Innovation Inspiration From the World Without Web (wWw)

Digital disruption has become the driving force behind innovation, enabling the creation, delivery and support of products and services in a cheaper, quicker and more convenient manner, radically changing both business and society.
 
Although similarly transformational changes have historically been met with resistance – notably, the Industrial Revolution – digital has been eagerly embraced by consumers and enterprises alike. It may be that we have never seen such a strong desire to adapt to change as we see now.
 
In fact, the authors are willing to wager that nearly every other paper published in this session of ESOMAR has at least one reference to technology and the impact it has had on research.
 
Yet, alongside the profound positive change being wrought by the digital world, some elements of our previous quality of life are being lost. We Skype with friends in New York, but don’t know our neighbours. Our accelerated world leaves little chance for quiet reflection. Teenagers on social media experience life at second, or even third, hand. As technology makes life more reliable, we fail to appreciate and enjoy the extraordinary capabilities that make our lives possible. Two decades ago, every year, one of the author’s friends used to travel to his home town in India to see his grandparents. Today, he merely likes their updates on Facebook!
 
It begs the question: What will we miss from the ‘world without web’ (wWw) as technology seeps into every aspect of our lives?
 
This paper seeks to identify the wWw qualities of life disappearing from our digital world, with a view to asking:
  • How can we create commercial value through innovation inspired by wWw qualities?
  • How can we build customer loyalty by retaining important wWw qualities of human happiness in the brand experience?
In doing so, it draws both on research to identify these qualities, and an ideation workshop to generate examples of innovation that seek to recreate and/or leverage world wWw experiences to deliver commercial or social benefits. Finally, it details the results of a concept test to evaluate these wWw ideas.