Key Trends for 2015-2020 | Contribution | MARKETING & SALES BOOKS.

Shaping People, Cities & Businesses

by Anne Lise KjaerMarch 2015

In our latest magazine, Anna Lise Kjaer describes 8 Key Trends for 2015-2020. Here they are…

Click on the pictures to see the Visuals.

Reputation is your most valuable asset, but building trust only works if people understand your vision and care enough to be brand ambassadors. That’s clearly not the case for many organisations today, since a 2012 survey of 97,000 people in 30 countries found that 48% of people would not recommend the organisation they work for. GE – which has 300,000 employees in multiple locations – provides a great example of how social media can be a powerful tool for collaboration and building trust. Using a variety of social media platforms, GE invite both their workforce and external stakeholders to join in and influence the conversation, demonstrating that this is a transparent organisation with a strong culture and clear goals.

It’s not enough to embrace digital tools, you have to use them creatively to make a positive difference to people’s lives. That means fast, accessible and multi-channel platforms that bring tangible benefits for your customers.
IKEA’s AR app helps people overcome the problem of visualising a product in their home space. Instead of sketches and tape measure, they use augmented reality (AR) to position virtual products in their home, helping them plan makeovers and get creative about their space. The added benefit for IKEA is reducing the number of customer returns (almost 15%) because people miscalculate how furniture will fit in their home.
Digital Transformation

Lightweight Nomads are Millennials who see a world without borders. These mobile and tech savvy global citizens are vital influencers so you need to make them part of your community, as customers and employees. It’s estimated they will make up half the workforce and most international assignments by 2020. The key to engagement with them lies in the 4Ps, since over a third of Millennials believe that the goal of ‘improving society’ should be at the core of every business. This group wants to know why they should buy from you or work for you – and that’s a clear motivator for ensuring purpose sits at the core of your organisation’s ethos.

A spirit of Betapreneurship is empowering people and businesses to make change happen by fostering collaboration around a new ‘redesign and rethink’ culture. iFixit is a global online repair manual and community that aims to ‘fix the world, one device at a time’. This positive thinking is implicit in purpose-driven organisations. 3M introduced its 15% ‘time to think’ programme in 1948, and many great innovations like the Post-It are the result. Similarly, Google’s 20% time invites in-house entrepreneurial thinking and encourages collaboration.

Organisations must foster disruptive thinking to thrive, as new people-led alliances will be the fuel that drives
tomorrow’s successful organisations.

Tomorrow’s cities have the potential to be living organisms that act as intelligent automated distribution networks between buildings, transportation, goods, products and services, connecting people and businesses instantaneously. Big Data bring a whole host of opportunities to boost your business image and performance by working for the common good. For instance, New York ‘geeks’ are using city data analytics to solve longstanding urban challenges and make the city more liveable, while the Citymapper app helps people plan faster, cheaper and smoother journeys in a bid to reinvent the city. Access to and sharing of aggregated data sits at the heart of ‘intelligent’ urban planning and positive change.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is bringing connectivityon a grand scale – with 50 billion devices connected by 2020 according to a recent forecast. Phones, wearables, consumer devices and other smart objects are already having silent conversations with each other in the background, opening up a whole new understanding of human behaviour with huge potential to facilitate meaningful experiences and better lives.

Already, almost 70% of Americans are taking control of their well-being through digital health monitoring. The key word here is collaboration, since Smart Living is an opportunity for business to collaborate with people to build better life, health and job outcomes.

Business needs to be at the centre of the communities it serves and that means developing new systems and innovation models that take account of how our lives are changing. With concerns about finite resources and a growing interest in the circular economy, people are increasingly favouring access over ownership and 3 in 5 think that ‘sharing is better’ for the environment’. This invites new approaches in developing and marketing products and services.

Success stories such as Airbnb and Zipcar are just the start of this transition, so you need to look at how
you can help people live better lives, use less and build communities based around sharing resources.

Conventional ways of measuring success – corporate and individual – are increasingly being re-evaluated, but our goal remains achieving Meaningful Experiences. All the trends in this forecast relate back to a fundamental principle of the good life. As Umair Haque put it: “We need to rethink the future of human exchange. We need to get out of business and into betterness” That means organisations should focus on holistic value propositions to build a lasting legacy. One thing is clear: brands that engage in meaningful exchange through a purposeful strategy, and then deliver on their promises to internal and external stakeholders, are best prepared to survive the challenges of tomorrow’s business environment.

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