author archive

One of the initial barriers to online shopping was consumers’ reluctance to buy something without seeing it. Shoppers tended to research products online, then go to a physical store to examine them and make purchases. But as people have become more comfortable with e-commerce, and with smartphones enabling research and shopping on the go, a […]

As ad pages continue to decline, magazine publishers are looking for ways to keep their brands going in an industry adjusting to disruptions in how content is delivered and consumed. The latest idea involves forging into broadcasting. While some TV personalities may have gotten their own magazines (Oprah Winfrey, Rachael Ray), TV and print have […]

As brands get more savvy about social commerce (see our recent “Social Commerce” report), we’re seeing more innovation not only in how they engage consumers but in how they learn from their loyal customers. At the recent Social Retail Summit in New York, for example, Dotbox CEO Ashley John Heather outlined how Wet Seal’s Chic Boutique […]

Our new report on social commerce examines how retailers are overlaying the social graph on e-commerce: showing shoppers who sign in using their Facebook accounts what friends have bought or recommended and serving up more tailored experiences. One challenge here for brands will be to tread the fine line between refining the experience for consumers […]

Whether Janice Diner is speaking to a client or a crowd about social commerce, she is passionate about the possibilities for retailers and their constituents. As the founding partner at Horizon Studios, a social business design consultancy, the Toronto-based Diner works to develop social commerce strategies and brand communities for clients such as Hertz, TD […]

Social networks are well-established, as is e-commerce, but it’s only now that we’re seeing the meshing of the two and a great deal of hype around the possibilities. Our July trend report charts how retailers and other brands are using the social graph to engage consumers wherever they may be—creating more personal, accessible experiences—and to […]

Getting people into brick-and-mortar stores is getting more difficult as shoppers gravitate toward the Internet, as well as apps and iPad catalogs that make it easy to find what they need at the lowest price. Geo-location apps that alert smartphone users to deals when they are near a store may help drive foot traffic. Shopkick, which […]

Former sociology professor Ray Oldenburg is the author of two books about the “third place,” The Great Good Place (Marlowe & Company, 1989) and Celebrating the Third Place (2001). He defines the third place as a public place where people can gather to put aside the concerns of home (the first place) and work (the […]

We’ve been taking a look at how some of our trends from last year have manifested so far. One of those was Retooling for an Aging World: “As the world’s population grows older than it’s ever been, watch for a proliferation of products and services that cater to this demographic as they strive to live […]

Could the same digital screens that have distracted kids away from the gentle pastime of reading be what leads kids to a love of literature? Research has found that e-readers lead to an increase in reading, and as they proliferate along with tablets and become more accessible to kids, a cohort of new readers will […]


SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY EMAIL NEWSLETTER:

New: 10 Years of 10 Trends

The Future 100

JWT AnxietyIndex

Things to Watch

  • Digital immersive exercise
    February 25, 2015 | 4:04 pm

    immersive-fitness-the-trip

    Equinox’s new revved-up cycle class speaks to a growing exercise trend—digital immersion. This month the gym brand unveiled Pursuit, an immersive cycling concept, to limited U.S. gyms. Equinox describes the program as “an immersive studio cycling experience that uses groundbreaking gaming and data visualization to drive competition and inspire peak performance.”

    Continue reading “Digital immersive exercise” »

  • Science fare
    February 20, 2015 | 2:07 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 12.59.22 PM

    The worlds of science, gastronomy and art are continuing to cross-pollinate—from edible conceptual art to molecular gastronomy “lab cafés” to synesthetic dining events. Café ArtScience in Cambridge, Mass., is a recent example. Opened late last year by David Edwards, a Harvard engineering professor, the café serves whiskey “fogs” through a special carafe that turns the liquor into vapor (which means consumers don’t take in any of the calories and feel none of the intoxicating effects).

    Continue reading “Science fare” »

  • Aman’s authentic-luxe travel
    February 11, 2015 | 1:06 pm

    Amandira1_509

    As travelers continue to seek out authentic and unique experiences, hospitality brands keep raising the bar on hyper-localized offerings and exceptional access. Aman, for instance, is introducing a phinisi-style sailing ship in Indonesia, marrying the brand’s ultra-luxe sensibility with regional tradition. With an outdoor lounge and bar, the option to travel by motor, and air-conditioned cabins, the ship brings every modern comfort to an age-old means of navigating the Indonesian archipelago. Another Aman property, meanwhile, offers a dip into paleontology: Guests at Amangiri in southern Utah can join an official dig at the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, working alongside fossil experts for a half-day. The cost of getting one’s hands dirty starts at $600. (Resulting Instagram images: priceless.) —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Aman

  • Adidas’ ‘virtual line’
    February 5, 2015 | 6:55 pm

    Adidas

    Adidas’ new Confirmed app cleverly harnesses the fervor of collectors who normally line up for limited-edition shoes, moving fans onto a mobile platform. App users create an account, then get push notifications when hot new releases are on the way. Interested buyers in a given metro area—only New York City at launch—indicate their size and, if approved, receive details on where and when to pick up the shoes. An Adidas exec calls it a “virtual line.” In addition to collecting data on these super-fans, the app lets Adidas control which influencers get various styles, drives traffic to selected stores, builds additional buzz and cuts out secondary-market sellers armed with bots that secure advance orders. —Marian Berelowitz

    Image credit: Bloomberg

  • Adventurous play
    February 4, 2015 | 1:09 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 12.00.22 PM

    Kids will slide through a “Tunnel of Terror” and get slimy on “Mount Mud” in Tough Mudder’s new obstacle course for the 7-12 set. The endurance-challenge purveyor is partnering with European soft drink brand Britvic on Fruit Shoot Mini Mudder, with events planned for the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland. The concept caters to parents looking to pry kids away from screens and get them moving—there’s now a CrossFit offshoot for kids, starting with preschoolers—in ways that are challenging and fun.

    Continue reading “Adventurous play” »

  • Rivals joining forces
    January 26, 2015 | 7:19 pm

    Volkswagen_5 2000px-BMW.svg

    Not long ago, a collaboration between two rival companies would have been seen as a counterintuitive and perhaps desperate measure. In 2015, however, BMW’s partnership with Volkswagen on fast-charging electric vehicle stations makes the automakers look self-confident, open and serious about sustainability and the common good.  Continue reading “Rivals joining forces” »

  • Virgin Hotels
    January 21, 2015 | 1:42 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-01-21 at 12.34.58 PM

    Taking a cue from private clubs like Soho House—which now has outposts from Berlin to Chicago and Toronto—and cool hotel hangouts like the Ace, the first hotel under Virgin’s affordable-meets-aspirational banner houses a Commons Club. Offering “exclusivity for all,” the Commons hosts a “roundtable of ideas and indulgence” at a nightly social hour and includes a restaurant, bar and study area. Virgin marketing also taps into easyHotel lingo with the promise of no surprise fees and free wi-fi.

    Continue reading “Virgin Hotels” »

  • Google’s Ara phone
    January 16, 2015 | 11:51 am


    A new video from Google shows the latest prototype of its modular phone, which will launch this year in Puerto Rico. Project Ara emphasizes personalization—“What if you could make thoughtful choices about exactly what your phone does, and use it as a creative canvas to tell your own story?”—but the sustainability implications are also important.

    Continue reading “Google’s Ara phone” »

  • Nike taps into urban exploring
    January 5, 2015 | 1:13 pm

    Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 12.09.46 PM

    The city is the new terrain for Nike’s rebranded all-conditions gear, now named NikeLab ACG. Taking a cue from the urban exploration trend (“urbex”)—which involves venturing into unseen and generally off-limits structures and documenting the adventure—Nike says that “For today’s athletes, the city is the ultimate landscape,” complete with “modern obstacles” and many microclimates. Images show an intrepid explorer on a rooftop amid skyscrapers. The urban environment is now as challenging, intriguing and adventurous as the natural landscape.

  • Tears become… streams become…
    December 17, 2014 | 1:50 pm

    Artists and performers are increasingly creating multisensory pieces that immerse and envelope audiences, who in turn are embracing these one-of-a-kind experiences. In New York, the latest example is the performance and installation tears become… streams become…, a “field of water that harnesses light, reflection, music and sound” by Scottish artist Douglas Gordon and French pianist Hélène Grimaud.

    Continue reading “Tears become… streams become…” »

  • RSSArchive for Things to Watch »