Shifting Gender Norms Threaten Brands With Cultural Irrelevance

Gender is squarely in our cultural spotlight. As a culture, we are questioning long-held expectations attached to being a man or a woman, envisioning a spectrum between that binary, and even outright rejecting the cultural construct of gender. The force is strongest among younger consumers, and the weight of generations to come will tip the balance in their favor over those with more traditional beliefs. In this age of the customer, brands have no choice but to meet consumers on their own terms. In his new report, Dipanjan Chatterjee argues that to remain relevant and meaningful in the lives of their customers, brands must embrace gender evolution. Vanguard brands are on the move: Target, Mastercard, Nike, United, and Birchbox are just a few of the dozens of examples he uses to build out a brand framework for navigating gender. This framework — built on the three prongs of authenticity, relevance, and experience — will serve as a roadmap for brands ready to adapt to a different cultural context in which they must operate. For clients attending SXSW in Austin this year, he will be presenting findings from this research and much more on March 14. Hope to see you there.

Hyperscale Cloud Emerging Tech Partnerships Further Accelerate The Pace Of Innovation

If you have been following edge or quantum computing lately, you have seen some big cloud partnership announcements: for example, AT&T and Microsoft’s edge computing collaboration or AWS’s recent announcement of Braket, its quantum computing simulation environment that now offers access to actual quantum machines from D-Wave, IonQ, and Rigetti. Recognize what is happening here: The hyperscale cloud providers are now firmly at the center of the technology innovation market globally because they are ideal platforms for ecosystems to develop around new technologies, something Dave Bartoletti points out in his report, “Cloud Powers The Modern Adaptive Enterprise.” This trend is especially good for firms seeking technology-enabled or driven innovation, because the hyperscale cloud vendors now offer rapid access to many emerging technologies, as pointed out by James Staten in his report, “Use The Cloud Platforms To Drive Your Tech-Driven Innovation.” Finally, the colocation of so many emerging technologies in cloud platforms enables firms to also explore how several technologies work together to create new innovation opportunities, as assessed by Brian Hopkins in “Technology Innovation Chains Create Breakthrough Opportunities.” We think the result of these trends will be an overall acceleration of disruptive innovations made by those who are ready to innovate on cloud platforms. The new benefit of the cloud is not the cost model or agility — it is the ability to innovate faster, something we pointed out in 2017 for big data that is now true much more broadly. This will be a boon for those who are ready and a bane for firms already struggling.

FierceHealthcare Announced Its 2019 Innovation Award Winners

These award-winning innovations are transforming healthcare as we know it — from cancer detection and diabetes management to patient-friendly billing and physician burnout. And they are doing so by advancing clinical and population health information management, financial operations, and digital health and patient engagement solutions. The winners were chosen by technology and business leaders at renowned healthcare companies across the US. Even if you are not in the healthcare space, you will find these winners inspirational. Some highlights:

  • Suki — a voice-enabled, AI/machine-learning digital assistant for doctors
  • Flywire — improving patient billing experiences via automation and helping providers and hospitals to know up front what their patients could afford, coupled with an automated way to engage with those patients with affordable payment arrangements
  • Rimidi — a technology solution to help streamline processes to quickly identify patients at risk of end-organ damage (metabolic syndrome, or MetS)