TBWA\RAAD today announces the official launch of NEXT, the Middle East’s first creative-led innovation consultancy designed to shape the future of brand experiences today.
Powered by TBWA—The Disruption® Company which has been named to Fast Company’s list of most innovative companies in the world for the fourth consecutive year in 2022, NEXT connects emerging tech with a deep understanding of culture and brands to disrupt the traditional approaches to customer experience thinking and unlock business and brand opportunities.
The shift to Web 3.0 with the growth of technologies like the metaverse, gaming, AR or NFTs requires brands to play into unknown territories and businesses need guidance to move beyond the buzzwords and be truly impactful in those new spaces.
In a survey commissioned by NEXT across the UAE and Saudi Arabia it was revealed that despite a near universal interest in technology (96.7%) and over half of consumers passionate about innovations such as the metaverse, brands are still falling short in terms of using technology to enhance their customers’ experiences. The research also revealed that 88% of consumers will spend more money for a great experience and 92% will choose a brand that they feel surprises and delights them, sending a clear messaging that brands need to do more.
NEXT arrives in the region as an antidote to incrementalism, where the innovation pipeline is built entirely to deliver on specific business and brand challenges, channeled through a collaborative process that is powered by an ecosystem of tech and business experts, creative leaders and strategists.
To unlock all those opportunities for brands, NEXT offers different modules:
- NEXT Future Mapping delivers a full innovation pipeline based on the business strategic needs while tapping into the Shifts that are shaping the future.
- NEXT Sprints dive deep into one specific opportunity within the 25 Shifts identified as critical for brands in 2022 – such as “Third Place Gaming”, “Extended Reality”, “NFT Collectables”, or “Audible Media”. These Sprints will identify for each brand where the opportunities lie and how we can leverage the Shifts to transform the experience, differentiate the brand, engage customers, or drive sales.
- NEXT Quick Prototyping and Labs ensure the ideas are produced and delivered through the global network of makers within the TBWA Collective.
Reda Raad, Chief Executive Officer at TBWA\RAAD said: “We are at a time where there is a real opportunity to lead from the region in developing the next generation of brand experiences. With NEXT, we are merging our deep expertise in culture with a strategic way of looking at technological change. This allows us to identify innovation opportunities for clients that generate business growth and take customer engagement to the next level. We are truly excited to bring NEXT to the Middle East, a region that has proven again and again its capacity to champion innovation and captivate the world with unforgettable experiences.”
Jennifer Fischer, Chief Innovation Officer heading NEXT at TBWA\RAAD added: “Today more than ever, brands need to step up their game. Consumers in the MENA region are tech-savvy and are hungry for what’s next – brands must make innovation more than a buzzword and ensure it drives business growth and real value to customers. To do this, technology is not enough. People need impactful experiences that are in sync with culture, tap into emotions and use creativity and storytelling to become memorable and meaningful. NEXT offers this and more. What we want to achieve for our clients is to help them create more and more moments when their customers can fall in love with their brand, unlocking brand love, loyalty and of course business growth.”
On March 31st, over 150 guests from company executives, journalists, influencers and tech partners were taken on a multisensory journey into the future at NEXT’s official launch event held at “Infinity Des Lumières”, which offered a glimpse into the world of NEXT through an NFT art exhibition, a trip into the metaverse, extended reality experiences, an immersive ride into the future with AI poetry, a dive into the latest shifts impacting our world and many other disruptive experiences.
Note: All data is taken from a survey conducted by Hall & Partners in March 2022 with 1,000 participants across the UAE and KSA.