Five creation trends that matter this year

April 27 was World Design Day. Time to take a look at current and upcoming developments in the creative industry. Yaël Kölliker, concept designer at Namics, reveals what developments there are in this guest article.


1. butt-in brands - how creation establishes credibility

Brands that respond to social dialog or current events in real time stay relevant and gain consumer trust. In the future, however, messages via tweets and GIFs will no longer be enough. What brands need is faster online responsiveness combined with offline initiatives. However, this requires more creativity in the conception of cross-channel campaigns - and in a short time.

A trend-setting example: In May 2016, parts of Sri Lanka were flooded. This left hundreds of thousands of people in need. In cooperation with the Colombo Municipal Council and the Red Cross, the transport service enabled Uber, to donate clothing items to the flood victims. Interested parties could UberCARE select in the app and pack a bag with donations. An Uber driver then picked them up and took them to the Sri Lanka Red Cross offices.

2 Cultural Silos - How Creation Overcomes Boundaries

Digital connectivity has made the world a smaller place. But many people are still stuck in national and cultural silos. In the future, companies will therefore have to ask themselves how they can help their customers make new connections outside their own bubble. Creation therefore faces the big task of fostering social interaction as well as global equality. Design teams must make brands more adaptable and teach them to be more responsive to individual customer identities.

A trend-setting example: In January 2017, the sharing portal Airbnb responded with #WEACCEPT to the travel restrictions imposed by Donald Trump by offering free accommodations for those affected. The company urged those affected to contact the CEO directly on Twitter. The powerful message, "No matter who you are, where you're from, who you love or adore, we all belong. The world is more beautiful the more we accept that."

3. sustainability - how creation creates added value

The growing sharing economy is raising consumer expectations of corporate social responsibility. Some brands have already recognized that sustainability will not only play a role in CSR statutes in the future, but must be actively and credibly lived. One approach is to integrate added value for the customer, for example in the life cycle of existing products. To do this, designers must be involved in the entire production process. Only in this way can the creation process be adapted holistically.

A trend-setting example: Since February 2017 offers Patagonia to buy back old clothes. The aim is to renew used items and then offer them for sale again. Those who return their items receive a merchandise voucher in return. The recycled clothing is then available again on the website.

4. stalk your stuff - how creation creates transparency

In the age of online reviews, customers expect absolute transparency. This applies to products, but also to companies. Many brands have already responded to this and communicate very openly about products and processes. For example, it is now normal to track where my cab is in real time. In the future, designers will have to pay even more attention to ensuring that the associated transparency can be "experienced" equally well on all end devices.

A trend-setting example: In China at Naomaohu Lake Farm, customers can buy their fruit before it is sown. Afterwards, they receive an individual code with which the purchased fruits can be observed online: From sowing, to growing, to harvesting. This is achieved with dozens of surveillance cameras in the field.

5. empowerment - how creation contributes to more self-determination

The desire for services and products that enable people to have more self-control over their lives is becoming ever stronger. This development presents many brands with a new challenge. They have to communicate even more intensively what they stand for and how they want to make the future better. Design occupies a prominent position in this process. It must shape the needs of companies and their customers and help them to shape their everyday lives in a self-determined way.

A trend-setting example: In November 2016, Uber entered into a partnership with Maven. The car-sharing program, which belongs to General Motors, launched a pilot project in San Francisco that allows people to borrow cars to earn money as Uber drivers. The weekly price for the cars started at $179. In this way, the company actively supports people starting their own businesses and thus becoming self-employed.


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