Following a block on the intersections of fashion and technology, the upcoming session looks at the latest trends from a broader cultural perspective. Dena Yago and Sean Monahan from K-Hole, the trend forecasting agency that recently coined the term "normcore", gather a round of experts to lay down a landscape of future trends.
Ross Martin is executive Vice President of Viacom Media Networks and runs Scratch, a creative s.w.a.t. team that consults with brands and tells them how to connect with a young audience.
We are living in an accelerated and confusing world, Martin claims. "Carbonated softdrink companies begin to look like media companies. Media companies look like creative agencies. Creative agencies start to look like Venture Capitalists. Venture Capitalist begin to look like Celebrities."
It turns out, we are not competing against who we once thought we were. In this accelerated world, competitors are infinite. You will not just be compared to players of your industry but to the best experiences in the lives of your consumers.
Wo is to blame for all of this?
Martin suggests we just do what everybody else is doing: "Blame the millenials." He shows a hilarious ad for millenials, but then offers a counter-narrative. Millenials are a more evolved version of us (which would be the generation x). They are native to this accelerated world and they can see the future more clearly because they are creating it.
Martin speaks about Viacoms experiences with MTV when generation x had grown up and moved on. Millenials sweep through all kind of industries and cause disruptions in all fields – from media to financial services. He gives us a glimpse into the millenial disruption index, a study by Scratch, trying to capture the drivers of millenial preferences and to advise on transformations. We need a visceral connection with our consumers as "change turns out to be the only constant", Martin concludes.
Fluidity of Identities
Up next is David Sable, Global Sable of Y&R, talking about "Generation World", a study that tries to suit the fluidity of identity. David himself says he is a grandfather, a gamer and probably a baby boomer. People don't fit into just one category, everyone can have many identities. The new consumer psyche has gone from inner uniformity to inner diversity. It means people don't want to be reduced to one type of identity anymore. That's why you won't reach them if you address them as a demographic group. Age, gender or location are old categories, what today matters are shared mindsets and not even micro- but nanotrends.
Joined by Cristiana Falcone (World Economic Forum) and David Arabov (Elite Daily), the panel begins to discuss how to reach audiences if you cannot rely on demographics anymore. Another aspect, Martin brings up, is how the American workforce is changing, with millenials coming in and transforming it.