7 Highlights from Decoded Future London

Date:Friday, June 7, 2019
Author:Charlie Gilbert

The return of our flagship innovation event sparked ground-breaking ideas, passionate debate and revelatory insights. These are some of our best bits.

“Preserve our precious resources. Leverage longer product life. Find that wealth in waste. Tackle the ugly packaging monster. And connect with conscious consumers. If you’re already doing these things – or even just thinking about doing them – your business will honestly become stronger for it.”
Emily Gordon-Smith, Director of Consumer Product, Stylus

“Everything we do to the Earth, we do to ourselves. What we’re doing to the Earth is a massive experiment. We don’t understand the consequences of this experiment and we are not in control of it. And so, the risk is of a tipping point, where we could end up being extinct. This is the bit that the scientists are really reluctant to say. Now, a generation of children is demanding that we take action on the climate emergency.”
Mary Creagh, Labour MP for Wakefield & Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee

“We are the only living species on the planet that creates waste. How does that make us feel? How does that make you feel as a brand when you think that, actually, you’re in the business of branded pollution? For me, circularity is something that’s very simple: it’s all about responsibility. If you decide to make something, that uses a resource and a material, you are responsible.”
Sian Sutherland, A Plastic Planet, Founder

“The one thing we have is the power of human ingenuity to drive change, and organisations must appreciate this. Those taking climate change seriously will have a competitive edge. If you think climate change is a priority now, just wait until 2030 and how consumers feel about it then. Do something about it, or it will become a risk to your organisation in the not-too-distant future.”
Marc Zornes, Winnow, Co-Founder & CEO

“Help is the new brand halo. For an audience that’s ambitious but highly risk-averse, offering a helping leg up in the real world will have huge mileage. But consider the downside of the always-on era: sticking power. Content flashes by so quickly that it’s hardly worth a glance. For a generation that’s actively seeking support and reliable information, it’s key to build connections they can count on, which is why brands should be episodic in their communications.”
Katie Baron, Head of Retail, Stylus

“People are prioritising experiences over things; they’ve become part of our identity. We’re not our possessions, but the accumulation of everything we’ve seen, the things we’ve done, and the places we’ve been. Experiences make us happy. We’re being told more – see the books of Marie Kondo – that we don’t need lots of stuff. Actually, what we need is to declutter and have only the things that really bring us joy. Consumers are prioritising their wellbeing more than ever.”
Hayley Ward, Head of Insight Partnerships, Marks & Spencer

“Buying a car has to be one of the most frivolous and illogical purchases you can make, yet 80% of all new car purchases are made by over 50s. They travel extensively, aren’t tied to school holidays, and they’re always clocking up the air miles visiting grandchildren in New Zealand or taking walking holidays in Spain. It’s not just about unnecessary luxuries – over 60s spend more every single time they do a regular shop. They have the money, they spend the money, why on Earth aren’t brands encouraging older consumers to spend with them?”
Lara Crisp, Editor, Gransnet

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