We all know that spotting and understanding trends is the key to staying ahead of the curve. But in this world of constant innovation, differentiating between a fleeting fad and meaningful cultural progression is actually pretty difficult. Knowing your micro from your macro, or your emergent from your dominant, has never been so important.
So what exactly is a trend, and at what point should brands take notice?
In this session, we’ll unravel what trends are all about and explore some recent cultural shifts that brands need to pay attention to in 2018 and beyond. We’ll provide a guide on working with trends; including tips on how to future-proof strategies and build lasting connections with consumers.
If you’d like to join us for coffee, croissants and a ‘how to’ guide to working with trends, please contact Pauline Rault. And feel free to pass this invite on to colleagues too.
Here’s what went down at our Rise event all about modern families (where we welcomed our youngest ever Rise attendee, too!)…
At our latest Rise session in London, Crowd DNA’s managing director Dr Matilda Andersson and associate director Lucy Crotty (who also happen to be mums) spoke about modern parenthood in all its glory and grossness.
Starting bright and early (naturally, they’ve both got young kids), our presenters highlighted the need for family-centric brands, businesses and society to start taking note. With 90 percent of all new parents being millennials, what a family looks like – and what a ‘family’ even means – is fundamentally changing. And, despite some recent reworkings in popular culture, this pair of millennial mums still feel misrepresented.
But it’s not all bad. The key shifts shaping modern families reveal much to be celebrated: women’s empowerment, working mums and an appreciation of multifaceted female identity; the move away from ‘doofus dad’ to ‘involved dad’ and a focus on male roles in family life; and, crucially, the backlash against ‘perfect parenting’ towards a more diverse, realistic and relatable portrayal of parenthood.
The question, then, stands of how to speak properly to these shifting families. Matilda and Lucy offered loads of thought-starters on how brands can recognise opportunities with modern parents. By being representative, tapping into their sense of purpose, embracing creative play, or helping them carve out quality time via tech-convenience – just some of the ways to speak better to families of all shapes and sizes.
Thanks to all that attended, ate croissants and help distract a crying baby. We’ve wrapped up the key points and more hints for brands into a digital magazine, available to download here.
Parental burnout, gender neutral toys, screen-time wars, feminist dads, LGBTQ+ families, postpartum body positivity – it seems we’re all too aware of the joys and perils of modern parenthood. And, as the next generation of millennial parents arrive and shake things up, the whole status quo of parenting is dramatically changing, too.
But are we speaking to and about families in the right way?
This session explores changing attitudes to parenthood and, in particular, how modern families are portrayed. Looking at some of the tensions and backlashes against ‘perfect parenting’, we’ll help brands identify new opportunities – and to speak better to families of all shapes and sizes.
If you’d like to join us for coffee, croissants and a very real, up-close journey into modern parenthood, please contact Pauline Rault. And feel free to pass the invite on to colleagues and estranged family members alike.
We get to work on lots of interesting and highly engaging projects at Crowd DNA, but collaborating with IKEA on the Clean Air brief was a particularly rewarding one...
With 80% of people who live in urban areas being exposed to air quality levels that exceed the World Health Organisation limit, this is a major topic. Unless action is taken now, the number of deaths will double by 2050 and will account for 12 every minute.
IKEA’s commitment to sustainability is widely recognised, with their ‘Better Everyday Life For The Many People’ maxim a major global talking point – which is where the clean air work fits in.
IKEA came to Crowd DNA requesting a comprehensive understanding of clean air (from awareness levels and misconceptions, to how it changes behaviour) in society around the world.
The first phase of the project looked to develop context and saw us producing a clean air report from extensive desk research and expert interviews – from leading toxicologists and start-ups CEOs on the front-line of air pollution innovation, to artists who are looking to creatively highlight the topic.
Stage two explored current consumer behaviours and attitudes related to clean air. We conducted mobile self-ethnography across the US, UK, China, Germany, Italy, Poland and India, using our understanding of behavioural science to better understanding true consumer behaviour in two key ways:
1. Mapping consumer behaviour/awareness over time to see if air pollution currently impacts how people live their lives
2. Providing our participants with air monitors to gauge personal air quality across their day to day lives, thus allowing us to see how increased awareness potentially disrupts behaviour.
Next, we visited each market to interview and film consumers in context, including reviewing their experiences with the air monitor devices and how much impact the data had on their actual lives. The filmed ethnography produced rich, narrative-led accounts of individual everyday experiences and how people really relate to the notion of clean air.
Embedding the findings in the IKEA business was a priority, too. We held collaborative innovation workshops to generate practical ideas for future product and service designs. IKEA have since used this insight and the ideas that came from these sessions to inform short and long term projects to tackle air pollution.
Alongside the workshops came an artworked and editorialised clean air survey, and a series of broadcast quality documentary films.
You can find out more about the Clean Air project here
We're seeking an experienced strategist for our London team; someone keen to work with A grade insight/trends specialists to bring exciting new dimensions to what we can offer our clients...
This is a brand new role at Crowd DNA (based in Hoxton Square, London), as we look to extend the capabilities offered in our cultural insight and innovation positioning.
The senior strategist role at Crowd DNA will have you collaborating with our best-in-class insight and innovation specialists, writers, designers and film-makers, providing the all-important strategic point of view that our clients demand.
You’ll come to us with five plus years of insight-fuelled strategy experience, most likely gained in an agency environment. You’ll be able to point to evidence of working with clients in categories such as media, alcohol, fashion and FMCG, on brand and comms briefs (essential) and (ideally) product/services ones, too.
You will be comfortable with the following-
- Working alongside others (specifically our insight, trends and innovation specialists) to arrive at strategic recommendations that are credible and inspiring
- Solid experience at crafting brand positions, consumer narratives, concepts, portfolio plans and similar strategy materials (thus first-rate writing skills are essential)
- Knowledge of strategy frameworks and when/where to apply them
- A confident, authoritative presenter and workshop facilitator
- Competent at switching modes from live projects to pitches and agency thought leadership
- Capable of negotiating with other team members on how/where/when to play a role in projects, managing your time effectively, and reaching clear decisions on where your skills are best deployed
- A demonstrable passion for culture and how it connects with strategy (let’s call that cultural strategy) – all points from the leading edge to the mainstream
- While this is not specifically a data-oriented role, being comfortable with ‘big’ data (alongside the more qualitative/trends-based findings that are at the heart of Crowd) would be helpful
- Experience of social media listening tools also useful
The role comes with a competitive salary/benefits (negotiable based on experience); some of the most stimulating and culturally-driven projects out there; and the opportunity to take a lead role in building something exciting and new in our business. To apply, please get in touch with Dr Matilda Andersson, attaching a CV and covering letter.
We're adding to our amazingly heroic project management team in London. Read on if this might be the job for you...
We’re seeking someone to add to our project management team at Crowd DNA. The project manager role entails working along our insight consultants, strategists and creatives to ensure we deliver high standard work for our clients at all times. Here’s what we’re after:
- A track record of working in insight; either as a project manager, field manager, or perhaps as a consultant who now favours a switch to the project management side of things
- Demonstrable skills in managing complex multi-market projects; including timelines, suppliers (field agencies, research platform providers etc), clients and budgets
- A deft multi-tasker with an agile approach to working alongside researchers and creatives
- Keen and capable of working with diverse digital platforms
- Strong problem-solving abilities and a knack for finding solutions where others can’t
- An appetite for developing new project management thinking and processes, and to innovating our approaches to running projects (both large and small)
- Strong communication skills; and an enthusiasm for upskilling the wider team in project management techniques
- An interest in the type of brands and challenges that Crowd DNA gets involved with
- So organised it’s completely insane…
The role comes with a competitive salary/benefits; a clear path to promotion and the opportunity to grow and to learn in a first-rate consultancy environment. To apply, please get in touch with Dr Matilda Andersson, attaching a CV and covering letter.
A couple more much-deserved promotions in our London office to report...
Laura Warby, previously an associate director, is promoted to business and strategy director, leading on developing relationships with new and existing clients across categories such as retail, FMCG, finance, media and alcohol.
Lucy Crotty, previously a senior consultant, is promoted to associate director, with a focus on brand and communications development/strategy work.
Well done both! We’re excited by what Laura and Lucy can bring to the business in their new roles, adding further to the craft and quality of our work.