Earlier this month, World Future Trends Summit speaker Rob van den Dam discussed consumer insights being the top organizational priority reported by the 2012 IBM CEO Survey. He further shared the following stats:

"More than 70 percent of CEOs are seeking a better understanding of individual customer needs and improved responsiveness.”

 “Seventy-three percent of CEOs are making significant investments in their organizations’ ability to draw meaningful customer insights from available data”

 IIR has recognized the growing importance of consumer insights and research and are happy to announce the newest addition to the Consumer Insights Webinar Series.

Join us for a new take on driving innovation in your organization through the use of Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs) next week, and a can’t miss look into how changing consumer priorities are effecting your brand.

How Evolutionary Algorithms are Changing Consumer Innovation 
Evolutionary Algorithms have permanently changed the way we use the internet and listen to music. In fact, EAs are the driving force behind companies like Google, Pandora and Amazon. Now, the science of Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs) is being translated across all industries and literally changing the face of innovation. This case study driven seminar will share how leading consumer driven companies like Dannon, Sprite & Fanta, as well as companies in retail, technology and financial services have implemented EAs to drive higher innovation success rates.

While consumers are not rational creatures, traditional market research often follows an assumption of complete rationality thereby limiting the consumer insights gained through those means. EAs have allowed researchers and marketers to overcome the irrationality conundrum and allow for testing of as many options as they have ideas in a quantitative, projectable manner.

This webinar will share:
 • How evolutionary algorithms are changing the way leading companies innovate
 • Case studies from products launched using EAs
 • How to test lots of ideas quantitatively
 • How EAs account for the irrational consumer mind
 • How to measure return on innovation from EAs
 • How to use consumer choice to overcome traditional limitations of concept testing

Register here.
Mention your priority code, MWJ0024-BLOG, when registering.

Falling Dow + Rising Tao: What the Quest for Balance Means for Your Brand. 
Hard economic times have shifted the way consumers prioritize the pieces of their lives, and the way they select brands to help them walk their chosen path.

Using mobile and video ethnography, we capture the latest balancing act and what it means for your brand. In this webinar, learn how you can:
 • Help sustain your consumer’s household ecosystem
 • Keep your consumer’s eye on the big picture
 • Shift the focus to progress, not perfection
 • Win by understanding the new family team
 • Trade in the currency of time

Register here.
Mention your priority code, MWJ0026-BLOG, when registering.

The Future Trends Team
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The Institute for International Research (IIR) is currently seeking corporate practitioner presenters for:
July 15-17, 2013 
Swissotel - Chicago, IL 
Submit your proposal by email to rmcdonald@iirusa.com by Friday, November 16, 2012

Due to the high volume of submissions, we suggest you submit your proposal early and no later than Friday, November 16, 2012, to Rachel McDonald, Senior Conference Producer at rmcdonald@iirusa.com. Only proposals from brand and retail corporate practitioners will be considered, for all other submissions please see sponsorship section below.

In July 2012, more than 578 retailers, brands and thought-leaders rallied in Chicago for a Shopper Insights in Action Conference experience that exceeded expectations and raised the bar even higher for 2013.


 Shopper Insights in Action is THE annual event for best-in-class national brands and mega retailers. Staying true to its core, the emphasis is always on the ACTION, every presentation must illustrate both the research and what was done with the research, moving beyond theoretical to real-world stories.

• Mobile, Social & Digital Shopper Initiatives
• Activating the Shopper Along the Journey to Purchase
• Virtual Shopping Case Studies
• Multi-Channel Strategies & Emerging Shopper Channels
• Trends, Technology & Strategies Impacting Retail Environments
• New Store Formats & Store Experience
• Strategies for Integrating eCommerce & Brick and Mortar with the Shopper
• Category Reinvention & Retail Leadership
• In-Store Activation Strategies
• How do you Make Brands Relevant to the Shopper
• Mobile Shopping Innovation • Measurement & ROI
• Big Data & Analytics
• Neuroscience Case Studies
• Best Practices for Loyalty Card Insights
• Shopper Segmentation Research
• Understanding the Mindset of the Always On Shopper
• Trends & Innovation Driving Shopper & Consumer Behavior
•  Category Growth Strategies
• Collaboration Methods between Manufacturers & Retailers
• Aligning Shopper Marketing & Category Management Initiatives
• Strengthening Retail Partnerships
• Collaboration Practices for Category Growth
• Developing Global Capabilities in Emerging Markets
• Innovation in Private Brand & Brand Identity
• Integrating Traditional Research Around Categories, Brands and Shopper Insights

We are also happy to consider topics not listed here that you feel would add value and be appropriate. Corporate Practitioner Speakers receive FREE admission to the conference as well as any pre-conference activity such as workshops or symposium (a $4,000 value).

Sponsorship & Exhibiting Opportunities
What if I am not a corporate practitioner (from a client-side company) but still would like to participate? More than 70% of our content will be delivered by corporate practitioners from retail and manufacturing. If you are a consultant or solutions provider and wish to be a part of the program, please contact Jon Saxe, Senior Business Development Manager at jsaxe@iirusa.com or 646-895-7467. We will customize opportunities to fit your needs from speaking, branding, networking and/or exhibiting.

 How to Submit For proper consideration, please include the following information with your proposal:
• Proposed speaker name, job title, and company name
• Complete speaker contact information - address, telephone and e-mail
• Short biography of speaker (50-75 words max)
• JPG headshot photo, minimum 300 dpi
• Title of presentation (one line, benefit oriented)
• Short summary of content to be delivered (no more than 75 words), followed by three bullet points of what audience members can expect to "take away" from the presentation

 Tips/Guidelines to Consider
• Sessions are 30-45 minutes in length, inclusive of time for Q&A
• Preference will be given to proposals that clearly illustrate the full insights to activation process
• Commercialism and self-promotion from the podium is strictly prohibited. Your presentation will be reviewed by a Content Review Board prior to the event and should you self-promote during the session, you will not be invited to return as a speaker.
• The conference audience consists of brand-side researchers, brand-side marketers, retailers and vendors responsible for gathering, translating and actioning shopper-focused insights. Your proposal must present what's new, hurdles to get there and how it can move the industry ahead.
• Travel and expenses are the responsibility of the speaker.
• If your proposal is accepted you agree that it has not and will not be presented at any other industry forum within one year. It is important that the content is fresh and not repurposed here or anywhere else. Due to the high volume of proposals we receive, not every submission is selected. We rely heavily on three components:
• Content matches interest of audience identified through research.
• Compelling topic that showcases something new and exciting. It must show how insights were leveraged to drive action/sales/loyalty.
• Speaker is able to provide details in the format of a case study or interactive session. This event is about sharing with members of your industry, so the speaker must be willing to showcase the "how-to" details. 

Those selected will be notified no later than January 2013. Stay tuned for more details on the event website at www.ShopperInsightsEvent.com.
At the 2012 Fuse Conference in Chicago, I had the chance to catch up with speaker Damian Mycroft for an interview. In his exciting session, Mycroft discussed Industrial Design and The Brand. In this interview, we discussed key takeaways from his session and more. Hear what Damian had to say below:
Damian Mycroft Interview from IIR USA on Vimeo.

For more great videos from FUSE, make sure to subscribe to our Vimeo Channel or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

Plus, join our LinkedIn community to share your own thoughts. The Fuse insights don't stop with the event and we'll continue to present design and branding news through Fuse 2013. 
Leading up to the World Future Trends Summit in Miami, we're pleased to run this series from the Pearlfisher Insights program. To view the whole series, click here.

As designers we are in the business of change. And from our point of view, we believe that insight is all about understanding this change to create a rich and stimulating 'big picture' to truly see the change impacting on the future for all brands. Then with this knowledge we can create bespoke insight and new futures for specific brands.

Our previous blogs have focused on the four basis areas - that form our transatlantic Insight Program - and that underline the needs and wants of human behavior and which are therefore most relevant to brands and business: Taste (the future of food and drink), Luxury (the future world of aspiration and its evolving expressions), Body (the future ways in which we will view our bodies) and Connection (the structure and rules that will guide the future of our relationships and way of life).

Pearlfisher Creative Partner, Jonathan Ford, is putting Taste and the future of food and drink branding under the microscope as he looks at Defining the future of healthy eating in Miami on Oct 17th. Ahead of his presentation, we posed some questions to him to get a flavour for the issues he will be discussing on the day.

1) Are we not all generally more aware that we need to be eating more healthily?

Generally, yes. In the past, healthy eating was a compartmentalized rather than an integrated part of our lives. And this monumental shift has come from many different instigators. In recent years, health has become more of a global and public concern with government, business and consumers attempting to create a new world of integrated, healthy lifestyles. But that said, health attitudes are now at another pivotal – and some would say crucial – turning point.

2) What is this turning point?

Up until now, virtue and pleasure have polarized the eating spectrum. But, now, healthy eating is ready for renewal. In the future our goal will ultimately be to understand, accept and optimize our health. We will be looking to brands to still deliver what we need but we will also want them to be so versatile that they will fit even the busiest agenda.

3) How can this manifest? What has your Insight shown?

How brands now take food and drink into the future has the power to affect all of us on a personal, social and commercial level. Our Insight has shown that the onus is on us to create a world that makes the best of all the natural goodness and resources available to us and a need to foster and showcase the cultural communal and educative value of food production. But this will also be balanced by just as strong a want to escape through extreme fantasy and use creative direction in food to open up new worlds of delight.

4) What role can design play in creating this change?

Now more than ever - in this age of fragmentation- design remains the constant. It is the best way to express the future desire and create the change that we have gleaned from our Insight. Desirable design can - and does - make an impact on business and peoples' lives for the better. On the 17th, I will talk more about the shifts from our Taste Insight and show the concepts we have created that we believe build a rich picture of the future for brands.

To find out more about Insight at Pearlfisher please email jessica@pearlfisher.com
Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner, Pearlfisher will be presenting "Pearlfisher Insight: Seeing the Future" at the World Future Trends Summit next week. To learn more about the event, visit the website here. Readers of our blog can save 15% off the registration price with code FT12BLOG.

Leading up to the World Future Trends Summit in Miami, we're pleased to run this series from the Pearlfisher Insights program. To view the whole series, click here.

In the past there were rigid social structures that kept people connected and rules that guided relationships.

But these structures have been broken down and the rules are disappearing which means that the laws of society are changing as well. An unusual dichotomy has arisen from these changes; on one hand, we are now more connected to the world around us than ever before, and yet at the same time we remain grossly disconnected from one another. Today we are free to decide how, to whom, for how long and in what depth we connect, and the possibilities are endless.

Beyond all of this, our ultimate aspiration remains for perfectly balanced union with each other and the world. In the past we wanted to be liberated, in the future we will want to be united.

Our transatlantic Pearlfisher Insight program focuses on four basic areas that underline the needs and wants of human behavior and are therefore most relevant to brands and business: One of these areas is Connection, which focuses on the structure and rules that will guide the future of our relationships and way of life. The other 3 key areas are Taste: the future of food and drink, Luxury: the future world of aspiration and its evolving expressions, and Body: the future ways in which we will view our bodies. (To review our previous blog pieces and find out more about our Insight areas and the blue sky concepts we have created please click on the links here: Taste, Body, Luxury.)

For Connection, as with all of our key areas, we will explore the big shifts that are happening and define the leading edge by speaking to experts and opinion makers who are in the best position to shape the future. We combine this knowledge with our own explorations into the cultural and categorical changes happening around us to create blue-sky design concepts that build a rich picture of the future for brands.

 Today the way we connect is at the center of our lives, defining how we see ourselves and relate the world around us. Our insight into connection explores the structures and rules that will guide the future of our relationships and way of life.

Connection is at the heart of Pearlfisher as a design agency. Pearlfisher was founded in London by Creative Partners, Jonathan Ford and Karen Welman, and Managing Partner, Mike Branson. This November, Pearlfisher will be celebrating its 20th year! Our New York studio was founded in 2003 and both teams work together, championing the Pearlfisher brand across the Atlantic. With teams in different continents and clients all over the world, we continuously look for new ways to inspire and connect with each other, from standard technological means of communicating, to wider initiatives that inspire, surprise and make a difference. Our teams recently worked together on the Create A Master Peace campaign in support of this years Peace One Day on September 21st - http://masterpeacegallery.tumblr.com/ http://peaceoneday.org/. 

Pearlfisher teams from New York and London created Peace motif installations made from white flowers in Union Square and Trafalgar Square and galvanized creativity from schools and community groups around the world. The campaign was a fantastic example of the power of a good idea and how this can spread organically, connecting not only our teams, but children and adults standing up for Peace around the world.

Next week we will share a taster from Jonathan Ford ahead of his presentation in Miami on October 17th. Defining the future of healthy eating will be a vibrant mixology of insightful and future focused visions to help redefine the future of healthy eating and its impact on consumers, organizations and brands around the world. 

Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner, Pearlfisher will be presenting "Pearlfisher Insight: Seeing the Future" at the upcoming World Future Trends Summit. To learn more about the event, visit the website here. Readers of our blog can save 15% off the registration price with code FT12BLOG.

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