Speed Briefings

Need-to-know trends

All Marketing is Darwinian

620 775 Clemmie Prendergast

Happy 209th Birthday to Charles Darwin!

Today we are very excited to be celebrating Darwin Day at Brand Genetics! When we started up in 1996, we launched with one fundamental belief: “All marketing is Darwinian”. We used the principles of evolutionary genetics to guide our approach to innovation. And although much has changed in two decades, this philosophy still remains integral to the business today.

Our original vision was to help clients develop new categories, not just new products. This goal — which today would be termed disruptive innovation — was rooted in the understanding that “mutations are the source of all progress”. It challenged conventional thinking and inspired our early Mutant Marketing Programme. Working with visionary and maverick clients, we developed ideas on the basis of form before function (product-led innovation), co-created with Pioneer consumers (lead users and early adopters) and conducted iterative “only the fittest survive” selection (these days, what we’d call a “test and learn” approach).

While much of what was cutting-edge then is now widely advocated today, we continue to enjoy helping our clients break new ground by using our distinctly human-centred approach to insight and innovation. In a world obsessed with Big Data, we believe that the future is very much human. We build on our Darwinian roots, we think about consumers not as users or buyers, but as human beings, because we believe it’s only when we see people in human terms we can understand core human motivations and spot opportunities to enhance people’s lives.

Today, on Charles Darwin’s 209th Birthday, we launch a new weekly content platform exploring “the survival of the fittest” — keeping you up to date with the latest trends, insights and innovations. As a team of marketers, researchers and social scientists, we are excited to share insights from psychology and behavioural science as well broader observations on the evolution of marketing and branding.

“Here’s an opportunity to stand up for reason, science and humanism.” Steven Pinker.

What we’ve been reading this Darwin Day:

* We love 10 reasons to celebrate Darwin Day by Psychologist magazine

* Discussing Enlightenment in Harvard Magazine, Steven Pinker defines Humanism as “the goal of maximizing human flourishing — life, health, happiness, freedom, knowledge, love, richness of experience.”

This interesting piece by HBR says that most important brands focus on users not buyers (we of course, focus on humans!)

The 9 FMCG Trends of 2015 [Speed Briefing]

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Last week, the winners of the 2015 Product Innovation of the Year awards were announced.

And based on an analysis of the voting patterns of the 10,000 strong consumer-jury, we’ve identified the 9 big trends shaping FMCG in 2015 and beyond.

So here’s a short presentation of the trends, along with all the winners; the winners themselves are UK innovations, but the trends identified are international in scope and relevance.

Check them out, download the deck, and use as creative stimulus and innovation planning.

  1. #ConvenienceRules – The mega-trend of 2015 and the future; consumers want it quicker and easier from brands that buy us time and save us effort
  2. #OnTheGo – A variation on the ConvenienceRules mega-trend, busy consumers look to enjoy brands on the move as they speed through our fast culture
  3. #HealthMatters – With the rise of health-tech and medical self-care, consumers increasingly look to products offering health benefits
  4. #VirtuousPleasures – As consumers become evermore health-aware, they look to switch to good-for-you indulgence
  5. #OwnLabelLove – Increasingly seen as offering the same quality for less, consumer love for own label options is becoming a critical issue for brands
  6. #MadeForMe – Consumers are looking for products specially designed to fit their own unique profiles, needs and lifestyles. One size no longer fits all
  7. #PremiumPull – Consumers increasingly expect a premium experience, even from mass market brands
  8. #FruitTastic – AAs refined sugar comes to stand for all things evil, the consumers sweet tooth is increasingly satisfied with fruit
  9. #TechTime – It’s tech time for FMCG as digital natives embrace and expect tech-enhanced experiences everywhere


The Hunger Games Generation: Innovating for ‘Gen Z’

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To coincide with the recent launch of Hunger Games: Mockingjay – the franchise that is so iconic for Gen Z – Brand Genetics has created a short report on this exciting generation.

We believe that if you want to know what the world will look like tomorrow you need to understand the up and coming generations – and Gen Z already look like they will be a real force for change.

Whether or not they’re your target audience today, Gen Z are already starting to influence how the world works. Their traits are only just starting to emerge but they show a marked difference to Gen Y / Millennials.

We have distilled existing studies and added our own experience to uncover key Gen Z needs, identifying 7 relevant innovation opportunities that can help your business stay ahead of the game.