If there is anyone in your life who knows more about rebooting you, treating your viruses, sharing your achievements, posting your awards, archiving your memories, plugging you into the future or fine-tuning the software you carry in your head, then it’s a sure bet that we are talking about your mom. She is the digit-all who carries more influence over you than you would like to believe.
So I called up all the on-trend moms of my friends to name one digital trend according to their world view which they believe will change the fortunes of our industry. Their answers surprised me (because, in all honesty, I wasn’t expecting any). I have paraphrased the crux of their thoughts below:
Mom 1: “Magic. Lots of magic. I believe in magic beta. The next big digital trend will be things appearing right in front of my eyes, just the way I want them, based on my taste and preferences. Sometimes, when I run out of stuff, I wish I could just snap my fingers and see things develop right in front of my eyes. Uff.”
Trend: Retail brands will jump on the 3D printing bandwagon to create unprecedented opportunities for their business and customers by condensing speed-to-market processes, eliminating middlemen and factories and opting for a print on-site model where fast, responsive, real-time transactions will be based on everything; from data and live feedback to social trends and mom’s opinion.
Mom 2: “Magic? What nonsense beta. The next trend should be a non-trend. One that has a real place in the real world. Online stores are nonsense. I need to touch merchandise, smell things; taste them. Talk to someone. What if it’s the wrong size? You know how they Photoshop everything these days? There is no trusting anyone anymore. They even make ordinary chappals look good! Bastards.”
Trend: Offline will be the new online as the threat to eradicate traditional retail is slowly reversing. Digital online portals will serve as the entry point for information, flexibility and customisation. However, actual purchases will occur in an in-store, bricks-and-mortar environment complete with the human but branded touch.
Mom 3: “Speaking of bastards beta, my husband and sons were always fighting for the TV or gaming remote. It’s one of the reasons we are no longer together. No, don’t feel sad. It’s just how bad things are these days, like both my daughters-in-law. Now, everybody is in their own homes, living their own lives. If we only had a house where everybody felt at home! What’s your WiFi password, by the way?”
Trend: Automatic smart-home systems will change the dominance of the living/TV room to offer total home solutions with automatic and integrated systems to accommodate the rivalry among television, cinema, gaming and traditional pursuits, like books and board games, together with in-home solutions for smart music, lighting and remote home security. And, there will be an app for that.
Mom 4: “You know, whenever we are in the car, there are so many different systems to get my head around beta. Including the alien system that is governing the life of your uncle, my husband. It’s very confusing. The music system has a totally different interface from the geo-navigator, just like the rest of the in-car gadgetry. I just wish cars were as simple as attaching four wheels to a mobile phone. My husband agrees, for once.”
Trend: The global automotive industry must shift to mobile-driven and consumer-centric demands, needs, lifestyles and expectations. Car manufactures must be ready to integrate, partner or co-brand themselves, with phone operating systems, so that their cars are driven to seamlessly work alongside a mobile phone’s capabilities leading to one car, one system, one interface.
Mom 5: “Why are you calling me beta? Wouldn’t it be simpler and absolutely more sensible to make a voice call over WiFi? It’s free, you know. My friends and family always use Messenger or WhatsApp to call each other. Okay, put the phone down. Face Time me. No, Skype me. No, Snapchat me. No, never mind. What was your question again? And does it come with an emoji?”
Trend: Telcos have dragged each other to the bottom of the barrel turning data-centric communication into a commodity. But with the rise of digital culture, free modes of communication and new content-driven technologies, the industry must adapt and revamp their operating models and branding to be seen less as telecoms and more as production hubs that prioritise, sponsor, curate and/or deliver a new world of on-demand content and entertainment to rival the likes of Netflix or HBO.
Faraz Maqsood Hamidi is CE and CD, The D’Hamidi Partnership.