Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

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Why We Brand, Why We Buy

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Have you ever thought about what drives your desire to buy things? Any thought given to why we brand things? Those are two questions Debbie set out to answer when she began an anthropological quest back in 2005. What got her started? A simple question about the most popular brand on the planet at the time. Check out her recent presentation at Khosla Ventures, one of Silicon Valley’s largest venture capital firms, as she describes her findings.

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Six Trends Corporations Are Paying Attention To

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Ever wondered how brands are able to influence business and culture?

PBS Newshour recently spoke with Deedee Gordon, Sterling’s President of Innovation, to better understand how certain trends will shape and reshape the products and services already in our lives. Using insights from On The Future, our 2015 trends report, Deedee discusses how gender fluidity, frugeois and bulklash will shake things up.

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Introducing On the Future

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

trends-2015

While you may read about a lot of trends as 2014 winds down, we’re happy to introduce On the Future, our first forecast of product and brand trends for 2015 and beyond. As you’ll see, our report is quite different. It goes beyond the coming year to see what brands and products will be up to several years from now. We deliver this in what we call Sterling Futurecasts. Each futurecast in an actual illustration depicting a product, service or item we believe will be brought to life thanks to the convergence of many aspects of our current reality.

Using a cross-section of cultural anthropology, market research, trends observation and forecasting, and industrial and experiential design, some of the Sterling Futurecasts include:

Urban Defense

The over-population of urban environments and the creation of more mega-cities will drive the creation of health and wellness products that help consumers navigate and fight environmental challenges. Sample products include pockets embedded with a silver-based antimicrobial nanotextile that sanitizes your hands on contact.

Augmentality

Wearables that track the steps you take or the food you eat are already falling behind the true potential for the convergence between health and technology. Future products will allow for up-to-the-minute reports on your blood composition in order to recommend changes to your diet and exercise regimen.

Frugeois (pronounced Froo-ZHwa)

Millennials and the generation that follows have each experienced the recent economic recession in their own way, and each has learned that conspicuous consumption and careless spending never ends well. For them, being frugal and finding new ways to reuse and repurpose what they already have is paramount.

We invite you to download the report and let us know what you think the future holds.

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Defining Innovation

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Salon

In a recent interview over at Salon.com, Debbie discussed what drives innovation with Senior Curator for the Museum of Modern Art, Paola Antonelli.

Click here to see the interview

And learn all about Sterling’s own Innovation team by clicking here

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A New Design Matters is UP!

Monday, January 27th, 2014
Join Debbie as she interviews Amanda Michel & Amy Webb, co-founders of Spark Camp!
The next generation convener, Spark Camp engineer productive collisions of talented people to tackle provocative questions, develop meaningful relationships and lead ideas into action.
Don’t miss this inspiring and propelling episode.
>>Click to listen here

michelandwebb

Join Debbie as she interviews Amanda Michel & Amy Webb, co-founders of Spark Camp!

The next generation convener, Spark Camp engineer productive collisions of talented people to tackle provocative questions, develop meaningful relationships and lead ideas into action.

Don’t miss this inspiring and propelling episode.

>>Click to listen here

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Sterling Buzz…

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Recently, Sterling completed an exciting new Innovation project for Sustain Condoms. We’re excited to unveil the new packaging and a terrific follow-up article in FastCoExist >>Click to Read More

‘Using only sustainable materials and working with out manufacturer in India, Bart Haney and Sterling Brands’ Innovation team developed a design that reflects our transparency as a brand as well as positions us as a more premium, discrete and aesthetically appealing product in the category.’

–Meika Hollender, Sustain

sustain

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Helping Bayer Innovate for the Future

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013

Many senior executives recognize innovation as a strategic priority, but often focus just on opportunities in the short-term.  At Sterling Brands, we believe in managing innovation risk and reward across a portfolio of initiatives to create near-term revenue streams while cultivating longer-term breakthroughs.

Bayer Consumer Care and Sterling Innovation recently partnered to understand the relevance of big consumer trends and how they might shape the future of Bayer’s business, industry, and consumers — not just tomorrow, but over the next decade and beyond. We set out to identify new opportunities and areas where Bayer might make bold, innovative plays and create pathways to position the company for the future within these trendspaces.

How we did it

Our approach was to start big and wide, charting and prioritizing a canvas of relevant consumer trends that might give us a peek into Bayer’s future; then narrowing-in on the most promising innovation opportunities. One macro consumer trend that we focused on was dubbed Metromorphosis, which describes the social and structural transformations occurring in tomorrow’s megacities.

First, we engaged across the globe with members of the-Collaboratory, Sterling’s proprietary community of nearly 50,000 consumers, to better understand what Metromorphosis meant and to immerse ourselves in the lives of people who are actually living the trend. Because there was no way to screen explicitly for “Metromorphosis” consumers without introducing respondent bias, we established a set of trend “markers” — essentially, a fingerprint that identified people who were experiencing the trend and who had a deeper emotional connection & level of engagement with their city.

What we found

the-Collaboratory members provided a rich tapestry of stories and examples of how people experience the urban environment. We then coupled them with our trend analysis to reveal several interesting, interrelated themes:

URBAN WELLNESS the desire to feel physically, mentally, and emotionally balanced within the urban environment

PURE LIVING consumer aspirations of living in a city free from pollution, trash, and environmental effluents and contaminants

INTELLIGENT CITY using information and connectivity to drive more harmonious city living

Next, we identified key consumer challenges within each theme, as well as chains of evidence that speak to how people are attempting to address and solve for those challenges — thus demonstrating a market need.  Together, they served as our springboard to action and innovation.

Transforming our findings into a multitude of new ideas again involved consumers as co-creators as part of a three-step process.  We tapped into the-Collaboratory and received a groundswell of ideas, sketches, photos, and product renderings — some incremental, some revolutionary. We work-shopped the ideas with Bayer, expanding, pivoting, refining, and blowing out these ideas even further.  Finally, we screened and funneled the most promising ideas down based on a set of well-defined criteria.

Though the details are proprietary, the leading future-facing concepts that met all of our screening criteria and garnered the most interest from Bayer represent relevant, unique and breakthrough ways to leverage and take action on big, global consumer trends — and ultimately innovate their business.

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Sterling Buzz…

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

DeeDee Gordon, President of Sterling Brand’s Innovation group, recently participated in the LAUNCH 2020 Summit, a multi-day event that convened over 150 global innovators and thinkers to collectively imagine a world where the making of things has a minimal impact on people and the planet.

Founding partners NASA, NIKE, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Department of State formed LAUNCH in an effort to bring collective genius, unprecedented networks, and new resources to overcome some of humanity’s toughest sustainability challenges.

The summit also unveiled the LAUNCH 2013 Challenge Statement, an open call for innovation to transform the system of producing fabrics. LAUNCH 2013 is open to individuals and teams. In August the 10 strongest innovations will be selected and participants will take part in an immersive program that provides access to capital, creativity and capacity.



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Sterling Buzz…

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
Check out the Buzz from Innovation this week, as DeeDee Gordon shares her insights on how to innovate for the future.
How do we innovate for the future? It is a driving question for many businesses, but many of them are looking into too short-term of a future.  DeeDee Gordon provided a case study with insights into how to innovate not just for tomorrow, but for the decades to come.

Check out the buzz for Sterling Innovation this week, as DeeDee Gordon shares her insights on how to innovate for the future.

deedee

How do we innovate for the future? It is a driving question for many businesses, but many of them are looking into too short-term of a future.  DeeDee Gordon provided a case study with insights into how to innovate not just for tomorrow, but for the decades to come.

For the answers, click to read more.

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Get amp’d

Friday, January 18th, 2013

This year, Audyssey launched a new media app that maximizes the listening experience on mobile devices: amp (Audyssey Media Player). Sterling Innovation partnered with Audyssey to manage the strategy, design, and frontend development of the app. Bart Haney, SVP of Innovation at Sterling, led the project.

Audyssey is known for its innovative audio technologies. With roots in R&D, Audyssey solves audio problems across a range of platforms (from IMAX theaters to home sound systems to car stereos) so the listener hears an accurate reproduction of the music or movie to which he/she is listening.

amp takes this offering one step further and delivers Audyssey’s technology in a mobile setting. The app provides headphone-specific optimization and innovative sound controls for the user’s iTunes music library.

How does it work? Audyssey tests and tunes headphones using its proprietary technology and then creates a profile that, when downloaded from the cloud and chosen in amp, provides optimal playback. All you have to do is download the app, choose your headphones, and start listening!

We had an awesome time working on this mobile app and adding yet another cred to the Innovation Group’s digital portfolio.

Visit the App Store to download amp today or the microsite to learn more about how it works!