Need to Know
23 : 01 : 18

23.01.2018 Retail : Media : Finance

Study confirms adulting now happens later in life, Amazon Go opens to the public, technology companies hold the highest consumer trust.

1. MTV aims to elicit an emotional response from viewers

MTV Global Rebrand by Builders Club

US – MTV has commissioned design agency Builders Club to help create a new visual language that focuses on emotion. The project, entitled Moodswing, explores feelings of love, sadness and happiness through Visual ASMR to create a playfully evocative campaign. While the content has not been formalised into a single campaign, MTV will use the ideas throughout its regional teams to repurpose as they see fit.

The BBC similarly explored the idea of mood-driven media, looking at the emotional connection that many viewers have with television, through its Make Me microsite. In line with The E-motional Economy, consumers are increasingly obsessed by how they feel and are looking for brands that can deftly tap into their specific emotions.

2. Nike gives its classic sneaker styles a female redesign

1 Reimagined by Nike 1 Reimagined by Nike
1 Reimagined by Nike 1 Reimagined by Nike
1 Reimagined by Nike 1 Reimagined by Nike

Global – As the hype around female streetwear gathers pace, Nike is helping to drive the conversation with its 1 Reimagined project. The streetwear brand has created an internal team of 14 women, including colourists, material specialists and male and female footwear designers who will be rethinking two of Nike's most iconic styles, the Nike Air Force 1 and the Air Jordan 1 within a two-week period.

‘The genesis of creativity is diversity,’ says footwear director Andy Caine. ‘From a design point of view, each of the designers has a unique background and personality. Our theory is that when you mix diverse creative talents you realise some magic.’

3. Adolescence is being extended beyond childhood

US – Medical journal The Lancet has published a study that suggests this life stage now extends beyond teenage years and into the early 20s.

The researchers looked at both biological and societal shifts, drawing the conclusion that in both cases people are now reaching maturity later in life. Traditional markers such as marriage and parenthood are being delayed, as people extend their instructive years into later life. The study draws the conclusion that puberty should be redefined as 10–24 years, as opposed to the traditional 10–19 years.

There is an increasingly greater appreciation of the difficulties faced by young people today in learning the life skills required for adulthood, with initiatives such as The Adulting School offering courses in finance, DIY and navigating relationships.

Traición by Derré-Tidá, Mexico Traición by Derré-Tidá, Mexico

4. Amazon’s cashier-less grocery store goes public

Amazon Go, Seattle.

US – Just over a year after its announcement in December 2016, Amazon is opening its technology-enabled grocery store to the public for the first time. In addition to salads, sandwiches, ready meals and beverages, the brand has earmarked a section for Whole Foods Market’s 365 Everyday Value Products.

The store, which was due to open in early 2017, has been trialled by Amazon members of staff to ensure that the cameras and shelf sensors are functioning to their best capacity. The store allows shoppers to simply grab an item and go, with the product charged to their Amazon account. While the technology has proved successful, it remains to be seen how it will cope with issues such as a crowded shop floor or items being removed from their original shelf and placed on another.

'We [originally] felt that we needed to open it up to the public early enough in order to get the traffic that we needed,' he said. ‘Traffic is necessary to train our algorithms to be able to learn things about the assortment and customer behaviour.’

Brands are experimenting with new ways of creating a seamless purchasing experiences, a topic that will be explored in depth at our forthcoming Trend Briefing. To attend the event, buy your tickets here.

5. Trust in the technology sector is at a high

Despite the scandals that have rocked the technology sector in recent times, trust among consumers is still high. The report found that companies based in Canada (68%), Switzerland (66%) and Sweden (65%) are seen as the most trustworthy, while trust in brand US fell by five points to 50%. Read our opinion, which examines morality in the age of technology and asks whether we place too much trust in our devices.

6. Thought-starter: How should we measure the wealth of a nation?

In a world of jobless growth, climate change, mass migration and rising inequalities, strategic researcher Victoria Buchanan asks whether GDP and the destructive nature of monetary policy are harming our ability to innovate?

In the 1980s, world GDP was £20 trillion ($28 trillion, €23 trillion) – in 2016 this grew to £54 trillion ($75.4 trillion, €61.5 trillion). The global economy is now three times bigger than it was a generation ago.

GDP was developed as a concept in the 1930s to facilitate fiscal policy – not to summarise national wellbeing or to benchmark industrial sophistication. The way we measure it today is failing us.

It can grow even if we throw more out than we buy and we actually become poorer. It can even increase as the consequence of a major environmental disaster, because of the economic activity created by the clean-up and repair. When forests are destroyed by economic activity, GDP views the events as good news for the economy.

For more on the new metrics we need to adopt if we are to build a better future, read the full opinion.

Phillip K Smith for Desert X. Photography by Lance Gerber Phillip K Smith for Desert X. Photography by Lance Gerber