In recent years, consumers have become more attuned to their attitudes to products. By opting in to an experience rather than being forced to participate, consumers are beginning to empower themselves to experience new products, not just purchase them. Garrett Camp, the CEO of the discovery engine StumbleUpon, says that “The difference between search and discovery is all in intent – I always need to know what I’m looking for when I search. But with discovery, we’re trying to produce a more surprising, serendipitous experience. I want to be surprised, I want to learn something and be educated and enlightened as I find stuff, and I don’t find that happens in search unless you do a lot of work.”
In a trend from our Future of Home Living report we’re calling Guided Discovery, PSFK Labs examines how novel twists on subscription services are helping homeowners break out of routine behaviors by delivering a curated selection of products directly to their doorsteps. These high-quality kits, samplers and bespoke recommendations are packaged with narratives, how-tos and related experiences, encouraging discovery and bringing an element of surprise to people’s everyday lives.
One example of Guided Discovery is the San Francisco-based art subscription service Getartup. Getartup offers an affordable way for people to decorate their empty walls while also increasing awareness around contemporary artists. The web-based marketplace allows patrons to browse a diverse gallery of contemporary artwork just as they would a retail site, sorted by size, type, or color of art. Clicking on a certain piece of art reveals the cost of renting it for a month, or buying it outright. If shoppers choose to rent a piece of art, a free swap is included after six months whereby they can select a new piece to hang on their wall. The service’s sharing model allows almost anyone to have a different piece of locally-created, contemporary art on their wall each month for far less than it would cost to own.
Another manifestation of the Guided Discovery trend is the food subscription service HelloFresh. HelloFresh delivers pre-measured ingredients of chef-curated meals to its subscribers’ doorsteps every week to make creating tasty, healthy meals at home as effortless as possible. Every week, the site lets subscribers peruse five new recipes created by professional chefs and nutritionists. Each recipe is designed to take 30 minutes or less to prepare, requires basic kitchen equipment, and comes with step-by-step instructions. Each pre-prepared box also includes all of the ingredients measured out to the exact amounts needed. Hello Fresh also operates a “soft subscription” service, which means users choose how many meals they would like a week and for how many people.
PSFK has announced the latest in a series of trend reports. Following studies into retail, social media, gaming, work and mobile, the PSFK Labs consulting team have generated the Future of Home Living report. That report manifests as a free summary presentation, an in-depth downloadable PDF and an exhibition in New York City that runs to August 16.
RSVP below to take a tour of the exhibition at 101W15th.