A new year has begun—time to take a look ahead and see what exciting developments may be coming our way in the next 12 months.

As part of Accenture Interactive, Fjord, a global team of designers, business people and creative technologists, has been creating annual trend reports on key business developments since 2008. The recently published Fjord Trends 2017 report offers an in-depth look at the eight most important developments we believe will influence and impact design and innovation for business, government and society in the coming year.

In this series, I will outline key points from the report, beginning with Fjord’s predictions and recommendations for brand content and digital design.

Ephemeral stories

According to Fjord, the days of conventional brand storytelling are over. While storytelling was incorporated into many marketing strategies across the globe, 2016 saw a shift away from storytelling and onto “storydoing”—creating stories based on what brands do, rather than the stories they tell.

In 2017, brand content will continue to evolve with the ever-increasing flow of communication to and from customers. Instead of brand owners driving the conversation, audiences will shape their own stories using short stories and live video.

Our hyperconnected lifestyles over the past few years have led to content saturation. Fjord believes that too many organizations remain focused on storytelling, and too few consider how humans interact with brands. At the point at which too much content makes traditional content marketing no longer sustainable, brand owners must heed three key lessons:

  • Creating content does not guarantee an audience.
  • Success is not always driven by the highest production-value content.
  • Unedited, raw, live footage is the platform for the modern generation.

Fjord suggests a human-centered design approach as a powerful framework for creating compelling content.

Shiny API people

By 2016, many organizations were facing an innovation crisis. Many struggled with innovating in general, while others had trouble innovating at scale. To address these struggles, an organization-wide rewiring for innovation is required that breaks down silos and rests on a design process. Using this approach, organizations will be able to foster creativity and release combined human potential. As a result, digital will be embedded throughout every organization.

Fjord believes that upscaling the principles and practices of innovation across the entire organization is critical. CEOs will need commitment and a clear plan for changing their organization’s culture, an approach Fjord calls Living Business. This concept includes:

  • Embedding cross-functional teams to sustain innovation.
  • Aiming to scale from Day One with a flexible and agile framework.
  • Reviewing technology and collaboration tools, and upgrading them when needed.

In my next post, I will look at Fjord’s 2017 predictions on augmented reality, self-driving cars and the connected home.

To learn more, access the complete Fjord Trends 2017 report from Accenture Digital.

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