Human Discussions with Katie Baron

10 February 2022

In this episode of Human Discussions, Kate Nightingale spoke with Katie Baron, Director of Brand Engagement at Stylus and senior contributor for Forbes. We discussed the predictions for 2022 including the importance of brand purpose and social impact, metaverse, NFTs, co-creation, and so much more…

Firstly, Katie talked about equitable brand engagement, expected by everyone but above all, by the younger generations. Brands and businesses will have to consider all their sustainable, ethical and social impact to create a more equitable and fairer world. Leaders need to think about what they are bringing to the community, otherwise, they will end up disappearing in the long run. It is not about numbers or products anymore, it is about people, humanity, and the world around us. 

As you can understand, a great emphasis will be given to sustainability, but the interesting part is that we will see a sophistication of sustainability in terms of communication but also strategies. The focus will not be on installing guilt, fear or the so-called eco-anxiety in consumers but rather making them feel like they are contributing and even co-creating brands’ sustainable impact. People will feel a sense of transformation, a sense of transcendence where they will want to become a better version of themselves and therefore, make more sustainable choices. 

Katie described metaverse as “a persistent world that is shared and interactive”. Metaverse has its own pros and cons, but it will create great opportunities for the retail sector and above all for e-commerce. Nowadays, e-commerce has become a little bit dull and boring, but the metaverse can be a great tool for reviving and redefining e-commerce.

Co-creation is one of those activities that will be highly present in the metaverse, but how will ownership look like? Who will be the owner of the goods co-created by the customer with the brand, especially if these are virtual? Here is where NFTs might be helpful. 

Katie explained that NFTs allow you to give value within the virtual world. They show ownership and allow people to re-sell something or get royalties. But here another question prevails…what about sustainability? 

It takes an enormous amount of energy for the metaverse and NFTs to work so how are we going to balance our willingness to behave in a sustainable manner but also our desire for innovation and future technology? 

These are only a few of the trends discussed in this super interesting discussion. Listen it here to find out more