After Odopod was acquired, we started to sell more Digital Innovation services – thinking about how technologies would create opportunities for brands.
I always thought of these in terms of "possible futures" – I sometimes called them "Happy Tomorrows." By creating a narrative, we could create a vision for an experience, which could drive a technology roadmap to make it possible.
For Coca-Cola, our team spent a long time developing ideas around digital currency and assets, and loyalty.The work brought together creative technologists, strategy and design to creating scenarios showing consumers and brands interacting in new ways, then documenting what capabilities coca cola would need to deliver these experiences.
We were able to apply this sort of thinking to a new offering from Virgin – Virgin Voayages. We were brought in to partner with Poke London to think about how digital technologies could make the cruise experience better – for a cruise line launching 5 years out.
We knew we could not predict the future. So instead, we framed the strategy around a few key questions: How is technology, particularly smartphones, changing people's expectations? Where can we "smooth out" the pain inherent to cruising? Where can we offer "magic moments" that only Virgin can deliver?
Guided by these questions, we generated concepts for features, products, experiences throughout the cruise. The Virgin brand drives high expectations and this project drove us to great ideas.
For Target, we worked with their entrepreneur-in-residence program to develop a new digital line of business: made possible by two new technologies: body scanning and on-demand manufacturing.
We used this as a chance to push our practice to new places. We innovated on research, bringing in style influencers as a kind of "board" for the product, using their perspective as an input and also allowing them to shape the product as it developed.
Instead of artificial user testing, we created full-scale prototypes and ran them live in Target locations, talking to real customers in situ. It was a thrilling, humbling and insightful process.
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