FUSE: Abridged and Unfiltered

The minds behind FUSE gathered a field of design, brand and digital thinkers into a space to offer some insights before 2018 concludes.

HSBC - Head of Innovation, Jeremy Balkin spoke on robots, banking and that zone where we feel comfortable. Karen Schnelwar, OXO; Jada Britto, Colgate-Palmolive; and Erica Orange, The Future Hunters, conducted a panel covering everything from nano-influencers, unboxing experience in China, to digital natives and the new disruptors.

You could see this as a teaser for what’s coming this spring in Chicago with the next FUSE; you could also just sit up, listen in and see what these leading thinkers were considering in their daily life. We took the relax and enjoy approach.

The robots are coming and our relationship with them is going to be challenging. From making impossible, possible, to removing mundane tasks, robots will deliver benefits, but they’ll also be wrapped in the thorns of fear, loathing and uncertainty. Jeremy spoke on how banking is adding to our human capabilities with AI methods for analyzing your financial portfolio and providing baseline insights.

This is a design challenge. How do we design better relationships with robots? If we’re in charge of the design, how can we blame the robots? Is it just a fractal reflection of our own relationships with other people? That one’s going to stick in your head for awhile.

The next set of thinkers was a facilitation by Erica, but really a conversation between Karen, Jada and Erica on what things are crossing their desktops and thoughts are on their minds.

Karen had a refreshing perspective on time and pointed out OXO is not known for speed and that’s not bad. Their innovation takes time and it should, these tools for your life will last, if they’re designed right. The authenticity of taking time rings a nice positive bell in this shopper’s head. A considered design isn’t something pumped out quickly with little or no attention paid to the details. Good design takes time and it is good to hear OXO gets it.

Jada spoke to the unboxing experience in China and its importance, though I’d say it also has an importance in every other developed and developing economies. Our shopping aisles are becoming boxes and the experiences commoditized. The emotional experience of retail has been reduced to cardboard and a strip of tape.

The panelists also covered a slurry of other topics, like the tumultuous marketplace of influencers, from macro to micro to nano. Unilever has questioned fake followers and are cracking down on influencers. Yet, it isn’t easy for a brand to see or know what is real and what isn’t. There are some parallels to the subprime loan era, when bad debt was bundled with good, requiring someone to go line by line to find bad characters.

This makes someone wonder if influencers need a new currency to judge their outcomes for clients. Certainly we (as marketing professionals) need to get back to the applied economics of marketing and infuse a bit of skepticism into the system of influencer marketing. Scaling down from macro to micro to nano is just reducing the bite size of the problem, while still consuming bad marketing metrics.

It should be noted, facilitator Erica Orange was, as always, a contributor and facilitator to a great discussion.

Thank you again for the FUSE appetizer to finish 2018 and prepare our appetite for 2019 in Chicago.

Aaron Keller
Co-Founder, Capsule
Columnist, TCBmag.com
Co-Author, The Physics of Brand

Kelly Leighton
VP of Client Experience, Capsule

About The Author

Aaron Keller

I am an author, strategist, researcher, cyclist, reader and consummate entrepreneur. When an interesting idea crosses my path, I find any way we can bring it to life. Earning an MBA from the Carlson School and numerous valuable credits at the school of hard knocks, I’ll sit at a boardroom conversation with anyone. Want to talk business strategy, consumer behavior and design? Oh, it’s on.

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  • 10.12.2018

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