We recently held a Design Futures event, looking at ‘Life in Paradox’ – a showcase of how brands are responding to apparently paradoxical consumers through innovation, experience and design. James Ramsden, ECD, and John Clark, Planning Director discussed three paradoxes, and looked at how, through design and careful planning, brands are addressing these seemingly conflicting opportunities.

Watch the webinar here

Instant vs Experience – Consumers want things quickly, efficiently and seamlessly, yet at the same time are craving deeper, richer and more immersive experiences.

Predictability vs Serendipity – Predictability – something we can all relate to. How brands use data and algorithms. Yet at the same time a crucial ingredient is serendipity – successful and highly personalised experiences.

Restraint vs Excess – Minimalism in all walks of life (design, health and well-being to name a few) has been a mainstay in culture for several years, yet we still like relieving stress by over indulging.

So, in this world where we consumers are living these paradoxes, how should brands respond? From the brands we’ve looked at there are five key learnings.

  • Take a stand. When consumers are looking for contradictory things, don’t sit on the fence; avoid occupying the ‘beige space’ in the middle.
  • Even better, don’t just decide which side you’re on but look for ways to turn the dial up, and do something that gets you noticed…
  • …or try both sides of the paradox.  Smart thinking, clever use of technology and less linear traditional approaches all yield ways to square the circle
  • But whether you choose to go to extremes, or attempt to master both sides of the paradox, always commit.
  • Think about what your brand can credibly deliver, do what you’re good at, and do it well.