Earlier this week, the Future Foundation held its latest nVision Express Seminar here in Shoreditch – an event which gives clients a chance to hear about our latest thinking and most exciting new content in an intimate and interactive setting.
For our first 2012 event, we decided to REWIND things and update our view on a selection of the emerging nVitro trends we’ve identified over the years – asking how they’ve been developing in the early part of the 10s and what further changes we can expect the rest of the decade to herald.
On the menu for the day were the following themes:
Wish You Were Shopping Here! + We Pop! UShop – which look, respectively, at the ways in which brands are reinvigorating the high-street shopping experience and using temporary “pop up” shops and events to engage consumers (in the picture, we show “The Unusual Umbrella Emporium” from Hendrick’s Gin – a temporary bar-cum-museum in London’s Covent Garden).
Heavy Meddle Parents – a trend which references the changing role of parents in the lives of their adult children, touching everything from the emergence of new responsibilities and support structures to the increasing levels of financial assistance being offered.
Johnny Cashless – the seemingly unstoppable spread of cashless payments throughout more and more commercial contexts.
At a time when many retailers and brands are struggling to entice reluctant, budget-sensitive shoppers to the high-street, our first discussion looked at the drive within the retail world to evolve locations into havens of technological and experiential interactivity – how shopping is being transformed into a fun and engaging experience and a leisure activity in its own right. We then concentrated on pop-up retailing, asking whether it is now, perhaps ironically, a permanent fixture on the high-street. But while more and more brands seem to be employing temporary activities, it is a form of retail which continues to hold serious appeal.
Our discussion created quite a buzz, sparking questions such as:
“When will discounting and promotions end?”
“How can brands deliver over-the-top service, do promotions and still stay in the black? What is the proof of success here?”
“How can we build customer loyalty into promotions?”
Next on the agenda was the shifting role of parents. Which responsibilities are parents assuming for adult children? How are they responding to adult children who still need support – financially and even emotionally – as they leave university and look for work? Will stay at home grown-ups (STAGS) have more money to spend frivolously? Or will they be saving? Will it be parents who actually start saving for their children’s pensions? Will there be a cross-generational influence on what younger or older citizens are interested in consuming – due to their proximity in the home? Will STAGS become a norm – or are they just a recessionary feature?
We then closed the seminar by returning to the world of retail and placing a spotlight on the rise of the cashless payment. This is a trend first ushered in by the birth of NFC technologies and which has quickly encompassed the world of mobile payments and the mobile web. These systems are buoyed by consumer desire for convenience and simplicity, with prototypes of mobile payment schemes being trialled across the globe – even the London Olympics will have an official NFC-enabled mobile phone for athletes to use when making purchases at the games. As we move towards an ever more streamlined, efficient and connected existence, will we see soon migrate from a cashless to a potentially wallet-less experience on the high street? More, if payments all go mobile in the future, what does this mean for the future of clerks and cash? And how can companies tackle the outstanding concerns which still trouble consumers, most notably over security?
What are your thoughts? How comfortable are you with a mobile only world? Is this something to be embraced or just another step towards a society which is Murdered by Modernity?
We’d love to hear your comments about any of the topics above. nVision clients can also request copies of the Seminar presentations by contacting their Account Manager.