London – LS:N Global members gathered at The Future Laboratory last night for a sneak preview of our forthcoming Trend Briefing topic, The Age of the Long Near.
The Age of the Long Near explores long-term thinking through the lens of three trends: The Immortal Brand, which examines how brands can benefit from thinking in 100-year plans, not five-year plans; Whole-system Thinking, which explores how nature and man are converging and affecting consumption patterns; and finally, The Optimised Self, how consumers are seeking to be the optimal versions of themselves, in body and mind.
The Immortal Brand
Rasmus Bech Hansen, independent brand adviser, formerly of venturethree, kicked off the evening by speaking about why short-term thinking is damaging, and how brands can plan in the long term. ‘Short-term thinking is the product of a lack of ambition,’ said Hansen. ‘You need to start out with purpose, a big idea and a long-term mission.’
Kate Cox, managing partner of strategy and ideas at Havas Media, also spoke about the importance of longevity, telling the audience about the agency’s Meaningful Brand Index and how brands should no longer focus just on the product, but on their long-standing ethos, which will see them through the years. At present, Google is considered the most meaningful brand, with Sainsbury’s and Marks & Spencer also performing well.
Clare Brook, CFO and head of development of the Blue Marine Foundation, spoke about how the charity’s successful brand collaborations with Kenzo and Selfridges have raised awareness of the problem of over-fishing. She spoke about the language and aesthetic used to engage consumers in a topic that they sometimes struggle to interact with.
Mariah Wright, designer, artist and writer, now studying for her MA in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins, talked about her research into genetically modified food. She spoke about the struggle many people have with accepting GM food: ‘There is an emotional issue,’ she said. ‘Humans feel that they need to be part of the evolutionary process.’
The Optimised Self
Sebastian Nienaber, founder of the Hacking Happiness conference and media platform, spoke about the idea of happiness not as an aspirational idea, but as a tangible thing that can be decoded. Nienaber talked about the recent shift in consumer mindsets – owing to the convergence of science, technology and wellbeing – that removes the spiritual taboo of the journey to happiness. ‘Scientific validation has helped to support the pursuit of happiness,’ he said.
Lastly, Philip O’Dwyer, executive creative director of Method, spoke about Method’s self-initiated project Method Money, which examined how our finances might be affected by our physiology. A toothbrush that took a sample of your saliva and hormones, and a connected app that advised when to make financial decisions based on hormonal readings, were just some of the ways that Method imagined the money of the future.
For more on our forthcoming Trend Briefing, The Age of the Long Near, contact Alena Joyette.
For more on our Network Evening, look out for our video interviews, which will be posted in the Seed section next week.