posts tagged ‘mail

In our 2013 report on “The Future of Correspondence,” we examine how brands are fusing digital elements with physical mail and vice versa. An innovative example comes from Australia Post, which recently started offering Video Stamps. Using Australia Post’s smartphone app, the sender scans a QR code on the postage stamp and then records a […]

Find our roundups collected in magazine form on Flipboard, the iOS and Android app; download the app to view this week’s edition here: http://flip.it/J6Fj -The Economist looks at how brands are building loyalty among Africa’s lower-income consumers. -McKinsey examines how American retailers “can keep up with consumers” in today’s fast-changing landscape. -The FT reports that […]

Our recent report “Retail Rebooted” noted that retail is in the midst of a momentous shift. “The retail environment is as dynamic today as it has ever been,” observes McKinsey in a new report on the sector in North America. Already the evolution has been rapid: A chart (above) shows that 6 of the 10 […]

In July, we wrote about 3D printers moving into the mainstream as costs come down, with several major retailers now selling 3D printers or providing 3D-printing services. Shortly after that post, UPS announced it would begin offering access to in-store 3D printers, targeting startups and small businesses; six locations around the U.S. are now testing […]

Find our roundups collected in magazine form on Flipboard, the iOS and Android app; download the app to view this week’s edition here: http://flip.it/J6Fj -A McKinsey report on “the shifting global business landscape” examines changes in where and how the world does business as emerging markets expand. -As Twitter files an IPO, an FT special report […]

Our latest trend report, on “The Future of Correspondence,” assesses the enduring role of physical mail in the digital era. One trend we identify is the Fusion of the Digital and Physical—that is, mapping digital elements onto the physical and vice versa. During our research, we spoke to Evan Baehr, co-founder of Outbox, a hybrid-mail […]

Print catalogs are still alive and well, proving to be an enduring way of connecting with consumers, as we note in our recent report on “The Future of Correspondence.” But increasingly catalogs will also bridge the physical/digital divide, thanks to augmented reality. Last year Ikea added an “X-Ray” feature to its catalog—one of the most […]

In our new trend report on “The Future of Correspondence,” we take a look at the endurance of physical mail at a time when people have a constantly broadening range of ways to communicate, from texts and emails to tweets and Snapchats. People assign widely different values to these different media, as we determined in […]

Our latest report, “The Future of Correspondence,” details the continued relevance of mail in the digital age. A wide majority of people enjoy sending physical mail, as we found in a survey we conducted in the U.S. and the U.K. using SONAR™, JWT’s proprietary online tool. For many, letters and cards are a superior way […]

It’s only in the last few decades that cheap and easy alternatives to the post have proliferated, radically reshaping the way in which we correspond. But postal services are here to stay. We still need packages delivered, for one thing, and we’re also developing a greater appreciation for “slow communication.” Our July trend report, “The […]


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Things to Watch

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

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    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

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    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).

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

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    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

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    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

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    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.

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

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    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

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    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.

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  • 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

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    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.

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