Hyper Island | BCBusiness

Hyper Island | BCBusiness
Hyper Island—the Sweden- and New York-based education company that travels the globe preparing business leaders for today’s disruptive age—held its first Vancouver Master Class in December at the Museum of Vancouver.

Or, why you should stop using the word ‘digital’

Hyper Island—the Sweden- and New York-based education company that travels the globe preparing business leaders for today’s disruptive age—held its first Vancouver Master Class in December at the Museum of Vancouver. Eighteen people, including senior execs from Lululemon, B.C. Lottery Corp., and an Apple staffer from Cupertino, spent three days (and US$4,000 each) immersed in sermons from instructors whose job it is to focus on the future of consumer behaviour. Among the a-ha moments…

Now is as calm as it will ever be

We’re all stressed. Things can’t get any more harried, right? Actually they can and will. The dam that has regulated traditional consumer behaviour has been springing leaks for a while and innovative companies have ridden those trickles while others have been flooded. Those leaks will only increase, before the entire structure eventually gives way.

Structures being born now will be there for 40 years

The sharing economy. The empowered consumer. Harnessing available data. These are fundamental changes that will affect all business for a generation. You don’t have to like the change, but you do have to prepare for it and influence its inevitable effects.

Digital is just part of what you do

People wear the distinction of “being digital” like leather pants. It elevates them into the echelon of those who get it, and is an effective repellent against annoying questions from co-workers and superiors who don’t. Thing is, digital is just people and things, connected. You do what you do. In person, online and, soon, on Google Glass. The word “networked” is a lot more accurate and inclusive.

Transparency is the starting point

Everything should be public unless there is good reason to make it private. The earlier businesses realize this, the sooner leaks and whistleblowers will stop having a paralyzing impact when secrets are revealed. And transparency isn’t just about “revealing” only the good stuff you’ve done. That’s advertising.

User experience is the new marketing

Facilitate what your target market or audience is already doing. Find the problem of any given moment, extract the waste from their experience and add value. The least friction wins—solve the user’s problems, not yours.

Stand for something

Your company doesn’t need brand strategy. It needs brand values. Companies need to articulate what they stand for and develop a point of view in the marketplace. Once your brand values are in place, try asking if something is “on value” as opposed to “on brand.” And remember: standing for something means standing against something. Don’t be vanilla.