By Joi M. Sears
We get it, your inboxes are jam-packed with must-read trend predictions for 2015, and no doubt some of them are right on the money. We can all feel the shift: This year will be a game-changer, especially in the field of social innovation. If we want to be ahead of the curve, we have to be creative, forward-thinking and incredibly innovative when it comes to designing new products, services and brands.
This list is all about taking the top 10 innovation trends of 2015 and transforming them into actionable opportunities that you can run with and profit from in the year to come.
Example: SeedSheet offers aspiring gardeners a simple ‘plug and plant” approach.
Q: How can you give prosumers the INSTANT SKILLS they will demand in 2015?
Q: What are the ways in which you can streamline service for your most loyal customers?
Example: Lyft Line is a platform which allows users to save up to 60 percent by opting to have their ride pick up other passengers traveling along a similar route.
Q: How can you turn the moment of payment into a moment of pleasure for your customers?
This trend it all about new connections, new opportunities and new behaviors. Last year we saw social innovators putting basic human needs at the center of their initiatives. Here we see the Internet of Caring things meet the Internet of Sharing things. As more objects become connected, we find new ways of deriving value from them which increases the possibility for consumers to share access.
Example: Breather, a space-sharing service which allows people to find unused urban spaces to rent for work or relaxation.
Q: How can your brand offer shared value/access, and also how you might be able to take advantage of shared access opportunities in your area or field?
Example: Easy Taxi, a mobile app which, in response to the Ebola virus in West Africa, offered Nigerian cab drivers lessons on how to diagnose and prevent the disease.
Q: How you can you, either through partnerships or by working directly with the community, effect real and lasting positive social change?
Tip: Never stop scanning all demographics for relevant new innovations.
In search of wellness, strength, new skills, knowledge and more, this year's consumers will embrace device-fueled rewards that incentivize improving behaviors. CURRENCIES OF CHANGE are personalized rewards, incentives and discounts that help consumers overcome the inconvenience, cost or just the oh-so-human inertia that so often prevents self-improvement.
Example: McDonalds’ and Coca-Cola’s BFF Timeout app makes taking digital breaks more interesting by offering rewards, such as trips to international destinations, to those who spend more time with friends.
Q: How can wearable devices and smartphones enable your customers to earn CURRENCIES OF CHANGE?
Example: PareUp allows New York-based restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores to offer soon-to-be-wasted food at a discounted price.
Q: How (and where) will you implement a SYMPATHETIC PRICING strategy in 2015?
Tip: Have a little fun with this one: If you could design a robot to handle your most mundane tasks, what would it look like and do?
Q: What will your brand take a stand for in 2015?
Image credit: Canned Tuna, Flickr
Joi M. Sears is a brand strategist, social innovator and creative entrepreneur, the Founder and Creative director of Free People International, a social enterprise which specializes in offering creative solutions to the world’s biggest social, environmental and economic challenges through the arts, human centered design and social innovation.