We have named 2017 the year of the Experience economy. It’s a year when our ability to create valuable experiences for our users is what really will set brands and businesses apart.
Transforming what used to be seen as a commodity into an experience (and, ultimately, transform yourself) is high on everyone’s agenda. Organisational structures will continuously need to be challenged to be able to really thrive on the digital possibilities.
The digital landscape is blurring. To be able to thrive on the digital possibilities we believe it’s important to have a connected mindset and always think context. The traditional demographics are increasingly challenged by views more feasible to be applicable in a digital context where we need to address individuals rather than target groups. Google “Post demographic consumerism” for deeper insights into this area.
For this year we pinpointed a few key areas - trends - to watch closely.
Artificial Intelligence - Machine Learning
Self-driving cars and robots replacing humans. We’ve all heard it. And it will happen at a large scale. But probably not during 2017. What we will come in contact with during this year is rather MLaaS - Machine Learning As A Service where you’ll be able to tap into the large systems of IBM, Google, Amazon etc. to utilise their infrastructure in a similar way as we tap into the cloud.
And Chatbots, you’ll hear a lot about them and probably also try out a few ones during this year. Chatbots are the next iteration of the assistants we saw a few years back on different sites. The first generation Chatbots are often designed to handle a (few) specific area(s), not fully replacing humans. And they will most often live inside some of the large messaging apps, in which we tend to spend more and more time.
Internet of Things
IoT as such is not a new thing. It’s been around a few years. What we see now is a second wave of infrastructure, products and connections.
Smart homes. Smart cities. Smart everything. Small, energy efficient and cheap sensors will be implemented everywhere. The number of data sources will explode and everything will be able to measure and monitor.
Still, the smartphone and its apps is key device to collect, visualise and steer the different connected products.
What’s interesting with this second wave of products, is that we start to see new services and experiences being created by partnerships and integrations where brands which, at a quick glance, has nothing obvious in common. But by utilising the digital possibilities are able to offer never before seen experiences.
In a fragmented world, where a few big players tend to dictate a great deal of where we’re heading, having a connected mindset is key. See APIs as a possibility to deliver value and experiences that you cannot accomplish on your own.
Embrace the principle of “the elephant and the ant” where you as an elephant let a few ants ride on your back and utilise your infrastructure, your data or part of your service to create new experiences on top of your offering. Or see yourself as the ant and try to get ahead by utilising something others already created that makes you better.
The interesting thing with this principle is that you in some cases are the elephant and in other cases find yourself being the ant.
Last but not least
When summarising 2017 we’ll probably come to the conclusion that everything was as usual. But nothing was the same.
Be curious. Try things out. Think context. Partnerships (the elephant and the ant). And be prepared to fail. That’s part of the concept.
See full presentation for the complete story and trends of 2017.