#YMS16 NYC speakers Pavegen launched a newer, sleeker version of their electricity-generating tiles at BAFTA this morning. Here's what we learnt, and how their new technology could shape the future of retail:
The anticipation was palpable in the BAFTA reception hall, partly due to the restlessness experienced by a crowded room on a humid day, mostly due to the buzz surrounding Pavegen's mysterious product announcement. We were very pleased to be invited as VIP guests to the event, and feel inspired to share some of our thoughts with you.
1. Say goodbye to the 'Internet of Things', say hello to the 'Internet of Beings'
The 'IOT' concept has been around for a while, acting as the buzzword no-one quite seems to be able to grasp. Whilst the old concept revolves around cloud-based computing and big data to make every thing in our life quantifiable through data, the 'Internet of Beings' concept is a lot more personal.
It's a combination of the human, physical and digital to create big data that correctly reflects the way we live. As Pavegen CEO Laurence Kemball-Cook puts it, "you can't hug a solar panel," therefore to understand consumers we have to start innovating in ways that directly engages with human behaviour.
2. We're moving towards a behaviour-based economy
CEO of Tribal Planet, Jeff Martin, presented alongside Kemball-Cook during the event, and mentioned the shift from an attention-based economy to a behaviour-based economy. This clearly divorces us from the usual youth marketing strategies. The old trick would be to use techniques that use immediacy, authenticity and personalisation (such as a pop-up notification, the power of celebrity) to encourage consumers to buy. The new perspective is very different.
As consumers become savvier, they'll stop falling for the old tricks. No longer will they buy into a product just because it's 'convenient' or 'cool', it's also important to make sure you're doing the right thing. As Martin points out, people would much rather go to a mall where they feel their footsteps are not wasted - where their footsteps get turned into sustainable energy.
3. It is crucial to reach young citizens at the point when they become consumers.
The old line from the song applies, "I believe the children are our future." Pavegen are starting a movement that encourages young people to be hyper-aware of the impact they have on the world. The future leaders of tomorrow are those who are currently at school, in universities, and on the cusp of adult life, so strike while the iron is hot and you could potentially have a loyal customer for life.
The most important thing to remember, however, is to actually give young people a reason to believe in your movement. Succeed in that, and they'll come to you.
We spent an excellent morning at BAFTA and are excited to see Pavegen's USA President Vincent Miceli take to the #YMS16 NYC stage in September. Until then, you can check out the livestream from the keynote at Pavegen's website.