Will 2017 be a Greener Year?

Dec 12 2016 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

Pantone have just announced their colour of the year, and it’s a “refreshing and vitalising” shade called Greenery (otherwise known as Pantone 15-0343), which they describe as “symbolic of new beginnings”. The colour is strongly associated with spring and is a shade of green that incorporates yellow to give a “fresh and zesty” feel that suits spring as a time to “revive, restore and renew”.

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The rise of modern Muslim values

Nov 23 2016 Published by neilgains under book review

There has never been a better time to improve our understanding of Islamic traditions and Muslim values. Ignoring the current political climate in the US and elsewhere, the more important and long-term trend to know is the projection by PewResearchCenter that the number of Muslims in the world will increase from 1.6 billion in 2010 to an estimated 2.76 billion in 2050. The book Generation M could not be more timely. Read more »

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On Creating Value with Semiotics

Feb 12 2016 Published by neilgains under semiotics

Creating Value is Laura Oswald’s follow up to Marketing Semiotics with much more emphasis on the different applications of semiotics in marketing and market research, as well as an attempt to rethink some aspects of semiotic theory and how they relate to brands in the modern world.

In terms of theory, Laura Oswald argues that we need to shift perspective away from traditional cultural analysis and its emphasis on a (semi) permanent structure of cultural values, towards something more dynamic and more focused on how brands create meaning (and value) at the intersection of category codes, cultural trends and the real-life practice and behaviours of brand users. Read more »

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Contextual Data: New Dawn or False Promise?

Aug 15 2015 Published by neilgains under book review

The Age of Context promised to be a revelatory book on the future of market research, but I have to admit to be being ultimately disappointed. The authors are evangelists for new technology, but their evangelism often feels like an informercial for the companies that they mention, and their over-enthusiasm for many ideas is irritating rather than inspiring (especially that for Google Glass). However, my biggest concern with this book is that ultimately it reads as wishful fantasy rather than future reality, as the authors enthuse for what may be possible without failing to address many big issues with the trends that they discuss.

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The Feeling of Muslim Beauty: Is the beauty myth universal or do local truths prevail?

Jul 30 2015 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

The beauty every woman desires?

Much has been written about the rise of hijabers and the modernization of Muslim values. Many such perspectives interpret cultural changes through the lens of Western values, so what is the truth about modern Muslim women in South East Asia and what they feel about beauty? Read more »

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Review of The Information by James Gleick

Nov 07 2014 Published by neilgains under book review

In The Information, James Gleick surveys the impact of information, and information revolutions, throughout human history providing a sobering perspective on today’s “big data” revolution. Covering talking drums, and Morse code, to the human genome, and Wikipedia, he shows the evolution of ‘information’ from ideas of language and communication through to the stuff of life itself.

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Is There Too Much Storytelling?

Oct 09 2014 Published by neilgains under storytelling

Stefan Sagmeister shocked many in the creative industries earlier this year, when he dismissed the current trend of ‘storytelling’ in advertising and design as “bullshit”.  He particularly objected to the way that ‘storytelling’ has been latched on to by the corporate world (in the same way that ‘content’ has in the digital sphere). In one interview, he rages about a rollercoaster designer who calls himself a storyteller saying, “No fuckhead, you are not a storyteller, you’re a rollercoaster designer!”. And he has a point, as being a rollercoaster designer is a job that many would like, so why would anyone need to call it something else? Read more »

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All The Trends You Can Eat

Dec 08 2013 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

Now is the time of year that everyone writes about trends for the coming year. I’ve read through several today and captured my top ten in the list below. Many of the trends come from the JWTIntelligence Blog and the Trendwatching website as well as a number of other disparate sources. Both linked sites are well worth reading. Read more »

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Colours of Spring?

Sep 17 2013 Published by neilgains under Asia trends

Pantone have just published their Spring 2014 fashion colour report (from New York fashion week). A combination of soft pastel colours are predicted to be popular along with “vivid brights”, including Placid Blue, Violet Tulip, Hemlock, Paloma, Sand, Celosia Orange, Radiant Orchid and Dazzling Blue. The brightest colour in the collection is definitely Freesia. Read more »

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Film, Co-creation and Story: Making Research More Emotional and Impactful

Jun 27 2013 Published by neilgains under storytelling

The need for emotion

The problem with data is that it is, well, data. And data in itself, however prettily presented, always lack a certain something. Even the best use of powerpoint, prezi, or any other tool is incapable of communicating consumers lives and feelings. Data, however well visualized, lacks empathy and narrative structure. It doesn’t tell a story.

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