Start-up talent is always closely scrutinised by those in their industry as a way of predicting new trends and innovation, and the end of 2013 saw a big increase of U.K. business making the lists of “ones to watch”. Billed as highly competitive against the established entrepreneurial hot spots Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas and other European hubs, London’s current crop of entrepreneurs are flourishing around the glamorously named ‘Silicon Roundabout’, named after the road layout at Old Street station.
In phase one of our Future of Britain research project, we discussed the future of creativity and entrepreneurship in the hands of the younger generations. We found almost half of young people shying away from University degrees and a corporate career, and instead seeking more personally fulfilling and independent work.
In a 2013 post on this blog, our Insight Director Chris Worrell noted:
The growth of these new businesses has been supported by much-increased government interest in the form of the Tech City initiative. Joanna Shields, CEO of Tech City, describes London as a unique breed:
Perhaps it is this blend of assets that make Britain’s entrepreneurial class of 2013/2014 a very perceptive – and therefore potentially very successful – bunch. Having spent a little time over the holidays perusing these hotlists, there is a noticeable correlation between the tipped up-and-coming businesses and the findings of our latest phase of Future of Britain research: Living with Future Britain.
Success in 2014 will be built upon what brands offer a range of emerging social groups (highlighted in bold below), whose needs are unique to the current economic climate and who are sparking new trends in the media landscape of today. The following small selection of new up-and-coming British businesses shows how brands are already succeeding by getting close to several new audiences. As Living with Future Britain continues to chart social trends in the U.K., brands can greatly benefit from our intimate knowledge of new consumer behaviour that is radically different from a few years ago.
1. Special 2 Us
Facebook albums and Instagram streams are all very well, but what about those stacks of real photo albums gathering dust in the loft? Special 2 Us, a photo archiving and restoration service, enables users to digitise their old family photo albums, videos and projector slides, restoring any blemishes in the process. For the newly digital-savvy Connected Greys, this is a prime opportunity to keep precious content from the analogue age and enjoy it in an easily searchable and sharable digital format.
This holiday review service completely streamlines the process of sharing your travel experiences. Relying heavily on photos to illustrate your trip instead of lengthy prose, Triptease socialises the review process by encouraging curation and creation on the platform, much like Pinterest or Instagram. The travel industry relies on advocates to spread the word about great destinations and experiences, so why make it hard for them to do so? Triptease is a great response to consumers’ awareness of the Anonymity Illusion: by exchanging personal information in the form of a trip review for a compelling and informative social experience, Triptease ensures that users gain from the trade, and continue to share alike.
Operating out of the palm of your hand, YPlan acts as the concierge with a streak of spontaneity, enabling a user to easily find new and unique experiences based on interests and location at a moments’ notice. It goes on to facilitate purchase if necessary and can even offer user discounts! As the Digital Retreat becomes more widespread, and Generation Rent search out more unique experiences away from established social networks, effortless integration with and contribution to users’ ‘here and now’ will be the mark of successful media.
In a climate of growing interest – and dare I say scepticism – in the workings of big business, DueDil offers conscientious consumers a look under the hood of a particular organisation. Accounts, shareholder information and more facts and figures are available to browse in the service’s database of over 9 million companies and 15 million directors. The New Brandsphere will see much more transparency demanded of brands by their audiences, and this will be driven by Generation Rent’s search for quality and authenticity after a string of public scandals and cover-ups that have shaken the British public’s faith in corporations.
The above social trends are only a sample of those identified by OMD UK as flourishing in the current climate. As they continue to do so throughout 2014, keep an eye on this blog for more ways in which they will shape, and be shaped by, the ever-changing British landscape.
Read more about some of the hottest start-ups of 2014 here: