5 key takeaways from Decoded Future

Date:Monday, October 22, 2018
Author:Charlie Gilbert

From profiling the future hotel guest to uncovering an opportunity-packed brand landscape, these are some of the main talking points from our inaugural summit at London’s Tobacco Dock.

On Tuesday June 26, more than 650 change-makers arrived at Tobacco Dock for a first-of-its-kind celebration of innovation, technology and future-focused insight. Here’s a flavour of the takeaways they left with.

5. Innovation is about linking pragmatism and poetry

Has the term ‘innovation’ become so overused that it’s lost its meaning? Artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde, kicking off the day’s sessions, explored what innovation means today, and how to align it with business strategy to meet a sustainable, long-term goal that disrupts and delivers.

“Innovation is also about looking at history, and creating a link between pragmatism and poetry.”

4. The ideal store experience

On the Fashion & Luxury stage, Gavin Williams – Farfetch’s director of product development, Store of the Future – was asked by Lauren Indvik, Vogue International’s head of news and features, what his ideal store experience looks like.

“My view,” he said, “is that wherever you go, you essentially take your identification with you – your universal ID. You see a connected store; you can plug in and promote who you are. I’d like to get to a better place where consumers feel like they’re carrying their profile with them. It’s their data; they need to start empowering it and getting it to us to give them great retail experiences.”

3. The future hotel guest

Landis Smithers, Standard International’s chief creative officer, revealed on the Experience & Lifestyle stage how hospitality brands can tap into the evolving needs of tomorrow’s guest – from developing on-demand and personalised services to launching experiential extras.

“We think of our guests as a psychographic, not a demographic,” he explained. “You can be any age you want to be. We have a certain set of beliefs that we share. If you can reach that sense when you look at your brand, you actually have something disruptive and something specific at the same time. It’s a gift for any creative or marketer.”

2. Beauty breaking stereotypes

Over on the Beauty & Wellness stage, Alexandra Scolding, ASOS’ head of buying, face & body – in a panel discussion with Jecca Makeup founder Jessica Blackler and Stylus’ programming & event director, Fay Cowan – explained how beauty is championing gender blurring and breaking stereotypes.

“Our customers tell us that beauty needs to be engaged with in a non-gendered way, and that it’s about play and adventure – not traditional stereotyping. People want to be able to express themselves how they see fit. So we aim to develop products and brands that talk to the consumer in a way they want to be spoken to, and that actually fulfil a purpose that nothing else on the market currently does.”

1. A new active brand landscape

In May, we published our new Macro Trend: Active Lives. Christian Ward, our head of Media & Marketing, brought it to life on the Experience & Lifestyle stage – by explaining how consumers are pushing themselves to the limit in an attempt to feel more live.

“Brands should play a role in helping people gain a sense of being alive through relationships that are more interactive, risky and competitive,” he said. “They should also tap into the current trend of self-optimisation by amplifying underserved – or undervalued – voices, and offering hyper-personalised support.”

For the latest on Decoded Future, visit our Summits page.

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