Future Consumers & How to Read Them Today
By Martin Raymond
Financial Times / Pearson Education
292 Pages, 6 ½" x 9 ½"
The future is a profit stream waiting to happen, but it takes careful observation and anticipation to make it flow your way. This book is a snapshot of tomorrow's consumers. The world they will inhabit, the lifestyles and values they will adopt and the ways they will shop. Sooner or later every brand has to interact with tomorrow's people, so how do you equip yourself for such a world. By understanding the nature of trends, their dynamics or science, we can not only learn to see them, but also how to map them and use them to generate products, brands and services for tomorrow's consumers. It's all about behavior. It's not about dead data. In a provocative and insightful view of how emerging lifestyles and cultural changes are likely to impact on tomorrow's consumers,
Martin Raymond alerts you to new consumer behavior patterns and teaches you to read a market and be ready to deliver exactly what your customers want. This book will help you to read trends, interpret the discoveries that you make and plug them back into your business in a way that makes it more future-facing and consumer-centric. Learn to do this and you can interact with your customers rather than react to them. You can build a truly tactile brand. In a world where tomorrow's answers no longer lie in yesterday's data, learn how to read people rather than reports. About the author: Martin Raymond is Editor of Viewpoint magazine (trend bible for the design and advertising industry) and co-founder of the Future Laboratory, a leading futures consultancy.
I. The Tomorrow People - Tomorrow Happens So Youıd Better Be Prepared! A snapshot of tomorrow's consumers; the world they will inhabit; how they will shop and why the future is less about product specifics and more about needs mapping, desire fulfilment, simplificationı and lifestyle bundling. Why? Because tomorrowıs world will be radically different from the one we inhabit today. It will be a world of bio-technologies and geno-medicines; of nanoarchitecture and technology convergence; one where we will no longer talk about the "haves" and "have nots", but of digital economies and those that are still offline. We will also witness the rise of consumanism (shopping as a way of demonstrating oneıs politics); brandocracies; triple bottom line trading, even the Value 500 index, where companies, brands and corporations are rated according to their ethical, social and environmental credentials rather than their abilities to generate profits. A world then radically different from our own and one therefore that will require radically different tools and techniques to work, rest, play and succeed in.
2. Devices and Desires - Why The Future Started Yesterday! So how do you equip yourself for such a world? As an individual, a brand, a corporation? With foresight, knowledge, instinct and a technique called cultural reconnaissance or brailling: the deep mining of the future for market intelligence but also for the creation of ideas and knowledge that can be put in place now, or indeed on the shelf for future consumer needs. To understand how and why cultural reconnaissance or brailling works, itıs important to understand HOW trends work, WHY they work and more importantly, the mechanics, both internal and external that drive them.
3. The Blinkered Corporation - Why One Man's Prejudice Is Another Manıs Profit. Even if we accept in principle the need to braille or deep mine the culture, it isnıt always the case that we do it without prejudice, or preconception. Both are anathema to any brand, body or corporation which wants to see the future as it really is. They skewer a companyıs vision, its objectivity and prevent those in it from identifying the future as it is set to become, rather than the future as they believe it is likely to be. What do we mean by this? In essence that companies, brands, people and ideas fail because they refuse to abandon the banks of the familiar for the supposed dangers of the mid stream.
4. Smoke and Mirrors - When Seeing Isn't Always Believing. When an idea is ready and how to make it ready will be looked at in later chapters, but to do this we still need to know how to look for ideas, indeed how to profile the future so we know which ideas are likely to flourish there. Removing prejudices and preconceptions as we have seen is core to this process, but it still doesnıt help us with the how. In this chapter then we look at the basic tools, methodologies and techniques needed to needs-map the future. These includes cultural scanning techniques, data mining, data management, maven group monitoring, trend logging, field research, and data analysis. We learn how to create maps of the future; visual cartograms of ideas, consumers or services that help us better visualize the future, but also to plot our positions in it, and to chart our paths through it.
5. Brailing the Culture - Its Not what you know but how you know it. Here we look how and why knowledge (insight) is sometimes confused with information (data), and how this confusion leads to the building a company, its mission statement and its presence in the future on a series of suppositions and expectations that are in essence flawed because the methods used to collect them (marketing) are in themselves flawed.
6. The Surveyed World: Knowledge And How To Get It. In this chapter then we will look at how new ways of surveillencing the culture are attempting to reassess our way of reading and understanding consumers, markets and trends; from real time data gathering, to covert scanning, garbology (the anthropological study of people's rubbish!), guerilla research, to field team analysis and the creation of hothouse communities - houses, shops or streets that live online 24 hours a day so that every member of the community is watched, measured, codified and categorised at every point in the work/play/sleep and consume cycle!
7. Humanomics - And Its Part In Your Downfall. It seems the more we count, the less we understand. Measurements have a monstrous life of their own, and the more sophisticated you are, the less you can measure. In this chapter then we look at why knowledge shouldn't be confused with data (tabulated information), but also how data confuses and clouds the real issues of human activity, endeavour and desire. Here then we discuss the notion of humanomics; what happens when you factor people into the dry world of data, statistics, number crunching and market analysis - and how this completely alters the future and the needs, desires and dreams people are likely to have there.
8. When Brightness Fails - Even Good Ideas Have Bad Days. Knowledge will help us gauge the parameters and potentials of the market but good ideas and opportunities can fall by the wayside (GM foods, Betamax, Philips CD-i, Motorolaıs idium, the Sinclair C5) because we fail to use our acquired knowledge to anticipate the marketıs mood, or to factor in current consumer fears against their long term needs and desires. Indeed research shows that the more an idea is likely to challenge the status quo, the greater the resistance it will encounter at first contact with the market. So even if you know your idea is part of the future (such as biogenetics and genetically modified foodstuffs), it's possible to be the one company that gets its launch date wrong because you havenıt really tested the true cultural issues likely to impact on that launch.
9. The Lifesigns Index - Love, Life, Desire, Desperation And How To Chart With the lessons, observations and knowledge weıve garnered so far we assemble The Lifesigns Index, a new way of measuring trends, cultural microrhythms, and future pathways. We also look at ways of creating and maintaining your own personal Lifesigns Index, of rewriting your own, or a company's future in a way that makes it most likely to succeed and flourish in the future as it will be.
10. Geeks and Supertrends - One Hundred And One Supertrends And How They Are Likely To Impact On Your Many Tomorrows.This chapter looks at how the big picture impacts on the little one, how microtrends must be plotted and gauged against Supertrends, or so called Gigatrends; how you, your company, brand or newly established Lifesigns Centre or Brailling Department needs to monitor and read the bigger picture in a way that makes it applicable and most useful to the smaller one. The top one hundred incoming future trends are assessed - e.g biogenetics, desktop factories, disposable corporations, pharmetics, xenotransplanting, nanocomputing, 3G WAP - and these are measured against the local, or personal future a company needs to live through in order to survive the supertrend onslaught.
11. Beyond Midnight .
Martin Raymond is Editor of Viewpoint magazine (trend bible for the design and advertising industry) and co-founder of the The Future Laboratory, a leading futures consultancy. When not working with the Futures Lab or editing Viewpoint, Martin lectures at London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martin's College of Art. He also briefs advertising agencies on the next big cultural trends they should be plugging into, and writes for Bare, the Independent on Sunday and Blueprint. He is a regular conference speaker, and also contributes frequently to Radio 4 and Front Row, Radio 4's flagship arts program.
"What Richard Pascale did in applying nature's living systems to business models, Martin Raymond does for the future of marketing and brand development. This is the closest you will get to finding out who your customers will be tomorrow, what their aspirations and prejudices will be and how your business can provide the products and services that will capture their money." Director Magazine, Oct 2003 "Martin Raymond is something between scientist and wizard: He decodes and translates tomorrows consumer attitudes with intelligence and wit. He uses his phenomenal cultural insight to challenge and inspire. This book will become a "must-read" for the brand architects of the future." Susanne Tide-Frater, Head of Creative Direction, Selfridges "The Tomorrow People is a vital and engaging look at how you can gather knowledge today to ensure that, your brand, your product, your service, is relevant and attractive to the customer of tomorrow." Mark Delaney, Samsung Design Europe Martin has produced such a practical account of contemporary research and trend techniques that, if he is not careful, hell be doing himself out of a job essential reading for anyone wishing to update their thinking" Jeremy Brown Sense Worldwide
"The Tomorrow People is for those who want to acquire the ability to read and mine the future to deliver success today. The book is perceptive and practical. It demystifies what good forecasting and trend analysis is about and more importantly, empower the readers to do it themselves. Raymond has done the formidable job of laying bare the paths to future on plain paper." John Williamson, Board Director, Wolff Olins "What [companies] really need to do is understand consumer's lives and fit their brands into them. They need to be trend watchers; they need to be ethnographers; they need to be culturally savvy. But they don't have the skills." The Financial Times
Return to the Businesss Titles Home Page