Your daily mix of foresight & futures

You can scour the Internet in search of the latest consumer trends and cultural shifts, or you can let us do it for you. T&T provides a daily snapshot of the world’s most intriguing happenings and what they mean for the marketplace tomorrow.

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Want to learn more about Millennial trends? Email the editor.

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11/04/2014

young and restless

Geographical analytics firm Esri fuses marketing data with Census data in their Tapestry Segmentation Project, revealing the predominant consumer segments in each zip code of the U.S. I looked up my own zip code here in Durham, N.C., and was unsurprised to find that 19% of us fall into the “Young and Restless” segment—a group of single Millennials who are willing to move for work and can’t do without their cell phones. You got me, Esri!

Let’s see how Esri would categorize TFC’s North American offices:

Chapel Hill 27517: 32% Exurbanites
Chicago 60654: 83% Metro Renters
New York City 10010: 56% Laptops & Lattes

Yep, sounds like us! Find out what segments live in your zip code here.

Shameless sales plug: MindBase is TFC’s national attitudinal segmentation. It can tell you what segments your customers fall into, and whether high or low concentrations of each segment are responsible for under-performing store locations or lackluster direct mail results. Learn more here.

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10/22/2014

dasein

Martin Heidegger’s theory of Being-in-the-world is great for understanding how human beings (Daseins) relate to each other and to the world around them. Heidegger believes that most of a human being’s sense of self, what they do and how they live, comes from the outside—from history, culture, tradition, and the other Daseins that surround them (this is an inauthentic existence). The Dasein is thrown into this pre-made world at birth and is continuously confronted by possibilities that directly depend upon the historical moment the Dasein finds themself in. Each moment is not isolated, but instead carries the past (quietly) into the present. For example, a certain tradition will get passed down into the present in such a way that it seems self-evident instead of what it actually is, a man-made entity with distinct origins.

Takeaways:

  1. Ethnographic work: Understanding Being-in-the-world is important for enriching our understanding of human interactions and motivations. Each human is a product of their specific environment/culture (to a depth they may not realize), while also being engaged in a constant struggle against their environment in order to achieve authenticity. This is why, in order to understand your consumer, you need to look qualitatively at their entire existence, realizing their specific historical moment (i.e., culture), while also creating products and experiences that allow each individual consumer to separate themself from the inauthentic and be unique, individual, and authentic. A company’s ability to deliver on this is becoming more and more important, with many consumers viewing the attainment of authenticity as a right; 56% of global consumers agree that nowadays we are free to shape our identities and transform ourselves in whatever way we want (2014 Global MONITOR). The 2014 Global Energies “Identity” section is a great resource to delve further into this idea.
  2. Past, Present, and Future: For Heidegger, the future takes priority over the present and the past (for the Dasein is always faced with possibilities); however, the past is always in the picture as well. His theory on how the past underlines the present means that the traditions of the past are often imperceptible in the present, and therefore can be overlooked and/or incompletely teased out. Perhaps this is why The Futures Company’s approach feels so intuitive. We bring the past into the present by marrying our extensive quantitative data repositories (which allow us not only to remember how the past was created, but also to see how it feeds into the present) with our qualitative fieldwork (which allows us to dig holistically into the historical moments of consumers), while always remaining future-minded, considering all possibilities.

To Learn More:
Heidegger, Martin. 1962. Being and Time. New York: Harper & Row Publishers.
Dreyfus, Hubert L. 1991. Being-in-the-World: A Commentary on Heidegger’s Being and Time, Division 1. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Link: caae.phil.cmu.edu

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10/16/2014

homme2

HommeMystere is an Australian lingerie store that specialises in lingerie for people who were assigned male at birth and identify as male. It’s recently garnered a lot of attention because the lingerie is designed in a way that is typically thought of as a style reserved for women.

There’s not a boxer or y-front in sight on their website. This is all about luxurious bras, chemises, suspenders and underwear briefs made of satins and silks and decorated with lace and bows.

I see this as a refreshing, gendernormative-busting service that is enabling people to experience their gender in whatever way they desire. The buzz that has been created is hopefully another step in opening people’s minds about the variety of gender expressions and experiences that exist around the world.

To learn more about shifting gender norms, watch our Global Energies LIVE webinar: Dynamic Identities (available to Global MONITOR subscribers).

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09/30/2014

teleport

After years of being teased as the future of entertainment and gaming, virtual reality seems actually poised to hit the scene! And even if you’re not a hardcore gamer, you may get to experience it sooner than you think. Brands like Marriott have begun developing customized experiences to harness the impressive potential of VR. The hotelier is currently developing a VR experience called the Teleporter that lets users “travel” to various desirable locales around the world. For now, the experience is being targeted towards tech-savvy young travelers, whom they hope to entice with visuals of their newly renovated, social-centric hotels. But the brand, along with developer Framestore, is looking for more ways to incorporate virtual reality in the future, aiming to deliver truly immersive, memorable experiences for all.

Link: wired.com

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09/26/2014

free poelpe

This summer Under Armour kicked off their “I Will What I Want” campaign with a powerful video featuring Misty Copeland, an elite female athlete and ballerina. She dances while you hear a young girl reading a rejection letter from a ballet school. The video exploded online and earned Under Armour praise for its messages of determination and will power.

In May, Free People released a similar video promoting their line of yoga, dance, and running wear. The woman dancing in the video claims things like, “I’ve been dancing since I was three” and “you learn to take direction, especially for ballet because it’s so structural.” It only takes a few seconds before something feels off. Turns out the woman is not a trained ballerina, but a model. Consumers lashed out against the ad and gave it 7 Dislikes for every Like on YouTube.

The ad was criticized not because the spokeswoman wasn’t talented, but because the brand was being inauthentic and deceptive. Young people have high expectations, and any brand that gives off the slightest signal of “fake” will quickly be identified.

Learn more about consumers’ search for authenticity and honesty by reading our Global Energy: Seeking the Genuine Article (available to Global MONITOR subscribers).

Photo: Free People

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09/23/2014

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