Amy Webb a futurist, author and professor. She is a professor of strategic foresight at the...
Amy Webb on trends: “do a good job of listening”
For many years I have been following, analyzing and mapping examples of innovations and developing projects, which confirm macro and mega trends. This collection is extensive and highly diverse, and includes dozens of examples from major industries and market sectors. Closing the topic of the summaries of 2019 (I know, we have February) I thought that it is worth sharing what I have already collected and analyzed. So today, in one place, I gathered 23 projects initiated last year, which in my opinion are important and worth getting acquainted with. On the one hand, they are evidence of the existence of ever stronger, more explicit trends, on the other, they are the result of work aimed at creating the best solutions to address global problems such as the climate crisis, hyper-consumption or the ubiquitous overused of plastic.
Some of these projects are still at an early stage of development, and there is a concern that they may never have widespread, mass application, but they are a clear signal which, along with dozens of other similar projects, confirms changes taking place in the world. I recommend them to your attention, maybe they will become an inspiration in your everyday work or development of projects on which you are currently working. If you are looking for support in the area of trend analysis and presentation of examples and drivers of changes taking place, feel free to contact me. Every month, I prepare such summaries for the needs of many brands.
Without further ado, I invite you to the comparison.
Finally Boston Dynamics has announced that it will begin selling or leasing its four-legged Spot robot. The price is at the level of the value of a luxury car. It is used mainly where it is difficult for a man to reach or it can be dangerous. Adam Savage from “Tested” is among those who has already tested it.
Mastercard, resigning from using its name in the logo, leaving only two characteristic, intersecting circles, demonstrated the strength of its branding, strengthening it – as one of the first brands in such a coherent and prepared way – with the so-called sonic branding, towards which more and more brands are heading.
KLM has launched a long-term “Fly Responsibly” campaign, educating passengers about the responsible use of airlines and flying only when they really need it. It is significant that about the negative impact of the aviation business, the growing trend of “fly shame” and the alternative in the form of rail transport we are informed so openly by… the airline.
Mercedes-Benz Mercedes announced the “Ambition 2039” program, which aims to ensure that by 2039 all production of this brand’s vehicles takes place in a carbon-neutral manner. This is the most courageous and radical declaration among all automotive giants. For comparison, the VW group declared carbon neutrality of its production until 2050. Staying on the moto theme, the declaration “Net Zero Carbon” until 2030 for the entire discipline was also announced by the head of Formula 1, probably the most environmentally friendly sport in the world.
Starbucks was so pleased with the course of the brand image lifting process that it decided to fully share the brand deconstruction project and all its components at a level accessible to everyone, wanting to show the world Starbucks’ approach to the creative process.
From the first months of 2020, Volvo intends to install a system to monitor dangerous driver behavior in all vehicles. The camera and sensors are to detect, for example inattentive driving and sitting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. The second noteworthy project, initiated in 2019 by Volvo together with Stena Recycling, is the ReMade initiative focused on the pursuit of sustainable car production and resource efficiency.
In 2019, the Faroese authorities decided to close the entire island to incoming tourists because of renovation works carried out in the most popular and most visited places by foreigners. However, several hundred volunteers from other countries were accepted to help with renovation works. The non-standard operation proved to be a great success, and the authorities announced the closure of the island again in 2020.
Stella McCartney and Google have announced a pilot collaboration program to apply technology to make the production chain of this well-known fashion brand more sustainable. In-depth data analytics and machine learning technology are designed to help improve the overall process and make it less harmful to the environment. An additional goal is to jointly build a tool that, made available in the public domain, will help other companies better analyze business for greener production.
East West Market, a Vancouver grocery store, has introduced paid, one-off “shame bags” for customers who forget to carry reusable bags. Bold, often strange inscriptions on them were to cause interest among passers-by and, as a consequence, encourage their buyers to switch to greener bags.
Bosch announced the launch of the Light Drive solution that will transform any corrective eyewear into so-called smart glasses. The functionalities are to include navigation support, the ability to create and uncheck lists and read notifications from applications supported by the solution.
Vollebak, a clothing manufacturer from the UK, has launched an organic T-shirt that decomposes in 12 months. It is made of a mixture of wood pulp with a sustainable development certificate, while the paint used for printing was created from algae. Customers can use the T-shirt as compost or simply bury it in the ground when they decide not to wear it anymore.
In order to encourage the younger generation to pray daily, the Vatican created a bracelet called “eRosary”. Activated by making a cross mark, the device from the wearables category synchronizes with the Click to Pray applicationn, which allows its holder to choose the method and type of prayer. The app also tracks your progress in the amount of time declared for daily prayer.
As part of a new, sustainability-oriented partnership, Ford and McDonald’s transform coffee waste from McDonald’s into a composite used to manufacture some internal and external car parts, e.g. headlights.
Hotel Ottilia as one of the first in the world, after two years of testing, implemented self-disinfecting room technology, which introduced a significant saving of time for those who clean their rooms in the absence of guests.
Lush, a brand from the beauty industry, decided in mid-2019 to abandon the use of social platforms to communicate their activities and contact with clients (and continues to this day). The reason for the decision was fatigue resulting from the need to adapt to the algorithms of SoMe platforms and the need to pay for the ability to display brand messages in users’ newsfeeds.
Google wants to help smartphone users fight addiction by looking at their screens through a series of simple innovations affecting consumer habits. The first is … printed Paper Phone. At the beginning of 2020, we see a continuation of these activities in the form of an envelope for the phone that only allows you to answer calls or take pictures / shoot movies (without seeing the screen). BTW Google also announced that it was the first company in the world to have made a historic breakthrough in building a quantum computer. IBM has a slightly different opinion on this matter.
Instagram has begun testing hiding the functionality of photo users’ likes, starting from 7 countries, including Canada, Italy and Australia. The initiative is to counteract the deepening of users ‘dependence on receiving notifications from the application and direct the creators’ attention to publishing unique materials instead of controversial content generating sensation.
Loop, is the Circular Economy platform, in which the largest global brands join forces to produce greener everyday goods. Procter & Gamble, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Unilever, Mars, Coca-Cola, Danone, Carrefour and UPS as logistic support. Pilotages are underway in many European and US cities.
Tommy Hilfiger announced that from 2022 he intends to design his collections only in the digital world, and the first contact with the finished product is to take place only at the premiere shows. This is to accelerate the creative process, reduce the negative impact of production on the natural environment and prepare the brand to join the virtual world with the real use of CGI avatars.
Wasteless, an Israeli startup, has developed a dynamic price algorithm for stores, so that they can increase their revenue by automatically valuing and communication of products with expiration dates. Thus, stores that use Wasteless technology significantly reduce food waste, which is a huge problem for the entire FMCG trade industry.
Lush again. The brand opened its new store in Manchester, where all products are sold without the use of plastic packaging. This is the first cosmetic brand operating in this way in the UK.
Freezer is a project under development by Indonesian scientists, which is a floating structure that can float around the Arctic and gives birth to an iceberg every month. Its use could counteract the process of melting glaciers by systematically refilling the ice cover, which affects the reflection of solar warming rays of the Earth.
PulPac from Sweden has developed the world’s first production method replacing all types of disposable plastic containers. They are not only cheaper than plastic, but also biodegradable and compostable.