There’s a common expression which says “nothing lasts forever”, but Ebony+Ivory believes that great brands, when built and informed well, stand the test of time.
In an effort to stay ahead of the curve, the creative agency team attended a Flux Trends workshop, which delivered invaluable insights relevant to the business and its clients.
Remaining at the vanguard of trends gives brands a strategic competitive advantage. Here are five tech trends that should inform marketing and business strategies to help brands future-proof their operations.
1. All about avatar
We all know about the direct-to-consumer supply chain, but this has now evolved. Direct-to-avatar refers to an emerging business model that entails selling products to avatars (digital identities). This is one of the opportunities presented by the metaverse.
The increasing demand for personalised online identities has resulted in the creation of new opportunities, which includes digital-only fashion brands infiltrating gaming culture in the form of skins (outfits and weapons that decorate the in-game avatars).
Nike is an example of how brands can leverage this technology to remain relevant in the digital arena. The Nike Dunk Genesis Cryptokicks collection is an exclusive digital shoe collection for metaverse avatars to buy. This has allowed Nike to position the brand as future forward and establish brand advocates from the Gen Z, millennials and Gen Alpha age groups.
2. Commerce in the metaverse
The metaverse has also initiated a new revolutionary commerce platform that provides consumers with a more immersive shopping experience relative to traditional e-commerce.
In 2021, the metaverse saw the world’s first virtual test drive, when Hyundai Motor leveraged the Naver Z’s metaverse service Zepeto. This provided a test drive experience for potential buyers of the sports sedan version of their Sonata. The objective of the campaign was to use the metaverse service to expose the Sonata N line to a younger generation, with the hopes of increasing communication with future buyers, while strengthening the hi-tech image of the brand.
Hyundai is an example of how the metaverse can be used successfully. The growing popularity of the phenomenon has been used as a positioning tool and, by associating with this buzzword in an effective and strategic way, Hyundai was able to cement the idea that the brand will be around for a long time.
3. Our future with robots
It’s important for brands to be open to new, innovative solutions. One advancement that has the potential to play a significant role in a variety of industries is robots.
Many are sceptical about these machines because of the perception that robots have the power to threaten humankind’s employment. However, with the invention of machines known as cobots (collaborative robots), which work with humans in some way, either as an assistant or as a guide, is a codependency that has vast potential.
These robots are created with the intention of working together with employees to increase their effectiveness and efficiency, which can benefit many industries.
For example, a restaurant in Japan is using cobots to serve customers, while in Germany a manufacturing company has capitalised on the benefits of this “new” employee to maximise the effectiveness of production.
4. Artificial ignorance
The digital age has seen many technological advancements, but many come with their fair share of limitations. Artificial intelligence (AI) bias is a shortcoming found in the output of machine-learning algorithms. These algorithms contain a bias as a result of the prejudiced assumptions made during the algorithm development process.
An example of an AI bias was identified in a Twitter algorithm. The social media giant had to disable an algorithm that revealed a bias which preferred white faces over black faces and women over men. Rumman Chowdhury, former director of machine-learning ethics, transparency and accountability at Twitter, said the algorithm was based on a flawed data tracking system, which introduced the bias.
It is important to understand and identify these biases created by the developers and machine learning to ensure that AI technology steers away from them over time. Brands have a social responsibility to create an inclusive environment and must be aware of these shortcomings if they hope to eradicate this potential artificial ignorance.
5. Imagining flying cars
The final technological trend to look out for focuses on passenger drones, which have brought the dream of flying cars to life. A Polish-Swedish company became the first in Europe, and one of the first in the world, to create and produce a commercially available passenger drone.
Here lies a major opportunity for e-hailing services, such as Uber Air, to capitalise on this technology and make domestic air travel more affordable and accessible. Passenger drones have the potential to become air taxi services for customers who would have used private helicopters, but couldn’t afford it.
These are just five of the big tech trends which can inform marketing and business strategies. However, with the endless potential and possibilities, who knows what the future may hold?
While it may seem daunting to keep up with these advancements, Ebony+Ivory is here to help you understand the latest technology trends to equip brands with a strategic competitive advantage.