Trends and perspectives on a changing world

Co-branded Retail

Cafes in department stores are nothing new. But hybrid retail is going to the next level with increasingly unique co-branding combinations. Co-branded ventures create unique customer experiences that expand the way we think about each of the companies involved. Oftentimes, the participating brands will be very different from one another, adding an element of surprise to the experience.

For example, Glossier and Rhea’s Café in San Francisco created a series of pop-up shops that combined socializing, eating and trying beauty products... Read more

Post-purchase Forgiveness

Consumer expectations have been completely reconfigured by innovations such as virtual assistants, service upgrades and seamless personalization. The same consumer is also besieged by offers of free trials, slashed prices and seductive perks. As one consequence, 78% of consumers say they retract loyalty faster today than they did just three years ago (Accenture, February 2017).

Consumers now expect their brands to magically adapt to their ever-changing needs, wants and whims. As a result, the next iteration of customer service will... Read more

We Live in a Post-Demographic World

Businesses have to adapt to a future where ways of living, working and playing are changing rapidly. We can no longer put people in neat demographic boxes because people of all ages in all markets are constructing their own identities more freely than ever. As a result, consumption patterns are no longer defined by ‘traditional’ demographic segments such as age, gender, location, income family status and more. So, you can stop trying to figure out the differences between Gen X and Gen Y because  ‘generational generalizations’ are fast... Read more

A Revolution in Transparency is Just Beginning

Thanks to the radical transparency made possible by a world that is connected 24/7 in real-time, businesses exist in glass boxes. Outsiders can easily see inside. Sure, not always with 20/20 vision. But, they can see the people, processes and values at work. And, companies that are not living up to stated values and brand promises get exposed quickly and mercilessly.

Perhaps the most extreme example in 2018 is, in a word: Weinstein. In a hashtag? #MeToo. A New York Times article revealed multiple abuse allegations against film... Read more

Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Commerce

Everywhere in the world, consumers are embracing the outsourcing of tedious retail tasks like hunting, negotiating, purchasing and arranging delivery to algorithms and smart devices. Amazon and other online retailers now offer “one-touch auto re-ordering” to save time. Financial institutions are experimenting with auto-money saving apps and AI-enabled payment cards. Even KFC is testing ‘Smile to pay’ face-recognition technology in Asia. And, personal assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa are gaining in popularity and everyday use.... Read more

Why global trends matter to small business

As a small business owner in a rural community, you might wonder how global trends apply to you? You might also be so busy and overloaded that you simply 'switch off' anything that isn't urgent. Trends come and go, you say. Who has the time and brain space to stay on top of them?

But finding time to keep up with global trends and issues is critically important. Your customers are not just shopping locally. They're exposed to global trends, so you should be too. Doing so gives you the field vision to see what's coming before it gets... Read more