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We enjoy our lives in many ways. GenslerOnLifestyle offers ideas and insights about how design can make leisure more accessible and enjoyable.

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The Set List: Retail 2018 Trends and Predictions

Retailers have given customers a voice providing them with a place to share their brand experiences. Image © Ian Schneider.

Retail isn’t dying; the industry is going through a metamorphosis. We’ve seen this happen a few times in history—the dot com boom of the early '00s being the last time retail experienced a massive transformation. The biggest changes we’re seeing now are challenging the fundamental notion of what retail is. Retail used to be a place where people bought stuff. Now it is a state where a person experiences a brand and its offerings. As customers blur the lines, so must brands.

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San Francisco’s Union Square: From Instamatic to Instagram

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Anthony G. Reyes

As Herb Caen, San Francisco’s famous columnist once wrote, “It is hard to stay depressed in San Francisco, on a crisp November afternoon, with flowers and pretzels for sale on the street corners and the tourists going Instamatically mad at the bright wonder of it all. We are so lucky to have a proper downtown, where people can parade.”

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The Set List: Life, Augmented

Image: Ian Robinson

We live in a society where customisation and personalisation are becoming increasingly easy to access, where it’s now possible to filter, improve and enhance our surroundings with the swipe of a finger. How often do we look up during our commute and realise that almost everyone around us is either looking at their smartphone or listening to something through their headphones? Or rather, how often do we look up during our commute, at all?

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The Set List: The Age of Empathy 

Photo by Andrew Robles on Unsplash.

Anticipating what people need (especially when they don’t know) is critical to innovation. In the business world, the focus on emotional intelligence as a new critical asset in understanding the unfamiliar brings empathy to the forefront of key skills to cultivate. The power of empathy allows us to perceive our emotional impact on others, as well as imagine their perspective. With increasing cultural uncertainty, diverse identities and globalised populations, having an empathetic understanding of your target audience is key for brands looking to be more effective and authentic. As our economy shifts to serving our psychological and emotional needs more, brands are adopting truly customer-centric mindsets to allow them to fully connect with their consumer.

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The Set List: In Pursuit of Imperfection

Photo by Sam Burriss on Unsplash.

Over the years popular culture and advertising have sold us this idea of the perfect life. Based on aspirational wants and backed by celebrity ambassadors, on paper, the ads tick all the boxes. Pushed by a thirst for perfection, we’ve re-touched our online lives with Instagram filters, searched for perfect ‘selfie lighting’ in order to be just like our favourite personalities, and in turn, purchased the brands they associate themselves with.

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