• Sebastien Van Laere

Future Digest - September 21st

Updated: Oct 5, 2020



Charging Station for electric vehicles by Architecture studio Cobe, Photography by Rasmus Hjortshøj –COAST.


At Superframe we transform tomorrow’s uncertainty into today’s decisions to build resilience. We help you to be more prepared for the future and move quickly. In our Future Digest we share a summary of key future signals across three time horizons:

  1. Act: shifts and and innovations that have an immediate impact. Your business will need to have a point of view on these today.

  2. Explore: shifts and and innovations that have a an impact in the near future. Explore how these might affect your business and how you can respond. 

  3. Monitor: Shifts and innovations that have an impact in the far future. These signals are weak and emerging, but could have a potential disruptive effect in the future. Monitor their evolvution and momentum. 



Act

  • Waste has been a hot topic in fashion since the beginning of the pandemic. It was a key focus of Vogue Business'  webinar around sustainable strategy, the FT covered how upcycling has become in vogue and on the high street COS has just launched it Restore platform.

  • Disney released the live-action remake of Mulan week and received mixed reactions. The South China post reports that while American Chinese people liked the movie for its all Asian cast, mainland Chinese people felt the movie adaptation of the original ballad felt inauthentic as it was written and directed by Westerners.


Explore

  • Today luxury brands face a big challenge in fake products, the future might also see them battle imitation and fake information online. Wired covered how AI has become so sophisticated that deep fake porn is now mainstream, while social media continues to be in the news for promoting false information. 

  • After years of lobbying, it seems Amazon finally succeeded in convincing (some of) the luxury fashion industry to join their platform. The next question is how long it will take them to convince the consumer.

  • Apple announced that its Apple watch series 6 will be able to read the wearers blood oxygen levels. This opens the door to even more sophisticated health and wellness collaborations and could further empower consumers to take control of their health. (Don’t forget Amazon also just launched its health wearable Halo this summer)

  • China’s economy is leading the world in terms of recovery from the COVID19 pandemic and is projected to become the biggest economy by 2024 according to projections by the IMF and the World Bank. Therefore many Western Brands see it as a growth market. However, as tensions between China and the the West continue to increase this strategy might prove very risky.  


Monitor

  • New Zealand just passed regulation that requires financial institutions to report on risk associated with climate change.

  • After having produced a biodegradable t-shirt last year, this week Vollebak announced a bio-degradable hoodie. When it is beyond repair or love, you can just bury it in the ground. 

  • In Denmark, Architecture studio Cobe has revealed designs for charging stations for electric cars that aim to recharge both the car as well as the driver. As the recharging of electric cars takes longer than refilling a regular car, there is an opportunity for brands to create longer and deeper experiences with people at these road oases.

  • In the West, the pandemic seems to have sparked a move to the country. The full scale of this shift is not yet clear, but depending on the size this could have a significant impact on every aspect of business - from your office location and distribution strategy to your marketing and innovation approach.



Considerations.


Environmental challenges continue to force businesses to adapt their ways.

  • Consider what your waste strategy could and should be. How will you reduce waste and transform it into a resource? Also consider how to design for your product's end of life.

  • As environmental legislation is gaining momentum, consider the impact of this on your business.

  • Identify future on-the-move opportunities for your business caused by the shift to electric vehicles.


The Chinese market is very appealing to many global brands, but does not come without its challenges.

  • Western brands creating content and experiences to engage Chinese consumers should engage with local cultural experts to ensure authenticity.

  • Explore disruptive scenarios due to political tensions between China and other countries. 


The pandemic is causing fundamental shifts in our lifestyle. Businesses will need to track and monitor the evolution of these in order to prepare for the new consumer landscape.

  • The move to the country shift needs to be well understood in order to prepare a response. Is the shift suburban or rural in nature, how does it interact with other trends such as working from home and is this shift disrupting or crystallising the demographic and psychographic profile of the growing non-urban locations?


As luxury brands closely follow whether Amazon will be able to replicate what Tmall did for luxury brands in China, the key will be to understand the luxury consumer and how their response to Amazon’s offer. 


As wearables continue to expand their healt applications, brands need to start to think how they will become part of this ecosystem and the role they will play in this. Read more about this in our piece on Collaborative Advantage.