The vibe was strategic, energizing and inspiring. Speakers spouted future-forward ideas, consumer insights and timely research. The result? High level fuel to power successful strategies for our clients from the Iconosphere 2017 conference held in Vegas last week. Among the top 6 takeaways for me were:
- “Play deficit disorder” is a growing problem. Uh oh, yet another disorder! Do you check emails while on vacation? Believe sleep deprivation is a status symbol? Feel compelled to check things off your list? According to Rebeccca Kolls, consumer strategist, you may fall into the category of needing “permission to play.” Don’t worry, you are not to blame, what with your childhood conditioning of “You can play when your room is clean” or “You can play after you practice piano.” With a productivity increase of 400 percent since the 1950s, we are losing the tug of war between productivity and play. And our guilt-fueled ability to play (which, by the way, is rated important by nine out of 10), has even been segmented into three groups, with marketing implications to match (think time – and money-saving solutions).
- “Privacy” wins over “Security” in communicating about consumer health data. Personal health data is big business, fueling healthcare innovation. However, we so fear giving it away. Why? Because it’s personal. We want to control and own our data. We’re not sure where it will go (e.g. Will it affect my insurance rates?). Research shows that marketers can gain more trust with the word, “privacy,” over “security,” and that communicating HOW health data provision will benefit you with specific positive outcomes reaps results. Think 23andMe DNA testing, which focuses upon the positive results of knowing your genetic history.
- A world without smart phones is on the horizon. Just when I finally got our 87-year-old mother to use one! In his Look Ma, No Hands keynote, Consumer Strategist Mike Garrison told us smart phones are on the way out. The audience was in shock and denial, which he quickly validated with video snippets of people saying, “I panic without my smart phone,” “I have my whole life in here,” and the ultimate, “but I love my smart phone.” Okay, so I’m not alone in my emotions, but the fact is sales have plateaued for smart phones, and smart phone features aren’t boosting demand anymore. People are talking about things like “smart phone addiction” and the need for “digital detox” (unplugging), all signaling the entry of the next big thing. Think Alexa, hands-free, device-agnostic ability for content fluidity. (Okay, I’ll try…)
- The “struggling moment” is the seed for all innovation. So says keynote speaker Bob Moseta and president of The Rewired Group. Since consumers lie to themselves and him about what they want, he finds the struggling moment for each purchase decision. His motto: “Bitchin’ ain’t switchin’!” And since he is the creator of that cool, little arrow that indicates the gas tank side of the car on your dashboard, as well as the Snickers campaign that positioned the candy bar as food, not candy (You’re not you when you’re hungry), we believe him!
- 72 percent of Gen We high schoolers plan to start a business someday. That figure shocked me. And the same amount would trade a year of social media for their own car. They value their independence, know the value of a dollar (76 percent consider how much things cost), and celebrate diversity (the most diverse generation ever, with 48 percent non-white).
- Beatles Love Show is arguably the best show in Vegas. Or at least the best I’ve ever seen. This endorphin-producing, multi-media explosion of creativity is a testament to the meaning of emotional connection – something we strive for every day with our work. We agreed we would have gladly paid twice our ticket price for the experience!
Need more insights? Check out From insights to innovation: Applying creativity to connect the dots.