The Next Web 2015: ‘Stop innovating for the ...

The Next Web 2015: ‘Stop innovating for the purpose of innovation’  —  David Mattin

‘To supercharge your innovation stop seeing the world through the lens of technology and start seeing innovation through the lens of basic human needs and wants’. Consumer trends are the emerging pattern of consumer behavior, attitude or expectation. Not the other way around. This is the core message of David Mattin’s session at the Next Web 2015 conference. And he can know, as head of trends & innovation at trendwatching.com.

The world we are living in now is highly driven by the quick change of technology. Innovations are often seen as an outcome of new possibilities of technological change. This outcome does not necessarily fulfill the human needs .

For example, this refrigerator is packed with technical features; having a big digital screen and other cool functionalities. These features will drive up the price to 4000 dolars, but the question is: “Do we really need this?”. According to David Mattin, 36 percent of consumers cite lack of perceived value as the main barrier to purchase in-home Internet of Things devices.

Another example is the hype of self-tracking wearable devices. At first, the hype is driven by technological innovation. A key segment of tech driven users are likely to follow this trend and buy the product, but on average one third of the users has given up on their tracking device after six months. This can be because they simply don’t need it, or because the technological experience is not connected to the actual user needs.

So, where will the internet of things move to?

The internet of things has been one of these growing markets that should definitely create useful experiences for users. It has also been one of the markets which has seen tremendous growth for the business markets. Companies have successfully implemented sensors on just about anything to monitor and adjust their products. From railroad tracks to windmills. Everything has connected sensors. The consumer market has seen more mixed results with the Internet of things. This is mostly because it is only technology driven. The creators should care more. The key takeaway from David’s session is therefore the Internet of (caring) things. Keep the end user in mind and unlock new ways of serving one’s needs.

How should we act as a brand?

Brands should use the ingredients available to innovate. Part of this is looking at the opportunities in technological change. The other part is user centric thinking. Simply stated, caring about the end user. A serious trend is brands that are rewarding behavior that is good for the consumer. The new Apple watch, and many other wearables, are continuously monitoring your physical behavior and pushing you to improve. The human need of intuitiveand contextually relevant information is still there.