This year we’ve attended SXSW. Well, actually Mariana did, and came back amazed by some of the sessions. One of them was the one performed by Rohit Bhargava, marketing expert and trend curator. In this opportunity Rohit talked about non-obvious trends for 2019, innovation-related. Today, we talk a little bit about that.
We know innovators see what others can’t see in the same environments. But why is this so hard to achieve? There are some barriers to innovation, according to Rohit:
- Unquestioned assumptions. Innovative products that were not well received in the market, because they didn’t take into account real users experiences or habits. Their inventors just assumed or guessed, and they were wrong, at least in the time and space in which the products were released.
- Constant disruption. Because the smallest change or upgrade is sold like innovation, including the most absurd. Brands try to make the most of each new feature to sell more.
- Unbelievability crisis. It’s hard to create bonds with users, getting them to trust.
Anyway, innovation is still there, and there are some trends to look out. Curated by Rohit Bhargava, following you’ll find the 7 less-obvious trends for this year:
1. Retro trust
Nostalgic experiences have taken brands to deliberately downgrade some products. People are coming back to analogic experiences, vinyls, cell phones with less features, de-teching to avoid distractions from real life. We can take advantage of this, searching opportunities among past-trends or last-century habits.
2. Muddled masculinity
It’s not clear for men how they can participate when it comes to empowering women. There’s a big controversy, different points of view make men and women reconsider each and every move.
3. Innovation envy
How many times has the word “innovation” been pronounced in the last SXSW? Will you be surprised if we said 650.000 times? Today “innovation” is a cliché, an empty word. In order to re-defined it we must be blessed with inspiration. People are used to immediately copy ideas that are proven to work, envying success instead of searching for new alternatives. But the real key to your own success is playing offence with innovation, targeting things that have never been done before.
4. Artificial influence
There’s a new way of performing, and it’s virtual. Live shows or virtual artists like Shudu, the “World’s First Digital Supermodel” and Miquela, virtual influencer are going to be the norm in a few years. Aren’t they?
5. Enterprise empathy
Sustainable businesses, products “made with empathy”, showing concern for people and the planet. Empathetic programs like the “relaxed slow check out line” from Tesco Grocery Store, or the Herbal Essences Hair Care inclusive-bottle, designed for visual-impaired are just some of the initiatives from brands in a way to show more interest in minorities.
6. Robot renaissance
Robots are coming to life! Examples like the RoboThespian, Bina 48, Jibo, NASA robots for exploration, or the Japanese robot-staffed hotel, teach us there’s now space for all kinds of robots, including humanoids.
7. Back storytelling
Finding real meaning in stories from products or brands is the key to engage with consumers. The best-ranked product in Amazon is a banana slicer. Can you believe that? And it’s all because of its consumer reviews, their real stories. A great story like the Weber’s Way to Grill that has accomplished to sell a book along with grills is another example. Great stories are another key to be outstanding in 2019.
Rohit closed his keynote by mentioning Asimov: “I’m not a speed reader, I’m a speed understander”. Like it’s being mentioned some other times in the SXSW, “you can’t control the ocean, it’s unpredictable, but you can watch it and analyze to predict and anticipate behaviors”. What about you? Do you believe this is what it takes to be a real innovator?