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Top 10 Trends to Watch for in 2015

Top 10 Trends to Watch for in 2015

Margie Davis No Comment

More Payment Flexibility

As new methods of payment arise, the same kind of flexibility is expected of their traditional counterparts. Going out with your friends but want to pay with your mobile? It’s a simple task with cash, but it seems mobile payment is still lagging a bit.

“A recent study found that 45% of Millennials in the US & UK would like to use their mobiles to split bills with friends (JWT, October 2014).”

 

 

Smart Objects

Also known as ‘the internet of things’, it refers to the integration of objects with the internet.  Postscapes offers some examples:

CHECK ON THE BABY

Aimed at helping to prevent SIDS, the Mimo monitor is a new kind of infant monitor that provides parents with real-time information about their baby’s breathing, skin temperature, body position, and activity level on their smartphones.

MAKE SURE THE OVEN IS OFF

Smart outlets like the WeMo allow you to instantly turn on and off any plugged in device from across the world or just your living room. Save money and conserve energy over time by eliminating standby power, measure and record the power usage of any device, and increase its operating lifespan through more efficient use and scheduling.

LIGHT STREETS MORE EFFECTIVELY

This smart lighting system from Echelon allows a city to intelligently provide the right level of lighting needed by time of day, season, and weather conditions. Cities have shown a reduction in street lighting energy use by up to 30% using solutions like this.

STOP GUESSING

Retailers can run real-world A/B tests using networked cameras and sensors like those in the Shopperception system to detect how customers are engaging with specific products and the store’s layout.

HELP PROTECT WILDLIFE

A project by Ground Labs and Lion Guardians is creating an open source wildlife tracking collar system to safeguard the Maasai herders cattle and protect the last 2000 lions living Southern Kenya. The system consists of a tracking collar that utilizes a GPS/GSM module to locate and track the lions and communicate their coordinates to researchers and Maasai herders via SMS.”

STOP THE BLEEDING

Invisible Tracck is a wireless device being used in pilot programs to help combat illegal deforestation taking place in the Amazon. The battery operated devices are installed on select trees and as soon as the logged trees are in transit and able to connect to a mobile network (Up to a 20 mile range), an alert notification with location coordinates is sent to the Brazilian Institute of Environment so they can take action.

 

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See Also: WHAT IS THE INTERNET OF THINGS?

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Brands beyond CSR initiatives

Although CSR initiatives will remain important this year, consumers will start expecting a different approach to CSRs.

Salesforce, a cloud computing company, brings in 135,000 guests each year to their San Francisco summit Dreamforce. This instant flood of people causes quite a bit of jamming.

“…Marc Benioff, is doing more than any other American chief executive to rethink the obligations companies have toward the cities where they operate. In the past few years, Benioff and his wife Lynne have helped build a state-of-the-art children’s hospital in San Francisco, funded a variety of initiatives to help the hungry and homeless, and, via his company’s Salesforce Foundation, parceled out $73 million in grants to nonprofits. At the same time he’s done something even more audacious: publicly urged other tech leaders to do their part. “Now is the time to give a strong message to entrepreneurs that this is a city and an industry that expects you to give back,” he says.Our industry by nature is disruptive—that’s what technology is—but we are being disruptive to the city also”

Benioff began weaving this philosophy into Salesforce’s culture when he founded the company in 1999. He called it the 1-1-1 model of corporate philanthropy, in which the company would send 1 percent of its stock, products, and employees’ working time to the company foundation. Full story  Businessweek.

More examples from trendwatching:

In response to the Ebola virus spread across West Africa in August 2014, mobile app Easy Taxi partnered with Dettol to offer Nigerian cab drivers lessons on how to diagnose and prevent the disease, with drivers encouraged to pass their knowledge onto passengers.

In May 2014, Volvo partnered with the Swedish Transport Authority on the EletriCity project to create roads that can charge electric vehicles. Features will include inductive charging that can wirelessly transmit power to the city of Gothenburg’s electric bus fleet.

October 2014 saw traffic data platform Waze announce Connected Citizens: a partnership program exchanging data with governments across the world with the aim of improving urban traffic conditions. The program launch partners included cities such as Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Barcelona and Tel Aviv.

 

waze

 

Demographics at a different scale

Consumption patterns are no longer defined by ‘traditional’ demographic segments such as age, gender, location, income, family status. We now need to look at their consumption habits. For example, How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did is a fantastic example of how companies identify their consumers through purchasing habits.

…a hypothetical example. Take a fictional Target shopper named Jenny Ward, who is 23, lives in Atlanta and in March bought cocoa-butter lotion, a purse large enough to double as a diaper bag, zinc and magnesium supplements and a bright blue rug. There’s, say, an 87 percent chance that she’s pregnant and that her delivery date is sometime in late August. Read the full article in Forbes

 

Sympathetic pricing

Prices based on sympathy which is targeted to the ‘individual’ as opposed to the ‘general public’.

In September 2014, Hong Kong newspaper the South China Morning Post removed its paywall to give readers free access to the paper’s Occupy Central articles.

Launched in May 2014, PareUp allows New York-based restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores to offer soon-to-be-wasted food at a discounted price. Participating merchants can send alerts to users detailing what is available, and the discounted price.

During the FIFA World Cup in July 2014, Brazilian publisher Lote 42 offered customers a 10% discount for every goal scored against the national team during the soccer championship. After Brazil lost 7-1 to Germany, customers were offered a 70% discount for 24 hours, catapulting the brand to national attention.

 

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See Also: Sympathetic Pricing 

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Robots

From drones to service, automated robotics is a thing of the now.

Google has been testing an automated taxi service that works with an app. As it approaches a turn, it slows down in order to turn carefully. This may just put taxi drivers out of business.

In July 2014, Düsseldorf Airport unveiled the world’s first robotic parking valet. Customers leave their car, and a robot picks it up and positions the vehicle in one of 249 dedicated spaces. The system connects to the airport’s flight database, meaning that customers find their vehicle ready and waiting for them upon their return.

November 2014 saw US hardware retailer Lowe’s trialling OSHbot robot sales assistants in a California store. The robots have a 3D scanner to identify items bought in by customers and check if replacement parts are in stock. They are also programmed to speak English and Spanish, with further language options planned.

In Japan, Nestlé are trialling a robotic customer service assistant named Pepper to help guide people through the Dolce Gusto and Gold Blend coffee brand product ranges. Trials start in December 2014, with plans to roll the robots out to 1,000 stores by the end of 2015.

 

Brands should take a Stand

73% of Millennials believe that businesses should share a point of view about issues;

73% also think businesses should influence others to get involved in an issue.

(MSLGroup, February 2014)

As people emphasize the individual, it is no surprise that they expect companies and CEO’s to do the same.

 

No experience required

Instagram’s success is due to its ease in producing high-quality images effortlessly. After snapping a delightful photo, a filter is chosen that best fits the user’s tastes; a professional output, accessible through most smartphones, without the need for experience in professional photography or Photoshop.

 

instagram poster

 

Age of the individual

As millennials are growing up, they are no longer embracing products for the masses, but rather, individualistic approaches. It is no surprise that ‘cookie-cutter’ uniforms fashion like Abercrombie & Fitch suffered a 1/3 drop in sales this year, while individual-oriented ‘Forever 21’ are thriving.

 

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See Also: Why it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy (case of A&F)

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Prosumers

Not the semi-professional tech products (a hybrid between professional and consumer products), but the highly knowledgeable consumer. Thanks to immediate access to tech specs, reviews and how-to videos, less-than-accurate-advertising will get you nowhere (and blacklisted in every review site possible).

 

Sources: trendwatching, forbes, Pew social trends.

 

 

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