Habitare and Art Helsinki 2016

Habitare proved to be a very interesting fair event once again this year – although most of the attending companies seemed to have chosen not to push the limits with their displays of design.

The international friend and commentator of this year’s Habitare event was Alice Rawsthorn, who writes about design in the New York Times and Frieze Magazine. The display of Marimekko, located right at the entrance to the fair, was among her personal favourites. I did not get a chance to peek in at all, as the space was very crowded during the opening day. Other press favourites were the Hakola display, My O My and Garage combined display, and the Tikkurila display with multi-coloured swatches.

Attending Habitare made me think about interior design in the sense that while most people seem to put a lot of effort into the interior decoration of their homes, many office spaces and workplaces still seem to be designed to look very dull and uninspiring. This problem could be fixed with a little bit of imagination or by hiring an innovative, professional interior designer – or by investing in at least a few pieces of nice and functional furniture. This year’s inspiring winner of the Habitare Design Competition, “Syli”, for example,  would brighten the look and feel of any office.

This year, Habitare also included an extensive arts section in the form of Art Helsinki 2016 contemporary art fair, which I got a chance to visit the very first day.

The Art Helsinki exhibition featured works by such artists as Ilari Hautamäki, Tommi Toija and Katja Tukiainen, just to name a few. Hautamäki’s green-shaded paintings and Toija’s sculptures were the absolute personal favourites of mine in the exhibition.

Investing in art or design must be the most affordable and feasible way to make any space, be it the office or your home, immediately look more fresh and inspiring.

The Helsinki Design Week and Other Recent Events

This year, the Helsinki Design Week takes place from 1st of September to 11th of September. So this week I am very busy indeed, attending numerous design-related events. This year’s theme for the event is “Better”.

Habitare, the most extensive annual design event is taking place in the Messukeskus Convention Center, and I have been invited to this event as a blogger. I will be writing an article on the event, so stay tuned for that one!

And make sure to visit Habitare yourselves. This year, with 550 attending design companies, there will be an unprecedented plethora of contemporary design on show at Messukeskus. This year’s event has a separate exhibition space reserved for contemporary art, which I am very keen to explore myself.

Habitare takes place from 7th of September until 11th of September.

Another interesting event this week is the upcoming “Better Cities Together” seminar that will take place in the Helsinki City Hall. The keynote speaker in this event will be Anne Stenros, who has recently been selected as the city’s new Head of Design. As I am very interested in how design can be incorporated into city planning, I am very much looking forward to this event.

I am a member in a local network of businesswomen called “Ompeluseura”, and I recently signed up to volunteer in organizing an event called “Upea Ura!” next year.

Our team of volunteers is thinking about inviting Stenros to be one of the keynote speakers in our event, so I am very much looking forward to meeting her this week. We will have our next meeting of the network where the programme of the upcoming event will be discussed next week at my workplace in the FNG.

Recently, I have also come to think about signing up for a course on design entrepreneurship, and founding my own business. There will be an Open Studios event on 8th September in Helsinki, and I am looking forward to checking out a few locations for an office, such as the Mothership Of Work, located in Punavuori area of Helsinki. I went to a party organized on location last week, and that was a fabulous event.

If I were to go for setting up my own company, it would most likely be a digital design consultancy agency.

But let’ see how the still on-going job-hunt works out for me first. I went to two interesting interviews last week, and there are still more of these to come…!

So this is a brief summary of what is happening in my life right now. Exciting times!

My blog is celebrating its 1st anniversary in one week, and has so far had over 1,000 unique visitors, with 40 posts now published. My most popular post last year dealt with mindfulness and meditation (https://lifeofaplanner.fi/2015/10/22/about-meditation-and-mindfulness/), and the most popular post this year was about designing for happiness (https://lifeofaplanner.fi/2016/03/12/designing-for-happiness/). I think I will write more on these topics soon.

I recently updated the layout of the blog, and I am very happy with the resulting look and feel. For your information, I also opened a Facebook-page for the blog, you can find a link to that one below. I appreciate that so many of you have taken the time to read my posts, and any feedback on these is most welcome!

See Helsinki Design Week programme: http://www.helsinkidesignweek.com/

Follow “Life of a Planner” on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lifeofaplannerblog/

Tips for Marketing to Millennials

Millennials, most commonly defined as individuals born between 1980 and 2000, essentially aspire to be trendsetters, trailblazers and nonconformists.

However, there are a couple of things this generation of individualists has in common. As I am a millennial myself, I decided to write a post about the most common characteristics of this generation and about marketing to this segment.

Let’s first take a look at how many we are.

According to the Search Engine Journal, millennials currently make up a trillion-dollar demographic on a global level. Millennials make up approximately 25% of the population in the first world countries. By the year 2025, we will make up 75% of the global workforce, and our purchasing power will rise even more.

It is paramount to avoid targeting the “millennial” audience as a general segment in terms of marketing.

When attempting to reach out to this generation, it is best to try and target highly specific niche audiences.

In general terms, millennials do not trust traditional advertising and marketing – according to Forbes, this notion applies for well over 80% percent of millennials. And according to Ogilvy & Mather, around 60% of millennials would rather spend money on experiences than material items.

Also, concerns for the well-being of others and the environment heavily dominate the purchasing decisions of this generation. Millennials strongly prefer brands that demonstrate some level of corporate social responsibility. So showcasing the company values and encompassing these in marketing strategies becomes increasingly important – especially when it comes to being environmental-friendly.

In addition to this, most millennials seek peer affirmation, feedback and recommendations from others.

Personalization makes all the difference, when it comes to millennials. As a rule of thumb, any product or service will be more appealing to this group, if it has some customizable features, and if the related marketing messages are personalized. It should come as no surprise, then, that the favourite forms of advertising of millennials are online offers and personalized email marketing.

In an article in the Search Engine Journal, Mindy Weinstein, the founder of the digital marketing agency Market MindShift, offers 14 pro tips for marketing your product or service to millennials:

  • Create an experience in which Millennials can participate.
  • Develop content that encourages shares.
  • Provide Millennials with the opportunity to live the story with your brand.
  • Align your brand with a cause, so that Millennials will align with you.
  • Recognize the evolving lifestyles of Millennials and don’t be afraid to change with them.
  • Disrupt the market with an innovative approach to pricing and marketing.
  • Increase brand loyalty by embracing trends and joining in the fun.
  • Allow your customers to contribute to your marketing and be involved in the development of a new product line.
  • Create ads that speak directly to a personal moment in a Millennial’s life.
  • Go where the Millennials are (social and mobile).
  • Focus on a product or service that is convenient for Millennials.
  • Offer something that speaks to the Millennial’s desire for uniqueness.
  • Make your product personal and customizable.
  • Solve a need for Millennials and create a marketing message to back it up.

You can read the full article by Mindy Weinstein online here: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/trillion-dollar-demographic-10-brands-got-millennial-marketing-right/135969/

A presentation of the Nielsen Company report “Millennials – Breaking The Myths”: http://www.slideshare.net/recsportsmarketing/nielsen-millennial-report-2014