Pulse January / February 2016 - Page 17

4. Beneficial Intelligence This year, there will be more clamor for brands to utilize artificial intelligence (AI) to put smart products and services into their pockets, homes, inboxes and more. The underlying motivation for this trend is to employ the use of smart technology in order to make human lives better. 2. Contextual Omnipresence Say goodbye to omnichannel. Instead, say hello to omnipresence. Contextual omnipresence means smart brands will soon understand that it’s not about pursuing the latest social platform, but on the understanding of the “why” rather than the “how” in their strategies. According to trendwatching.com, “smart brands will focus on answering a more meaningful equation: innovative channels + nuanced contexts = right place + right time.” WHO’S DOING IT: Google is working on a machinelearning program called Smart Reply, which automatically crafts email responses. How? It scans email content and suggests three responses so users can simply select their preferred option and press send. Over time, the program learns the user’s response habits to create a more natural email response option. 5. Perspective Shifts Crowdfunding and new business models are helping to create a shift in consumer perspective in terms of how they view products and services. Consumers are more likely to be open than ever to innovations that play with and attempt to disrupt their thinking around value. WHO’S DOING IT: Domino’s recently launched its Pizza AnyWare initiative. The pizza chain offers consumers multiple ways to place their orders, from using voice commands such as Siri-like app called Dom, to tweeting or texting their orders using a pizza emoji using their smartphones. To allow consumers to track pizza’s arrival time, the company launched the Domino’s smartwatch app. 3. Insider Trading Creating a good and ethical work culture may not be something new in the world of business, but consumers will continue to demand that companies must treat their employees fairly and right. There may be two good reasons for this. First, consumers are concerned about purchasing goods produced in vulnerable workers in developing countries. Second, they have learned to empathize with white-collar workers due to the growing job insecurity in affluent countries. WHO’S DOING IT: GrabTaxi, a taxi booking app that operates across South East Asia, launched a worker welfare fund for its drivers in Thailand. The GrabLife driver welfare program sets aside 14 percent of the journey fee it receives into the GrabLife fund. Drivers who meet the quality and loyalty criteria are then eligible for life insurance, income protection and crisis support. WHO’S DOING IT: French budget airline Transavia offered a fun way for consumers to associate the cost of a Transavia plane ticket to small grocery store purchases. The airline created branded packets of chips, candy and cereal bars sold at participating shops, vending machines in metro stations and at a cinema in Paris. Customers who bought the products could use a code printed on the packet to secure a flight to Barcelona, Lisbon and Dublin. January/February 2016 ■ PULSE 15