6 trends changing the nature of design

Pepsi design guru Mauro Porcini explains how creatives can stay ahead of the curve in a changing world.

Mauro Porcini is SVP and chief design officer for PepsiCo

We live in a world radically different than the one of just ten years ago. People think, talk, connect and share in ways never before experienced.

Today's consumers are evolving at a frenetic pace, even faster than technology. The creation of brands and products is starting to follow logics and processes that are far away from what traditionally structured corporations are used to.

A paradigm shift in our thinking about the future is needed as well as a fundamental change in the way we engage consumers and drive innovation.

In this new social and business environment more companies look to their design functions and partners to spur innovation to meet the changing reality.

In the past several years I have identified specific trends affecting our society and our business. More than ever these trends are having direct implications on the design community and increasingly play a role in driving innovation and building brands.

01. Billions more web users

The rapid growth in internet accessibility is creating an augmented awareness, leading to smarter, more connected, savvy and demanding consumers. Around 40 percent of the world population has an internet connection today, more than 3 billion people.

As more gain access to information from the palm of their hand, they will become more discriminating in their purchasing decisions. They may walk into a store to browse, but end up purchasing online because of price, convenience or some other reason.

In today's global market, this will lead to more fierce competition beyond direct competitors whose products share the same shelf space.

02. An increasingly globalised market

Pepsico's products need to compete in an increasingly broad universe

In the digital world there is no such thing as shelf space. All media and content, branded or otherwise, is now social and shareable, thus creating infinite possibilities for consumers.

At PepsiCo, our products – whether a new soft drink like the recently launched Caleb's Kola or a fashion capsule collection inspired by the Pepsi brand – compete with other products and brands without the boundary of space or time.

There is an expanded landscape in which we must compete: a new and broader universe where brands now fight for mindshare, attention and sales irrespective of the simple confines of shelf space.

03. Social media-savvy consumers

Today's digitally savvy consumers are truly self-aware. They filter information into micro-niche interests and then customize, personalize and amplify the content across multiple 'me' channels with people who share their lifestyles and values. They want to engage brands in a two-way dialogue.

Brands must be part of this online conversation or risk being ignored or becoming irrelevant. The challenge for designers will be to create amazing real world experiences that will still attract consumers to their stores and work with emerging e-commerce platforms and social media channels to create engaging online experiences and digital influence.

Regardless of the market, brand or the target consumer, authentic, honest, and transparent engagement will be vital in the coming years.

Next page: three more global trends changing the nature of design