Category Archives: Global

The Cabin Spacey Minimal House


Is the Cabin Spacey ‘minimal house’ what the home of the future looks like?

When they decided to think about making a prototype to meet the demands of how people will live in the future, architects Simon Becker and Andreas Rauch set about addressing some of the restrictions of traditional living today.

The configuration of most apartments comprises two rooms, a kitchen and a bathroom, and has changed very little for generations. The team wanted to come up with something more flexible that addressed the changing needs of the ‘modern metropolitan’.

Equally, as urbanisation continues and space becomes an increasingly sought-after commodity, they needed the cabin to be compact.

The smallest unit measures just over 25sq metres and can comfortably accommodate two people. The king-sized bed overlooks the living area, and features storage space and a USB docking station.

The bathroom is equipped with Grohe products, and the kitchen is kitted out with a hob, steaming hot tap, fridge, washing machine, and coffee machine, with many of the products by Bosch.

The multi-functional lounge area has a window seat that doubles as a guest bed, as well as a dining table. There is an array of smart tech that enhances home comfort and efficiency, including a smart mirror, intelligent heating control, Sonos sound system, Phillips Hue lighting system, Amazon Echo and smart lock.

One of the main advantages of the ‘minimal house’ is that it is completely sustainable, with a solid wooden structure made from renewable raw materials.

A large solar battery, integrated into the innovation’s sandwich floor and with panels on the roof to collect energy from the sun, provides power so even though the Cabin Spacey is connected to the energy network, it produces energy itself.

When coming up with Cabin Spacey, Becker and Rauch decided that today’s ‘urban nomads’ require a home that is above all easy to transport and to install.

“An increasing demand for mobility is shaping new forms and habits of accommodation,” says Becker. “Our overall goal from the beginning was to lower the access barriers to appropriate living space in exceptional locations.”

The beauty of Cabin Spacey is that it can be hooked up to existing utilities and infrastructures, so in theory is able to be set down just as easily in a car park, as it is in a garden or on a stretch of urban wasteland, or on an unused roof.

According to the company, Berlin alone has space for 55,000 apartments on unused rooftops that are unsuitable for development, but where Cabin Spacey might work perfectly.

Cabin Spacey was not a pop-up idea. It’s a combined answer to several paradigm shifts, newly arisen needs and behaviour changes in living and travelling – Simon Becker, CEO and founder of Cabin Spacey @cabinspacey #tinyhousemovement Click To Tweet

Officially launched last June, the result is an environmentally friendly, intelligent space, that meets the occupants’ needs, while offering all-round flexibility for contemporary living.

Source: Cabin Spacey

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Global Megatrends and their influence on the KBB Market 2018


This report highlights a number of key global megatrends and assesses the impact these global phenomenons will have on the KBB market in the future.

This analysis of the bigger social, demographic, economic, environmental trends explains how these mega-trends interact with each other and influence today’s consumer in terms of how they live their lives and consequently the type of products they will buy for their homes

For each global megatrend, there are a number of associated macrotrends which are felt at a local level and the challenge for today’s business leaders is to analyse these major global shifts, to look at the different opportunities they represent and move their organisations to respond accordingly, at the same time as being resilient to a constantly fluctuating global landscape.


This cross-category report will be published in April 2019

If you are one of our Insight Partners, this report will automatically be added to your account


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Global Mega-Trend: Make it Personal


Individualism is recognised as a global mega-trend and refers to the consumers’ growing desire to be recognised as having ‘personal needs’ rather than being part of the ‘mass market’.

Today’s demanding and sophisticated consumer increasingly welcomes customised products and services in their aspiration to be treated as an individual, which leaves big brands vulnerable to smaller quirkier ‘unbrands’ who are agile enough to provide a bespoke offer. 

In fact being a big brand can be a disadvantage as consumers move away from safe, consistent brands in favour of seeking out the unique products and services that nobody else has.

In a saturated consumer market, personalisation and customisation are benefiting producers looking to differentiate their offering. Brands are actively seeking out ways that allow their customers to personalise a product or service and make it bespoke to their individual needs and requirements.

Big brands, such as Mini, Levi, Coke, Nike, Apple and Vistaprint, have all done this by using ‘mass customisation’ methods, where customers select from a range of options to build their own perfect product, which encourages ‘ownership’ of the product before purchase, with the advantage of shifting the buying decision from price to other benefits.

Information collected during the purchase process is then collated via the CRM database which enables more customised marketing messages via channels such as email.

Luxury brands, in particular, must take bespoke experiences to the next level in order to stand out. Offering high value customers the opportunity to design some of the core elements of a product will become a powerful differentiating factor. In turn this will balance the power back to the brands, as customers will aspire to be considered valuable enough to gain preferential access.

Technology has played a major role in this trend, making it easier for brands to offer online design tools which are easy to understand, and to fulfill orders for customized goods in a timely, efficient manner.

And now with the advent of the 3d printer, there is the potential to create a new more efficient business model for bespoke design and personalised products.

A pioneer of this technology is American Standard Brands, who have already launched the first ready-for-market, fully working taps created with a 3d printer.

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Consumer Trend: Simplicity

For the past seven years, the annual Global Brand Simplicity Index study has been tracking the impact of brand and industry simplicity on consumer behaviour and business performance.

The study is the work of Siegel+Gale, a global brand strategy and experience firm, and the results point to simplicity being the ultimate driver of brand loyalty as customers desire more seamless, simpler, faster brand engagement, giving them back the rarest of commodities – time.

The message is simple; brands that delivery clear, human and useful experiences, win.

And simplicity pays, as Siegel+Gale claim; since 2009 a stock portfolio comprised of the publicly traded simplest brands in their global Top 10 has outperformed the major indexes.


Global Brand Simplicity Index performance
Chart by Siegel+Gale


Siegel+Gale’s 2017 study is based on an online survey of more than 14,000 respondents across nine countries and ranks 857 brands on their perceived simplicity.

The data collected is used to generate two scores: An Industry Simplicity Score™ and a Brand Simplicity Score™.

The Industry Simplicity Score rates each industry on its perceived simplicity. Each industry is evaluated on its contribution to making life simpler or more complex, the pain of typical interactions with companies within the industry and how the industry’s communications rank in terms of ease of understanding, transparency/honesty, concern for customers, innovation/freshness and usefulness.

The Brand Simplicity Score rates each brand on its perceived simplicity. It evaluates each brand on the simplicity/complexity of its products, services, interactions and communications in relation to industry peers. The score takes into consideration the consistency of responses, the difference between user and non-user perceptions and the simplicity score for the brand’s industry

Key findings from the study include:

  • Simplicity earns a premium: 64 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for simpler experiences.
  • Simplicity builds loyalty: 61 percent of consumers are more likely to recommend a brand because it’s simple.
  • Complexity costs: Brands that don’t provide simple experiences are leaving an estimated share of $86 billion on the table.
  • Simplicity performs: A stock portfolio of the simplest global brands outperforms the major indexes by 330 percent.
  • Simplicity inspires: 62 percent of employees at simple companies are brand champions—versus only 20 percent of employees at complex companies.

 The 2017 Global Brand Simplicity Index™ Top 10 Brands

  1. ALDI
  2. Lidl
  3. Google
  4. Netflix
  5. IKEA
  6. Amazon
  7. KFC
  8. YouTube
  9. McDonald’s
  10.  SUBWAY

Each year the movement of brands in the Simplicity Index rankings are analysed.  Some brands remain consistent year-over-year, while others fluctuate. Highlights from the 2017 study include:

  • ALDI remains the simplest brand in our global ranking for the fourth year running, while competitor Lidl once again lands in the top three.
  • Yahoo! drops 37 places, demonstrating that web search isn’t always simple.
  • Dollar Shave Club and land in the top US Disrupters—their current multi-billion-dollar valuations are further testament to the power of simplicity.
  • Insurance provider AXA just can’t seem to break out of the bottom spot, as they are the most complex brand for the second year running.
  • Health and beauty product purveyor Sephora rises 44 spots in the global ranking.
  • Global hotel chain Hilton moves up 50 spots in the global ranking.
  • EasyJet has ascended 16 spots, a smooth takeoff for a customer-focused airline.
  • Five out of six brands representing the restaurant industry are in the top 15, indicating that quick service often means simple service.

 Global Disrupters

For the third year running, Siegel+Gale asked people to evaluate “disruptive” brands in the US and UK. These emerging businesses are continuously changing consumer expectations by delivering memorable, meaningful and useful brand experiences.

In the US, the top disrupters include Dollar Shave Club, GrubHub, Square, Spotify and In the UK, the top disrupters include OVO Energy, City Mapper, Shazam, GoPro and My Fitness Pal.

Disrupter brands possess a common characteristic—they place simplicity at the core of their customer experience,” said David Srere, co-CEO and chief strategy officer, Siegel+Gale. “The recent billion-dollar acquisitions of Dollar Shave Club and are further proof that simplicity drives brand loyalty and financial gain.”

To view the full report, visit:

Source: Siegel+Gale


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Report: Global Kitchen, a study about the kitchen of the future

Kitchen of the Future

A fascinating report by the The Silestone Institute, which looks at the characteristics of the kitchen of the future through the eyes of kitchen professionals, designers and anthropologists

The report, entitled ‘Global Kitchen: the home kitchen in the era of globalisation’ is the result of a collaboration with 17 distinguished experts from the worlds of design, cooking, domestic technology, sociology, nutrition and sustainability. In addition, a survey carried out in over 800 kitchen studios across the world provides data on the importance consumers afford to this room in their homes.

Key experts included chefs Andoi Luis Aduriz (**Michelin in Mugaritz), Gaston Acurio, Harvard anthropologist, Richard Wrangham, architect Piero Lissoni and industrial designer Patricia Moore.

Santiago Alfonso, marketing vice president for the Cosentino Group says, “Global Kitchen is an international project providing valuable insights into the kitchen of the future and aims to become an essential reference tool for professionals and consumers. It creates the opportunity for multidisciplinary reflection to analyse the effect of globalisation on kitchen architecture and design, to determine how this space will develop over the next 25 years.”

Key predictions in the Global Kitchen report include:

  • The kitchen will be a hyper-connected, multi-functional space for work, leisure, health and relaxation.
  • It will incorporate techniques and smart devices normally found in professional kitchens such as vacuum cooking and packaging.
  • It will further cement its role as the ‘centre of the home’; the largest and most invested room in the house.
  • The kitchen will develop as a multi-functional space in all countries and is expected to disappear as an independent room.
  • Its design will not only take aesthetics and function into account but also emotional value and it will strengthen its use as a space for relaxing and well-being.
  • Connectivity and smart appliances will be managed from mobile and wearable devices and will not only make shopping and laundry easier, but ensure endless access to information from the Internet of Things.
  • The worktops will be able to cook, make calls, broadcast TV or provide access to the internet. They will be height adjustable, contain recipe databases where chefs will guide the user through the method, ingredient information and be able to weigh food.
  • The refrigerator will offer permanent access to nutritional information on screens.
  • They will be sustainable, with appliances solar powered and will be aligned with ‘Multi- R’ thinking – Rethink, Redesign, Repair, Reuse, Remanufacture, Recover.
  • Intelligent lighting will be variable to match the time of day, mood or the type of food being cooked.
    Forecasting and Sales Experts’ Opinions on the Future of the Home Kitchen


Kitchen of the future


842 kitchen professionals from eight countries (Australia, Brazil, Spain, United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Portugal and Sweden) took part in a survey to supplement the Global Kitchen Report. The report assesses the evolution of kitchen space in terms of use, design and equipment taking into account the respondents’ proximity and direct contact with the end user, as well as their experience and knowledge of the sector.

Highlights from the survey include:

  • 87% of respondents said that the kitchen would become more relevant as an activity and meeting place in the house. (In many countries, the kitchen is a separate room).
  • 5% said that it will be a single space combining dining and living rooms.
  • 3% said it will be used to get together with family, to work and do homework (60.9%) and surf the internet (62.4%).
  • 1% expect cooking will be directly on the work surface.
  • 7% predict that the work surface will integrate a control panel for appliances with access to the internet and device connection.
  • 3% imagine the work surface will incorporate weighing scales and nutritional analysis.
  • Australia and Brazil agree that the new cooking methods will be the most important development, while the UK and Italy prefer smart appliances. In contrast, Spain and the US value connectivity above all.

To download the complete Global Kitchen study, please click here:

For more information about how homeowners are using their kitchens here in the UK, have a look at our Kitchen Purchase Behaviour, Consumer Insight Report No.2, which surveyed 500 homeowners who  had recently purchased a new kitchen to understand how they use their kitchen and what motivated them to install a new kitchen


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Global Retail Trends to think about for 2017


Trends are global, they travel across every sector.  No market or territory is immune

Matthew Brown, Echochamber

If you want to understand how the retail landscape is responding to global megatrends, have a look at this inspirational publication by Echochamber, which showcases the latest trends in retail from across the globe.


Samsung 837 screen

Samsung, New York – The store that’s not a store



B8ta, Palo Alto – incubating innovative start-up projects


Nike SoHo

Nike SoHo Flagship, New York – The ultimate expert experience



Amazon Books, Seattle – Retail meets ‘Metail’



Supervalu Blackrock, Dublin – Next generation supermarket



Victoria Gate, Leeds – The traditional arcade reinvented



Barneys Chelsea, New York – A clearly defined target market



Gentle Monster, Shanghai and Beijing – Keeping retail exciting



KitKat Chocolatory, London – Crafted personalisation



Ikea Dining Club Pop-up, London – A truly multi-channelled approach

Find the full report here >>



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Experiential Retailing

Experiential retailing adds elements such as augmented reality and interactive technology into the shopping experience,  blurring  the line between what’s real and what’s computer-generated by enhancing what we see, hear, feel and smell.

Already used by clothing retailers to enhance the process of trying on clothing and accessories, experiential retailing is moving into new areas.

Samsung 837 is Samsung’s flagship store in the Meatpacking district of New York City.  It purposely does not stock any products and is not focused on sales.  Instead the 40,000 sq ft space is an ‘immersive culture centre’ which allows visitors to experience the Samsung products via art, music, entertainment, sports, wellness, culinary, technology and fashion, all powered and enriched by technology.

Samsung 837 exterior

Open to the general public, the living lab and digital playground featuring numerous installations and touch-points comprise three floors and include, a one-of-kind digital screen, auditorium seating for performances and special events, a Gallery featuring curated content experiences, a broadcast studio, and much more.

Samsung 837 screen

Samsung’s  ambitious project draws influences from a very successful player in experiential retailing – Apple Store.  And Samsung have taken their concept to the next level by focusing on the activity first, and then how its products could be used in those environments – from experiencing virtual reality through Galaxy VR headsets to cooking a meal on Samsung ranges and comparing selfie image quality through a showdown between Samsung’s new Galaxy S7 phone and the competition.


As the constant barrage of everyday distractions makes shoppers harder to attract, experiential retailing offers a fun and exciting element to jaded shoppers, making a physical retail store a big draw for customers.

Although consumers are purchasing more and more goods online, there is still the requirement to see, touch and feel potential purchases within a store environment, especially high-ticket and large household items. By creating a seamless omnichannel experience which integrates online with brick and mortar commerce, and removes the hard sell element, consumers can immerse themselves in the brand experience.


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Pantone Colour of the Year 2017

Greenery Pantone Colour of the Year 2017

Pantone has chosen Greenery  – PANTONE 15-0343 – as it’s colour of the year.

A refreshing and revitalizing shade and symbolic of new beginnings.

According to Pantone “Greenery is a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.  Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.
Greenery is nature’s neutral.  The more submerged people are in modern life, the greater their innate craving to immerse themselves in the physical beauty and inherent unity of the natural world.  This shift is reflected by the proliferation of all things expressive of Greenery in daily lives through urban planning, architecture, lifestyle and design choices globally.  A constant on the periphery, Greenery is now being pulled to the forefront – it is an omnipresent hue around the world.

A life-affirming shade, Greenery is also emblematic of the pursuit of personal passions and vitality”

What is the PANTONE Color of the Year?
A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.

Source:  Pantone

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Dulux Colour of the Year 2017

Dulux Colour of the Year 2017

Dulux has chosen Denim Drift as their colour of the year for 2017.

According to Dulux, blue is the colour of our every day. The sky above us. The clothes we wear. And as of this year, the colour to paint on our walls, as we reflect on our new perspective for 2017.

Dulux colour of the year 2017

“ Our review of international architecture, fashion and design trends revealed that blue is the colour of the moment. To make it relevant for your home, the team chose a blue that works as well in a kitchen as it does in a bedroom. Denim Drift, is the must-have colour for 2017. It will look great on your wall! ” Heleen van Gent Creative Director Dulux’s Global Aesthetics Center.


Source: Dulux

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Sustainability Nudging

sustainability nudging

Nudges attempt to subtly change the environment in which people make decisions to help them make better choices — better for themselves and for society. 

People all over the world are becoming increasingly concerned about the health of the natural environment. For over 40 years, the phrase “think globally, act locally” has urged people to consider the health of the entire planet and to take action in their own communities.

Individuals have long been encouraged to save energy at home and at work, and to choose environmentally friendly food and other goods. But studies suggest that people still fail to make even small changes in their behaviour to address the negative environmental consequences of their actions.

In the past, most conservation and sustainability initiatives have used the sledgehammer approach to aggressively pursue behavioural shifts.  However, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that “nudges” are a more effective solution.

By making small changes that exploit our judgemental biases, nudges re-engineer the environment in which decisions are made. One of the best examples of a nudge shows that by making driving license applicants organ donors by default, organ donations could be as much as 20 times higher than where the reverse is true. This subtle change to the default option from “opt-in” to “opt-out” dramatically affects participation rates, despite only changing which box people check on a form.

A wide range of effective nudges are now at work in the world, and companies are looking at more subtle ways to engage consumers in making short-term decisions that have long-lasting effects on the environment

Worldbeing is self-directed wearable and app that aims to help people reduce their carbon footprint, by making it engaging and social. Supported by the Carbon Trust, the app tracks users’ carbon usage to increase their understanding, and to encourage action by linking daily activities to their impact on the climate. Worldbeing aim to drive real change by helping a community of likeminded people make lifestyle changes to improve the wellbeing of the planet.

Other companies, like Smart & Blue with their Hydrao Showerhead, help to encourage sustainable habits in the home through positive reinforcement. Hydrao is an environmentally friendly connected device that tracks water usage in the shower.  By using LED lights to warn the user of excessive water usage, turning different colours when different thresholds are reached, it educates people about water conservation in the process.

Some brands such as Lush Cosmetics and Recyclebank are also bringing exciting “eco-innovations” to market. The aim is to nudge people towards waste-reducing behaviour through gamification and fun. For example, one game designer has created a card game called Waste-Not that encourages players to rethink uses for common objects that may otherwise end up in the bin.

Growing evidence shows that these nudges do change policy-relevant behaviours, while being inexpensive to implement. This success has led to the formation of the world’s first sustainability hub – bringing together ideas for sustainability based on nudges rather than big actions. The U.K. and U.S. governments have even set up behavioural insights teams (or “Nudge Units”) to find and quickly disseminate behavioural nudges for public policy.

All of the apparent benefits of nudges don’t come without their controversies though. The use of subtle manipulation tactics may not seem entirely ethical to some people, and what counts as a public benefit is never straightforward. Conflicting interests often compete, and whose interests get prioritised can be highly controversial.

Nonetheless, we are already exposed to a web of influences, and many of these are negative. Cities are designed in ways that make driving easier than cycling, and many goods are designed and marketed to be bought and discarded in increasingly wasteful cycles.

Nudging is about creating a choice architecture that guides towards an environmentally-friendly outcome. So rather than an unacceptable form of manipulation, nudges are a common-sense approach to helping consumers make informed decisions about the effects they personally could have on the environment.


Originally posted by Jane Blakeborough on Linkedin

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