The implications for marketers of voice tech and 5G dominate recent trends report

The implications for marketers of voice tech and 5G dominate recent trends report

Technology is all pervasive today and business is racing to keep up with the pace of change – a pace that is only set to accelerate when 5G arrives.

A report by global brand consultancy Landor however warns that for brands, the rollout of 5G will be a transformation that offers not just opportunities but also challenges.

In its Trend Watch 2020 report, Landor cautions business not to focus on only the practical applications of technology but to instead look carefully at the impact it has on us at a human level, affecting culture and society at large.

Jane Geraghty, Global CEO at Landor Group, says, “The march of technology is relentless and in 2020 it feels that science fiction really is becoming science fact. This year it’s predicted that half of all Google searches will be done by voice. In this context, brands must ensure they define their own distinctive voice.

“By focusing on the real, human impact of technology, brands can ensure their efforts are aligned to enduring trends as opposed to reacting to fleeting fads.”

Here are Landor’s top key trends for 2020:

1. Brand personality through voice. As we move from screen interaction to voice communication, we’re entering what is potentially the most significant moment in brand design, motion and interface since the invention of the logo. To remain relevant and differentiated, it is critical that brand personality is brought alive through voice, or else we face a future of robotic interactions that leave consumers cold.

Moving from screen interaction to voice communication could leave consumers cold

2. 5G will change your world. The introduction of 5G will be the biggest single opportunity —and challenge — for brands in 2020. To date, much of the anticipation has focused on faster download speeds, but the power of 5G will transform our world in far more ways. Greater connectivity, truly immersive experiences and seamless interactions that are immediate and personal. The impact is only just being imagined and brands need to get to grips with the new rules of a 5G world.

3. Digital platforms could continue to struggle in emerging markets. Over the past few years we’ve seen a numerous digital platform business, from Amazon to Uber. Achieve phenomenal success in their home markets, yet fail to impress when entering emerging growth markets. One of the driving reasons for this is a failure to build true brand propositions around their offers.

4. A return to the era of small data. Every minute, we make 3.8 million searches on Google, send almost 150,000 emails and upload 500 hours of video to YouTube. Yet, we’re now seeing a backlash against the value of big data and a focus on small data, which is human-centric, timely and meaningful, and also accessible and understandable. It can often provide that killer insight around which you can build true brand connections.

5. The importance of the interaction between consumers and brands will be increasingly important. We're moving away from conspicuous consumption. Less buying things and instead more buying access to things. Many people don’t want a car, they simply want to go places. The role of brand is no longer about logos and labels, or quality of product. Instead, it is the meaningful role you play in somebody's life — it is the experience of the interaction between consumers and brands.

6. Storytelling will become story doing. It’s no longer enough to talk a good game. Consumers today demand that businesses act — this means behaving responsibly, sustainably and ethically, and making a positive impact in the world. We are moving from the era of thought leadership to ‘do leadership’, where storytelling becomes ‘story doing’. Brands that fail to do, face becoming irrelevant.

7. Every business stretching to be the best needs its people to be at their best. For decades, office design was focused on productivity and functionality. It was a straightforward transaction: employees performed duties and were paid in return. Over time, office design became more adventurous. It evolved from organic groupings to cubicles to the ubiquitous and much-maligned open plan. But, while fans tout the benefits of hot-desking and collaboration, another paradigm shift is underway — one that focuses on ‘experience’.

Global leaders are being held to account over climate change

It increasingly pays to be good. Climate change has become the Climate Emergency. School children across the world are striking and influential individuals — from Greta Thunberg to David Attenborough — are pointing the finger directly at global leaders. Progressive brands are stepping up and taking the lead on environmental protection themselves. And, with growing consumer demand for sustainable goods, it increasingly pays to be good.

8. Brand is in the hands of the consumer. Over time brand evolved from being a simple promise to the customer to becoming a two-way relationship. More recently, brand has focused on the consumer experience. Today, we’re seeing the latest evolution where brand management becomes community-driven. It is built around like-minded groups, including consumers and fans, as well as employees and influencers.