Competitive Advantage:

Adults will increasingly adopt for themselves the revitalized idea that kids should have plenty of unstructured play to balance out today’s plethora or organized and tech-based activities. In an age when people feel they can’t spare time for pursuits that don’t have specific goals attached, there will be a growing realization that unstructured time begets more imagination, creativity and onnovation—all competitive advantages.

Whether this “trend” will translate into reality in 2013 is anyone’s guess. I do think the core observation is true. However, playing solely for sake of competitive advantage and not simply for play’s sake kinda misses the point.

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