The holiday season, despite its one eve of festivity, absorbs anywhere from weeks to months of our time as shoppers and consumers, and even more so if we are marketers. It evokes the anxiety, well pondered over in days when brands battled for loyal consumers. Attracting one and all with the glitterarti of lights that brighten up the night sky for miles, attracting shutterbugs and stories for lifetimes. One has to think of all the historical, traditional efforts put into the likes of Macy’s and Harrod’s, juxtaposed against a modern lifestyle of lesser and lesser offline shopping.

However in today’s world, with retailers opening up stores way into the middle of the night, if not 24 hours, and with online accounting for a large chunk of decision making, if not sales, the dynamic has become muddled, and all the more interesting to explore. Despite decadent window displays of Christmas chocolate architecture or humane mannequins in theatrical poses in a luxury London, for instance, which have perhaps become more tourist attractions than reliable sources of revenue, many have chosen the online world as a foray into replacement shopping. Convenient, faster, and to a certain degree, almost less magical.


On drawing comparisons between the online and offline world, alongside the regularity of last minute versus planned shoppers, a two by two matrix on uncovering four holiday shopping personalities can be deduced. Let’s call it The Timed Shopping Framework, since it can apply to any phase of life when we have to shop with a deadline.

Bandwidth Basher

Purchasing Power: High. It’s unlikely that these shoppers will be looking for deals, but are more in a frantic rush to buy something while multitasking a busy corporate or bustling alternative life; thus the restraint from going in stores.

Retailer Benefit: Shipping fees. Consumers in this segment may be blind to free shipping coupons in all the haste, so retailers can gobble up any margins on those exorbitant overnight fees.
Strategic Sprawler

Purchasing Power: Moderate. These shoppers will likely have scouted the deals, almost as early as Black Friday and Thanksgiving. Being deal hunters, it’s not to say they are budget battlers: rather the contrary, they are likely to spend in volume. Call them indecisive, or on the other spectrum, simply smart with a cool variety of friends.

Retailer Benefit: Volume purchase and loyalty. It’s likely that these shoppers will seek deals with enough prowess to use coupon codes or minimum purchase requirements to benefit retailers, either with volume or future loyalty.

Methodical Maneuverer

Purchasing Power: Moderate. These are traditional shoppers that would rather drive to the stores come fall, and load up their trunks and rear seats with less shopping on a periodic basis. And they never forget the wrapping, bows, cards and frills. These shoppers either have a sense of detail, or are simply preventing an anxiety attack, as per a former framework.

Retailer Benefit: Traditional store sales, which as we all know, may not be real value sales, but well marketed ones. Nonetheless, courtesy of methodical research, retailers should not expect these consumers to be strong spenders.

Splurging Sprinter

Purchasing Power: High. These shoppers have simply had no time in bustling lives, and tend to leave things to the last minute. With about half of their preferred selections disappearing off shelves, they are likely to be struck by anxiety and spend more than they need. Sans details, they may skip the frills and even ask for gift wrapped gifts altogether! Just beware that these folks may be struck by stress more often than not; even in public.

Retailer Benefit: Revenues from last minute shopping. Retailers can expect high spending from these consumers, with a slight dose of stress depending on the level of shopper persistence. It will be easy to entice them with leftover, often non-sale items, or with stocking stuffers.


Sourabh Sharma, Senior Manager and Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an boutique marketing research consultancy, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh.
Next up, in The Media Insights Interview Series brought to you by The 2015 Media Insights & Engagement Conference, we were lucky enough to catch up with Jake Katz, VP, Audience Insights & Strategy at REVOLT. He shared with us some of his key insights into audience engagement strategy in the growing and evolving digital media landscape.

Here's what Katz had to say: 

IIR: What has been your most successful audience engagement strategy?

Katz: Make your consumers owners. In building a TV network from scratch, some of the biggest strategic challenges fall within understanding how a content brand lives and engages across screens and platforms. When launching this brand, REVOLT launched on Twitter almost a year prior to the channel actually going live on linear. We had a constant dialogue with our target audience on Twitter, that leading up to our linear launch, built advocacy. Many folks call our 15-29 target narcissistic, but what is often less celebrated in the press is that by asking for their input, the Millennial/Post-Millennial audience then has a shared responsibility of your success. That said, REVOLT was a top trending topic the first night it launched the actual network on TV.

IIR: How has the new 2-screen environment affected TV advertising?

Katz: Historically the TV business drives off of presenting itself as a reach vehicle within the advertising community. The reality of our target audience is that TV content continues to drive the pop culture conversation, but is watched across many different screens at many different times around its actual premiere. Our vision at REVOLT is that in a world where viewers value social media as much as they value traditional media, TV is where you spark "engagement" and when your content creates dialogue in social, digital is where you check the box of "reach" and "frequency." Multi-tasking media behaviors are an opportunity, not a dilemma.  

IIR: How do you synthesize data to make it more meaningful?

Katz: Given that our world now moves at the speed of social media, no matter what category you play in, we are now in the business of understanding "why" not "what." By the time you have identified "what," it is too late. Consumers are super-served, if not overwhelmed with messaging and content, so marketers must understand how they can tap into relevance subconsciously but project a POV in their positioning. This means my job as a strategist is not to inform what the audience wants through a series of PPT charts, but study in to and strategize around the psyche, motivations, and drivers of the culture + conversation we are seeking permission to enter.

IIR: What does the always-on shopping trend mean for your business?

Katz: It used to be that you would engage a target a consumer a certain number of times so that when they were in purchase-mode, your offering would be top of mind. The rise of online shopping has made it so that now your target consumer is always in purchase mode, and furthermore, expects a shorter distance between discovery and purchase. The always-on shopping trend means that our ad-partners must message to our target audience as if they are in research mode, subtly prompting them to continue the journey of consumer curiosity online. 

IIR: Can you tell us a little bit about what to expect at your session, “Post-disruption, the New, New Media Landscape: How to Do it”?

Katz: To launch and build a TV network for 15-29s in 2014, I cut to the truth of the Millennial conversation and uncovered actionable new rules of consumer engagement through our insights initiative, Road to Truth. As we kick off 2015, I have just launched our next insights project called Code of Content. Why? Because the evolving media landscape demands more than just traditional media placements, and as a result, compelling content marketing is king when it comes to engaging the Millennial audience.

If "the medium is the message," we need to understand how brands live in a world of many screens and platforms – not just for our brand, but to answer questions throughout the industry and across categories. Through Code of Content's expert interviews, surveys, and ongoing mobile ethnographies, we are decoding these four Ms of content marketing:

1.       Motivation: Underlying emotional and functional content needs among 15-29s
2.       Medium: Pushing culture through the lens of various distribution platforms (e.g. TV, social media, digital, apps)
3.       Mode: Content format (e.g. A tweet, pic, gif, video clip, episode)
4.       Message: Content purpose, tone, and characteristics

Want to hear more from Jake? Don’t’ miss his session, “Post-Disruption, The New, New Media Landscape: How To Do It” at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference at 10:00 am on Thursday, February 5, 2015. To learn more about this event or to register, please visit our website:  http://bit.ly/1z7uPDS


About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.
We’ve published a lot of creative, inspiring, and thought-provoking posts this year on the Next Big Design Blog, so we wanted to take a moment to look back on the most popular posts of 2014. Here are the topics our readers enjoyed the most this year:

Why Your Brand Needs to Get Visual: Today in media, everywhere we look we are seeing a shift to visual – including photos, infographics, illustrations, slideshows, memes, videos, and any other imagery that can be engaged with and shared. With more images and fewer words, visual content is the perfect answer for our busy schedules and hyper-engaged lives. Businesses looking to make an impact in today’s world should embrace this shift and the advantage that visuals provide to be seen and heard — quickly, clearly, and powerfully. To read the full post, click here.

How to Create a Magnetic Brand: Marketing messages are coming at you everywhere you go. In fact, customers are bombarded with thousands of marketing images and messages every single day - more than 5,000 to be exact, according to researchers.  When you’re standing in line at the grocery store, when you’re driving down the street, when you’re watching TV and, whenever you’re online, someone is trying to sell you something. This leads to “communication fatigue”—meaning we are bombarded by so many messages that we end up ignoring more to keep our heads from exploding. So, what does this mean for your brand? It means crafting the best marketing campaign in the world may not cut it anymore, if consumers are not interested in what you have to say. To read the full post, click here.

29 Ways to Stay Creative: Creativity is something that many look beyond, but creativity is one of the greatest qualities we can be lucky enough to have, but many never allow their true creativity to be expressed. Our ability to express our deepest feelings is at the core of the importance of creativity. As humans we have a very strong need to express ourselves and we're happiest when other people understand what we are trying to get across to them. We can all benefit from a boost to our creative juices. Those who are truly creative don’t copy what others do; instead, they may use innovative ideas from others as a springboard to come up with a unique product for themselves. They tend to distance themselves from the competition rather than compete with them. If they see another company or person copying what they do, they create something even better. Put simply, they are able to leverage their creativity and innovative capabilities to attain success. To read the full post, click here.

How to Create a Memorable Design: Although it may not seem like it, what we experience and what we remember are in fact two very different things. Most product design strategy is directed toward experience, but cognitive scientists say that we should really focus on memory instead because our memories drive the majority of our decision-making. To read the full post, click here.

The Key Ingredients of a Comprehensive Brand Strategy: Did you know your business won’t succeed without an effective brand strategy? Brand strategy is the how, what, when, and to whom you communicate your product to the world. Having a clear brand strategy leads to stronger brand equity, or how people perceive your product, and how much they are willing to pay for it. To read the full post, click here.

5 Ways Creativity Creates Productivity: Today, business leaders are completely and utterly focused on productivity. Meanwhile, creativity is the spark of a new idea so incredible that it interrupts whatever you’re doing to get it onto paper. Creativity leads to productivity, if that workplace environment is developed and nurtured in a way that allows the two to peacefully co-exist. To read the full post, click here.

What Does Your Logo Say About Your Business?: A truly great company logo becomes synonymous with its identity. For instance, McDonald’s golden arches, Apple’s apple, Coca-Cola’s cursive typeface, Nike’s swoosh and all of those iconic brand images stuck in your head. But what does a logo say about your company? To read the full post, click here.

About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.
Even the best client & agency relationships need to be evaluated...

Let’s get down to the facts:
Fact: 88% of clients claim to speak their mind freely to their agency while 36% of agency partners would agree
Fact: 90% of agencies say they truly understand their clients business but only 65% of the other halves agree

As you can see, there is a big disconnect here and it leads you to wonder what other vital information is your counterpart missing?

Join us next month at the Client & Agency Summit where we break down the walls in these relationships and get to the core of what you expect and need from your agency or client. We created this summit to expose the issues in seemingly perfect relationships and help you work towards being better… together.
Client & Summit brought to you by FUSE
December 9, 2014 // New York City


View the full agenda here: http://bit.ly/1ufiUON

Here’s the Inspirational Speaker Line-Up:
Sarah Armstrong
Director, Worldwide Agency Operations
The Coca-Cola Company



Brett Colbert
Chief Procurement Officer
MDC Partners

Ed McFadden
Senior Group Manager, PMG
Target

Stephen Gates
Vice President and Creative Director, Global Brand Design
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Bob Kantor
Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer
MDC Partners

In the spirit of truly meaningful relationships, we are offering a group discount - Register 2 people for $800! Invite your client, or your agency representative, this is an event that you don't want to miss. Register here: http://bit.ly/11H3QUj

Best,

The FUSE Agency Client Summit Team
@NextBigDesign
#BetterTogether14
How many Snapchats have you sent within the last hour? When was the last time you chatted on the phone or saw the recipient in person? Snapchat is quickly becoming the new means for communication as the enticing image based, concise text focused, app allows users to conveniently keep in touch. While traditional advertising via TV, billboard, and radio are ongoing, advertising through a platform where users have chosen to accept ads and want to see them can bring effectiveness to another level. Consumers barely look up from their phones when walking the streets… or even driving, for that matter. What are they looking at? Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook- apps that require minimal mental engagement yet provide short and fast entertainment while walking down the street.

With about one in three millennials currently using the platform, it only makes sense for brands to step in and capitalize on the situation. Unique and eye-capturing content is the only route to take when trying to engage with consumers via the time constricting app. Snapchat allows marketers to connect with fans in a simple yet memorable way with the advantage of prompting impulse purchases due to the fact that the message will quickly vanish!

 Photo credit: LA Times.Business

From “snapping” coupons to consumers to offering sneak-peaks, this type of marketing is on the rise and will only continue to grow as these real-time, image-based apps emerge. Now lies a great opportunity to step in and start a trend of connecting with consumers before it too becomes commonplace.

Furthermore, Instagram has also become a great source for advertising. There is so much that can be captured in an image and distributed to “followers” that allow this platform to take giant strides in a marketing sense.

In choosing to “follow” a certain brand, the user commits to seeing all image posts that brand populates. In the consumer’s eye, the brand must narrow down their single post to the best, most memorable and action inducing image and/or saying to capture the attention of the user. In doing so, the consumer is no longer bombarded by continuous and exhausting ads as that ended up in “un-liking” a brand’s Facebook page in the past. Instagram creates a visually appealing platform for consumers to glance down at and connect to while on-the go.

Gain a competitive advantage by seeing who your followers follow. What other companies are they following? What are they posting? Any potential partnerships? How will you incorporate these ever-growing trends into your marketing plan?

Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at j.parker@skimgroup.com.
The producers of FUSE are excited to debut the inaugural Agency Client summit.  Produced in partnership with A Better View Consulting, this entirely collaborative experience is designed to inspire a new model of partner collaboration. By harnessing candid input at the intersection of client struggles and agency frustrations, this groundbreaking new event will be the catalyst for more productive, mutually beneficial relationships that endure and thrive.
Save the Date
Agency Client Summit brought to you by FUSE
December 9, 2014 // New York City
Better...Together

Register by October 31st and Save $100 of the standard rate: 
http://bit.ly/1v9UoiY 

Through fully facilitated sessions, agencies and clients will work privately as separate groups to calibrate existing partnerships, solve for key challenges and brainstorm a new model of mutual success and value.  Following the private sessions, the group will unite in blended teams to visualize a new path toward creating relationships with purpose that endure and thrive. Visit the website for more information: http://bit.ly/1v9UoiY

Onsite leadership and inspiration from:

Stephen Gates
Vice President and Creative Director, Global Brand Design,
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Brett Colbert
Chief Procurement Officer,
MDC Partners

Ed McFadden
Senior Group Manager, PMG,
Target

This summit is designed for both agency and client leaders and is a must attend for those with specific agency or client management responsibilities.

Agencies of focus:
Advertising
Design
Marketing and activation
Brand strategy
Shopper marketing
Insights and Research
Innovation and product development 
Client side departments:
Brand and Design
Marketing and insights
Innovation and product development
Procurement

Join us as we help bridge the client agency gap. Register today: http://bit.ly/1v9UoiY 

Best,
The FUSE Agency Client Summit Team

#BetterTogether14
Open up Amazon. Immediately suggested items pop up based on your profile and past purchases. Open up any website. Ads pop up based on your previous Internet searches. Open up an item purchase page, and suggested complementary items are found just below.

Years ago, I thought customizing your Nike’s was outlandish, but now, it seems the Internet is being customized for me. It it amazing how tailored the Internet has become to enable users the most efficient and effective shopping experience. As if online shopping was not already convenient enough, we now have customized interfaces that narrow down to items of your interest with no effort on your part involved. So long brick and mortar; online shopping is paving the way with advancements day in and day out.


As data becomes more and more available, companies are taking the opportunity to take advantage of this and use it as a weapon for mass shopping. Not only does this customized interface make it easier for you to shop based on your [assumed] preferences, but it also makes the consumer feel as if the brand knows them and increases brand loyalty. This type of customized experience, known as prescriptive personalization, is becoming more and more popular as online retailers compete for the huge online audience that will only continue to expand.

This type of assumed personalization does can become a bit scary when it begins to predict our life. Think: Target…pregnancy.. ring a bell? How futuristic did that sound and that was only back in 2012 when Target was able to predict a teen’s pregnancy using purchase history and predictive analytics? While it can become a bit daunting to know the internet may be better at picking your preferences and knowing about your life than you do yourself, it is only fair for them to do with the abundance of publically available free data.

The topic of customization has continued to take forefront in the consumer world for many years now. I am interested to see how this continues to develop and impact our purchase decisions.



Janel Parker, Market Research Consultant at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in Marketing and Psychology from Cornell University. Her previous experience at a social media agency combined with her knowledge from SKIM provide for a unique understanding of the relationships between social media and marketing. She can be reached at j.parker@skimgroup.com
Challenge the status quo and ensure your commercial success at The Foresight and Trends conference. The FT'14 experience is designed to create a clear link between foresight & action. The program incorporates a variety of learning styles that will allow you to maximize your investment.

Foresight & Trends 2014
November 11-13
SLS Hotel
Los Angeles, CA


Download the brochure for full conference details: http://bit.ly/1r4boKZ

Experience the antidote to conventional conferences through these unique learning styles:

  • CONTEXTUALIZATION: See how companies are translating trends into opportunity through ground breaking case studies. Hear about successful real world application of trends from companies such as The Coca Cola Company, Tesla Motors, Yahoo!, General Motors, Lowe's Home Improvement, Universal Music Group,  Walt Disney International, Campbell Soup Company, Lululemon, Chrysler Group, Whole Foods Market, The Hershey Company, Hyatt Hotels, Xerox, Hallmark Cards, The Dannon Company, and many more... 
  • EXPERIENTIAL:  Takes you outside the conference walls and into the heart of innovative organizations that are creating the future. Stimulate your mind by joining us for the tour of University of Southern California's (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies and experience the latest 3D, virtual humans/avatar and immersive technologies or at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Managed for NASA, JPL is the leading U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system. And, don't miss the Kick-off Cocktail Reception at Oblong Industries, who are mastering the Technology Envisioned in "Minority Report" and "Iron Man", hear how it is already transforming workplace collaboration and big data visualization.
  • VISION: Uncover what's next through visionary keynotes. From understanding the new consumer, to empowering your organization to say "yes" to innovation - FT'14 Keynotes will cover trend implementation from A-Z. Learn the secrets of successful CEOs, leading brands, and innovators who have hunted and captured new opportunity. Speakers include former Chief Scientist of Amazon, Andreas Weingend, VP of Innovation at Deckers, Stuart Jenkins, VP of Global Management Strategies at The Estee Lauder Companies, Mark Polson, and other leading global visionaries.
  • IMPLEMENTATION:  Allows you to be hands-on through innovative workshops. Learn how to translate trends into commercial opportunities by participating in workshops from leading actioners. Take advantage of sessions like Why 2020's Strongest Brands & Companies Are Already Using Wellbeing As a Core Strategy by Tom LaForge, Global Director, Human & Cultural Insights at The Coca-Cola Company and Renee Moorefield, PhD, CEO, Wisdom Works Group


Find out how FT'14 is relevant for you: Download the agenda to see the speaker faculty along with full detail on sessions: http://bit.ly/1r4boKZ

Through active participation you are exposed to a wide range of expertise and knowledge that you will not find anywhere else. At the Foresight and Trends conference you will synthesize trend themes and leave with an action plan for capturing new opportunities. 

Join us in Los Angeles, CA November 11-13. Mention code FT14LI & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today:  http://bit.ly/1mJncRT

Engage with FT’14 Online:

For an indepth look into the important of foresight and trends in business today, read our recent interview with Yvette Montero Salvatico, principal at Kedge and Frank Spencer, principal and founder of Kedge: http://bit.ly/1qUQf4F

For a taste of last year's memorable FT experience, watch our variety of though leader interviews and conference sessions on the Foresight & Trends YouTube Channel here: http://bit.ly/XhXet8 

Cheers,
Foresight & Trends Team


On Tuesday, the much-anticipated Apple Watch was finally revealed alongside the new iPhone 6.  It’s easy to dismiss this as just another new tech product launch in an overly crowded market, with other companies like Samsung, LG, and Motorola who have already made their mark in the space.  But, don’t be so easy to judge - if you look closely at the Apple Watch, you can see the tech giant executed some seriously innovative ideas that are set to impact the future of technology design.

Here are some key design takeaways from the Apple Watch, according to Fast Company:

Security Over Ease Of Use: Apple talked a great deal about payments in their launch presentation- how NFC (or near field communication) chips in their new iPhones and Apple Watch will enable you to make a credit card payment by holding your phone or watch against a payment plate. But, it’s not that simple - if it were this simple, you could check out with a wave of your hand. Apple is still having you confirm every payment with the iPhone's Touch ID thumbprint sensor. This extra step will mean that paying for things won’t be as simple as making a gesture and credit card companies will have to continue keeping a close eye on card security.

Customizable Products Are Here to Stay: The Apple Watch can be customized a many different ways including the band, the hardware, and the digital watchface. And, Apple isn’t the first electronics company to offer a mass customizable product, but it has been a one-size-fits-all company. For over 10 years,  the company’s has offered a product in a small handful of colors. The Apple Watch admits that a few colors is no longer enough because it’s no longer just an electronic – it’s a fashion statement.



Gadgets Get Luxurious: Apple has released its first product made of gold. Not just gold paint (like the Kardashian phone) but 18-carat gold around the bezel.  As our gadgets become fashion accessories--and in this case, jewelry even--they will naturally adopt the glitzy materials used for centuries in those fields.

Digital Can Be Intimate:  Apple’s most surprising feature of their new watch called “Digital Touch” connects us on a very physical, intimate level.  By accessing your contacts, you cannot just message them, but draw them a quick scribble, send them a series of taps, even share your heartbeat, which will pulse away on their wrist. 


About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1stDigital Impact, STEAM Accelerator and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.   
A truly great company logo becomes synonymous with its identity. For instance, McDonald’s golden arches, Apple’s apple, Coca-Cola’s cursive typeface, Nike’s swoosh and all of those iconic brand images stuck in your head. But what does a logo say about your company? 

Check out this infographic designed by 123Print about what a logo means to a company


What Does Your Logo Say About Your Business?

by 123Print.
As the competency of corporate innovation continues to expand and improve, more Chief Innovation Officer roles are appearing in large, corporate organizations. This is a welcome development and recognition of the ongoing value that leadership sees innovation efforts delivering for organizations. This recognition is demonstrated by the focus on the CInO role by several conferences, including The Back End of Innovation in Las Vegas on October 6-8.

I have been reading a lot about the CInO role lately and recently spoke with Luis Solis, the author of a book titled “Innovation Alchemists: What Every CEO Should Know to Hire the Right Chief Innovation Officer” to get his perspectives on the CInO role in the context of this value generation.

What changes have you seen with the CInO role recently?

As the CInO role continues to evolve and develop, one significant change is that the previous focus on process and activity is being augmented with a serious and deep scouting function. That includes scouting for technologies, trends, and cultural insights. This means that the role is expanding into other more established corporate functions, such as Competitive Intelligence, Strategy, and HR, so these CInO’s need to better manage and shape relationships across the organization, often where there may be competing interests. More than ever, it’s a delicate balancing act.

There is also more focus on impacting the culture of an organization as a precondition for success, but not only that, it is viewed that the CInO and resources may be a better catalyst for shifting the organization towards an innovative culture, perhaps more than what has been in place until now.

How do you see the role changing going forward?

Look, the reality is that the CInO is here to stay and it’s an expanding role. We are in a macro-economic recovery and this gives companies more confidence. So I think that this and next year will be a bumper crop of CInO roles becoming available. Unfortunately I don’t think that there is a body of future leaders to take that leading role, so there is a market opportunity for that pipeline to be filled.

I have heard you talk about the importance of employee innovation networks, so how does that connect back to the CInO role?

This goes back to maturity, because the current view is that innovation takes place at the BU level. What this approach misses is connecting the effect of those project teams for intelligence gathering, practice sharing, risk reduction, speed, etc. All the benefits that come from connecting networks are missed, or at least more difficult to generate with discrete teams. So organizations are anywhere above two years in their innovation journey are, or should be, looking for something that is better than the separate projects. Innovation networks are just the natural extension beyond that.
At a certain point, leaders recognize that this is more than just about an innovation department or program, but it is a set of capabilities spread across the organization. With that perspective, the innovation program becomes the enabler of systems behaviors, rituals, and ultimately about building and managing an enhanced culture.

What has surprised you about the book’s reception, now that it has been out for a few months?

The first thing that I learned was that there is an extraordinary amount of interest in this CInO role. Leaders want to know “What it is?” “How it should be designed and organized?” “Who is qualified to fill that role?”
What I had not expected to encounter is that most leaders are not asking “if” they should have a CInO, but now it’s “who do we use and when?” It’s just a given now that this role is essential to business leaders. To me that’s a pretty big change in the past couple of years.

What are the biggest risks or conflicts that CInO’s need to manage?

One of the key issues for CInO’s is that they are impacting leaders of Strategy, Marketing, Competitor Intelligence, Digital, and R&D functions in vary tangible ways. So, proper thought needs to be given to addressing the inevitable tensions that this new role generates. When designing this role, the CEO really does need to account for 2-4 years of their support, or it will be difficult to take route and grow. In my experience that has been a challenge, especially when a CEO rotates which can lead to a high rate of failure.


About the Author: Anthony is the CEO of Culturevate (www.culturevateinc.com), an organization that empowers a company’s employees to execute ideas and inspire a culture of innovation, through employee networks, a resource portal and training programs (developed in association with Professor Chris Labash from Carnegie Mellon University). Anthony is a widely read author (www.culturevateinc.com), speaker and advisor to industry leaders at organizations such as Pfizer, U.S. Postal Service, Johnson & Johnson, ADP and Fidelity. He previously led The BNY Mellon innovation program and has a Masters of Commerce (University of Sydney) and Bachelor of Economics (University of Newcastle).

If you had all the data in the world at your fingertips, what would you do to delight your customers?
- Andreas Weigend

Join Keynote Andreas Weigend, Former Chief Scientist, AMAZON and Director, SOCIAL DATA LAB - as he takes stage at (FT'14) Foresight and Trends Conference,  November 11 - 13 in Los Angeles, CA.  During his keynote-The New Consumer: Celebrating Individuals, Cultivating Relationships - Andreas discusses how the social data revolution impacts individuals, business, and society. As we move from a data-poor to a data-rich world, those who hold the questions trump those who hoard the data. 

Foresight & Trends 2014
November 11-13
SLS Hotel
Los Angeles, CA

Along with Andreas, FT'14  keynotes include:  

The Climate for Innovation
Mark Polson, Vice President, Marketing, Creativity & Innovation, Global Management
Strategies, THE ESTEE LAUDER COMPANIES

Organizational culture is difficult to change. By some measures, it can take nearly a generation, that can be up to seven to ten years. Creating the right climate for innovation is something that is much easier to accomplish to get faster results. This presentation will look at why companies need to innovate, what the difference is between climate and culture, how climate can be measured, and some best practices.

Structured To Get To "Yes"
Stuart Jenkins, VP Innovation, DECKERS

If innovation starts with "yes," why is everyone in the organization empowered to say "no"?  I believe that companies have a built-in structure which favors "no" and empowers nearly everyone to say "no." The real innovator's dilemma is building a leadership structure around innovation that balances the power and leans towards "yes."

Additional Keynotes Include:

Shifting Culture and Social Norms Through Media and Products
Miki and Radha Agrawal, Co-Founders and Co-CEO's, THINX and SUPER SPROWTZ

Street Food and Community Space
Brett Burmeister, Owner, Managing Editor, FOODCARTSPORTLAND.COM

And, many more!  

Download the brochure for full conference details: http://bit.ly/1BdURXQ

Make sure to not miss The Off Site Kick-Off Cocktail Reception & Exploration Of Oblong Industries:  From Fiction to Reality: How the Technology Envisioned in "Minority Report" and "Iron Man" is Transforming Workplace Collaboration and Big Data Visualization- John Underkoffler, CEO, OBLONG INDUSTRIES.

Looking to take action on insights that will ensure your future success? Join us at FT'14, the leading place where revolutionaries gather to decipher insights and turn them into an actionable and strategic plan for future relevance.  Mention code FT14BL & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1BdURXQ

Cheers,

Foresight & Trends Team
@future_trends
#FT14
www.tumblr.com/blog/worldfuturetrends
Your brand is not determined by a logo. Your brand is what people perceive or feel when they consume your content or buy your products. Your brand strategy is created by your core products, your mission, and the target audience you are trying to reach.

According to Business2Community, here are six steps to creating a comprehensive brand strategy:

Strive for Emotional Connections
You have to connect emotionally with your audience beyond the sale.  Business owners should have the goal of inspiring an emotional connection in their audience and really try to understand your customers and what they want from your company. Once you understand their needs, you’ll be able to identify how to strike an emotional connection with your target market.

Nurture Connections
Think about the companies that treat both their customers and their employees well. Companies like Costco thrived even during the recession, because not only does the company appeal to both lower and higher income consumers, but it’s earned a great reputation for how well they treat their employees.

It Must Reinforce Your Brand’s Message
Specifically, on social media it is easy to assume that posting a humorous photo or video will engage your audience. However, instead of being engaged, your audience might just end up confused if it doesn’t fit your brand’s message.

Measure Your Efforts
You have to measure results, monitor your campaign’s effect, and determine whether or not your strategy was successful. If people aren’t responding like you’d planned, then your campaign needs a makeover. The ability to be flexible and evolve with new strategies is the key to long-term branding success.

Solve Specific Problems
If you own a restaurant that specializes in artisan-style pizza, you must go beyond just selling good pizza. Maybe you pair pizza with specialty craft beer? Maybe the pizza ingredients are organic and your pizza boxes can be recycled as lunch boxes? Whatever your company chooses to highlight, it has to be unique enough to make you stand out from the millions of other pizza sellers.

Don’t Be Afraid to Spy

You should be aware of what strengths your competitor has, especially if they happen to be your weaknesses. Be aware of their successes and failures, how they compare to your own, and what you can learn from them. 
15 Inspiring Design Quotes
Explore more infographics like this one on the web's largest information design community - Visually.
Calling all Brand Strategists, Designers, Futurists, Trend Spotters, Directors of Insight, Foresight, Innovation, Marketing, Market Research, and anyone charged with Future Planning - Uncover latent trends at 19th annual Foresight & Trends (FT'14), taking place November 11-13 in Los Angeles, CA. FT'14 unites the most forward thinking, creative and innovative people from across the globe to discuss macro trends disrupting how business gets done. We are thrilled to announce the release of the conference agenda and want to personally invite you.

Download the brochure for full program details:  http://bit.ly/1oMf79w

FT 2014 has some can't miss sessions, including:

Featured Speakers:

·         Andreas Weigend, Former Chief Scientist, AMAZON and Director, SOCIAL DATA LAB
·         Mark Demich, Vice President, HYATT HOTELS
·         Denise L. Fletcher, Vice President & Chief Innovation Officer, XEROX
·         Mark Polson, Vice President, THE ESTEE LAUDER COMPANIES

And, hear how these leading companies are implementing trends and how you can utilize these trends to make strategic decisions for your business that will ensure commercial success.   Speaking Companies Include: HALLMARK CARDS, INC. » HERSHEY'S » WHOLE FOODS MARKET » TESLA MOTORS » THE DANNON COMPANY » DISNEY » COCA-COLA » GENERAL MOTORS » And, many more!

Exploration sessions:

Exploration sessions take you outside the conference walls and into companies and organizations that are leading the way in game changing technologies. These exciting field trips are limited to 20 people - so book early to secure your place!
 ·         The Institute for Creative Technologies where you will experience the latest in 3D, Virtual humans/avatar and immersive technologies
·         Jet Propulsion Lab which is the leading US center for robotic exploration of the solar system.
·         And, don't miss the Off Site Kick-off Cocktail Reception & Exploration of Oblong Industries 

Cross Pollination:

Foresight and Trends unites people across functionalities, cultures, boarders and disciplines. Find out how FT'14 is relevant for you: Download the agenda to see the speaker faculty along with full detail on Exploration, Contextualization, Vision, and Skill Building sessions which cater to the specific needs of YOUR role:

·         Market Research and Insights
·         Innovation
·         Trends and Futuring
·         Brand Strategy and Design
·         Marketing and Strategy

Join leading executives across functions and industries and discover how to make strategic choices for your business using trends to dictate how you PLAY to WIN.

Mention code FT14LII & Save 15% off the standard rate. Register today: http://bit.ly/1pdCmux

Best,
Foresight & Trends Team
@future_trends
#FT14


For the first time ever, IIR is proud to present the Foresight & Trends Digital Package: http://bit.ly/1lMKRgS

Unable to attend Foresight & Trends? You can now get access to visionary speakers and innovative knowledge from the 2013 event in the comfort of your own office or home. Geographic and budget restraints no longer need to hinder your personal and company growth. You will receive 9 Videos, 16 presentations and 5 executive summaries covering a gamut of hot topics including: Trends, Innovation, Insights, Design and Branding.

Video Presentations from the 2013 Foresight & Trends Conference:

•             Visionary Thinking, Global Testing, Practical Applications & Tool Building
Stephen Webster, Global Design Director, Mary Kay
•             How to Make the Selfish Permissible: The Future of Luxury
Richard Wise, Global Brand Anthropologist and Futurist, Consultant, WWP Network
•             “Heat is Evil” Cold Pressed Green Juice
Jimmy Rosenberg, Chief Juice Officer (CJO) and Founder, Evolution Fresh
•             Era of Transition, Reset Your Mental
Tony Bosma, Futurist, Trendwatcher at Ordina, Founder, Extend Limits
•             The Upcoming Revolution of the Data Slaves
Peter Vander Auwera, Co-Founder, Innotribe, the Innovation Initiative of Swift
•             Youth Trends
Tom Palmaerts, Trendwatcher, Partner at Trendwolves

And more!

Plus, get presentation slides from 16 FT sessions including: IBM, PG&E Utility, Sony, Daimler, Unreasonable Group, Grid Logistics Inc, Elephant Ventures, StartupNectar, and more.
In addition, you will have access to the executive summaries featuring key takeaways from 2013 IIR Marketing & Strategy Division conferences: The Market Research Event, Front End of Innovation, FUSE, The Future of Consumer Intelligence and Shopper Insights in Action.

Purchase today for $199 to gain the insight that has our attendees coming back year after year: http://bit.ly/1lMKRgS

“If you want to understand the Zeitgeist of tomorrow’s world, Foresight & Trends is the place to be. With cool provocative speakers, future themes and high quality techniques discussed, a great experience for professionals active in the field of strategy, trends and forecasting. I look forward this year again and be on the edge of the trends of today and tomorrow!” - Jaspar Roos, Chief Inspiration Officer and Innovator

Save the Date: Foresight & Trends 2014 – November 11-13, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA. Register today: http://bit.ly/1kEgWUp


Today, business leaders are completely and utterly focused on productivity. Meanwhile, creativity is the spark of a new idea so incredible that it interrupts whatever you’re doing to get it onto paper. Creativity leads to productivity, if that workplace environment is developed and nurtured in a way that allows the two to peacefully co-exist. 

According to a recent Entrepeneur.com article by Boland Jones, founder and CEO of PGi, here are five ways that fostering creativity in your organization leads to productivity:

1. Encouraging creativity promotes no boundaries. No one knows where the next big idea will come from, but it won’t come from “the land of we’ve always done it this way.” Innovative ideas are shaping environments where creativity can flourish turns work into a place without boundaries, where the processes of last year can be forgotten.

2. Creativity tackles big problems. Productivity is often envisioned as dealing with the same tasks over and over. While this can be positive for business, it can also prevent workers from challenging themselves to tackle bigger problems. Encouraging creative thinking leads to employees' seeing the bigger picture and leveraging productive focus on issues with a deeper impact.

3. Fostering creativity shows employees they can change the workplace. Letting people make a visible, tangible impact on their work environment is a powerful motivator. No one wants to feel like a drone, mindlessly working through a task list having no apparent meaningful impact. One of the keys to nurturing a creative workplace is to give all workers a way to voice their ideas.

4. Creativity gets people emotionally invested. For many people, especially entrepreneurs, that passion comes easy. But for some, sparking that passion in the workplace requires a more motivation. Regardless of their department or role, workers who participate in the creative process can take ownership of an idea rather than a to-do list. When staffers can own an idea from the beginning all the way to its execution, they become more passionate and will work harder to see that idea come to life.


5. Promoting creativity removes the fear of failure. A key component of fostering a creative environment is giving people the freedom to fail. The fear of failure cripples creative environments as well as the flow of ideas and ultimately productivity. Fear keeps us coloring between the lines, removing all possibility of improving, streamlining or creating more effective ways to work. 
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