Design Trend Seminars – Why hold, or visit One?

A couple of weeks ago we were invited by Connection to give a talk, on their behalf, in their new London Showroom. They would invite the audience of Interior Designers, Architects and specifiers working in the commercial sector.

The Connection showroom is a special place, it’s design is all that you’d expect of a company actually ‘living what they preach’ about the agile workplace and employee wellbeing and freedom. The showroom is brand new designed to resemble an industrial loft apartment, an urban workspace and a home; it successfully achieves this. It’s what we would describe as #SOCool!

One special feature about the sharing attitude Connection has is remarkable, anyone can pop in and work there for a while. Stef Dickinson is the showroom manager and a really welcoming person so go say hello to her. Experience the really great product, use the free WiFi, have a tea, coffee or cold drink and they won’t charge you anything for this generous courtesy. Of course, the expectation (not obligation) is that you will sign up for a newsletter, or if you know a potential client for them that you’ll tell that person of your experience. It is in our view, a really fair swap, a central London hot-desk, meeting space or temporary office (only miles better than the corporate one’s available and sooooo much better than a hotel lounge) in return for you providing them some good PR with people they can trade with. It’s a nice way to do business a ‘swapping of kindnesses’.

Hi Level ' Farmhouse Kitchen' Meeting Table

Hi Level ‘ Farmhouse Kitchen’ Meeting Table

Of course, we are always very keen to work with such a company and we are hoping to be at the start of a long partnership with Kelvin and his team at Connection; so we took the assignment!

Below is a short blog that Niall – the Marketing Expert at Connection – wrote about the event that we thought would be nice to share with you.

 

The events are ‘no selling’ events, providing a very comfortable, safe networking opportunity in a lovely environment with truly mouth-watering finger food and several glasses of the drink of your choice. If you want to enquire about Connection product at the time then you’re free to, or you can follow-up at another time.

Anyway, this is what Niall wrote:

Scarlet Opus seminar in London 

We’d asked the Scarlet Opus team to author a seminar for us about the ‘agile’ workplace and about Key trends that are influencing workspace product design. At Connection we believe that being ‘agile’ isn’t about how high you can jump, it’s about creating a variety of work settings that deliver spatial efficiency, personal productivity and corporate expression. It’s about providing a high performing workspace that meets your business needs today and in the future. 

We recently opened our Clerkenwell showroom doors and in partnership with Scarlet Opus we delivered an evening dedicated to the key trends that are informing workplace and product design.

Stef Dickinson, Showroom Manager, greets guests

Stef Dickinson, Showroom Manager, greets guests

Scarlet Opus have given seminars for us previously and the standard is always very high (if you haven’t yet been to one of these seminars, do keep an eye out when we announce more!). And the bar was kept high again, courtesy of the very engaging Victoria Redshaw.

She loves a talk ... and a Prosecco!

She loves a talk … and a Prosecco!

Victoria brought a range of themes to life. These included agile working, ‘digital nomads’, the productivity ‘tension’ between social and focus spaces and collaborative learning. A wide-ranging but fascinating, interconnected set of ideas and conversation catalysts.

Scarlet Opus Seminar in London ROOM

It was good to see that we are in the right place with both our product R&D and existing portfolio. Products such as Hive Cubbi and Tryst ‘speak’ to the demands and needs of multi-use, agile spaces, something that Victoria discussed during her talk. And the fabrics we use are definitely on target in terms of surface design, colours and materials used.

Don’t take our word for it though, have a look around the website and get in touch with us. And if you missed this seminar then don’t worry: we’ll be running more with Scarlet Opus on a regional basis as well as in the London showroom. See you soon we hope!

From Team Opus, thank you for your kind words Niall and thank you for building Victoria up to such an extent we now have the week to hear all about it from her!!

If you’re interested in discovering more about how our Trend Seminars can work successfully for you as a PR or Prospecting event then email phil@scarletopus.com or give him a call to chat it through +44 7896 088 996

Trendbook Offer: Visually Stunning 2015 Design Trends – Interiors

2015 Design Trendbook for Everything Interiors  

For a special price of just £60 you can get all the inspiration you’ll need to support your creativity this year. Purchase our 2015 Design Trends report.

This 75 page document includes 4 different design trends applicable to anything ‘interiors’ and outlines our background research including fashion and architecture, as well as a guide to material, shape, pattern, texture, and surface effects. Each trend includes a colour palette with Pantone Fashion + Home and Formula Guide Coated/Uncoated references. A perfect source of inspiration for product designers, marketing teams, interior designers, retailers for merchandising and window dressing – absolutely perfect. See the wealth of visually stunning inspiration below:

Page Preview

Materials shapefashion colourpattern

BUY IT NOW – feel supported, inspired, renewed and have your own ideas confirmed

Got a question? phil@scarletopus.com call phil / Victoria or Laura +44 (0)1482 870360

How to Grow Sales … Using Design, Color & Texture

It’s a little known fact that Texture is crucial to the well-being of a human being. You may be one of the few who know this to be true; you may be a person who is suffering, without realising it, from anxiety due to not coming into contact with texture often enough for your subconscious to allow you to feel satisfied, comfortable and natural.

One of today’s major contributory factors to this lack of texture in our lives is that there are so many technology companies achieving great things to make our lives more interesting, easy and convenient; but in doing so are making our interface with their products smooth. Literally smooth. Smartphones, tablets, touchscreens, contactless payment etc, etc are all developments that have removed Texture from so many everyday activities that it is now possible to ‘feel’ texture getting dressed in the morning and then not again until …..

So if you’re a product designer think hard about how and why you might put texture back into the lives of your clients – they will be so grateful. And perhaps without knowing why, they’ll love the work you do for them!

If you’re in hospitality, a restaurant, hotel or bar, have tables (in natural woods), bar tops chair arms (with fabric) that are textured in some way. Use cutlery that isn’t completely smooth handled, provide glasses that are cut-glass for example. Then stand back and watch your customers, running their hands and fingers over these things and look at the delight they take from it. All of these things, however, few you can provide, will enhance the Customer Experience your business provides to your consumers and add to your efforts to build customer loyalty.

If you keep an eye on current color palettes (watch the fashion shops, our blog!, TV sets) then you’ll have a good idea of what colors are at the front of people’s minds. Which colors are contemporary, on-trend and will add to the appeal of your product, service, hotel, shop. We see that many retailers dress their windows in scarlet for Valentines, or yellow for Easter, but with the exception of Fashion retailers, don’t seem to put as much thought into the colours in which they merchandise windows when there isn’t a ‘special occasion’ to inspire them. Perhaps, even dress windows, displays and products in colors that reflect the times not simply ‘Easter’ – is there a law saying it has to be done in Yellow?

The Opus team has lots of ideas so feel free to get in touch; but in the meantime we thought we’d share a key consumer color and a very important texture in 2015/16 for you to consider alongside your Brand, product, service development.

The Week

Have fun and don’t be shy get in touch we’d love to hear from you  phil@scarletopus.com / laura@scarletopus.com / victoria@scarletopus.com or call us on +44 1482 870 360

 

 

How to De-Risk New Product Development & Business Growth

Mention Trend Forecasting to most people and the majority are unsure what it’s about; and those that have heard of it, well they mostly associate it simply with pattern and colour.

But, to use it so, is to almost completely waste the true value a good consumer & interiors product Trend Forecaster can add to a company’s success. There are very few business tools available that, if used well, are guaranteed to improve business performance, no matter how you measure that. The more broadly the Trend research information is integrated into a company’s activities, the greater the performance improvement will be. A results and performance uplift might be seen in production as design costs reduce, PR success increases as content marketing is improved, product ranges can be smaller and the number of ‘slow-moving lines’ reduced; sales will increase as product & service offers better match the wants, needs & desires of your customers. The story telling and content meets the same degree of success in both B2C and B2B sectors. All of this ultimately leads to better profits.

Yes, our Trend Forecasting for the interiors market will do all of that!

WHY?

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The biggest, most valuable resource that Scarlet Opus Trend forecasting gives to a product development team, manufacturer, retailer, interior designer or marketing strategy is…. ‘TIME’. The pressure on all of the business teams in any company, is significantly reduced because our trend research extends the time in which the total business cycle has, to be completed. No need to ‘spot trends’ at an exhibition(s), hope you’re right & then rush to bring your version of a product/service to market before the trend diminishes; engage with Trend Forecasting which will provide you with the same inspiration 12 – 18 months ahead of that exhibition being visited. You’ll gain more as you’ll also gain trend/consumer back stories to build your content marketing; you’ll get specific material, pattern, texture, shape & colour guidance as well as being able to explain ‘why’ this will all match with future consumer desires.

Trend Forecasting for interiors will give you a detailed view of those consumer desires up to 2 years in advance of the point at which your product should be brought to market. 2 YEARS! As a general view this could be increased to 5 years.

Imagine knowing the detail of what your customers will desire in 2 years’ time and knowing with certainty.

Research shows that company employees work more efficiently when they are relaxed & confident. Designers are more creative, salespeople convert more sales & PR events run more smoothly. If the risk associated with New Product Development or Services development is significantly reduced; your staff can focus on creating the best PR, producing excellent content marketing, targeted marketing support materials and preparing, rehearsing and enacting sales presentations that will demonstrate to buyers how well your company understands what consumers want and will pay to get.

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Dr. Robert Passikoff (Founder of Brand Keys) says of 2014:

Consumers Expect More: Over the past five years, consumer expectations have increased on average by 20%. But brands have kept up only by 5% annually, a big gap between what’s desired and what’s delivered. The ability to accurately measure real, unarticulated expectations will provide significant advantages to brands that can engage and delight.

This describes beautifully, the gap that consumer, business & design Trend Forecasting will fill for any company. Why then aren’t more companies engaging with Trend Forecasting? The answer might lie in these 2 thoughts:

  1. It requires taking, quite a’ leap of faith’ to engage with someone who tells you that they can ‘see your future in detail & with certainty’!
  2. It’s possible that Creatives see Trend Forecasting agencies as an external design source; instead of an external design resource.

Trend analysts, spotters, reporters, colour & trend consultants all play valuable roles; but only a Trend Forecaster can create so much time and:

  • Inspire design teams to create products in materials with textures, patterns & colours that the consumer will want to buy. It’s global social, political, cultural & natural events that influence how humans behave & want to surround themselves with.
  • Inform sales teams how to support product presentations with trend information that will help buyers to choose their products to meet consumer demand.
  • Give Marketing teams an understanding of what caused a trend to emerge & how the consumer will feel as a result. Excellent content marketing will follow and help to leverage consumer marketing by suppliers of complimentary products.
  • Identify which trends specifically suit a company and its product offer/sector; enabling a more focused product offer to be developed. A trend forecaster will identify which trend next year is best suited to ‘Bathroom’, or ‘Dining’?
  • It’s crucial to identify trends for interiors that have longevity giving manufacturing/sourcing teams the opportunity to optimise production planning.
  • Produce inspirational PR events especially for the trade press always hungry for future trend information. ‘Expert’ endorsement is gaining traction with consumers over ‘celebrity’ endorsement.
  • Design exhibition stands reflecting ‘future trend themes’ making them stand out and provide a unique ‘visitor experience’.
  • Design retail showrooms to deliver a shopping experience the consumer wants. Men & Women shop differently.
  • Assist buyers translate Trend research into design briefs for manufacturing partners; or buying guidance for retailers.

There is so much value that Trend Forecasting adds to a company’s activities in all areas that it needn’t actually, even include the obvious product development. A business with a ‘fixed’ product design can still be more successful marketing it’s products within the framework of consumer wants, needs and desires.

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It’s realistic to engage a good Trend Forecaster with the expectation that sales revenues will increase by double digit percentages, with a similar reduction in relative costs.

Contact phil@scarletopus.com Tel +44 1482 870 360 www.scarletopus.com www.twitter.com/scarletopus