Joe Crump is Executive Strategy Director of Experience, Americas for Landor & Fitch. Based in NYC, Crump oversees the Experience Strategy Practice across the Americas, where he focuses on new business development and organic growth. Crump has a proven track record of building breakthrough brand experiences based on digital innovation, design thinking, and the power of diverse teams to drive innovation and competitive advantage. In his role, he also grows long-term client relationships and expands the capabilities of experience strategy offerings. Previously, Crump was CEO of Wunderman Thompson NY and also spent 17 years as a leader at Razorfish. Outside of work, Crump gives keynote speeches around the world, including TED, Cannes, and the 3% Conference. He has been inducted into the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and sits on its Executive Committee.
Today, consumers are living through profound cultural upheaval paired with the fastest digital disruption and technological advances in history. At this moment of extreme change, brands have an opportunity to shift their approach to resonate with consumers, use new technology to enhance their offer, and elevate their brand idea in the process. Here are the five technographic trends brands can seize to drive innovation.
Unprecedented Adoption of New Technology
The pandemic broke the mold of the traditional technology adoption, with today’s curve resembling more of a hockey stick than a bell curve. When COVID-19 forced everyone to stay home, we all embraced new and disruptive tech-driven behaviors to get a taste of normal life, whether it was video conferencing, telehealth, or DTC shopping. Previous technology skeptics have become adept, and the enthusiasm for emerging technology-enabled experiences is likely to fuel unprecedented growth of new technologies including the metaverse, artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
Growth in Mobile Augmented Reality
According to the AR Usage & Consumer Attitudes, Wave IV report, 29% of Americans use mobile AR. Brands can leverage this technology to create engaging and dynamic content for their consumers. At the risk of reminding you of an episode of Black Mirror, imagine looking at someone on the street and seeing their Instagram posts, or watching the dragons from Game of Thrones fly through Yankee Stadium as you watch a game. This future is arriving shortly, and industry leaders must stay tuned this year for a wave of AR glasses from Meta, Google, Sony, Snap, Lenovo, and even Ray-Ban.
Universal Usage of QR Codes
Thanks to the pandemic, QR codes are now second nature, and we will continue to see them proliferate. When looking to leverage QR codes, brands should ask themselves, why does your brand exist, what stories can it tell, and what experiences can it create? The QR code can be the access point for all of those things, anywhere the brand has a presence.
Prevalence of Hybrid Shopping
We increasingly navigate the physical world with our heads down, looking at our phones. We are constantly consuming and creating digital content and services as we live our lives in the analog world. It’s not that we are shifting back and forth between digital and physical – we are blending them in real time. We are living hybrid lives and our shopping habits are no different. It’s time for retailers to pivot from having customers to having members, from having people check out to having them check in. Creating a meaningful in-store experience combined with digital-first technology will give consumers a reason to shop with your brand both in person and online.
5. Rise of the Metaverse
The metaverse is here to stay, and brands will need a metaverse strategy in 2022 much as they needed an internet strategy in the 90s. Brands can learn a lot about what not to do in the metaverse from previous chapters of technology advancement, with most mistakes coming from dragging habits and tactics from previous tech environments into new ones.
Many of the essential truths of great brands – purpose, emotional connections, relevance, and individuality – will also be essential in the metaverse. Brands that succeed in the metaverse, as in the real world, will double-down on the core principles, such as building a community, rather than using their brand as an ATM to only make money or drive short-term KPIs. Brands who can define their most profound assets – their stories, passions, and the reasons why people engage with them – will be best positioned to bring those assets to life in the metaverse. And in the metaverse, brands will be unburdened by troublesome “real world” constraints like employees, inventory, manufacturing and material costs, media budgets, and even COVID-19 – or the laws of physics.
As we adapt to our new normal, brands must leverage technology to drive innovation, connect with their consumers and evolve their story.