The Near Future of the On-Demand Economy

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Services that create customer value today are services that easily adjust to customers rather than the other way around. On Demand does not have to live within the sole realm of ‘start ups’. After all, what defines an on-demand company in an era when technology and better customer service are a focus for every forward-thinking business? 

Despite the doomsaying, “on demand” is not going away. What is really dying is “on demand” as a category. It’s not unlike what happened with the “Internet economy” of the late 1990s. All those celebrated “Internet startups”? We have a word for them today: Businesses.


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The Near Future of Retail

Many experts and industry pundits are predicting the demise of retail in the face of digitalization. But the notion of ‘Pure Play’ has failed. Digital only and brick and mortar only retailers are on the decline, many purely e-retailers going out of business altogether. The largest retailer in the world, Amazon, is investing in traditional brick and mortar outlets. The fact is, stores are the ‘new black’.

One of the biggest opportunities for traditional retailers of all types is creating a unique and sought after customer experience. Customer experience can be applied to better, quicker and more efficient processes or to immersive, truly experiential events enabled by exciting newly emerging or maturing technologies.

The Near Future of Automotive Industry

The automotive industry is changing rapidly, leading some in the field to a conclusion that soon cars may become the most technologically advanced products that consumers will ever buy.  

The transition from a primarily mechanical-based to a software-based industry leads some to claim that car manufacturing is focusing less on transportation but rather on technology. 

Since those changes will sooner or later affect most of the world’s population, it is fascinating to take a closer look as to what is currently happening in the automotive industry. 

The report present the car industry based on the Customer Value Canvas and will highlight innovation within the core product, added-value services, customer/shopping experience and brand communication, and as they are all important in customer’s overall impression.

The Near Future of Content Marketing

Welcome to the next edition of our Near Future Report prepared in close cooperation with the LHBS Inspiration-Hub.

In this report, we will be tackling the 3 following themes:

  • Shared Value Creation - where we will explore how to create new and valuable relationships between brands and consumers above and beyond UGC
  • Unconventional Touch Points - where we focus on reaching audiences through unconventional channels while building loyalty through offering useful experiences & services
  • Virtual Reality - a well-known trend that deserves a closer look since it will increasingly determine how we consume media in the nearest future. 

Take a look at our three stories where we identify what is happening, why is it important for brands and also a few recommendations from our side.

The Near Future of Added Value Services in CPGs

The marketing landscape has changed. It’s a simple fact that classic advertising based on one-way messages has become less effective. Consumers are exposed to too many messages, have too many options and are increasingly looking to brands to deliver real value and not just promised benefits.

Digital transformation has created a scalable opportunity for brands to create and deliver real consumer value and utility.

While many lifestyle brands have jumped on this concept early on e.g. Nike, Consumer Packaged Goods have largely been using digital for communication only. 

Brands are integrated platforms that appeal to consumers through the combination of core product and communication but also need to add a service and an experience layer to the full brand offer.

The greater opportunity for Consumer Packaged Goods is to not only ask “what can we do in digital” but also “what can we do with digital” in order to get closer to consumers and help them out.

Explore our new The Near Future Report where we dive into consumer context & need, identify brands that get it right and provide implications for brands and business. 

The Near Future of Personalization

Nowadays, consumers are overwhelmed with the available choice and the stream of messages being directed at them. In order to stand out and be useful, brands need to acknowledge and adapt to the needs of their consumers. 

Personalization means adapting their products and services around the preferences and behaviours of the consumer to suit their real-life needs. Successful brands are designing customer relationships— before, during and after the purchasing process.

This report depicts changing consumption patterns that are no longer defined by traditional boundaries, drivers behind the need for personalised offers that reflect consumer behaviour, as well as ways of maintaining the ongoing and long-term relationship with consumers that are based on personalization. 

What is personalization? It is creating experiences tailored to that particular individual that exists at a service, data or content delivery level.

Why is it important for brands? It is important because it creates a stronger user experience by anticipating their needs upfront, making everything “just right” for customers without them having to set it up. 

So, how can brands successfully implement personalization in their strategy? 

1. Pin Point Targeting

Demographics based on age, gender, location, income and lifestyle are no longer viewed as reflecting real needs of consumers. Personalization based on behavioural data, that can be location or time-specific allows for a very specific targeting that is relevant to the particular consumer and answers their need. 

2. Personalized Solutions

With overwhelming choice available anywhere and at any time, it is becoming difficult and time-consuming for customers to move efficiently throughout the purchase journey.  Effective personalization will elevate customer loyalty and engagement—and use their customer base as an engine of advocacy to potential buyers. With all these benefits coming together, it is crucial to realise that personalization is what helps companies differentiate their products from those of their competitors. 

3. Personalization Tool Kits

Beyond the pure size of the opportunity, the survey showed that those customers who had personalised a product online engaged more with the company. They visited its website more frequently, stayed on the page longer and were more loyal to the brand. As more retailers and brands give their customers the design-it-yourself option, they should see a boost in profitable revenues, stay connected to their best customers. 

Below you can explore our full report with accompanying trends, insights and signs, followed by actionable implications which are included in a hands-on framework.


If you would like to learn more about how these insights can help your organization to respond to current challenges and how take advantage of emerging opportunities, please get in touch with us. 

Joanna Bakas, Managing Partner / +49 151 6462 0741



The Near Future of Media

At LHBS, we are curious about brand opportunities that are at the crossroads of emerging consumer needs, enabling technology and market dynamics. What we learn, we like to share. That is why we have created the Near Futures Series of inspiration and insights reports designed to highlight what is happening today and how it can shape tomorrow for brands and business.

Our next issue is on The Near Future of Media. 

"While the landscape of content is rapidly changing, this fast pace opens opportunities for innovation in the way content expands, reaches and captivates audiences.

Key content partnerships are forming to keep up with where audiences are going, while the familiar channels are being constantly invigorated with new means of storytelling.

Publishers are constantly raising the bar on not only how content is delivered, but also how audiences experience content. Things are getting more immersive, and technology is helping to transport audiences beyond mere spectatorship to a more active, sense-heightening participation."

Below, you can explore our full report with accompanying trends, insights and signs, followed by actionable implications which are included in a hands-on framework.

The Near Future of Telecom

Technology is crucial to the telecom industry and it continuously changes, disrupts, and molds consumer behaviour, marketing, and products on the market. By looking into the changing landscape and analyzing the early signs that are coming from the intersection of culture, business and technology, we found 3 emerging opportunity areas for telecommunication providers:

Beyond Talk and how communication habits are changing, Provide Value to the lives of your customers & Connected Everything and the rise of the Internet of Things.

1. Beyond Talk

The rapidly changing technology is fundamentally shifting the way people communicate. Smartphones are no longer used for calling and teens are posting online questions on how to remove “the phone app.” Communicating expands beyond just a phone call— to an Instagram post, a silent video, Snapchat group exchange or a short text.

Implications for Telecommunication providers

  • The “new language” of young people is text-based, highly visual and instantaneous.
  • The primary smartphone usage is not talk-based anymore.

2. Provide Value

With the smartphones so deeply ingrained in our daily lives, customers receive more advertising spam than ever before— in that noise the messages become indistinguishable. Brands should look beyond solely broadcasting a message as an interruption, towards marketing as a service, by using available means to add real value to the lives of customers.

Implications for Telecommunication providers

  • Customers will ignore brands that deliver just messages rather than action.
  • The only way brands can cut through the communication clutter is to add real value and utility to the lives of customers.

3. Connected Everything

The Internet of Things is growing at a breathtaking pace, with the majority of consumers expecting to have it in their homes by 2019. As complex technologies become available for mainstream consumers, anyone will be able to build and connect their own specific set of smart devices. These changes will dramatically alter the way people use data, connect and interact with their devices.

Implications for Telecommunication providers

  • Smartphones represent only a fraction of the “smart” and “connected” items.
  • The ubiquity of connected items requires much more data and new tariff plans.

Below you can explore our full report with accompanying trends, insights and signs, followed by actionable implications which are included in a hands-on framework.

The Near Future of Telecom report analyses the weak signals from the intersection of consumer behavior, new technologies and business dynamics, and summarizes the implications and opportunities for telecom providers.

In order to take full advantage of the emerging opportunities, we offer Opportunity-Workshops that will help to clients to develop solutions based on their specific challenges, as well as provide emerging consumer, technology and market insights. An Opportunity-Workshop is the fastest way to identify strategic opportunities and develop actionable ideas for business development, brand building, and customer experience.


If you want to know more about our telecom expertise and are interested in an Opportunity-Workshop, please get in touch with: 

Stefan Erschwendner, Managing Partner / +49 151 6462 0729

The Near Future of Travel

Traveling, from Excitement to Efficiency 

While travel has always been exciting for people, travel services have traditionally focused on efficiency. Today, largely thanks to technology, brands are not just delivering basic services well, they are also inventing new ways to enhance the quality and the positive intensity of the travel experience.

@@The Near Future of Travel Report looks at the emerging opportunities along the customer journey@@: 

  1. Before the trip / Instant Excitement
  2. During the trip / Feeling Home
  3. Upon arrival at the destination / Ground Efficiency 

1. Instant Excitement

Travel has generally not fallen into the "impulse purchase" category but innovative consumer touchpoints that utilize multi-sensory experiences and "click-to-buy" technologies are opening a new purchase mindset for consumers: let’s go NOW. 

2. Feeling Home

Gone are the days of in-flight movies as the sole means of "making time fly." Innovative brands are doing their best in making journeys as comfortable and homey as possible.

3. Ground Efficiency

Travel is not just about getting there but also getting the most out of it. Travel brands are growing their scope of service by providing tools that help consumers optimize their trips with the push of a button– or a tap of the smartphone.

Travel Different. Travel Better.

The Near Future of Travel

Below you can explore our full report with accompanying trends and signs, followed by actionable implications which are included in a hands-on framework:


If you want to know more about our travel insights and opportunities for your brand & business, please get in touch with:

Joanna Bakas, Managing Partner / +49 151 6462 0741