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Bang & Olufsen, LEGO, GANT and IKEA discuss how they will design for our future lives at Life Mode Copenhagen

Copenhagen drew the Life Mode global event series to an incredible close by boasting one of the most eclectic and exciting line-ups. Bang & Olufsen, LEGO, GANT and IKEA shared the same stage for one-night only as the Danish capital played host to the final event, in an exclusive 6-event series, to discuss ‘How brands can design the lives we want live’.

In the past few weeks, the event series has moved from London, through America and now back to Europe, featuring an incredible cast of today’s most prominent global brand leaders, design thinkers and cultural influencers – all coming together to discuss just why lifestyle has become the ultimate aspiration for so many brands today.

As the invited audience packed out Copenhagen’s KLUB, on the evening of November 22, Jesper von Wieding, Strategic Creative Director of Pearlfisher Copenhagen and Pearlfisher Futures Director, Sophie Maxwell, introduced the evening and the new 2018 Life Mode Report.

Sophie began by talking through the highlights of the Report, defining the future of lifestyle branding and the opportunity it showcases for brands to be the change-makers in this highly desirable space. She explained that by embracing three corresponding and key areas of change, brands can future-proof their offer to create the change we want to see. Sophie then handed over to the four brand speakers, inviting them to explore each area of change in more depth and bring them to life in the context of their own brand.

SHIFT 1: Following to Becoming

The first shift outlined the dissolution of society’s established and expected ‘milestones’ of success and how we are looking for new brands, products and services to innovate around our individual aspiration to constantly progress and optimise every aspect of ourselves as we embrace an increasingly non-linear approach to life.

Global Head of Creative at Bang & Olufsen, Jonathan Lowth, brought the shift life by focusing on how to bring experiential branding to life. He recounted how the realisation that no-one can claim to be a lifestyle brand led to them reinventing the brand to find unique ways to innovate and create bespoke experiences for a new generation  – a generation looking for meaning, beauty, imagination and freedom to reflect their changing lives and how they want to interact with their chosen brands.

“We were looking at a new consumer group and we needed to better understand the role we play in their lives. Our consumers share imagination. They want beautiful products and they care about the way things function. Everything about our brand has come back to imagination.”

Bang & Olufsen is one of the world’s leading global luxury lifestyle brands at the forefront of audio technology and innovation.

SHIFT 2: Fixity to Fluidity

The second shift explored how, as traditional sources of community are eroded, consumers are seeking new collectives to expand their worlds. Ultimately preferring access over ownership and the opportunities this presents for the future as we embrace and reframe communal activities and spaces.

Jesper Vilstrup is the General Manager of global iconic brand Lego House and, in his time at the helm, the brand has been dedicated in its focus to create experiences that foster the brand’s values of encouraging creativity, learning and having fun. Jesper framed this shift in the context of how Lego is continuing to innovate and inspire to, not just help its legions of fans create, but facilitate a new sense of access, sharing and connection through a seamless marrying of the physical and digital environment.

 “We want to make the Lego House a physical manifestation of the Lego idea – using your imagination and having fun. But, we also want the Lego House to represent what children want today – digital and physical experiences.”

 Lego House is the home of the iconic Brick where LEGO fans, of all ages, can discover the magic behind the brand and get the ultimate LEGO experience.

SHIFT 3: Consumer to Citizen

Drawing on a collective awareness of the need for change as we strive to leave a better legacy for generations to come, the third shift encouraged us to rethink our actions as we pursue new sources of influence that can facilitate and provide fit for purpose – and desirable – solutions for our changing lives and our changing planet.

Brian Grevy moved from his position as Chief Marketing Officer to CEO of GANT earlier this year. With a strong vision and understanding of the brand, Brian is transforming GANT to evolve in alignment with today’s rapidly changing retail environment but, more significantly, with our changing global environment. Brian explored the context of this area of change by talking about how he wants to contribute to a paradigm shift beyond today’s current business practice and take his business – currently sitting in the second most wasteful category in the world – forward consciously and considerately. Ultimately, helping ensure that future business is conducted in a thoughtful manner for the good of society.

“We have a roadmap to 2040. I don’t know if we’ll achieve everything we’ve set out to but we are trying and that’s what matters. Our purpose is to create the future of good business.”

GANT is an international clothing brand renowned for its quality and recognised as bringing the button-down shirt to the mass-market.

The final speaker was creative entrepreneur and Vision Director of IKEA’s SPACE10, Carla Cammilla Hjort. SPACE10 is a future-living lab and exhibition space in Copenhagen dedicated to finding global, sustainable solutions to the major challenges of modern urban living. Carla talked about the issue facing so many brands today, seeking to find patterns from chaos, and how she is now putting this into practice by focusing on four labs to cover basic needs and desires: natural interfaces, shared living, digital fabrication and local food.

“In everything I do, I want to create spaces for people to unfold their full potential, lead social change through art, culture and design and support the rebel spirit and build communities.”

Carla’s ingenious vision acts as a beacon for how the future-focused and successful brands of the future have the very real potential to become more of an integral part of our future lives if they can find ways to show their strength in at least one – and ultimately all three – of these highly influential areas of change.

Building on this, and to bring the event to a close, Pearlfisher Futures Director Sophie Maxwell presented a new lifestyle model to show how we work with brands and how brands can create a successful future vision by reframing the question from ‘how do we become a lifestyle brand?’ to ‘how do we design the lives we want to live?

If you couldn’t attend Life Mode Copenhagen but are interested in finding out about what the insights could mean for your brand, or want to find out more about the 2018 Life Mode Report, please get in touch at lifemode@pearlfisher.com.

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