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Read, Watch & Ideate

Read, Watch & Ideate

We're still only in Q1 so plenty of reason to assess your 2024-readiness!

Dive into the Trend Check, then (re)watch our recent webinar - we’ve selected 15 distinct industry trends, and we encourage you to read them all, regardless of the industry you’re in, as consumer expectations transfer across industries, borders and price points.

The world has changed significantly since we coined Expectation Economy 16(!) years ago. Two financial crises, a pandemic, climate-related disasters and deepening geopolitical tensions will continue to fundamentally alter the landscape.

Now, the Expectation Economy is giving way to the Exchange Economy, an age requiring brands to work together to tackle the world’s toughest problems - we’re spotlighting how some of these can be solved with a cross-industry approach.

Time to turn fear and overwhelm into actionable hope! 👊

1. BEAUTY

SUSTAINABILITY ON DISPLAY: Deeper shades of green in beauty

As the beauty sector's not-so-pretty eco-reality — from deforestation to growing emissions — is uncovered, 50% of millennials globally and 45% of gen Z are prepared to drop personal care brands that fall short of their responsibility to Mother Earth. Regulatory bodies, including in the EU and US, are stepping up with new legislative frameworks. And consumers, as climate urgency intensifies, are rejecting greenwashing and seeking genuinely impactful efforts. As a brand, your challenge isn't just to implement those green measures but to vividly show how vital they are. How can you bring behind-the-scenes sustainability stories to the fore?

Beauty-Mobile-1
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Beauty-1
B Fashion-1
C Home
Beauty-1
BEAUTY

Dove & Rimba Collective

Partnership aims to restore 123,000 acres of rainforest in Southeast Asia

Dove and Singapore-based Rimba Collective launched the Dove Nature Regeneration Project in July 2023 to conserve an impressive swath of Southeast Asian rainforest. To amplify the campaign’s message, Dove will launch an AR experience in select Walmart stores that superimposes the rainforest on a shopper’s surroundings.

At the start of 2024, just 3 of the top 10 global beauty manufacturers have committed to eradicating deforestation from their supply chains. Beyond B Corp certifications and ambitious climate goals, consider how to make your eco-actions as tangible as the products you’re selling, by using store-grown ingredients, resurrecting extinct materials or giving tours of your farms.

💡 How will you immerse consumers in the nature you’re trying to preserve?

Fashion-1
Fashion

ASKET

Receipts itemize the environmental cost of every clothing purchase

After buying an ASKET sweater or pair of jeans, customers aren't handed a regular receipt. From November 2023, the Swedish clothing brand issues an 'Impact Receipt' that itemizes the environmental cost of producing each garment. ASKET partnered with Vaayu Tech for traceable lifecycle impact calculations that consider CO2e emissions, energy consumption, and water consumption (calculations are nuanced, based on a location's water scarcity). 

No, individuals shouldn't be tasked with solving the climate crisis. But personal buying habits do have an enormous impact, and awareness creates ripple effects. Brands need to empower consumers with the information required for conscious purchasing decisions.

💡 How can you make the environmental impact of your product transparent, both pre- and post-purchase?

Home
LIVING

Dille & Kamille

Retailer upcycles in-store Christmas trees into compost

In early 2023, Netherlands-based retailer Dille & Kamille replanted living Christmas trees that had decorated its stores through the 2022 holiday season. Dead trees, meanwhile, were collected from the retailer and local municipalities by upcycling startup Het Grondstoffenbos. Combined with other plant waste, 15,000 trees were processed into compost and returned to stores in August 2023 to sell as Heilige Grond, or Holy Soil. 

Amid soaring eco-anxiety, sustainability initiatives could benefit from positive storytelling. Products like Heilige Grond enable consumers to actively engage in planetary restoration, offering a concrete and easily recognizable example of circularity from the ground up. 

💡 How can you include consumers in your next circularity initiative, every step of the way?

2. CONSUMER TECH

CODE-IT-YOURSELF: New tools enable consumer-led personalization

Ever since the generative AI boom, conversations about tech have dominated public discourse. The adoption of LLMs and text-to-anything software created a newfound willingness to play and experiment, giving rise to a CODE-IT-YOURSELF mindset. Between highly bespoke emojis, AI assistants and an increased tech-savvyness among consumers, the shift towards personalized technology is clear. Your call to action? Invite your customers to (co-)design and (re-)build your products and services. That could mean enabling them to assemble tech of their own (it doesn’t get more custom than that), repairing gadgets when they break or allowing them to design their own UI. Can they build it? Yes they can! 👷

Consumer-Tech-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Consumer-Tech
B Work
C Social-Media
Consumer-Tech
CONSUMER TECH

The Browser Company

DIY browser unveils an AI upgrade for next-level optimization

Arc, from US-based developer The Browser Company, is a free internet browser with customizable operating system capabilities. The browser reimagines traditional navigation, tabs and bookmarks; Spaces can be redesigned akin to rooms in a house; and Easels function as a web ‘scrapbook’. In October 2023, AI updates included automated page summaries and ChatGPT access straight from the search bar.

With Arc, users control every pixel. Don’t like Gmail’s ‘Compose’ button? Change the font and edit the copy! Over YouTube shorts? Delete the section from the site. For the more tentative users, downloadable templates showcase how others are remixing their UI. 

💡 How will you consider various levels of tech literacy in your own CODE-IT-YOURSELF initiatives?

Work
WORK & LEARNING

Ambessa Play

DIY flashlight kit, co-designed with displaced kids

Ambessa Play is a UK-based social enterprise specialized in STEM kits to democratize education and technology. Its debut kit is a battery-free, DIY flashlight featuring ten parts and 16 build steps. Launched on Kickstarter in March 2023, Ambessa Play engaged displaced children in the design process and donates one kit per pledge.

Ambessa Play's story serves as a reminder that all children possess untapped ideas and inventiveness, capable of creating new technologies rather than merely consuming them. As 65% of today's primary school children are predicted to pursue careers in fields that do not yet exist, training for inherent ingenuity is essential. 

💡 How will you provide students and workers with the agency over your curriculum?

Social-Media
SOCIAL MEDIA

Bluesky

Social platform lets users choose their own algorithm

Bluesky, the decentralized X alternative, introduced ‘custom feeds’ in May 2023. These feeds allow users to prioritize content buckets (e.g. popular with friends, local news) in the platform's algorithm through a drag-and-drop functionality, while it also allows for easy switching between feeds. Even deeper levels of algorithmic customization are coming in 2024.

When it comes to consumer expectations, the goalposts are always moving. While TikTok’s personalized algorithm is generally viewed as the holy grail, Bluesky takes it further by handing the reins entirely to consumers. Executed well, anyone who can operate a smartphone can be in control of their feed.

💡 Beyond consumer-led algorithms, what does back-end access to your brand experience look like? 

3. ENTERTAINMENT

COMMON TONGUE: Reconnecting a divided world through entertainment

For entertainment brands who want to captivate diverse audiences, taking a definitive stance risks alienating audiences and inadvertently deepening polarized societies. For example, there is a near-equal split in the US in viewing the economic impact of immigrants as positive (38%) and negative (39%), underscoring the diversity of opinions (a phenomenon not confined to the US, obviously). Rather than contributing to the discord, how about connecting opponents on both sides of the divide instead? As tensions spill over at a global and local level, entertainment brands are turning to universal mediums of expression – laughter, music, gaming – to remind consumers of their shared humanity. The essence is to provide content that transcends polarities, offering a refuge of connection in an otherwise fragmented world.

Entertainment-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Entertainment
B Beauty-2
C Non-Profit-1
Entertainment
ENTERTAINMENT

SOS Amazônia

Fortnite game teaches gamers to protect Indigenous land

To mark August 2023’s International Indigenous Peoples Day, Fortnite launched its first map of Indigenous lands, with Latin American e-sports team Hero Base. Developed for the NGO SOS Amazônia, O Mapa Originário brings real-world challenges faced by Indigenous communities to the virtual realm, such as fighting forest fires and obstructing illegal logging.

Fortnite’s Indigenous map translates what can seem an abstract problem to many Western players, into a language they can understand – an approach followed by others such as VR experience Body of Mine and WWF. If you still associate ‘gaming’ tech with Call of Duty, think again. 

💡 How can you convey complex messages beyond just words? Show, don’t tell!

Beauty-2
BEAUTY

Paloma

Hair stylists trained to have eco-conversations with customers

Paloma, a Sydney hair salon, is inviting its customers to engage in discussions around climate change with a storefront poster that reads, "love, life & climate action". 
As of March 2023, over 400 hairdressers had attended workshops as part of the "A Brush With Climate" project, spearheaded by Paloma's owner. The training was delivered by climate scientists.

As a result of apocalypse fatigue, sustainability isn’t something consumers are always comfortable talking about. However, as long as ‘what does sustainability mean?’ is still one of the most Googled sustainability-related phrases, it becomes apparent there is a tension here.

💡 Whether it is among themselves or through brand interaction, how can you encourage people to have casual convos about intricate topics?

Non-Profit-1
NON-PROFIT

The Association of Autistic Friends

AI image generation personalizes communication for autism

To improve communication with autistic people, the Brazil-based Association of Autistic Friends (AMA) partnered with telco Vivo to launch ‘The Autism Journey’. Based on the standardized Picture Exchange Communication System, the partnership developed an AI-driven platform for families to personalize visual communication cards based on their child’s interests, such as their favorite superhero. Launched in May 2023, cards can be printed or used on mobile devices.

We’ve seen NGOs use AI to highlight systematic biases and the consequences of human actions, but here, AMA’s initiative is a beautiful example of how AI can be used for mutual understanding.

💡 How might you leverage AI to bridge comprehension barriers?

4. FASHION

BRANDCARE: Fashion brands take a more active role in caring for consumers’ health

Across the globe, pandemic-struck healthcare services still remain under pressure. As a result, care demands outweigh supply, pushing consumers to look elsewhere for ways to optimize their wellbeing. This includes apparel: half of consumers globally (49%) expect fashion brands to play a role in making sure they are as healthy as possible. For starters, consider how your next drop can encourage people to get up and move. From purposed retailers to fast fashion chains and haute couture, various scandals have consumed the fashion industry in recent years. By providing BRANDCARE, companies get the chance to turn a new leaf by showing they care, literally. How can you offer products and services that combine fashion with wellbeing, encompassing both mental and physical health?

Fashion-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Fashion-1
B Food
C Work
Fashion-1
FASHION

Morrisons & NHS

Supermarket puts cancer awareness messaging on underwear labels

In August 2023, the UK supermarket Morrisons forged a partnership with the National Health Service (NHS) to champion cancer awareness. As part of this initiative, QR codes are featured on Nutmeg-branded underwear labels, providing direct access to comprehensive information about symptoms related to breast and testicular cancer. Morrisons, which owns the Nutmeg brand, is implementing the strategy across 240 of its stores. 

Fashion brands can help increase awareness of symptoms, but health-related initiatives should always align with health professionals and robust research. On TikTok, where healthcare-related content is growing in popularity, claims often quoted as “evidence-based” have no associated sources

💡 How will you verify the BRANDCARE you’re providing?

Food
FOOD & BEVERAGE

Blue Zones

Life-extending 'Blue Zone' meals hit the freezer aisle

Silicon Valley elites have long favored Blue Zone diets, believed to extend lifespans, but accessibility and cost hinder widespread adoption. A US-based food manufacturer, Blue Zones Kitchen, aims to change this with its plant-based frozen meals, introduced at Expo East in September 2023, featuring lean protein and whole grains.

From IV drips to cold exposure therapy, interest in life-extending products is going mainstream. One key driver is a loss of faith in public health services, triggered by the pandemic. As a result, over half of global consumers (51%) now turn to diverse meals to remedy their health issues. 

💡 Are consumers reaching for your brand in search of longevity-focused fuel? 

Work
WORK & LEARNING

Dulux Indonesia

Paint brand gives school canteens a fresh coat to stop kids from getting sick

Open-air dining spots in Indonesia can harbor disease-carrying flies. In response, Dulux Indonesia initiated the Yellow Canteen project in schools, inspired by the University of Florida's finding that flies are repelled by the color yellow. Started in November 2023, the project involves repainting school tables, seats and walls in yellow.

COVID-19 renewed focus on preventative care, prompting proactive measures. Dulux expands its products’ benefits beyond aesthetics with the Yellow Canteen, using paint to tackle health risks in schools. Health and wellness serve as an imperative that informs buying behavior across sectors. 

💡 What practical steps can your brand take to enhance public health and become a trusted ally?

5. FINANCIAL SERVICES

FUTURE PROOFED: Building financial literacy in a complex economic context

As the world grapples with widening economic disparities, record debt and a lack of affordable housing, there's a clamor for financial literacy. Many consider personal finance an enigma, evidenced by global financial illiteracy rates. In response, financial services need to move beyond transactions and share their knowledge riches. One surprising source of aid comes from TikTok: #deinfluencing (encouraging consumers not to buy) just surpassed 1B views, indicating a demand for those who promote skills and knowledge over products. While 80% globally believe businesses should assist customers during the cost-of-living crisis, only a small fraction of consumers received advice from their banks in the past year. How will you instill cash confidence?

Finance-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Financial-Services
B Entertainment
C Social-Media
Financial-Services
FINANCIAL SERVICES

Nubank

Bank launches a board game to teach financial literacy

Brazil-based financial platform Nubank has introduced its version of the classic board game Game of Life. Centered around Nu's services, users can familiarize themselves with actions related to investing, insurance, and cryptocurrencies. A livestream on Twitch promoted the June 2023 launch, featuring popular streamers Mylon, esAcarry, Jimelol and Loadcomics engaging in gameplay. 

When ideating your next financial literacy initiative, consider that money still remains a sensitive topic. From challenging filial duties and financial infidelity, explore how you can help consumers discuss their financial situation. How? Provide shared investment portfolios or set up community-first wealth initiatives.

💡 How can you help people to talk money? 

Entertainment
ENTERTAINMENT

e.l.f. Cosmetics

Beauty brand taps into gen Z's entrepreneurial spirit through gaming

In November 2023, e.l.f. Cosmetics launched a virtual world on game creation system Roblox, to teach entrepreneurial skills and financial literacy to gen Z customers. E.l.f. Up! allows users to create their own startups that represent places and causes they care about most. The virtual venues include a recording studio, marine life charity and an art gallery. Additional features, such as multilingual options, will be rolled out in the future.

E.l.f. Up!, Essence’s Color dare, and La Roche-Posay’s Minecraft initiative all use popular gaming platforms to educate young consumers about important or complex issues. As a media brand, you’re well-placed to bring information to life in new exciting ways.

💡 How will you turn skill-building in an immersive experience?

Social-Media
SOCIAL MEDIA

Pinterest & Northwestern Mutual

Campaign offers personality-based advice to achieve life goals

A joint campaign between Pinterest and American financial service provider Northwestern Mutual empowers Pinterest users to turn their life ambitions into reality. After completing a personality test, NorthWestern Mutual provides step-by-step advice for different personality types to achieve their goals. ‘From Pinning to Planning’ launched in March 2023.

​​Finances can be stressful but through the right environment, gaining money skills can be a positive experience. Whether using familiar channels like Pinterest, launching a platform or creating a game show, make sure your initiative transforms financial confusion into an enjoyable and educational experience.

💡 How can you turn financial flummox to financial fun?

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6. FOOD & BEVERAGE

ECO-BOOSTERS: Sustenance that gives back to nature

A new wave of food and beverage consumers don’t want to just ‘cause less harm’, they want to go further, returning more to nature than they take. Yes, 83% of people across G20 countries want to do more to restore nature in the future and impact-driven F&B businesses are recognizing that active regeneration benefits both the planet and company profits. The F&B sector, particularly brands tied to agriculture, is uniquely positioned for leadership and can pioneer change by adopting a blend of (forgotten) regenerative wisdom and high-tech innovations. This includes practices like carbon sequestration and biodiversity monitoring. To spearhead the ECO-BOOSTERS revolution, empower people to replenish the earth with every bite and sip.

Food-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Food
B Home
C Luxury
Food
FOOD & BEVERAGE

Gipsy Hill Brewery

Brewery debuts offset-free, carbon-negative craft beer

July 2023 saw London brewery Gipsy Hill release an offset-free, carbon-negative beer. The brewing process uses 100% recaptured and reused hops, and certified regenerative barley is harvested from the end-to-end Wildfarmed community. Independent carbon accounting firm Zevero calculated the life cycle of two Gipsy Hill beers, 'Trail' and 'Swell', releasing -40g CO2e and -30g CO2e per pint respectively.
 
Implementing regenerative agricultural practices requires substantial upfront costs, with savings made further down the line. F&B brands can support farmers to make the transition less challenging, while keeping customers up to date with the process.

💡 How can you invest in farmers’ first steps to help the transition to regenerative?

Home
HOME & LIVING

Vandersanden

Carbon negative bricks set to roll out of Belgium in early 2024

Belgium-based brick manufacturer Vandersanden has developed Pirrouet: a new carbon-negative building material. Instead of being fired in energy-intensive kilns, Pirouett bricks are cured in CO2-filled chambers whereby CO2 permanently binds to calcium, a waste product from the steel industry. Vandersanden generates renewable energy on-site and aims to roll the bricks out in early 2024.

According to UN-Habitat,  3 billion people will need access to adequate housing by 2030, equating to 96,000 new affordable homes built every day. Meanwhile, construction materials account for approximately 9% of all energy-related CO2 emissions.

💡 What will you do to support the development of ECO-BOOSTING construction methods?

Luxury
LUXURY

Mejuri

Luxury jeweler joins regenerative mining initiative

In May 2023, Canada-based luxury jeweler Mejuri became the first jewelry partner of the regenerative mining social enterprise Regeneration. Initiated by Resolve and others – including mining company Rio Tinto and Apple – Regeneration extracts waste minerals from mining for jewelry, technology and the energy transition. Earnings from Regeneration fund habitat restoration and mine closure activities.

Mejuri’s mining partnership signals how the regenerative movement is expanding to other industries (so far seen mainly in agriculture and carbon capture initiatives) and how brands are taking responsibility for their supply chains. Your industry will be next!

💡 How can you take responsibility for the environment and people you impact, both directly and indirectly?

7. HEALTH

VIRTUAL COMPANIONS: Next-gen AI chatbots alleviate overburdened health systems

This year saw a whopping 1,480% year-on-year surge in AI chatbot apps. While some chatbots offer productivity upgrades or shopping assistance, others are emerging to ease overstretched health services. These VIRTUAL COMPANIONS use an empathetic tone to aid both patients and practitioners in accessing relevant information. However, this development comes with its challenges. On top of privacy worries and ethical concerns, the movie Her warned about the dangers of developing emotional attachments to AI nearly a decade ago (!), something that was recently echoed with Caryn.AI. And while LLMs can now pass medical licensing exams, they still make mistakes. Optimal care therefore requires a collaborative approach where AI alleviates practitioner burdens and patient pain points.

Health-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Health
B Financial-Services
C Consumer-Tech
Health
HEALTH

Pāṇini

Doctors develop AI chatbot for evidence-based decision-making

Pāṇini, an AI-powered chatbot, was launched to healthcare clinicians across India in June 2023. Developed by the healthtech platform DocPlix, the chatbot aims to empower clinicians to improve precision and reduce medical judgment errors. The chatbot is built on evidence-based medical literature and peer-reviewed algorithms.

Medical experts favor ChatGPT’s answers over those provided by a physician in 78.6% of cases. Patients feel less comfortable (just 28% of US respondents to be exact). Pāṇini can be a practitioner’s secret superpower, acting as a copilot to revolutionize precision while maintaining a human touch.

💡 How can you blend human skills with machine qualities?

Financial-Services
FINANCIAL SERVICES

Monuta

Poetic AI chatbot encourages end-of-life planning

End-of-life planning is an emotionally charged subject. In July 2023, Netherlands-based funeral provider Monuta launched 'Ronald GiphA.I.rt', an AI chatbot that guides users through planning their final chapter. In collaboration with author Ronald Giphart, it engages users on personal preferences, generating a poetic summary with an AI image reflecting their wishes.  

While not profoundly in-depth, this inventive and light-hearted concept prompts users to contemplate their final chapter. As LLMs mature, companies that seize AI will have a potent tool for understanding, engaging with and ultimately satisfying the needs of their audiences.

💡 How can you utilize AI to address sensitive topics, easing hesitation or dread?
 

Consumer-Tech
CONSUMER TECH

AI Foundation

Platform allows everyone to create their own AI assistants

The AI Foundation – a US-based AI research lab – has launched AI.XYZ: a platform that allows users to create a digital twin who can carry out mundane tasks, like drafting follow-up emails and setting reminders. The process involves feeding the companion with data via a simple drag-and-drop interface, or by pasting URLs or content into its 'brain.' In June 2023, the platform went into public beta and has since become available to everyone.

Wishing for a body double is no longer an impossible longing, it’s a promise! AI.XYZ redefines productivity by allowing consumers to offload robotic tasks to digital twins, leaving more room for deeply human and creative work.

💡 How can your VIRTUAL COMPANION help consumers to offload mundane tasks?

8. LIVING

OFF-GRID GUERRILLAS: Self-sustained living meets modern convenience

In an age of polycrisis, the need for a comforting, self-sustaining home has never been greater
Solo dwellers and multi-generational households are reviving interest in communal living and ‘pooling’ resources, as households find themselves at higher risks of power outages and inflation continues to drive up energy costs faster than the minimum wage. Off-grid living is an increasingly affordable way of life that can support various lifestyles, with no need to forgo modern comforts. In 2024, smart technologies can offer convenience and self-sufficiency: monitoring supplies, managing resources and providing remote access to work and healthcare. Home & Living brands can dispel myths about the cost and effort of energy adjustments, promoting a lifestyle that minimizes reliance on global supply chains.

Home-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Home
B Travel-1
C Entertainment
Home
LIVING

Posigen

Energy enterprise offers solar for all homes

Because of their price tag, solar systems are out of reach for many consumers. In comes PosiGen. The US-based solar company leases its panels to consumers for a monthly fee with no upfront expenses, aiming to make utility bill reductions greater than monthly costs for a net benefit. Similar initiatives have been launched across continents.

Nearly all (96%) consumers globally aimed to cut costs in 2023, and their financial concerns are likely to carry through into 2024. Since the investment and perceived effort required to live autonomously are known obstacles, those closed wallets could stall off-grids momentum.

💡 What steps can you take to reduce financial barriers to off-grid living?

Travel-1
TRAVEL

AdventureGenie

AI tool makes off-grid travel planning a walk in the park

AdventureGenie uses AI to help travelers plan road trips. The US-based platform aims to make it easier for travelers to build off-grid itineraries. Drawing on historical travel data and a list of 25,000 campsites, the tool considers individual interests to suggest end-to-end trips. In July 2023, AdventureGenie highlighted sites recommended by other users, who had already contributed 300,000 points of interest.

While not everyone wants to (or can) go entirely off-grid, many will appreciate tools that make self-sufficient travel easier, and 71% of those surveyed want to travel to a destination off the beaten path.

💡 How will you strike a balance between the pleasure of travel and the (perceived) inconvenience of off-grid?

Entertainment
ENTERTAINMENT

Acorn Land Labs

Sim helps create virtual blueprints for off-grid living

In a Stardew Valley-like setting, Land Lab Simulator allows users to create blueprints for going off-grid in real life. Drag-and-drop modules simulate circular systems like passive houses, methane digesters and black soldier fly bins. Funded on Kickstarter in July 2023 and developed by US-based Acorn Land Labs, the app also provides DIY building plans, calculates costs and includes purchase links for supplies.

With its pixel game approach, Land Lab Simulator provides easy-to-grasp guidance on implementing complex systems. By tapping into the popularity of cozy gaming, you can lower the barriers to informed choices about off-grid anything.

💡 How can your brand leverage a familiar interface to similarly engage consumers?

9. LUXURY

CULTURAL CREDITORS: Luxury brands become beacons of culture

Acting as platforms, curators, collaborators and CULTURAL CREDITORS, luxury brands are diving deeper into experiential luxury without forgetting the cultural changemakers at the center. Physical activations are pivotal to this developing cultural exchange: an April 2023 study revealed that the number of European luxury shops increased by 77% (and 11% globally), bringing an audience for new iterations of the concept store where rotating exhibitions and local artists transform luxury spaces into cultural hubs. Beyond the store, longer-term activations that highlight tradition will fuel the idea that luxury brands don’t just build on existing culture, they also shape it. Will you invest in longer-lasting partnerships or permanent spaces that bring a new dynamic to the luxury-culture relationship?

Luxury-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Luxury
B Retail
C Fashion-1
Luxury
LUXURY

Vacheron Constantin

Watchmaker’s traveling exhibition celebrates craftsmanship and local artists

Hekaya 1755 was an immersive 10-exhibition by Switzerland-based luxury watchmaker Vacheron Constantin. The early 2023 experience celebrated the maison’s long standing relationship with Saudi Arabia through a showcase of its latest timepieces, displayed on a decorative unit that captured the timeline of the country's architecture.

Through its exhibit, the brand has created an opportunity for visitors to explore the intricacies of haute horlogerie through the lens of local traditions. Experiences like this embed brand values and preserve heritage through the universal language of art, while also demonstrating technical mastery.

💡 How can you turn your appreciation for cultural heritage and craftsmanship into a communal experience?

Retail
RETAIL

AIGO

São Paulo bookstore focuses on immigrant stories

Since the late 19th century, the Bom Retiro neighborhood in São Paulo has been home to Italian, Jewish and Greek migrants, recently followed by a strong Korean and Bolivian presence. Aiming to reflect the cultures and stories of that diverse group, bookstore AIGO exclusively curates books about or by immigrants. The shop opened in July 2023.

AIGO could become a potent tool for illuminating the richness of Brazil's blended society, capturing the lived experiences and perspectives of immigrants in their own words. For the wider community, absorbing multidimensional stories of individual migrants might be the most powerful way to counter anti-immigrant narratives.

💡 How could your company promote intercultural understanding?

Fashion-1
FASHION

Heineken & Dye Lab

Heineken marks its 150th birthday with custom-designed textiles

October 2023 saw Heineken celebrate its 150th anniversary by partnering with Nigerian apparel brand Dye Lab on a series of limited-edition fabrics made in the traditional Yoruba technique of wax-resist block prints. Referencing Heineken-inspired motifs, the fabrics were fashioned into garments modeled from the Nigerian agbada to overwhelmingly positive responses.

Booming nations like Nigeria spell opportunities for global players to act on domestic pride. While any semblance of appropriation will backfire, with equal partnership pay-out, a symbiotic cycle of cross-cultural enrichment can flourish.

💡 Which symbols, traditions or regional craftsmanship would make for a natural yet unexpected fit with your brand identity?

10. MOBILITY

SYNCED SERVICES: One mobility option, multiple seamlessly integrated services

AI, 6G and a myriad of technological developments are pushing expectations around convenience into overdrive: 81% of global consumers expect speedier services while 73% crave personalized experiences. With more disruptive technologies expected in 2024, it seems even the most basic expectations can still be hard to meet, as nearly 80% of US consumers encountered at least one travel-related problem in the first half of 2023. As expectations for unparalleled UX continue to grow, consider how you can make every moment count for on-the-go consumers with an on-demand mindset. How, where and when do your users engage with your products and services and what other activities are they involved in or do they aspire to do concurrently? It’s time to make SYNCED SERVICES your next stop! 🚉

Transport-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Mobility
B Health
C Travel-1
Mobility
MOBILITY

NIO

Smartphone syncs with automaker's EVs

In September 2023, car manufacturer NIO unveiled a smartphone designed for compatibility with its EVs. The NIO Phone offers over 30 car-specific features, including remote parking and vehicle location tracking. Three available models, exclusively released in China, are priced between USD 890 to USD 1,030.

China’s electric vehicle market is thriving: approximately 6 million EVs were sold in the country in 2022, more than the rest of the world combined. However, while NIO and other automakers like Polestar aim to elevate the EV experience, privacy concerns have arisen due to data collection efforts reportedly aimed at improving UX.

💡 How can connected smart devices continue to enhance the EV experience while addressing privacy worries?

Health
HEALTH

Veri & Oura

Integration highlights relationship between sleep and metabolism

In June 2023, Finland-based glucose-monitoring platform Veri announced a partnership with sleep tech company Oura to highlight the relationship between metabolism and sleep quality. Owners of Veri’s glucose monitoring wearable can sync their device with Oura’s smart ring for deeper insights into contributing factors to poor sleep, such as stress, late-night meals or alcohol consumption.

Your product, while focused on one health issue, could and should also address related concerns. Embrace a holistic approach to broaden its impact and align more closely with the intricate web of consumer wellbeing. If you lack expertise, consider collaborating like Veri and Oura did.

💡 How will you ensure your tech is as interconnected as consumers' wellbeing?

Travel-1
TRAVEL

Uber

Uber introduces flight bookings in the UK

In May 2023, Uber introduced a new feature in the UK that enables users to book flights directly through the Uber app. The functionality allows domestic and international flights to be booked, furthering Uber’s goal of providing a seamless door-to-door travel solution. The app also offers features such as price freeze, flight disruption guarantees and VIP support. 

The brand is pursuing a super app strategy, taking cues from APAC successes like airasia and Grab. These apps appeal to the 60% of global consumers seeking a single app that saves them time, data and money. See the city of Brussels or Dubai Taxi for other travel examples.

💡 How will you optimize your traveler’s journey every (physical) step of the way?

Amplify your 2024 and beyond!

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11. NON-PROFIT

DRAFTED BY AI: NGOs pioneering next gen-AI ethics

The way gen AI could profoundly transform the Nonprofit & Social Cause sector is twofold. For starters, consider that 74% of US nonprofits reported job vacancies in April 2023. To tackle workforce shortages, gen AI could expedite and streamline labor-intensive internal processes to free up budgets and reduce stress (two leading causes for vacancies within the nonprofit sector). Secondly, while the increased level of global giving observed during the pandemic has stabilized, gen AI could help to capture new donors’ attention through novel text, imagery, videos and more. However, whenever you utilize text-to-anything tools, always consider the potential reputational concerns tied to AI. NGOs, the most trusted source of information, must lead the way in wielding AI as a force for good.

Non-Profit-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Non-Profit-1
B Luxury
C Health
Non-Profit-1
NON-PROFIT

Blackbaud & JustGiving

Online giving boosted with AI-generated personal stories

In August 2023, software developer Blackbaud introduced a generative AI-powered Story Enhancer to JustGiving, a UK-based online giving platform. The technology helps fundraisers create and share personalized stories – a task many find challenging but can significantly impact fundraising. 

Over 850,000 fundraising pages were created on JustGiving in 2022. Of these, 35% used the platform’s pre-written content, despite the fact that pages including a clear and personal narrative netted 65% more in funding. Just don’t forget to infuse that content with a touch of personal authenticity: this will ensure narratives resonate with donors.

💡 How can gen AI help time-poor fundraisers co-craft compelling content that increases donations?

Luxury
LUXURY

Cladwell

AI styling service helps users style items in their closets

Cladwell is a US-based styling app that creates outfits for users based on items already in their wardrobe. In July 2023, the brand added a ChatGPT-based feature, Ask Cladwell, to offer suggestions from prompts such as ‘Put together outfits inspired by the Barbie movie’. According to Cladwell, the average user adds 125 items to their virtual closet selected from up to 13 million available items in-app.

Is Cher Horowitz’s digital wardrobe finally a reality? Cladwell – and similar services like Indyx – align with luxury shoppers’ shift towards more conscious consumerism by building outfits based on what users already own. 

💡 How will your brand leverage gen AI-powered tools to extend the customer journey post-purchase?

Health
HEALTH

Huli

Healthcare startup streamlines processes by reducing bureaucracy

Developed by Costa Rican healthcare startup Huli, HuliVida harnesses generative AI to centralize patient data into one app or platform. This makes it easier for users to save and share their medical information with insurance providers, pharmacies, labs, patients and healthcare centers. HuliVida is available for free.

Huli consolidates patients’ medical records, streamlining communication among various parties, and reducing the chances of information being overlooked. This not only fosters simplicity regarding patient care but also accelerates information sharing. Can you take it one step further and reduce medical jargon, too?

💡 How will you utilize new-age tech to reduce (medical) bureaucracy and related communication challenges?

12. RETAIL

GREEN THEATER: Eco-initiatives take center stage in retail stores

Greenwashing scandals and shrinkflation have strained consumer-retailer relations. How to regain trust? Turn in-store shopping experiences into eco theaters that clearly communicate green credentials and validate net-zero pledges. This isn’t about an opportunity to sell more products or shift the onus onto consumers via in-store repair centers and waste reduction initiatives (although these remain important). Instead, it’s a chance to create an entertaining physical shopping experience that is centered around eco-education and makes shoppers part of your ongoing sustainability journey. With the future of physical retail still under discussion, giving shoppers a front-row seat to your GREEN THEATER could give your brand the edge...

Retail-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Retail
B Food
C Travel-1
Retail
RETAIL

Selfridges & Allbirds

Footwear brand highlights shoes' carbon impact with clever pop-up

During July and August 2023, the London department store Selfridges showcased a climate-focused pop-up from footwear brand Allbirds. The Carbon Concept Store labeled different sneakers with varying-sized black spheres representing their respective carbon footprint. Allbird’s centerpiece was the entirely carbon-neutral M0.0NSHOT prototype, set to launch in Spring 2024

Despite Allbirds promoting carbon footprint awareness since 2020, only a third of their customers can confidently explain the meaning of carbon. Playful visuals can grab attention, but the challenge is ensuring you deliver a universally clear message.

💡 How can you communicate with clarity and ensure your sustainability message means the same thing to every consumer? 

Food
FOOD & BEVERAGE

BanpuNext and Roots

Clean energy provider highlights carbon impact with pop-up café

Smart energy provider Banpu NEXT has partnered with Roots micro-roastery to introduce the Infinite Café, a clean energy pop-up café in Bangkok. Active from July to September 2023, the café generated its own electricity, implemented intelligent waste management, offered visitors transportation via electric tuk-tuk and highlighted the carbon emissions mitigated with every coffee purchase.

Consider that 15% of APAC consumers don’t buy sustainable goods because of a lack of information, and when information is available, it’s often conflicting or contradictory. This means making eco-credentials the star of the show while highlighting how you verified your claims.

💡 How will you ensure you allay consumer concerns with your eco-performance? 

Travel-1
TRAVEL

Delta Hotels by Marriott

Hotel cuts single-use plastics with atmospheric water generators

In March 2023, Delta Hotels by Marriott in Dubai Investment Park announced that it had installed two of Airowater’s Atmospheric Water Generators; appliances that transform air humidity into drinkable water. Each appliance generates between 500 and 1,000 liters of water per day, which is enough to supply the entire hotel. Glass water bottles were placed across the complex, removing plastic from the equation. The hotel claims it saves 11,000 kg of plastic for every 1,000 liters of water created.

If even something as elementary as drinking water, sitting and sidewalks can be turned into a green spectacle, you have no excuses. 

💡 What parts of your physical space could do with an entertaining eco-overhaul? No greenwashing allowed!

13. SOCIAL MEDIA

FACTUAL HEALING: Generative AI — truth friend or foe?

Research indicates that AI-powered image generators accept over 85% of prompts to create evidence for mis- and disinformation claims. As social media companies row back on content control and governments ramp up AI legislation, there are opportunities for brands to implement community-led control measures that ease consumer concerns about generative AI and the ever-expanding reach of misinformation. For brands, content labeling, corrective information from authority figures, content moderation and improved digital literacy can be implemented into social media strategies and brand activations to counter the spread of unverified information. In an era where brands may even be responsible for the dissemination of misinformation, how will you provide FACTUAL HEALING?

Social-Media-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Social-Media
B Financial-Services
C Consumer-Tech
Social-Media
SOCIAL MEDIA

TikTok

TikTok launches label to disclose AI-generated content

In September 2023, TikTok launched a global tool to help creators label their AI-generated content, making it easier for creators to comply with TikTok’s Community Guidelines’ synthetic media policy, introduced earlier in 2023 to combat misinformation. The platform also started testing automatic labeling of AI-generated content.

Digital signatures and content labeling can’t come quickly enough, and social media companies are well-placed to take action. Healthcare content such as diet, exercise and sexual health has proven particularly problematic due to posts with high levels of reach containing inaccurate information and racial disparities. 

💡 Can you target crucial information topics first to help consumers find trustworthy, data-backed advice?

Financial-Services
FINANCIAL SERVICES

Swyftx

Scheme rewards participants for learning about crypto scams

To help its users identify crypto scams, in September 2023, the cryptocurrency exchange Swyftx launched an ‘earn and learn’ education platform. The Australia-based company is offering participants AUD 5 in Bitcoin upon completion of the first course on fundamental analysis. Swyftx expects 80,000 Australians to participate in the scheme.

History has shown that where verified advice is slow and absent, it leaves space for misinformation and disinformation to grow quickly. In a volatile market like crypto, discerning fact from fiction is essential. Especially knowing that fake news can travel six times faster than the truth.

💡 How will you incentivize truth-seeking behavior?

Consumer-Tech
CONSUMER TECH

ChatNetZero

AI-powered chatbot fact-checks climate claims

Launched in September 2023, ChatNetZero is an AI-powered chatbot designed by a global consortium of scientists to answer climate-related questions. The chatbot is built on credible reports and expert-verified data to decipher complex nuances surrounding net zero and determine the credibility of decarbonization plans set by businesses, governments and financial institutions.

Climate is another high-interest subject for disinformation due to its emotive nature. As extreme weather events intensify, so too does misinformation. However, many fact-checking tools are developed in English and disinformation in other languages continues to go under the radar.

💡Can you use AI to detect and moderate disinformation or disseminate evidence-based information in multiple languages?

14. TRAVEL

BRAND BUTLERS: Rebuilding trust with perks and add-ons

Rather than clipping their wings, price inflation appears to be driving consumer interest in travel, with the top motivation being ‘to escape the day-to-day’. However, some brands have been exposed, exploiting this wanderlust to recoup pandemic losses, from skip-lagging crackdowns to non-inclusive deals and hotel ‘junk fees’. To reaffirm trust, hospitality brands need to implement no-nonsense shortcuts and benefits that put consumer needs first. Trust is a valuable asset within the industry and can provide rich returns: 48% of consumers will buy add-ons if they trust a travel provider, and 42% will consider upgrading their package. While reprimanded brands make bashful apologies for errant behavior, others are introducing super-practical features to show consumers who is on their side.

Travel-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Travel-1
B Home
C Mobility
Travel-1
TRAVEL

ClearTrip

‘Cancel For No Reason’ policy sees surge in hotel reservations

With its ‘Cancel For No Reason’ policy, the India-based booking platform ClearTrip gives vacationers the ability to receive a full refund on their booking right up until check-in, with no justification and at no extra cost to the consumer. Unveiled in September 2023, the feature spurred a 220% increase in hotel bookings.

Dynamic pricing models can make booking accommodation feel more akin to a game of Russian Roulette. Consider how you can relieve anxiety from the booking process – particularly for the one-third of consumers globally who filter by ‘refundable cancellation policies’. If you can’t offer a get-out clause, at least be transparent about when and why your prices fluctuate.

💡 How can you display empathy throughout every step of the customer journey?

Home
HOME & LIVING

Praxis

App analyzes user photos to provide home energy-saving tips

In October 2023, Dutch DIY retailer Praxis added a 'Sustainability Check' to its free app. The Praxis Plus app uses AI algorithms and image recognition to offer an action plan, required tools and step-by-step video tutorials for energy-efficiency home improvements, based on just one photo of a room in the user’s house.

Faced with skyrocketing costs for gas and electricity, 96% of Dutch households took at least one measure to lower their energy bills last winter. In 2024, brands looking to promote sustainability measures must go beyond an AI hook, and seamlessly streamline the consumer journey from start to finish. 

💡 How can you combine tailor-made advice with practical steps that turn overwhelm into action?

Mobility
MOBILITY

Porsche

Automaker opens luxury charging lounges for EV drivers

July 2023 saw luxury automaker Porsche open the first Porsche Charging Lounge. Using their Porsche ID, EV and plug-in hybrid drivers can access the lounge 24/7, which features charging points, refreshments, reading material, digital media, wifi and a smart mirror for workouts. Situated in Germany, the structure relies on clean energy from its rooftop solar panel.

As EV infrastructure builds and drivers’ range anxiety decreases, charging providers need to differentiate themselves with faster charging speeds, unique features, or competitive pricing. Consider that cross-industry expectations are now manifesting inside the car.

💡 Could you partner with a non-mobility brand to leverage personalized services for EV drivers?

15. WORK & LEARNING

SKILLS FOR ALL: Nurturing an AI-ready workforce

Gen AI is rapidly being incorporated into work and daily life, but while 86% of US employees want to use gen AI at work, only 50% of employers have drafted a gen AI policy. Both employees and students require a broader understanding of analytical and generative AI: how it can be utilized, its impact and how to think with it. As the digital skills gap widens (jumping from 55% to 69% between 2021 and 2022), implementing a culture of continuous learning is vital. Additionally, one study found that workers with the least experience saw the biggest increase in productivity when given access to a conversational assistant. How can you ensure everyone can thrive in workplaces and institutions rapidly being reshaped by new technologies? Consider AI an enhancement, not a replacement!

Work&Education-Mobile
Q:
Which cross-industry opportunity will you explore first?
A Work
B Beauty-2
C Retail
Work
WORK & LEARNING

Rappi

Reducing electrical waste through recycling and repair

In May 2023, super-app Rappi announced a collaboration with Microsoft to promote digital inclusion and economic progress in Latin America. The ‘Tech for All’ initiative provides free education in digital literacy, entrepreneurship and business administration. Available to all Rappi delivery workers, the program aims to reach over 350,000 individuals.

Consider how you can combine traditional upskilling topics with digital literacy, as the unicorn startup does. The next step? Extending that knowledge to people outside of your organization: Rappi offers course material to riders’ families, too. This is what scaling for impact looks like!

💡 How can you help break the cycle of limited opportunities as a result of digital illiteracy?

Beauty-2
BEAUTY

Dermalogica

Skincare brand uses ChatGPT for therapist education and upskilling

To enhance professional training, UK-based skincare brand Dermalogica integrated a ChatGPT function to complement its skin-care treatment manual, ‘Dermalogica: The Book’. The AI integration offers an efficient and tailored approach for therapists to learn from the brand’s knowledge bank about products, applications and salon setup.

Using conversational AI to help experts dive into content and learn is a prime example of how AI technology can empower professionals instead of replacing them. Note that the Dermalogica book is still available in its traditional web format, ensuring the brand doesn’t force people into something they may not be ready to use.

💡 How can you enrich in-house expert knowledge with generative AI tools?

Retail
RETAIL

Walmart

Retailer’s generative AI tool expedites corporate tasks

In August 2023, Walmart unveiled a generative AI tool called My Assistant to 50,000 of its employees. Intended for the US supermarket chain’s corporate employees, the tool accelerates draft writing, provides inspiration and summarizes documents, aiming to help employees “work faster and more efficiently” rather than replace staff members.

Large enterprises – like global consultancy firm McKinsey – are waking up to the productivity benefits of gen AI rolled out at scale. Implementing gen AI for all employees (not just a select few) ensures SKILLS FOR ALL while assuaging tech anxiety: 26% of US and UK workers are worried they will be viewed as ‘lazy’ by colleagues for using AI.

💡 How can you tackle the negative perceptions of gen AI-enabled tools?

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Many hands worked on our 2024 Trend Check 🙏

Words
Erick Smet
Caitlin Hughan
Vicki Loomes
Liesbeth den Toom
Robbie Hodges
Franziska Füsting
Galina Yordanov

Design & Production
Nikki Ritmeijer
Sanya Gurung
Riz Razak
Máté Orbán

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James Trusler-Circle

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