10 data innovations from Asia that are reshaping the expectations of your customers!


80% of consumers worldwide are willing to share personal data with companies.

(Aimia, September 2015)


But only 8% consumers feel they are receiving better offers and services as a result of sharing their information.

(Aimia, September 2015)

What's next for data and digital innovation in Asia?

Data, data everywhere – but what are you supposed to do with it?

We’re living through a data bonanza. Digital innovators, startup founders, marketers and CEOs can’t get enough customer data. And in Asia – the global epicenter of digital consumerism – the data is pouring in!

But amid the excitement of the data onslaught – tell me who my customers are! Where they’ve been! Who they like! What they BUY! – it’s easy to miss one simple truth.

The best customer data and the most sophisticated tech won’t get you anywhere unless you use it to create new products, services, campaigns that your customers love.

Consumers are willing to share data and information – with the condition that brands use it to make life better for them.

So the big question: how can you roll out data-fueled offerings that do just that?

Luckily, we have some thoughts ;)

Foresight? It's all about expectations ;)

If you're looking for conventional market research, stop right here. As usual, this Briefing is about innovations that are changing what your customers expect.

When it comes to creating winning innovations, one question is central: what will my customers want next?

We have our own, trend-driven answer. It’s not about asking or watching consumers. And no, it’s not about using all that customer data.

Instead, for actionable foresight on what consumers will want next, stop looking at customers and start looking at businesses. Why? Because game-changing innovations – new products, services, campaigns and more – create new customer expectations. And those expectations will spread across markets, industries, and demographics. Eventually, they’ll spread all the way to your door.

That’s why watching innovations, and interrogating them for the new customer expectations they create, is such a powerful way to generate customer foresight.

And it’s why we’re about to look at ten recent expectation-changing data innovations from Asia ;)


Let's get going!

This Briefing brings you ten of the best innovations utilizing consumer data and digital information from around the region, fresh from TW:IN, our global spotting network.

As you read, be relentless about asking: how does this example change customer expectations? What could these new expectations mean for ME? How can I innovate to serve them? Of course, we’ll have some thoughts of our own to share ;)



Ready for an ultra-fast download of new customer expectations?



Artificial intelligence helps people stick to a budget

When consumers see clever startups applying AI to their personal data in meaningful ways, what will they start to expect from you? Check out BENEFICIAL INTELLIGENCE in 5 CONSUMER TRENDS FOR 2016 to learn more…

Beta-launched in Q2 2016, Neat is a debit card and a payments app designed to help people stick to personalized budgets and savings goals. The Hong Kong startup’s artificial intelligence categorizes purchases and identifies spending habits to give users more insight into their spending. It also tells users how much they can spend each month to stay within budget, and gives warnings if spending is excessive. The service can also include a prepaid Neat debit card.


Xiaomi MiJia Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker

Smart rice cooker caters for individual preferences

What happens to consumer expectations when even everyday objects start using data to become smarter, more versatile, just better?

Launched in March 2016, the MiJia Induction Heating Pressure Rice Cooker has a companion mobile app allowing users to scan the barcode on the packaging of the rice they want to cook to automatically program the cooking time. With a portfolio of over 200 brands and 2,450 cooking combinations, consumers can also use the app to select their preferred rice softness. The cooker was created by Chinese electronics company Xiaomi and retails for CNY 999 (USD 150).



Bus shelter's UV readings educate commuters on the importance of sun protection

Some will even start to expect to get information with zero effort. How can you be a BUILT-IN BRAND by embedding useful data into the daily lives of consumers?

April 2016 saw skincare brand Bioré launch a campaign in Singapore educating commuters about the importance of wearing sunscreen. Digital billboards – embedded into bus shelters across the city – displayed hourly UV readings taken from the National Environment Agency’s website. The adverts changed color based on the strength of the rays: blue for a low reading, with red indicating dangerously high levels.



Startup collects saliva and offers DNA-based diet advice

As we highlighted in THE FUTURE OF BETTERMENT, expectations around data-fueled, personalized health and wellness offerings are accelerating fast. Your response?

Launched in March 2016, South Korea-based startup Genoplan develop personal genetic testing kits to help users design a healthy lifestyle based on their genetics. Users send their saliva sample in a kit and receive a report within two weeks analyzing their individual obesity potential, metabolism and nutrition status. The service also offers matching diet recommendations that users can access via the company’s website or mobile app.


GrabTaxi and Philippines Department of Transportation

Real-time taxi data used to improve traffic management in Manila

Consumers increasingly expect brands to make the world a better place for everyone. So how about sharing your customer data with others to improve a shared service?

March 2016 saw the World Bank and the Philippines Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) partner with GrabTaxi on OpenTraffic: an initiative aiming to address traffic congestion in Manila. The OpenTraffic tool, which is free and open source, will visualize real-time data from GrabTaxi drivers’ GPS. This will allow the DOTC to assess traffic speed and get real-time notification of accidents, leading to better traffic flow management in Cebu City and Metro Manila.



Smart device provides skincare tips based on local weather conditions

Consumers also expect brands to benchmark their personal data against external data in real-time, to help them make better decisions.

Shipping to Kickstarter backers in December 2015, WAY is a smart device that provides real-time skincare tips based on the user’s skin and external factors. Developed by dermatologists in South Korea, Way’s Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) sensor records skin oil and moisture levels and combines this with local UV and humidity data to provide advice on, for example, when it’s time to remoisturize or apply sunscreen. The USD 99 device also allows users to assess the effectiveness of skincare products by monitoring changes in the skin.


KFC Malaysia

Fast food chain's bespoke pre-roll clips set YouTube record

Consumers around the world are being exposed to campaigns tailored to the tastes, preferences and behaviors of the viewer. Are your campaigns keeping pace?

In Q4 2015, KFC Malaysia unveiled a YouTube campaign to promote its Hot & Cheezy burger to a younger audience. The fast food chain created 100 short pre-roll videos, each designed to play before specific clips, and all tailored to align with what the target audience was searching YouTube for. The 15-second clips were developed on a weekly basis, based on real-time insights into viewing behavior. The clips set a YouTube view-through record of 35%.



App helps consumers use the right credit card to get the best deals

Use basic customer information to help people save money. Simple! So you’re doing that, right? ;)

April 2016 saw Singapore-based personal finance platform launch Swipe, a smartphone app that helps consumers pick the right credit card to maximize their discounts, rewards, air miles and other credit card-related perks. The app requires users to select the credit cards that they use, and will then list all currently available deals and discounts. Information can also be filtered by location and proximity.


State of Odisha

Automated system gives farmers a fair price on crops

It’s not only brands that are reshaping customer expectations around data. Look to charities, NGOs and governmental bodies too!

The Indian state of Odisha has implemented the Paddy Procurement Automation System, a platform intended to make the sale of crops more efficient and transparent. Designed to prevent farmers being exploited by middlemen and selling their crops too cheap, the platform connects farmers (selling crops) directly to the state (buying crops). The platform generates an online receipt after sale, and farmers receive prompt payment. In January 2016, Odisha received a National eGovernance Award for the innovation.


Greenpeace Indonesia

Digital map tracks forest fires in real-time

Increasingly cause-conscious consumers will expect brands to utilize data to throw new light on crucial social, political and ecological issues.

Amid a forest fire crisis in Indonesia, March 2016 saw Greenpeace Indonesia launch Kepo Hutan, an interactive map of the country’s forest fires. The free digital map allows users to monitor fires and deforestation in near real-time, with data compiled from sources including Indonesia’s ministries of environment and forestry. The map will also allow new insight into who controls the land on which fires are breaking out. It is hoped this transparency will result in more responsible behavior around forest clearing and land management – according to Greenpeace, fires are often caused by the reckless clearing of forest.


New customer expectations don't emerge out of the blue – it's all about evolution.

The Trend Framework

16 megatrends that provide context and structure when tracking the evolution of consumerism

So we’ve seen ten data-fueled innovations from Asia, and the new customer expectations they’re helping to create.

But these new expectations – that health services should be more personalized, for example, or that useful data should be embedded in infrastructure – don’t emerge out of the blue. Instead, they evolve out of past expectations around personalization, convenience and more. And they’ll soon evolve again!

At TrendWatching, we view new customer expectations – and the trends they fuel – through the lens of a Bigger Picture. That is, our 16 mega-trends. These mega-trends are the big, slow-moving currents in the consumer arena and, when taken together, they form the Trend Framework: our complete picture of consumerism today and where it’s heading.

Grab a glimpse of the Trend Framework below (clients of our Premium Service have full access).

Via the Trend Framework, we’ll keep tracking the new customer expectations we’ve seen in this Briefing – as we continue to receive relevant examples from TW:IN, our global spotting network.


See what these innovations mean...

Each of our mega-trends captures the evolution of an aspect of consumerism. Via YOUNIVERSE, for example, we track the evolution of expectations around personalization. In INFOLUST we look at the ongoing consumer quest for ever more perfect information.

Looking at each innovation in this Briefing – and every innovation you ever spot! – through the lens of a relevant mega-trend means a much richer understanding of what that innovation means for customer expectations – and for you.


Customer expectations wait for no one – so GET GOING!

Human, all too human.

Data and digital innovation is a fast-moving story. But remember: your innovation will only win if it's grounded in a basic human need. And those are eternal! Think connection, security, value, fun and more.


Want to take it to the next level?

At our upcoming 2016 Trend Events in Singapore, Sydney, Chicago, London and Amsterdam you'll hear about THE trends that will shape consumerism in 2017 and beyond. And hear from innovators in the field already putting those trends into action!


New expectations can come from anywhere!

And today, customer expectations cross geographical borders faster than ever. So why not broaden your (G)LOCAL trend sources and subscribe to our free Global, Asia and Africa Trend Briefings??



Gather your team and start brainstorming on how you'll tap into ASIAN DATA DOMINANCE with the CONSUMER TREND CANVAS!