6 things to read this week (27.03.17)

Rewind my week to fast forward yours #14

A short break thanks to holidays & travel, but mainly because we’ve been holed up in the trend lab working on our big new content piece on TRUTHFUL CONSUMERISM: the future of consumerism and brand strategy in an era of populism, polarization and post-truth.

We’re stopping our monthly newsletter and moving to fewer, bigger, richer quarterly pieces, so as well as the four main articles released this week (Global, Asia, Africa & Latin America), we’ll be following these up with innovator interviews, videos, polls and more. Obviously I’m biased, but I’m pretty proud of the collection of 70+ innovations from all over the world that show the future direction of customer expectations around five core human truths. Check it out:

Now onto the rest of this week’s links:

🌎 Interesting review of an academic challenge to the conventional wisdom around populism from Richard Florida (who writes extensively about the Creative Class). Far from being mainly about inequality and economic decline, it’s arisen as a response to cultural issues around globalization and diversity. Would fit with our belief that the only two valid remaining ‘demographics’ are connected vs. unconnected and rural vs. urban (and The Economist’s open vs. closed being the new political spectrum).

💼 We keep on banging on about the collapse in demographic determinism, as people of all flavors (be it gender, income, location, race etc etc) behave in *gasp* ‘surprising’ ways. Forgive us for not being too surprised at the news from Google that…shock horror…women are watching more business video content and in fact watch more ‘how to’ videos than beauty videos!

🍔 As with so many industries, “it has never been a more exciting time to be a foodie — nor a more challenging time to be a restaurateur.” This article dives deep with Damian Mogavero, who’s written the ‘Moneyball for restaurateurs’. Some great insights on changing behaviors & new trends, such as the importance of food halls. My take: it’s a more casual, fluid, flexible and also simply more dynamic experience.

🏬 Talking of massive industry change, the always-irreverent Scott Galloway doesn’t cut the retail industry any slack in his latest newsletter. Typical quote: “I’m meeting with the CEO of an iconic department store next week. She asked for a view on their future, and what to do. In sum, my thoughts: You. Are. So. Fucked.”

(See also, Ben Thompson’s excellent analysis of the impending CPG-TV industrial marketing complex collapse from last year)

🔮 One reason for the missed weeks, was some hectic travel taking in Amsterdam, Geneva, New York and a couple of days in Texas for SXSW. Carat has helpfully compiled a summary of the big themes at the festival: from the future of experiences to brand activism to breaking our filter bubbles.

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