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June 2015 Global Trend Briefing

Why brands must evolve to a higher stage of consciousness.

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  1. 1. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS Why brands must evolve to a higher stage of consciousness. GLOBAL TREND BRIEFING JUNE 2015
  2. 2. Blame that Oreos ‘Dunk in the Dark’ tweet, and the million copycats it spawned. And, yes, blame us. Along with a clutch of marketing gurus, brand strategists and social media experts, we’ve championed the cause of HUMAN BRANDS – that is, brands with a dose of empathy, flexibility and humor – for years. But now, it’s clear that this epic trend has jumped the Left Shark, and descended into an orgy of youth culture bandwagon jumping, pop- up eco and social responsibility vanity projects, and awkward inter-brand ‘fun’ on social media. The HUMAN BRANDS trend promised so much more. So what went wrong? A philosopher once said: ‘Hell is other people’. But that was before anyone ever had to endure the spectacle of two brands flirting on social media. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 2www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  3. 3. Stop saying ‘bae’, brands (with thanks to @BrandsSayingBae). ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 3www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  4. 4. And we don’t even want to remind you of the super-awkward moment that was this tweet. But we will. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 4www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  5. 5. Okay, maybe that’s just the rage talking. After all, human beings can also aspire to, and occasionally achieve, the highest human virtues: empathy, generosity, responsibility and more. But in pursuit of a HUMAN side, most brands took a shortcut: a chirpy brand voice that covered them in a patina of humanity and allowed them to pay lip service to those virtues. Now, customer expectations have raced onwards (they do that). People are looking to brands to evolve to a higher state of consciousness by taking real, meaningful, even painful, action to make their lives – and the world we share – better. It’s the difference between being HUMAN and being ENLIGHTENED. The irony here? Many customers are far from saintly themselves! After all, they co-created this planet warming, sugar rushing, socially damaging mess we’re in, right along with brands. And now, they’re looking for brands to embrace ENLIGHTENMENT for them. Unfair? That’s consumers for you ;) What’s so great about HUMANS, anyway? They’re vain, selfish and power-hungry, and they’re wrecking the planet FFS! ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 5www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  6. 6. Just 7% of consumers think brands positively or meaningfully contribute to their lives. HAVAS, APRIL 2015 7% ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 6www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  7. 7. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 7www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands DEFINITION ENLIGHTENED BRANDS | A million and one brands are tweeting, instagramming and periscoping their HUMAN side. But in 2016, brands that want to assure their survival will start on the hard path towards true ENLIGHTENMENT, by taking meaningful action to improve both individual lives and the wider world.
  8. 8. RESTLESS: That means they’re forever in search of new ways to make the world a better place, and to hold themselves to higher standards of fairness and responsibility. EMPATHETIC: That means understanding and addressing customer pain points and working to make individual lives easier, faster, and more fun. DEMANDING: Making individual lives better can also mean pushing consumers to overcome their human flaws, and become the people they want to be. The truth is that in 2015, few brands are anywhere near true ENLIGHTENMENT. Most are deeply mired in eco, social and service sin. But any business can learn from those major brands taking their first steps and the startups introducing the kind of ENLIGHTENED innovations that all brands should be working on! Any brand starting out on the path should understand that ENLIGHTENED BRANDS are: ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 8www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  9. 9. In a global survey of 28,000 consumers, 63% said they only buy products and services that appeal to their beliefs, values or ideals. GFK, APRIL 2015 63% ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 9www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  10. 10. AMSTERDAM » WED 27 MAY 2015 LONDON » TUE 2 JUNE 2015 SINGAPORE » TUE 18 AUG 2015 NEW YORK » THU 17 SEPT 2015 SYDNEY » TUE 27 AUG 2015 LIVE | 2015 TREND SEMINARS 1YEAR 5CITIES 2,000PROFESSIONALS ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 10www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  11. 11. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS ARE RESTLESS... FEATURED INNOVATIONS They will continually take steps (even costly ones) towards a better world through new products, services, production methods, marketing and internal policies. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 11www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  12. 12. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: RESTLESS Vodafone Telecoms company announces worldwide maternity pay guarantee ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 12www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  13. 13. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: RESTLESS Diario ABC Color Paraguayan newspaper launches free journalism school ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 13www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  14. 14. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: RESTLESS Vangardist Austrian lifestyle magazine uses HIV+ ink to tackle stigma ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 14www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  15. 15. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: RESTLESS Tonlé Cambodian fashion brand built around zero waste ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 15www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  16. 16. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: RESTLESS Gramming For Good & Gramforacause Startups pair Instagrammers with nonprofits ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 16www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  17. 17. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS ARE EMPATHETIC... FEATURED INNOVATIONS That means understanding the way customers live, and what it takes to make their lives better. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 17www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  18. 18. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: EMPATHETIC Grand Hyatt Melbourne Regular visitors allowed to leave belongings at hotel between stays ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 18www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  19. 19. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: EMPATHETIC Audi App connects stranded drivers with Audi 4x4 drivers ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 19www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  20. 20. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: EMPATHETIC Mophie Rescue dogs save festival goers from dying mobile devices ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 20www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  21. 21. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: EMPATHETIC AutoDesk Software maker gives millions of students free access ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 21www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  22. 22. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: EMPATHETIC Idea Bank Bank opens co-working space and café for entrepreneurs ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 22www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  23. 23. . . FIND OUT MORE » Free Publications Premium Service Monthly publication featuring selected trends. On-demand access to all our trends & tools. A standalone, actionable opportunity. Static content. Read online or as a PDF. Understand the big picture of consumerism. Search & filter the innovation database by trend/ industry/ region. Download trend & industry reports or create custom PPTs. Find out moreSUBSCRIBE FOR FREE TR15 PPTPDF PPTPDF TR15 Framework Formats Industry Focus Tools Framework Formats Industry Focus Tools
  24. 24. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS ARE DEMANDING... FEATURED INNOVATIONS That means nudging, pushing and cajoling consumers to DO better and BE better. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 24www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  25. 25. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: DEMANDING Mexico City Subway Free subways tickets for customers who perform squats ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 25www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  26. 26. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: DEMANDING E4 TV channel suspends broadcasting to encourage young people to vote ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 26www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  27. 27. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: DEMANDING Peruvian League Against Cancer Beachgoers get free wifi if they stay in the shade ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 27www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  28. 28. FEATURED INNOVATIONS: DEMANDING Art Series Hotel Group Guests reviewed online by hotel staff in return for discounts ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 28www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  29. 29. NEXT Ready to start YOUR journey towards ENLIGHTENMENT? ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 29www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands
  30. 30. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 30www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands NEXT 1/4 Plenty of big brands are still resolutely UNENLIGHTENED. In May 2015, the shareholders of eBay voted overwhelmingly against releasing information about the gender pay gap in the company. If you work for an UNENLIGHTENED big brand, how about starting a grassroots movement of ENLIGHTENED staff?
  31. 31. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 31www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands NEXT 2/4 Embracing ENLIGHTENMENT can mean making mistakes. In March 2015, Starbucks faced a social media backlash against its Race Together campaign to start a conversation about race in the US: critics labeled it opportunistic. But customers will be more prepared to accept mistakes from brands that believe are making sincere attempts at ENLIGHTENMENT. The Starbucks College Achievement Plan pays for eligible Starbucks employees to attend Arizona State University.
  32. 32. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 32www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands NEXT 3/4 Trend-driven innovation is meditation for brands! Innovating around the right trends can see any brand get closer to ENLIGHTENMENT. Want to get in touch with your EMPATHETIC side? Start by re-reading SYMPATHETIC PRICING. Searching for new ways to push customers to be better? Check out CURRENCIES OF CHANGE.
  33. 33. ENLIGHTENED BRANDS 33www.trendwatching.com/trends/enlightened-brands NEXT 4/4 Creating a future of IMMACULATE CONSUMPTION? Yeah, right. Let’s face it, many brands will ALWAYS be too obsessed with this quarter’s earnings to get anywhere near ENLIGHTENMENT. And plenty of customers will always prioritize price and convenience over all else. Can’t get your organization to take ENLIGHTENMENT seriously? It’s your soul on the line if you stay!
  34. 34. MORE...Take your trend thinking to the next level... Join us at one of our 2015 Global Trend Seminars! trendwatching.com/LIVE AMSTERDAM » WED 27 MAY 2015 De Hallen Studio’s LONDON » TUE 2 JUN 2015 Kings Place SINGAPORE » TUE 18 AUG 2015 National Design Centre SYDNEY » THU 27 AUG 2015 Museum of Contemporary Art NEW YORK » THU 17 SEP 2015 The Altman Building
  35. 35. MORE... If you have any comments, suggestions or questions then please do let us know. Just email: PAUL BACKMAN Chief Client Officer paul@trendwatching.com About us Established in 2002, trendwatching.com is the world’s leading trend firm, scanning the globe for the most promising consumer trends, insights and related hands-on business ideas. Our Premium Service counts many of the world’s leading brands as clients, while our free monthly Trend Briefings go out to over 260,000 subscribers in 180 countries. More at www.trendwatching.com Want more? Free Publications Premium Service LIVE: Keynotes & Workshops