Interview with future-A
Interviews – Dec 15, 2021

Interview with future-A

Design, Services, Technology
Future-A researches, monitors, and analyses the latest developments in marketing, products and business models, and subsequently applies this knowledge in strategic environments. Its methodologies are the result of more than 15 years of experience in market research, trend research and foresight. Today at Sträbe, we will learn more about their work.

How did future-A begin?

The future-A team comes from design-related technology research centres. We specialise in market and trend studies, but from a purely research point of view. When we founded future-A, our intention was to package all our knowledge of trends and deliver it to the business world, and convert this knowledge into real strategies. After all, knowledge of trends is useless unless you turn it into valuable business intelligence which you can then apply in the real world.

You define yourselves as a project open to creative ways of building relationships. Is this your value proposition? What is your company mission?

Our mission has always been to innovate for our clients. We believe that to this end trends are a hugely powerful tool, but they should be harnessed to create real strategies. For this reason, for every project we tailor our approach to meet the specific needs of each company. We do not work with a rigid portfolio of services, and in each case, we adapt our research to provide real answers, combining strategic knowledge and creativity. We often get involved in projects not only as suppliers, but also as partners, as we delve deep into what makes a company tick. As a result we often develop close relations with our associates and clients.

Design Trends Report by future-A
How would you describe the team behind future-A?

At future-A we are an interdisciplinary team, combining talent in fields such as economics, creativity, marketing, and design. But regardless of our background and experience, we are a group of analytical and resourceful people. We apply trends by harnessing our intuition, honed over many years of work. By fusing the desire to learn and tackle varying challenges in a creative way, we add value to trends.

What services do you offer at future-A and which are currently most in demand?

We work with different types of clients, from industrial clients who we help to understand the trends in different spaces so that they can translate them into successful products; to myriad interior design projects to provide a strategic vision of design and how it can bring value to the client’s business. Above all, we bring innovation to the business model, from marketing, through points of sale and spaces, and products, and we link all of this to the client’s messaging and branding. We approach most of our projects with a global vision, which ensures coherence between all project phases and the full realization of our strategic objectives.

Currently we are focusing on research and application in relation to product strategies, marketing and business models, with the focus on the habitat, office and hospitality sectors.

Presentation in Barcelona of the Design Trends Report
Who are future-A’s clients? Do you focus on clients in a specific sector or is your portfolio diversified?

Our portfolio is highly diversified. The interesting thing about trends is that they allow us to take a holistic view of different sectors such as manufacturing, marketing, interior design and business models. In the case of retail, this vision of trends is especially important, because the shop experience is changing drastically and every day new concepts emerge that we need to analyse to determine whether their relevance for the company today or in the future.

When applying trends in the development of products, product ranges and collections, what are the typical challenges you encounter? The point of sale is a crucial aspect when determining the creative concept and messaging for product launches, right?

The main challenge is how to translate trends at the point of sale into products. It's not just a question of knowing what the season’s colours are, but of adapting a product so that it becomes a creative tool for interior designers in their work. In other words, we look beyond aesthetic trends and focus on strategy and how spaces are changing in a way that allows us to open our eyes to new product types.

Presentation in Bilbao of the Design Trends Report
When generating marketing content for companies, what is the most important factor?

Our vision of content marketing is to always incorporate the latest marketing trends to add value to what we do. We don't focus on clickbait, but on how content can help build a brand, not only now but also in the future. For this reason, it is vital to understand the personality of the brand, how it differentiates itself, the brand voice and how trend content make the company stand out from the rest, with the firm focus on the coherence of the messaging.

Future-A in addition to your understanding of trends, you are also experts in applying them in real life. How do you adapt trends to suit the needs of a company?

It is always highly client-focused, because we take strategic actions that involve multiple company departments and areas of expertise. We harness our own methodologies that we have developed over the years, based on design thinking tools adapted to information trends. This means we can collaborate closely and develop optimal strategies and plans of action.

Tell us a bit more about TRENDS CLUB. How did this initiative come about?

This is an initiative that was born by talking to Cenfim, a cluster of furniture and habitat companies. Our initial idea was to create a space to share trends and real life experiences. It began as a face-to-face event with a small forum, but due to the pandemic, we had to rethink the model and bring it online. Happily, it has been a great success, so we will continue with the online sessions, but mix in some face-to-face events. The aim is to share the result of our research and create a forum for manufacturers and interior designers to share their knowledge and expertise.

As experts in trends and with more than 20 years of experience in the sector, how do you see the future of the habitat sector?

The hybridisation of spaces that we are experiencing now is very interesting, and it is process that will continue for years. How a home becomes an office, a hotel incorporates a shopping experience, or retail outlets relocate. All this generates new models of spaces, which we have yet to define. This also relates to manufacturers, where we are seeing the emergence of new, more flexible and open-use product categories. We believe that this, together with the challenges of sustainability, will be the two great driving forces that will transform the habitat sector in the coming years.
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