November 27, 2019

Fast insights to sustainability

Market Logic Team

Market Logic was excited to host an expert webinar on fast insights for sustainability together with our content partner, TrendWatching. We covered a range of topics from t-shirts made of algae to “straw shame,” and discussed how the best insights managers can stay on top of sustainable innovations. We were joined by insights teams from Kraft Heinz, Nestle, Tetrapak, Unilever amongst others. Livia Fioretti, Content Analyst at TrendWatching, provided a rich overview of consumer trends in sustainability from the upcoming ‘2020 Trends Report.’ TrendWatching is a Market Logic content partner that submits trend analyses on many of our client platforms. Their unique approach determines what customers want next – not by asking consumers themselves, but by looking at innovations that conquer their minds and hearts.

The expectation economy

The world is changing faster than ever. Livia shared that we are now in the “expectation economy,” where disruptors are not only transforming industries, but they’re also spreading methodologies that speak to sustainability, like the subscription models we see in music streaming services, razor services, and fashion. Wise insights managers and strategists look beyond their own competitors to discover sustainability trends – because it’s what customers are doing as well.

Sustainability trends for 2020: what will customers want next?

Trends are rooted in basic human needs, and young people, in particular, are drivers for sustainable change. They are shifting the way we see consumerism as a whole – particularly in the use of single-use plastics.

50% of plastic is used for a single-use purpose. (Plastic Ocean, February 2018)

In 2019, there were some major changes in the public perception of single-use plastic. “Straw shame” was rampant, and pushed brands, government and industries to ban single-use plastics across the board. The expectation economy also shifted perceptions of fast fashion, which has led to many fast fashion brands to flounder in a less materialistic environment.TrendWatching calls this trend “the end of excess.” It has led to the rise in popularity of vintage and second-hand clothing, as well as start-ups like Vollebak, who create clothing from biodegradable materials. Even fast food is in on the action – Burger King is encouraging consumers to hand in their plastic toys to be melted down and repurposed. Livia also pointed to the importance of experiences for consumers, especially Millennials and Generation Z. However, these cohorts also feel a sense of responsibility towards the environment – in fact, 84% of Millennials believe it is their duty to change the world (Deloitte, May 2019). So how can brands and industries give them the experiences they want, while also helping them avoid the “guilt spiral”? TrendWatching calls this trend “guilt-free experiences.” These kinds of experiences give consumers the adventure or convenience they crave, without the waste and consumerism. For example, zero-waste ecotours offer travellers the chance to help clean national parks and only cook with locally sourced ingredients. With their “Fly Responsibly” program, the Dutch airline company KLM is encouraging passengers to take the unusual step of travelling by train. And in Copenhagen, Amager has built an artificial ski slope on the roof of a waste disposal site. With these trends in mind, Livia prompted participants to apply the new trends to their own industries.

Speed to insights when there’s too much data

There are so many sustainable ideas and innovations happening across industries, from upcycling programs to subscription models to biodegradable materials and more. These developments are exciting, but they also present a challenge for insights managers: there’s simply too much data for a human to synthesize. Sabine Hunsicker, Platform Product Manager AI at Market Logic, showed how AI makes life easier for insights managers by delivering instant answers to questions from past research and cutting out the noise. Thanks to Market Logic’s Knowledge Graph, all unstructured and structured data is brought together to help insights managers both push and pull information. For push applications, AI helps insights managers create and push content to stakeholder groups, and the pull function helps people ask questions from all of the structured and unstructured data to pull relevant answers. On a personalized intelligence homepage, news and content is tailored to individual users’ needs – either through AI (what each user likes to read), or expert curation (what each user needs to read). The Market Logic search experiences use AI content analytics to detect common topics in the research. An auto-summarizer produces a quick summary of the condensed version of all search hits to let users quickly scan the results, rather than having to open and read hundreds of documents. When uploading, auto-tagging removes one of the biggest barriers to knowledge management by scanning documents for keywords and tags and feeding them into the body of knowledge. To watch the full webinar and find out about more examples of fascinating developments in sustainability across all industries, click here.