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Trends 2020 / Part 5. Connectivity

In this the fifth issue, of our six part series, exploring the top-level trends that will be influencing 2020 we explore – Connectivity.


This decade will inevitably see more connections and at a faster pace.The wholesale adoption of 5G will not only enable faster speeds, but the growth of truly smart cities.

Toyota unveiled at CES, its plans for a 2,000-person smart city featuring autonomous vehicles, smart technology and robot-assisted living.

Not to be out done. Side Walk Labs, a subsidiary company from Google Head Quarter company Alphabet, and experts in urban innovation, finally got the approval to create a smart area in Toronto made up of eco-friendly buildings, complete with robots and sensors collecting a range of data (sadly on a much smaller scale than it had wanted).

Further to its pioneering work with project Loon, Google X, continues its chase to bring communication everywhere with its project using FSOC.

So can expect a greater integration between our landscape, devices and time online? Best in class experiences will be seamless, supportive, inclusive and engaging – but by contrast, there must be a warning to brands that cross the line – and become too ‘needy’, confusing truth and fiction in the name of content and engagement. In the next edition we touch on how 2020 consumers will view their security and data privacy.


Read Part 4 / Privacy & Security

Final Edition/ Healthcare

Trends 2020 / Part 4. Privacy & Security

In this the fourth part of our six part headline review of Trends 2020 we explore how privacy, and security, are fast becoming the trade-offs for ever more personalised experiences.

Privacy & Security

Trust and privacy will continue to be a significant concern as people trade personal data in return for personalised ads and experiences. Perhaps no bigger area of historical consumer concern is the security of our hard earned cash.

As a new decade begins, one of the major unresolved issues of the previous few years continues to haunt banks — when and how Big Tech will jump into financial services in a significant way.

Facebook has designs on your banking services as it enters the new decade, its own on-demand cryptocurrency, Libra first mooted back in 2017 is predicted to launch this year along with its digital wallet Calibra.

So as the Big tech companies, with their armies of top-notch developers and knack for creating convenient products, continue to raise their profile in financial services, Apple launched its Apple Card with Goldman Sachs in August 2019. Facebook not satisfied with just Libra, announced Facebook Pay, a payment mechanism that works with Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook. Uber is building a stable of financial services products for drivers and customers in its recently created Uber Money division.

Feels like a sure bet that we can expect a new focus on highly engaging and portable financial solutions aimed at a younger consumer?

Perhaps its not just consumers that have reason to be concerned about data security, but the large traditionally slow-moving banks that need to keep an eye on their accounts?

Read Part 1/ Sustainability

Read Part 2 / Wellness & Mindfulness

Read Part 3 / Consumer

Next Edition/ Connectivity

Trends 2020/ Part 3. Consumer Tech

In the third of our look at headline trends likely to be significant in 2020, having already explored Sustainability and Wellbeing, we switch our focus to the Consumer-tech that will be creating impact in the coming years.


Personalisation to deliver a better experience has always been part of consumerism. People are familiar with brands reaching out to them this way.

With technology such as facial recognition, sensors and smart objects, DNA test democratization, the world has turned into a landscape that shifts and changes around consumers. The result is ever higher expectations for responsive personalisation.

Perso is the beauty device developed by L’Oréal and helping you to create cosmetics specific to your type of skin, according to your outfit or the weather conditions of the day. Sisley’s Hair analyser is a connected device which diagnoses your scalp to provide the most adapted cure for your hair care needs.

Featured at CES, Ballie, will become your AI assistant and will follow you around the house. With voice activation control and ubiquitous integrated camera, it will respond to demands and will be able to act as a personal trainer, capture memories or manage the connected devices of your household (but might need help with the stairs?).

So what will this mean for consumer brands? Their ability to address our needs, and deliver empathetic, meaningful solutions through new products and services is clearly key. However the way in which these experiences are designed and delivered will of course be the differentiator.


Missed Part 1 / Sustainability  read it here.

Read Part 2 / Wellness & Mindfulness.

Next Edition/ Connectivity.

Trends 2020 / Part 2. Wellness & Mindfulness

In this second instalment of our trend report Horizon 2020, we wanted to take look at wellness and midfulness two macro trends that we feel will continue to shape consumers in 2020.

Wellness & Mindfulness

As we switch attention from care for the planet, to care for ourselves… ‘Self-care’ continues to grow, and now has a market value of $4.5 trillion according to the Global Wellness Institute (GWI). Naturally,consumer brands are keen to align themselves with purpose driven ethics and consumer-health, as a more stable opportunity than the fickle, and slightly tarnished, fast-moving-consumer goods space.

Sleep quality, is the Holy Grail for many consumers and is fast becoming an established tech-field in its own right.

By changing the position of the head, Smart Nora, helps snorers (and their partners!) get a great night’s sleep.

Climate360 mattress regulate the temperature of your bed from one side to another, and babies don’t miss out either with mamaRoo sleep bassinetfrom 4moms.

With the gym market worth a staggering $80 Bn in 2019, we predict a growth of home exercise tech-brands that will want to take a market share through digital personal trainers. Such as Mirror, which tracks your moves and status while you exercise.

As a counterpoint to ‘tech’, we’ll continue to practise self-wellness through more natural means. Cognitive enhancers (Nootropics) will compliment meditation with practises such as sound bath healing, becoming the next way to #liveyourbestlife, nutrients will be extra-personalised, and the boom created by CBD products will become mainstream in the beauty & wellness industry.

Read Part 1/ Sustainability

Next Edition/ Wellness & Mindfulness

Trends 2020 / Part 1. Sustainability

As we start the beginning of a new decade, we wanted to take look at the macro trends that we feel will shape 2020, from the developing trends of 2019, that will continue to grow, to new emerging ones breaking the codes.


If 2019 was about raising the alarm to save our planet, taking responsibility for our consumption, and questioning businesses and governments on their practises, 2020 will be all about creating change and more.

Enoughism is born from recognising the point at which ‘we have everything we need’. So, given consumers are taking responsibility for their consumption in order to tackle over-consumption, plastic backlash, wildlife struggle and more – should we expect a major refocus towards making amazing experiences, sharing knowledge and repair?

The difference between what is good for people and what is good for the earth will blend in the eye of the consumer. In this spirit, the purpose driven outdoor brand Rei co-op launched its initiatives #OptOutside and #OptToAct

with a yearly action plan, a repair/reuse/resell service and co-operative structure.

Regenerative Agriculture revisits farming using principles and practices that enrich soil that increase biodiversity and enhance ecosystems. Silvopasture, for example, is a way of using livestock to graze pasture beneath trees which creates a sustainable, carbon harvesting and profitable alternative for hardwood farmers.

Next Edition/ Wellness & Mindfulness

Hi Bea

We are pleased to introduce Béatrice Lorans, our latest team member!

Béa has joined us having spent time in both agency and in-house – initially graduating from ISD before interning at Tupperware, then spending time with the team at Above before joining the in-house team at Kenwood.

She has already made herself quite at home, and is already in the thick of it on a number of diverse projects including

creating a service design concept for a luxury wellbeing chocolate experience, creating kitchen tools for a brand new and super-healthy veggie snack as well as writing a trends piece that predicts opportunities for social and sustainable brands in 2020 and beyond, all this whilst making time for pre-work cross country runs through the Forest.

Sign up here to receive a copy of Béa’s trend report later this month. 

FMCG Futures

Our latest edition of INTOUCH identifies three trends which we believe will shape the future FMCG market.

With the awareness of the environmental impact of plastic waste having reached mass conversation for nearly every Western consumer, brands are starting to think about what they can do to effectively communicate their comprehensive ethical message to the socially conscious.

We take a focus on new ideas and approaches to retail, material choices and social impact, which will help to redefine the future of FMCG.

1/ Rethink Retail

Consumer attitudes towards waste and the importance of product sustainability are changing faster and more drastically than ever. Fuelled by the ‘Attenborough-effect‘, brands and businesses are racing to provide sustainable innovations for their customers. From implementing fast responses to the war on plastic to reimagining the retail experience, the consumer landscape is changing, and brands are fighting to keep up.

In the UK, Waitrose were amongst the first of the nation’s household name brands to experiment with a new retail experience for their customers through their service concept ‘Waitrose Unpacked‘.

Inspired by shopping experiences of yesterday, the service design is simple; in-store dispensers that allow their customers to fill and refill jars and pouches with day-to-day basics. The quantity of single-use plastic waste being removed from the average consumer basket is early evidence of ‘what-could-be’ rather than a meaningful change in the industry, however, if taken seriously by similar sized brands, it could pave the way for a new, sustainable retail landscape.

Read More Here + 

Brands like Harry’sBirch Box and Graze have pioneered both the ‘Direct-to-Consumer’ selling model while seamlessly incorporating sustainability within their service designs. As a considered element of their offering rather than a knee-jerk reaction to the war on plastic, these brands have resonated with the modern consumer. Direct to consumer brands are bringing sustainability and convenience together. Today’s consumers are short on time but more ethically conscious than ever. Brands like Zero Co, a kick starter project from Australia, which has recently secured major backing, provide re-fill pouches of day to day household products. These can be decanted into pre-existing bottles and the pouches can be returned, re-filled, and re-distributed, closing the FMCG mass-waste inducing loop.

Read More Here + 

2/ Material Matters

Confronting the reduction of their environmental impact through long-term behaviours has led to FMCG brands rethinking their approach to material selection which has led to vast improvements across the industry. Perhaps we must now reflect on some of the early advancements and question once again, from our current perspective, are these the most sustainable options available to us? Take for instance the cotton ‘eco’ shopping bag which, according to a UK Government study, must be reused 131 times before offsetting the global warming potential of a ‘once-used’ HDPE plastic carrier bag.

You may have noticed at this year’s London Marathon there were unusually plastic-free scenes. That’s because Lucozade used Ooho, a plastic derived from seaweed, to distribute their drinks in individual, edible capsules. This vastly reduced the quantity of single-use plastic waste. Due to its organic origins, the NOTPLA product naturally decomposes and, by only providing a membrane for the drink, reimagines how much material is necessary for our everyday products.

Read More Here +

Orchis, a sustainable sunglasses company, grew from taking an honest approach to the fast-fashion industry. Recognising that to change the big brand flooded industry along with the hearts and minds of its devoted consumer base was an unrealistic task, they began producing a range of sunglasses made from coffee, flax and a co-polymer. The material created decomposes after the average life-expectancy of a pair of sunglasses which Orchis estimate is 10 years. This is an example of how brands can be more in tune with consumer behaviours, life expectancy of their product and end of life outcomes, and then reflectively making responsible material decisions, forming impactful brand stories.

Read More Here +

3/ More Than Sustainable

The great news is that a passionate and considered effort is being exercised by businesses as consumers become aware of and aim to improve their own environmental impact. However, taking greater responsibility for their social impact through ethical activity is another effective way that brands can differentiate themselves from their competitors. Through this, with a considered, ethically-moral and environmentally conscious industry, we could see both brand and consumer ending up winners.

Aiming to reduce period poverty in the UK through a buy one, donate one product promise, Hey Girls, a Scottish period poverty charity brand, has gone beyond considering their environmental impact. Their campaigns such as #GiveACupAGo offer a sustainable alternative to traditional period care products. They work to improve period education in the local areas, funding free period products in schools across Scotland and running the ‘Pads for Dads‘ education sessions. Hey Girls are demonstrating that consumers are going beyond a single point of contention, like plastic, and looking at the wider impact of their purchase decisions.

Read More Here +

Now approaching their target deadline, since 2010 Coca Cola have been investing and supporting female entrepreneurs as part of a worldwide scheme, ‘5BY20‘, a pledge to support 5 Million Women by 2020. The focus of their support has been across Coca Cola’s six value categories; producers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, recyclers and artisan producers, using their considerable power to drive scale and impact. By focusing on supporting women in developing areas, who traditionally spend a large portion of their income on the health and education of children, Coca Cola ensure that they are investing in developing strong, healthy community groups.

Read More Here + 

If you are a brand trying to carve out your position, and want to avoid contributing to waste, your challenge is to use design to create disruptive, circular systems that redefine consumer value.

Get this right and you will connect with the growth of awareness and the up-swell in consumer demand for sustainable and appropriate action.

Quite an opportunity, and one that we would like to play our part in. Let’s start a conversation. 

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Welcome to our Rodd blog. This is where you will find all the latest design project releases, news from the industry, our trend and show reports as well as the inside track on life in and around the Rodd studio.

Rodd Design is a privately owned industrial design and innovation studio formed in 2000 by Tim Rodd and Ben Davies, focused on delivering the highest quality creative work and commercially effective product design.

For press relations please contact us via hello@rodd.uk.com 

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