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FuturistU > Tactics > Innovating Through Ritual > Module 4 / 4

Stories

Instructor: Jonathon Brown
Co-Creation & Customization
Download the Co-Creation & Customization Trend Report
For the final module, Jonathon reveals one of the most applicable innovation techniques he's discovered. This technique has consistently proven useful in selling-in ideas at Lowe's Innovation Lab. In the past, the equation for selling anything was need + solution = sale. If you could understand a buyer's needs and clearly map the benefits of your product or idea to those needs, you had a solution and could make a sale. Today, we need to think about our internal customers differently. The equation is now need + solution x narrative = sale. We need to think carefully about how we tell the story around our idea and which vehicles we use.

Following interviews with several executives at Lowe's Innovation Lab, Jonathon reveals the story-telling vehicle and approach that led to a green light on an exoskeleton project they dreamed up. Again, though an idea may seem logical when presented directly, the reality of the business climate on any given day can mean significant roadblocks need to be overcome. In order to get past any potential nitpicking, Lowe's backed up and thought about the bigger picture. They created a story around their exoskeleton idea and hired writers and illustrators to create a comic book.
Related Trend Report: Co-Creation & Customization
Workshop Question:
What is the narrative you're providing?
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Featured Insights

Aided Ideation
The capitalization of creativity ushers in brainstorm-assisting products
Implications - As Millennials begin taking over the workplace, more premium is placed on out-of-the-box thinking and the ability to ideate quickly and efficiently. The response to this is a slew of brainstorm aids. As this youth generation enters adulthood, society's standards of what it means to be an ideal adult citizen will shift to accommodate and reflect Millennials.
Workshop Question - How can you implement internal ideation sessions that will allow your whole team the ability to voice their ideas?
3.8
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
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Megatrends

Insights by Trend Hunter AI

Relaxed Workplace
As offices reopen post-pandemic more focus is placed on relaxation and wellness
Trend - Many consumers have been working from home over the pandemic, and have become accustomed to a level of relaxation and privacy. For some, this more relaxed environment is more conducive to productivity than the formal settings of the past. As offices reopen employers will need to be cognizant of this and provide more casual environments with low-sensory spaces.
Workshop Question - How can you arm yourself against the "anti-work" movement?
7.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
Patterns
Megatrends
Appified Recovery
Brands use the virtual space to help users with post-workout recovery
Trend - Fitness brands are increasingly prioritizing post-workout recovery for consumers as part of their new approach to be more holistic in how they address customer health. Now, they're using apps to aid this process along, with examples including custom muscle-stimulating routines to wearables that suggest recovery days.
Workshop Question - How is your brand prioritizing holistic health approaches for its customers?
5.8
Score
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Activity
Freshness
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Megatrends
Grocery Rewards
Grocery stores promise loyalty points that lead to discounts on groceries
Trend - With stiff competition, some grocery store brands are aiming to stand out with apps and loyalty programs that reward consumers with points and discounts on groceries for shopping at their locations.
Workshop Question - How is your brand prioritizing its customers' wellbeing?
5.7
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
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Megatrends
Eco Banking
Finance apps allow users to make eco-friendly decisions
Trend - Banking and sales apps are allowing consumers to be more sustainable by offering features that have a positive impact on the environment. These include everything from clothing resale functions to making eco-conscious investments.
Workshop Question - How is your brand empowering sustainability?
5.6
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
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Megatrends
Outdoor Offices
The ongoing pandemic has made outdoor workspaces more popular
Trend - Workplace flexibility has been a common topic of discussion after the the ongoing pandemic resulted in professionals working from home indefinitely. Now, businesses and employees are leaning into workplace flexibility with outdoor office spaces that balance productivity and function with comfort and convenience for workers.
Workshop Question - How is your brand prioritizing flexibility for its customers or employees?
7.9
Score
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Freshness
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Megatrends
Increased Output
Video conferencing platforms are offering more service diversity to consumers
Trend - Brands are optimizing video conferencing platforms and tools to deliver increased effectiveness to users. These new features strengthen the experience by enabling increased and diverse output—from podcasts to digitized minutes.
Workshop Question - How can your brand increase the productivity of consumers at home?
3.4
Score
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Activity
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Megatrends
Virtual Journaling
Digital journaling platforms adapt to modern-day consumer habits
Trend - Virtual journaling is increasingly popular and functions as an alternative to keeping a written journal. These apps help consumers stay consistent in the process of writing about their days, feelings, and goals.
Workshop Question - How could your brand modernize some of its more traditional products/services/campaigns?
2.8
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
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Megatrends
Pedestrian Mapping
Maps for pedestrians prioritize safety and experience
Trend - Pedestrian-specific maps in app form are on the rise and prioritizing user experience both in-app and in-person. These apps include everything from augmented reality directions to personalized walking routes.
Workshop Question - How is your brand prioritizing the new activities and habits consumers have picked up this year?
3.5
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
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Megatrends
Crowdsourced Grocery
Consumers are contributing status updates to streamline shopping in COVID
Trend - Regardless of the stage society is in regarding COVID and the new normal, consumers are likely to want to reduce time spent in crowded public places. Brands in the grocery space are assisting with this by co-creating solutions with customers.
Workshop Question - Where can you make better use of your customers to develop clear solutions?
4.3
Score
Popularity
Activity
Freshness
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Megatrends
Personalized Sharing
Brands release apps that allow for more intimate sharing between friends
Trend - Brands are creating apps or functions within apps that allow for sharing more personal details or moments between friends. Things that people normally wouldn't involve others in--like meditation or investing--are being explored as ways to strengthen relationships.
Workshop Question - How is your brand fostering healthier relationships between customers?
3.9
Score
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Freshness
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Megatrends