Navigating The Holidays

A New Normal Trend Report   |    11.22.21

As we all look forward to a more ‘normal’ holiday season this year, the economic outlook looks optimistic while festive shopping looks noticeably different from our pre-pandemic days. Deloitte predicts overall retail sales in the US will increase between 7-9% this year, but what gifters are spending on will look a bit different. 

78% of Millennials are determined to make this holiday extra-special, yet 86% overspent on gifts last year compared to their plan. This year, more conscious spending will be put towards family and friend events, outdoor entertainment and sustainable choices. 

This mini trend explores how our changing behaviors will affect relationships, consumerism and sustainability this holiday season. If nothing else, we hope these serve as some sources of inspiration as your create holiday lists of your own.

Check out this post on Instagram.

Reimagining The City

A New Normal Trend Report   |    10.27.21

At the onset of the pandemic, economists predicted an urban exodus, and while many city-dwellers moved out of city centers, Bloomberg CityLab reported that 84% of Americans who moved remained in the same metro area. 

The pandemic didn’t get rid of cities, it purely reshaped them. Those who left for the suburbs freed up space for incoming city dwellers or existing residents to upgrade. Flexible working conditions allowed cities to decentralize, resulting in smaller neighborhoods becoming community centers of culture.

This mini trend explores how human behaviors have changed, but most importantly, how cities and those inhabiting them can use those behaviors as insights to designing new ways of shaping our futures.

For this post and more, check them out on our Instagram.

The Future of Work

A New Normal Trend Report   |    09.20.21

We have never received so many requests to define the ‘Future of Work’ than we have these last few months – and rightfully so. As companies are forced to write (and then rewrite) back-to-office protocols, the pandemic has generated a lot of questions around what the future of work should look and feel like.

These questions have even spread beyond business and into government. Finland recently voted the Working Hours Act into law formally allowing employees to customize their work schedule around personal preferences with a three hour window before & after traditional working hours.

This mini trend explores the behavioral trends that have transpired in our research as well as physical and cultural opportunities worth exploring. Get ready, world, the office is about to look and feel a whole lot different.

Check out this and more mini trends on our Instagram!

We Go Together Like Rama Lama Lama…

Partners & Process Are Everything   |    09.07.21
Us and Design Scout looking down at our shoes

Do you have that person in your circle who you catch yourself awkwardly staring at from the other side of the cafe table because 1. everything that comes out of their mouth is genius 2. your cheeks hurt from smiling so much when you’re together and 3. you genuinely want to be when you grow up!?

Well, PinPoint got ourselves a new one of those and you all need to follow this wonderful human ASAP – Scout Driscoll. Not only has it been an absolute dream to collaborate with Scout these past few months, but she, too, has surrounded herself with an incredible team of kind humans and talented experts that make up both DesignScout and VINT.

Together, we crafted a unique and powerful way to support clients when they are in a moment of change. Most recently with a client who was in the midst of having an “A-HA!” moment and thought there was an opportunity to disrupt their industry. We still need to be tight-lipped at this very moment. But once this incredible line of products hits the market – you better believe we will be first in line to purchase, shouting from the rooftops.

Because this particular client had personally experienced a need that had not yet been addressed by a long-standing industry, they wanted to ensure future consumers also had the same need, well, and that there were enough of those consumers to make the initial investment worthwhile! Not only did they want to validate the market share, but were smart enough to want to prioritize which audience to show up for first so that they not only met, but exceeded expectations from the onset of launch.

Alongside VINT, we created a research-forward approach that would not only validate whether this new product was desirable, but generate the business blueprint before putting pen to paper and designing the brand strategy (what VINT does best!). So we did just that, starting with a quantitative scrub. The great news is, our research revealed a handful of potential consumer types and a scalable market size (validating the need) but equally as valuable, showed us that we needed to dig in our heels deeper to uncover which driving behaviors would trigger purchasing and drastically impact the future brand strategy.

This was one of those projects when VINT’s expertise, experience and recommendation of starting with research before brand strategy came to light in neon. Our client had a gut feeling about one target segment coming out of quant research, but as soon as we got out in the world and met 1:1 with prospective customers to uncover their purchasing behaviors, we quickly learned the ‘gut segment’ would in fact be a consumer, but not an early adopter. It was a huge a-ha. Those learnings helped guide Vint to a naming strategy, a package design, access channels and messaging that would swoon a younger hipper consumer (the early adopter) yet transition to the ‘gut segment’ without skipping a beat.

To say this PinPoint-VINT collaboration was a dream would be an understatement. Without research, we may have created a product that would sit on a shelf with nowhere to go. And without VINT, well, our pile of research wouldn’t turn itself into a beautiful brand! One of our greatest prides is a client who leaves us confident in their business strategy, who knows who they’re talking to and who has a reason behind every beautiful, thoughtful and differentiated design decision (that last point all thanks to VINT!). The power of art and science is real, and alongside Scout and her team, we get to live and breathe that motto daily. For that, we are grateful.

Are you entertaining an “A-HA!” moment of your own? First of all, thrilling! Second of all, we commend your valor. Third of all, let’s grab a coffee! We love nothing more than brainstorming how this art and science process works across industry lines, plus we’ll never turn down a reason for more caffeine!

The pandemic shed a light on the weaknesses of global social, political and economic systems leading to a 2020 World Economic Forum survey that found 86% of respondents globally would like to see more sustainable and equitable products in the post-pandemic market.

According to a 2020 report by IBM Institute for Business Value, 6 out of 10 consumers are ready to change their purchasing behaviors to minimize their sustainable impact – from environmental to societal.

This mini trend explores actions for integrating sustainable and dynamic adaptation, resilience and long-term growth as we all try to build back better. For more trend reports, check out our Instagram.

If I Could Turn Back Time

Shifting Your Days from Spending Time to Investing Time   |    07.31.21

We’re sure you’ve heard of the old adage “time is money” and stumbled upon loads of time tracking tools, articles and posts to manage your valuable time, but if by some weird vortex you haven’t, here are just a few to set the stage: Remember The Milk, RescueTime, Pomodoro apps, Forbes, Fast Company.

For the hundreds of thousands of fancy gadgets and intricate articles out there, the one thing these services or “expert opinions” can’t do is tell you what the best most valuable use of YOUR time is. We don’t know how you feel about that, but as a leader, knowing your personal value of time is The (yes, with a capital ‘T”) most crucial element to managing the chaos and chasing that elusive “balance” we all seek. Anyone else out there feelin’ us?

So of course we did what we do, and started researching this topic (shocker!). We read the books. We analyzed what felt like every tool on the market. And most illuminating, we talked to others around us – clients, fellow leaders and small business owners like ourselves to see how we might solve this predicament for our team and others.

We’ve got good news and bad news for you all. Which do you want first!? Ok ok, we’ll start with the bad. Just as we hypothesized, there is no one-size-fits-all solution or mathematical equation that cracks the code. Nor should there be, there are just too many inputs and personal values that have to feed into that equation.

But don’t forget – there is good news! While there may be no magical equation, there is a process, and if you know anything about us – it’s that we’re all about process. It takes some facilitation, a few frameworks and a chunk of energy, but if you’re willing to dig deep and 1. reveal how you’re spending time now, 2. write down your vision for the future, 3. be conscious about what keeps you up at night, and 4. be real in defining your feasibility between near-term & long-term actions… there is an answer in sight! We learned that when you can literally see your goals, wants and needs (both personal and professional) all mapped holistically in front of you, you can prioritize your time and determine what each action is worth.

We’ve gone through this process with numerous clients and for ourselves too many times to count at this point and we have to say, the results are somewhat magical. At the end of the day, who doesn’t want to go from too many thoughts bouncing around in their head making you restless and unfocused to feeling powerful and fueled? Yeah, you can count us in for the later! Because guess what – spending quality time on you now will save you infinite wasted time in the future.

Applying this process to PinPoint has been a cosmic shift to us both personally and professionally. It has taught us how to clearly identify when something is worth outsourcing versus tackling ourselves. It has uncovered operational milestones specific to our business, such as intentional triggers to grow our team. And in full transparency, it uncovered just how much we love time spent collaborating with our brilliant Collective, making our clients’ visions come to life, eating donuts and cuddling our cats.

For anyone out there interested, we created a cheat sheet (or 4 sheets) to get you rolling on figuring out your highest, most valuable use of time. Here’s a link to dig in. We want to hear how it goes, what you learn, what surprises you or what frightens you – besides clowns of course,… because clowns. And whenever you’re ready, let’s grab a coffee.

Lessons From Gaming

A New Normal Trend Report   |    07.27.21

Video games continue to garner mass adoption across all demographics, and with that comes a new wave of game types and the creators that make them.

Today, video game developers are harnessing the power of their audience to deliver meaningful change at a mass scale – something every business can learn from. Beyond traditional methods of game mechanics, creators are encouraging a shift towards more inclusive & engaging approaches to design.

This mini trend shares the latest trends in video game development as a means for inspiring creators, innovators & business leaders beyond gaming to think outside the box.

For more mini trends, check out this and other trend reports on our Instagram!

Combatting Boredom

A New Normal Trend Report   |    06.29.21

This past year brought our global society enough negative inputs to last us a lifetime – from once-in-a-century pandemic, political & civil unrest to an economic recession. The result? 77% of adults feeling bored along with a collective loss of meaning.

To say boredom is a transformative emotion would be an understatement.

Boredom and languishing (check out our last article) is increasingly influencing how people behave, consume and feel. This mini trend unpacks the emerging mindsets driven by boredom and tips for individuals and businesses to lead the way to optimism and hope.

For more mini trends, check out this and other trend reports on our Instagram!

Imagine a world absent from your phone. Absent from living in a little Zoom box. Absent from being on call 24/7. A world where that little ‘ding’ (you know the one) didn’t immediately trigger a spiraling state of questions and concern wondering who it is, what do they need, do you need to address it at that moment or what are you missing. Is it hard to imagine? Is it easy? Is it anxiety inducing? Is it dreamy?

A car driving into the sunset
How do we snap the feeling of being in limbo?

We went through the exercise of mapping out the last moment we disconnected from the digital world for more than 24 hours and let us tell you…frankly, it’s embarrassing. It doesn’t help that this past year pushed us far down the ‘at-home-on-the-couch-scrolling-on-my little-screen-in-front-of-the-big-screen-as-a-reward-for-being-off-my-medium-screen-with-nothing-else-to-do’ rabbit hole. All that being said, here we are over a year from the pandemic onset with the end of the tunnel and a slight glimmer of light in sight, yet we just can’t stop watching The Circle until the wee-hours of the night.

Friends, we are languishing. And similar to a Pantone color, it’s quickly becoming the emotion of the year.

What is languishing, you might ask? It’s that feeling of being stuck in limbo. One minute life is just too overwhelming and the next minute life just isn’t compelling enough. It’s feeling numb and burnt out while simultaneously feeling restless and eager to engage with the world again. While 2021 has given access to the COVID-19 vaccine for many, at the same time it has also emphasized feelings of waiting and a lack of control over what the present looks like or what the future will hold.

So, we did what we do best, and started researching this ever prevalent behavior taking over society. What we learned was both heartbreaking and encouraging – quite like some of the emotions attached to ‘languishing’ itself. Ironic? We think not.

Let’s just get the heartbreaking part out of the way. In this past year alone, 69% of mothers said they experienced adverse health effects due to worry and stress during the pandemic. On top of that, 75% of remote workers claimed they would consider quitting their current position for a job that focused more on employeesʼ mental health – dang! And then near and dear to PinPoint’s heart, business leaders reported a decrease in innovation around core products and services in 2020.

But, there’s hope and actionable ways to cope with languishing. While it feels counterintuitive once burnout sets in, it’s time to take a break. A real break. As people who are typically unapologetically curious and responsible for ideation, we knew we needed to address this ever-present feeling to allow space for inspiration – so we looked to the experts and started working with BeMOR on mental fitness coaching and have learned how to take many small, meaningful breaks throughout the day to be more present in the moments that matter. Ohio-based PR firm Geben Communication started offering ‘self-care’ days to encourage employees to disconnect – they are just one of many companies offering innovative solutions to the limbo of languishing.

Truth be told, we could go on for hours about what this research has taught us about ourselves, our relationships, society as a whole and about what it means for the future of working, of parenting, of marketing… truly the future of (fill in the blank). So whether you want to nerd out with us, need thirty minutes to decompress or are kind enough to help make sure we take a break from the day, let’s grab a coffee and conquer this languishing together.

Slanguage 101

A New Normal Trend Report   |    05.23.21

As Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Twitch become our go-to means for communicating, the use of shorthand and emojis have taken over our vernacular – and become the cornerstone of online youth vernacular.

These phrases, slogans and hashtags are driven by ever-changing subcultures, social networks, and limited character count – which when combined – evolve at lightning speed. 

This mini trend is your guide to today’s most recent viral slanguage, whether you hope to tap into the latest hashtags yourself or decode your niece’s handle, we’ve got your back!

For more mini trends, check out this and other trend reports on our Instagram!