Future Foundation conferences always inspire debate – and our last one, held on May 3rd, was no exception. Although our fantastic host, BBC Home Editor Mark Easton, fielded as many questions as possible, ideas continued to stream in via our Twitter feed and text service. So the panel have regrouped to answer the additional questions.
Lena Roland via Twitter (@RolandReckons): Are mobile payments and the consumer data behind them really secure, not just today but long term?
Kerry Rheinstein, editorial analyst replies: Lena thanks for the question. You are right; currently, security of mobile payments remains a prominent issue for many people. Our data shows that only around 18% of all consumers think that, “mobile phones are as safe as computers when it comes to securing your personal information.” However, the proportion of people who agree with that statement rises to 31% when looking at 16-34 year olds. This shows the impact that young people’s greater familiarity and trust of smartphones have on perceptions of smartphone security and mobile payments.
Quantifying this point, our research shows that 47% of all consumers and 69% of 16-34 year olds would be interested in using mobile payments if it was safe and easy to do so. Therefore, we suggest that in the long term as familiarity and expanded use of smartphones amongst more people and more activities grow, more people will trust smartphones and not just interest but also use of mobile payments will grow too.
Megan Bannon via Twitter (@anthromeg): How has the recession contributed to Everyday Exceptional? Have people sought out reasons for celebration to get through?
Heather Corker, Editorial Analyst: The recession has had an impact on people wanting to experience happiness/ exceptional things in smaller, more affordable, packages; and perhaps to do so bit more often as an antidote to the financial gloom. It might not be the case that people are consciously or intentionally seeking out reasons for celebration, but rather carrying a “why not?” mentality, living for the day and not waiting to experience some frivolity (in case things get worse…). Our position is that this behaviour has become (or is becoming) a more normalised way of living and extending to more and varied areas.
Truth Central LDN via Twitter (@TruthCentralLDN): Does avoiding bad experiences really mean avoiding new experiences? Surely even with Eat Social they would vet restaurant
Parimal Makwana, Senior Editorial Analyst, says: Our increasing ability to vet our consumption does mean we can more easily avoid bad experiences when we are actively seeking new experiences. But we know from our research that seeking new experiences is something of great importance to consumers… so rather than discouraging us from trying new things we are witnessing the rise of managed discovery – where consumers prefer to carefully manage their path to discovery instead of taking a leap into the unknown. We still want to try new things but prefer to be reassured that our new endeavours will please.
At the same time by living vicariously through others’ reviews, research and ratings our expectations of any new experiences are always pre-set – creating new challenges for brands to both uphold these expectations and to try and create genuine surprise and excitement for consumers.
By text: Does everyday exceptional not habituate people so that exceptional becomes every day?
Jim Murphy, Editorial Director, replies: This is an interesting reflection on Everyday Exceptional. Maybe the deeper story is that people and markets alike are now programmed to make life special in all kinds of contrived and deliberately framed ways. What was exceptional in the past can indeed become banalised - but for that very reason we will all try to redefine “exceptional”. Hence the energy in the trend.
Megan Bannon via Twitter (@anthromeg): Will the 2012 localism campaign have any more joy that 1968′s less than successful ‘I’m backing Britain’?
Jim Murphy, Editorial Director, says: This all depends on all the glorious unpredictables of 2012 : the success of the Oly-opening ceremony, the medals tally, the Thames sail-past for the Jubilee not being ruined by rain… We should assume that quite a lot of positive pro-Brit energy will be released but how long will it last? Consumer respect for Made in Britain is not negligible - but will it survive economic recovery (when it happens), the onward march of globalisation, the fragmented regional identities of the UK…? Or turn into something different in the years ahead - something not as easily exploitable by business?
Idiology via Twitter (@idiologists): Have consumers given up on personal responsibility for the environment? We now see that govt should act before individuals
Jim Murphy, Editorial Director: Consumer motives towards green agendas have held together pretty well across the economic difficulties of the last 4 years. But it is indeed true that consumers want companies and governments to do the heavy lifting. One related question is : what happens when so many scientific innovations – in the field of fossil fuel exploitation and use, for instance – create more eco and more guilt-free consumption? What happens when transports systems become so green that active pro-green consumer engagement is not required? This is the world we are entering.
Sue J via Twitter (@spartaksuze): How far will professionalised lifestyles go? Will our iPhones tell us when we should go to bed soon?
Jim Murphy, Editorial Director, comments: Well, this might be a scary way of putting it but the End of Inefficiency trend is very much the way we live, not now but soon….
Megan Bannon via Twitter (@anthromeg): Is Digital Detox tourism the next trend in travel? Might be some opportunity there for those of us who can’t turn off?
Barry Clark, Account Director says: No, I don’t think so. As Parimal’s presentation on End of Adventure and my presentation on Performative Leisure made clear, digital is a big part of organising and enjoying trips. However I think we will see some smaller and more independent operators using accidents of geography (such as poor reception areas and infrastructure) to their advantage. Indeed we have seen hoteliers in France and other countries promoting their premises on such a basis. Digital detox might be the next niche trend in travel.
Rachael Lake via Twitter (@rachaelLake): If cheese was an antidote to globalisation, how will we rebel against digital maximisation?
Barry Clark, Account Director has a two part response: 1) Is cheese an antidote to globalisation? Perhaps. In the example you reference cheese appeals to us because we’re highly involved in it; we’re interested. Cheese also appeals through localism, heritage, tradition and its multi-sensory nature. All of these factors are powerful motivators to consumers and cheese is acting here as the antithesis of globalisation. So if we extend the logic to digital we’ll be looking for something that is the polar opposite of computing and the internet; getting back to nature perhaps, gardening, country breaks, traditional skills, the National Trust…
Answer 2) Maltesers.
Keep the debate alive – add your own comments and ask us questions!