HeroTalk Episode 13 (Quarantine Edition): Are Millennials Screwed? Featuring Tru Pettigrew

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Hero Talk

HeroTalk Episode 13 (Quarantine Edition): Are Millennials Screwed? Featuring Tru Pettigrew


The State of Culture: Embracing the Creative Chaos

Hero State:

Hero State Principle

The State of Culture: Embracing the Creative Chaos

Consumers have never craved culture more. Deprived of restaurants, nightlife, museums, concerts, lectures, even education, we’re seeing an outpouring of creativity from a cultural landscape on pause. Musicians across the world are playing from their balconies or homes, artists are drawing and painting from their rooftops, and celebrities like Ariana Grande are bribing their followings to stay indoors in exchange for new music. 2,500 museums can now be visited online as the spring exhibitions continue, we can stream opera concerts nightly, and Spotify has created endless COVID-19 “party” playlists. We see DJs like DJ Nice hosting events like “Club Quarantine,” while apps like Houseparty and TikTok bring friends together creating virtual nightlife.

Embracing the aesthetics of the time, creatives are leaning in to the chaos, adopting the aesthetics of fluidity, utilizing techniques like splicing, assemblage, and manipulation. Bold voices will come from new platforms as the cultural hierarchy is leveled. Going forward it will be easier for new artists to break through, new voices to be heard, and for brands and companies it’s key to light on these emerging voices for inspiration, hope, and bold newness. The voices of the new decade will come from previously unknown artists and creatives.

It’s important to consider how much of culture will continue be virtual, however, as this could be the moment when creative culture becomes more virtual and assessable. Looking to the future of fashion, many designers are rightly rethinking the notion of fashion week, opting for digital runway shows for the remainder of the year. At home concerts like John Legend and Chrissy Teigen’s “Together At Home” IGTV livestream could easily become commonplace. New film releases might drop directly into people’s homes in an exciting expansion of d2c connectivity.

While we expect much of creative culture to resume with vigor and enthusiasm in the coming months, there will be a shift toward remote viewing and accessible subscriptions. Brands must be ready to amplify these creative new solutions.

 


State of Commerce: The Need for Radical Resilience

Hero State:

Hero State Principle

State of Commerce: The Need for Radical Resilience

The fallout from the Great Shutdown thus far has resulted in consumers sheltering in place in most cities and states across the county, while business are hitting pause in unprecedented ways. Hashtags like #togetherathome and #stayathome trend across social media, and yet some businesses, brands, and individuals have placed their foot firmly on the accelerator, adapting quickly to new needs and shortages, contributing by retooling their supply chain to assist in crisis. This kind of nimble, radical thinking will power brands through this moment of uncertainty.

Often with hit or miss results—think of Telsa’s radical but hard-to-execute plan to create ventilators from car parts versus Louis Vuitton (LVMH) quickly converting their luxury design houses into mask and hand sanitizer factories—these acts of radical contribution, unthinkable just months ago, are the roadmap forward for brands. Companies are being forced to reinvent themselves in real time, adapting their messaging, products, and business models to a “business unusual” reality. Companies like Sweetgreen, delivering meals to the frontline rather than closing their doors, signal the kind of sacrifice we expect to see as the world resets.

This moment of radical transition is key to keeping a disrupted consumer base engaged, while beyond the immediate it’s important for all industries and brands to adapt to the consumer who will emerge once the stay-at-home orders have been lifted. Euphoric moments of freedom will be short-lived, replaced by a consumer who is pragmatic, cautious, and looking to spend and invest with a need-based mindset. A new value chain is emerging, and brands must be in alignment or they will quickly lose relevance.

Consider how you can radically rethink your resources, putting them to immediate use, sending signals of a steady hand in a time of crisis. Plan for an unknowable future by knowing that your product, messaging and model must radically adapt as the year unfolds. Remember to engage your consumer base, look for clues to their state of mind, priorities, and struggles. As social media tells us daily, we’re #inthistogether.


Culture Hack Live: The Darkside of Beauty with Selita Ebanks

Culture Hack

Culture Hack Live:

The Dark Side of Beauty with Selita Ebanks

Former supermodel and Victoria’s Secret spokeswoman talk the good, bad and the ugly of the fashion and beauty industry and what next for an industry that is ripe for disruption.


The Dark Side of Beauty with Selita Ebanks

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Culture Hack Live:

The Dark Side of Beauty with Selita Ebanks


Achieving a Hero State: Art of Unwinding

Hero State:

Health

Achieving a Hero State: “Art of Unwinding"

How Covid-19 Will Teach us to “Slow the F*ck Down”

The historic advent of Covid-19 has taught us a powerful lesson of adaptation. With most Americans used to living modern and connected lives, we must now reset around a reality of limited mobility, lack of control and heightened anxiety. At a time in which there is so much uncertainty, we must find a new way forward, and for many of us that will mean having to embrace a new pragmatic lifestyle.

The good news is that people have been experiencing a high level of burn out for a while now, resulting in them seeking greater efficiency in everything they do, so they can spend more time focusing on what really matters! Essentially, people are taking a healthy step back to analyze how best to move forward. Now more than ever, in the wake of Covid-19, consumers will have to learn to embrace a new lifestyle principle at Hero Collective we call the art of “Un-winding.” Un-winding does not only dictate a state of mind, but more so your overall state of being. Consumers want the most out their experiences, seeking deeper connections and meaning in what they invest their time in, like work, relationships and culture. Un-winding all of the fake and inauthentic clutter from one’s life. For brands it’s all about slowing down, stripping away the cosmetic layers and focusing on delivering a product that is steeped in a story that’s highly personal. We have seen this ideology exemplified in the rise of the wellness industry, the need for transparency, empathy in storytelling, the return of craft-driven products, movements such as farm-to-table, and organic everything. We are searching for a sense of connection and purpose amidst a world of noise and uncertainty. Our post-Covid-19 reality will see Un-winding enacted in ways that are even more extreme!

The following is list of principles that you can use to unlock the “Art of Unwinding”, which can help you identify/magnify your sense of purpose, at a personal and brand level during this crisis.

  1. Stop: Simply hit pause and stand back for a second. I know it sounds overly simplistic advice but there is a powerful restorative element in just taking a break, letting the sediment of noise, fears and knee-jerk reactions settle and give way to contemplation and a vision forward.
  2. Reset: It’s time to filter our personal anxieties through something more useful and socially urgent.  Focus on what really matters to you and the role you can play in helping society.  You will find that the more you shift the energy created by your internal fears into motivation that is meaningful to others, what ails you will seem less significant. For brands, explore how what you stand for inspires extraordinary actions in others.
  3. Listen: With so much stress going around, one of the things we need to do is to listen to each other. Make sure you’re listening to your consumer to learn how to connect in ways that are more meaningful.  A listening brand beats a tone-def brand any day, so shut up and pay attention.
  4. Create: Take advantage of the downtime to create something new, reinvent yourself.  Try new crafts that can get you thinking outside of your comfort zones. Think of how the horrors of the bubonic plague inspired DaVinci designs around a new form of city planning. Disaster and crisis must bring about innovation.

So, while it’s ok to hit panic during this time of craziness, exhale and explore the art of Un-winding it slowly as in that quiet space might lie something transformative that can make some noise.

#Unagency


A Time for Heroes: Finding Your Superpowers

Hero State:

Health

A Time for Heroes: Finding Your Superpowers

By Joe Anthony

It’s no doubt that Covid-19 has dealt the world a powerful and unfair blow. It has single handedly reset the entire foundation of how we live, ushering in a cloud of seeming uncertainty and helplessness. It has, perhaps most markedly, put on hold the beauty of everyday moments many of us took for granted. Gathering with friends, hugging family members, going out for dinner, experiencing the transformative power of live music, and even the tedious but now cherished morning routines. For many others this pandemic has hit home in more direct and heavy ways, either by impacting our physical health or through the heavy emotional burden of uncertain times. Yet despite the obvious hardships this pandemic has instilled upon us, we still find ways to come together and unleash humanity’s spirit of compassion and resiliency.

Amidst all of this we are lifted by stories of selflessness, love, hope and courage. Watching the videos of the quarantined Italian apartment dwellers singing love songs in unison or dancing to D-Nice’s live virtual house party, we can all smile and feel comfort as we witness a connective force that is bigger than the pandemic. There is something that occurs during a crisis that showcases our potential as humans that should be commonplace. This force in togetherness and purpose is what will propel us forward to tackle this unprecedented crisis. A crisis that will propel forward a new normal of bold thinking, risk-taking and prioritization around what matters.

We are entering the age of Heroes! Beginning with the everyday heroes tackling today’s net set of challenges, and so we are in awe of the doctors, nurses, the teaches, the parents and all of us who are selflessly putting ourselves out there to make a difference.

HEROISM today and tomorrow can no longer be a passive action, and occasional donation, a comment of support on story or post that moved you!  It must become a full-on contact sport, fully engrained into everything we do and everything we are. We must all find ways to tap into that inner life force that we were given and awaits awakening. This period signals a reset for humanity, a reset that begins with leading a life of purpose and intention.   We all must become Heroes! The term cannot just be bestowed upon the bravest amongst us who exist on the frontlines of volatility.  We all must find how we can make Heroic contributions if we are going to build the world that we envision and that will ultimately keep us all safe!

Our agency was founded for moments like this, hence our namesake, and the premise of living and acting like everyday heroes. Here are some of the lessons and principles that can help you identify your superpower and begin leading a life or building a brand optimized to commit acts of good!

  1. Focus: Time is probably the most important asset we have.  However, it’s a blessing that we take for granted and treat like a commodity.  Take advantage of this reset to prioritize and focus on what really matters, who you surround yourself with and the values you hold dear.  This is a time for self-reflection and analyzation, use this time to be honest with yourself, so you can come out of this with a greater understanding of who you really are and what you are meant to contribute.
  2. Go Beyond: Go beyond you comfort zone, purposely make yourself uncomfortable in an effort to understand how you can make the most impact. Those that truly have Heroic qualities are constantly transforming themselves in response to the current environment and as they’re tasked to do more.  This is of particular importance to brands when asked to adjust their business models to better serve consumers during times of crisis.
  3. Collaborate: Despite the hyper connected world that we live in and the number of Zoom events that are happening around the world, make no mistake people will be searching for communities that offer them an opportunity to align with like-minded people.  During a time of crisis, it’s important to find your tribe.  This is a great time to reconnect and collaborate with those like-minded rebels that can help you make things happen.
  4. Be Agile: Agility is a new superpower for entrepreneurs and brands. The ability to adapt and multi-task is the new requisite superpower during uncertain times. Find ways to decouple, reset, transform and optimize your ways of working.  Fire brings light, which is a metaphor for opportunity.  Taking advantage of a crisis is not capitalizing on suffering, if your innovation adds value to peoples lives.
  5. Act with Urgency: Extraordinary challenges requires extraordinary action.  Brands cannot allow their internal bureaucracies impact their ability to create solutions at a pace that is consistent with what the world dictates.  Urgency should happen in advance of a crisis not just during.  Let’s use this experience to usher in a new era of urgent innovation!

This moment is transformative on all fronts, so use it to bring out your badass, history-making, self to the game. From our end, we will take our name with greater responsibility than ever. To stand for what we believe, to take action, and to help and learn from partners in effort to make society better than it was prior to this pandemic.


The Rise of Well Dying

Hero Health

Health

The Rise of Well Dying

As the Boomer generation ages, they have redefined what it means to colloquially “get old.” Using their massive economic and cultural sway, they have spurred a movement of age inclusivity, from Netflix hits like “Grace & Frankie” to starring in ads from Gucci to Supreme. At fashion weeks around the world, former supermodels have walked the runways once again, proving that age is just a number. Collectively they have changed the conversation from living longer to living better, giving rise to a new trend around “well dying.”

In the healthcare sector, the industry is seeing the unprecedented growth of homecare, now projected to be the 3rd fastest growing occupation across all industries, increasing 47% by 2026, while 87% of retirement-age people want to stay in their home. As aging generations push the boundaries of aging, at home solutions will continue to evolve. Consider Nesterly, the home sharing app pairing an aging Boomer with a young professional roommate, or the rapid rise of multifamily living in the real estate market that’s projected to hit an all-time high in2020. As co-living becomes more mainstream, home sharing could become the new multi-generational norm.

At home tech devices will improve the lives of retirees as homes become more connected and user-friendly, while at home health workers will find new opportunities and solutions as tech giants play into the healthcare space, from Nest to Google and Uber. We anticipate that HCPs will benefit from expanding into patients homes through telehealth consults, apps, and monitoring devices, while embracing much-needed fluidity. Changing the conversation around aging by keeping convenience at the core is key for an industry looking to find the right balance between comfort and remote health.

The Shift: Wealth, numbers, and longevity make the Boomer generation the new trendsetters of aging and at-home health.

The Takeaway: Medical professionals must be ready to provide the kind of homecare they are looking for, combining at-home nursing with smart remote tech.

Consider: Well dying is trending among Boomers and will be passed down to their Millennial children, changing attitudes around all facets of end-of-life care.


Welcome to the World of Wearable Health

Hero Health

Health

Welcome to the World of Wearable Health

As the wellness industry moves toward self-health, the resurgence of wearables as health-specific devices is an important area to watch. The healthcare wearables market is projected to reach $60 billion by 2023, and could be yet another step forward in modern preventative medicine. Adding to a pool of consumer data through voluntary tracking and monitoring, it’s projected that 5 million individuals will be remotely monitored by healthcare providers by 2023, while assistive hearables will generate revenue of over $40 billion by 2022.

The wearable industry has smartly shifted away from fitness, moving into healthcare with next-gen devices and coming back into the consumer conversation with innovations like Apple’s ECG app that offers advanced health tracking features. Tapping into the self-health wellness market, the timing is right to redefine wearables as sophisticated and must-have health tech accessories. For medical professionals, wearables present new possibilities around real-time data acquisition, monitoring and intervention, as better real-world data becomes paramount to understanding patients and patient trends.

Smart wearables can lead to more effective clinical trials, as the influx of devices provides comprehensive patient data that has been lacking in the medical community. Health care professionals can use this technology to log their ongoing correspondence between doctor and patient, and offer 24/7 safety, giving consumers peace of mind through devices they already use in their everyday lives. Continuous care goes beyond the idea of illness and engages patients throughout their everyday lives. HCPs and clinicians are should take a page out of the book of popular community building brands like Nike’s Run Club. Wearables have the power to redefine the point of connection between medical professionals and patients.

The Shift: An influx of new wearables have reintroducted themselves to the market as health-trackers and real time connected devices, from smart contacts to watches.

The Takeaway: Medical professionals can capitalize on real-time tracking in a seamless, unobtrusive manner while collecting data on patient behavior to improve care.

Consider: Take a cue from brands that engage with consumers effectively beyond product or service, becoming a necessary part of their everyday.


Former Apple and Nike Marketing Exec, Arturo Nunez, Joins Hero Collective’s Advisory Board!

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Health

Former Apple and Nike Marketing Exec, Arturo Nunez, Joins Hero Collective’s Advisory Board!

Arturo Nunez joins Hero Collectives Advisory board, with a focus on strategic partnership development, investor relations and helping to build the company’s emerging original entertainment division, Hero Studios. Mr. Nunez is currently the founder of AIE Creative, a recently created marketing consultancy, providing immersive experiences to a highly curated selection of brands looking for unique ways to connect with diverse customers.

Arturo was previously CMO of Latin America for Apple, where he was responsible for marketing and corporate communications, product marketing, education content, enterprise marketing and developer relations across all 38 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with special focus on Brasil, Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. Arturo Joined Apple in Oct of 2014.

In 2012 Nunez, became Vice President Global Marketing for Nike Basketball, where he was challenged with executing the brands marketing vision and strategy globally. Mr. Nunez’s daily responsibilities includes but were not limited to the development of the overall brand positioning, communications strategy, public relations, event activations, retail programs, digital marketing, E-commerce and creative strategies. Nunez was pivotal in the creation of campaigns for Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Paul George.

Prior to joining Nike, Nunez worked at the NBA and for some of the most accomplished brands in the world, including LVMH and Diageo. Nunez also sits on the boards of The Miami Underline and The Playing for Change Foundation. A native of Harlem, New York and son of Venezuelan and Cuban parents, Nunez attended Florida A&M University, where he studied Business Administration and Economics. He is fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. He currently resides in Pinecrest, Florida with his wife Ana, son Marcelo and daughter Karina. In his spare time, Arturo collects art, DJ’s and is a member of a number of groups with the mission of helping others realize their dreams. These include Summit Series, Conversations in The Park and the New Fania Collective.