Forget the tech, when it comes to phones Status Anxiety may be all there is left
At least to sell smart phones. Each year we are bombarded with new model releases and leaks of the features of the next iPhone, Samsung etc. But we have reached the point where all the big things have been solved. We do not need bigger screens, or more sensors, or slightly better cameras. Unless someone can give us a battery that will last a week, most of the latest phones are marginal improvements on last years. Status anxiety is the only thing that will drive purchases in the next year.
The iPhone 7 will be bought to make it clear that you are digitally fit and competitive and a valued member of the herd who cannot be looked down upon. Not because we need any of its features. For Samsung who are already reeling from low end and high end competition this will be a big problem, expect their slide to accelerate. Apple may cling on to the top slot, but phones are becoming so homogeneous that even they will have to work extra hard to chase the upgraders.
Digital heritage comes of age
People have been immersed in digital for a generation. We have amassed enough digital output to create historic documents. The recent Portrait of Lotte, a time-lapse of 14 years of a daughter growing up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UH1x5aRtjSQ is an example of how (with foresight) this legacy can be used to create compelling content. While the consumers may be leading the movement we can expect brands to find value in their digital legacy and find ways to tell stories using their heritage.
Facebook will continue to win and context will loose out
The demise of the web is often foreseen. Facebook, twitter, Flipboard and countless others are attempting to serve as a conduit to all the webs riches. Increasingly with features such as auto play videos they are reducing the need to traverse links and see the content at source. This control has big implications for the rest of the web. Content will still be found through other routes and Google will still reign supreme, but for many the context and richness of related content is lost. A creators ability to shape a complete story through multiple content elements and a editorial position.
Digital Natives move from consumers to shapers
Digital natives are reaching a critical point. They are not only a massive part of the global market, they are also coming of age. The web was 25 this year and so the university graduates are starting to deliver true digital natives onto the job market. Rather than just being the consumers they will move into jobs where they will shape the content, functions, approaches and delivery of digital experiences. Their impact should not be underestimated. Their experiences are devoid of analog heritage and models. They only think digitally. Within organisations across the world a new mindset is coming on tap. Expect wonderful things.