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The Renault EZ-GO electric autonomous concept car

Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show 2018, Renault's EZ-GO concept is a 'robo-vehicle' - a shared, electric, driverless vehicle.

This article is an extract of an article published by Martin Hislop on Designboom, March 2018.

Renault’s EZ-GO is both a vehicle and a service. It becomes part of the smart city ecosystems that are being developed by governments, municipalities and the private sector. Its modular platform allows other possible uses. The concept provides an on-demand mobility solution for all. It works through an instant-booking service from an app, or from in-town stations, depending on the preference of the operator.

The service may be operated by private or public organisations. It can potentially operate 24/7 and it supplements car ownership and mass transit such as subways and busses. It combines the flexibility and comfort of individual transport with the efficiency and the safety provided by public transport.


The driverless car represents the french-automaker’s vision of a future on-demand mobility service that would be a genuine asset for any city, potentially even a recognizable design, representing its philosophy and commitment to providing sustainable, efficient mobility for everyone. Over and above this aspect, EZ-GO’s functional aspects give it a dual role in cities.


First, it simplifies travel for everyone, either as a stand-alone means of transport or as part of a multi-transport framework. door-to-door or to/from a station. It will be affordable because it is a shared service. Making trips easier for users will help reduce stress and provide new personal and professional choices. Leisure and work activities will take the place of driving for the users.


Next, the driverless car has a positive impact on cities. in addition to encouraging shared mobility that by nature helps improve traffic flow and reduces the number of parking places needed, it is respectful, silent and pollution-free, thanks to its zero-emission design, smart grid systems, and intelligent second-life battery use.


Its trapeze shape, its limited height and large glazed surfaces make it a genuine window onto the city, less obvious than a conventional bus or shuttle. Its shallow angle makes it easy for people to get in with a suitcase on wheels, a stroller, a wheelchair, or on crutches. Its benches are comfortable and made for lounging, without division between passengers; and its screens show useful information about the city that helps everyone, even those who don’t use the car.


All images (c) Renault

The Challenge of conventional Market Research

‘traditional’ companies must adapt and change quickly if they want to continue being successful...

‘The Challenge of Traditional Research: New Data, Players and Methodologies’, by Jordi Ferrer, Snappy Research Co-Founder, was chosen as the best article by the Spanish magazine “Investigación y Marketing” (Research and Marketing) during the annual gala of AEDEMO (Spanish Association of Market Research, Marketing and Opinion).


The main challenge that market research companies need to face is that the very definition and scope of the market in which they operate has radically changed – and it will continue to rapidly change in the years to come.


Right now, ‘traditional research’ is competing in a ‘new’ market, which is a mix of many information types, data, technologies, and business models created by ‘outsiders’.  The result is that ‘traditional’ companies must adapt and change quickly if they want to continue being successful.


Components of the new market

This ‘new’ market and the market research environment is defined by three primary components:


New technology, data, and information

  • The emergence and widespread adoption of new technologies that allow for deep, systematic, and in most of the cases passive gathering of data and knowledge of consumers. At the same time they allow to interact with consumers in a much more effective and efficient way, in order to conduct research and collect information about their attitudes and behaviours.
  • These technologies and platforms include mobile tools, location-based technologies, cookies and other measurements of online behaviour, social networks, online communities, sensors, neuroscience, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and many others.  A large amount of this information is what we call Big Data.


New Consumers

  • With the adoption of digital, mobile, and ‘social’ technologies, the consumer generates and shares a large amount of information (accepting a more or less conscious trade-off between free access to content and privacy).
  • At the same time, the consumer’s uses & habits change, and so does the consumer’s way of ‘interacting’ with companies and brands.  Consumers expect that these interactions are adapted to the way they interact with content and leisure in their their day-to-day – that is, by utilising gamification within mobile-based systems, using apps that offer some benefit and a good experience when they share their opinions or behaviours with brands.  All of this, logically, means that traditional research companies must innovate and update their data collection tools and practices.
  • Finally, market research companies continue to analyse and segment consumers based only on their socio-demographic profile or their buying patterns, like they have been doing for the last fifty years. They have to take into account their social and digital dimension, not only to help brands with their digital strategies, but also with their overall strategies of marketing and communication.


New Needs

  • In such a competitive, constantly changing environment, brands also demand and adopt new strategies and information systems to help and support their decision making.
  • They will increasingly require faster data and information, in a more continuous, efficient and affordable way. They want to be able to predict, implement, and measure their tactical in-market actions, rather than conducting huge studies that explain weeks later what worked or didn’t work in their latest marketing campaign or product launch.
  • Brands need – and technology now permits – the consumer to “sit next to them” in order to advise their tactical, day-to-day decision-making.


In this context, the era of the traditional research process and value chain is coming to an end, now that technology allows – and clients are demanding and will continue to demand – a radical change.  The ‘traditional’ model will only work for some specific and increasingly seldom client needs.


Therefore, the ‘traditional’ model and its very long process – data collection, processing, analysis, and delivery/presentation so that brands can use the information in order to make decisions, take action, and measure the results afterwards – is fading away…

…and a new model with a much shorter (and, in many cases, real-time) cycle has emerged, where data collection, analysis, action, and ROI measuring is accomplished in a virtually instantaneous manner. One example is Real-Time Bidding (RTB) in online advertising.



Traditional companies, rather than resigning themselves to a secondary role and providing, in some cases, information to DMPs (Data Management Platforms), need to take a step forward in order to play a central role in this paradigm shift that is happening in the information environment.


This is not a simple challenge, since the needed culture and skills to compete in this new environment are not the same as the ones that were needed before. It calls for a strong culture of innovation, of lean start-up, a solid understanding of technology and advanced analytics… and, above all, the ability to think outside the box in order to review existing business models and build successful new ones.


The good news is that, despite all of this, research companies have a big advantage and an asset to work on and evolve. This asset is a deep knowledge of consumers, their attitudes and behaviours, and the culture and experience in the representativeness and statistical relevance of the information.


Starting from this solid foundation, if traditional research companies accept and adopt these new trends, they can return to playing a central, successful role in this paradigm shift.



Jordi Ferrer

Jordi is Co-Founder and Chairman of Snappy Research. Previously, he was the Global Director of TNS Digital and sat on the board of WPP and Kantar Digital. Before that, Jordi was the Global Director of Strategy, Mergers and Acquisitions of TNS and was a member of the group’s Executive Committee. He also gives classes at IESE and speaks at conferences all over the world about digital technology and its impact on consumers and the media. He is an economist with an MBA from IESE Business School and Executive Education at the London Business School.



A new Positioning

what converts a brand in a success?

Casualplay is a family owned company located at Palau-Solità i Plegamans, near Barcelona, pioneer and leader in child safety. In 1966 Play became the first company in designing, producing and commercializing child restraint systems in Spain. They have devoted nearly 50 years to provide parents with mobility solutions for auto and walking, and home childcare solutions.


After this long period, the company decides to take a new positioning to adapt to the new costumers, new needs, and new market environment.


What “positioning” means, and what converts a brand in a success?


Successful brands are those that achieve:

  • First of all, to create a space on customers’ minds’: clearly defining the WHAT I AM.
  • Next, develop a rational personality: what does make me different from the market at a functional level?
  • Then, to establish emotional bonds with consumers: WHAT DO I REPRESENT FOR THE COSTUMER
  • And finally, to build a complex brand architecture: WHAT ELSE AM I?


And the key is always to establish in what of this moments are we now as a brand, where have we able to arrive, and where are the other brands in the category.


For the consumers to define a product based on their most important attributes, that is, for our product fills a place in their minds in relation to competing products, we need to define the positioning.


And to talk about positioning and establish one, we must cover the following points:

  • Target we address
  • Main need we will cover
  • Brand
  • Competitive environment in which we are
  • Benefits we provide


This builds the product positioning and it must be the epicentre of all marketing decisions that are taken by the brand.


The positioning must be consistent over time in order to actually get a space in the consumer’s mind and at the same time, must be flexible enough for not becoming obsolete.



Beds of the future…

Can beds release picture?

Rest, the personal comfort of their clients, the most innovative design, the use of the most exclusive and advanced technologies, research and work with the best natural products, and the most careful processes in all phases of the production of their rest systems. This is WLN Barcelona.


Their experience and their continued innovation in rest systems allows them to offer a sophisticated line of beds and complements of high quality, exquisite design, and comfort for even the most demanding clients, a fact that has already made them an established brand in many countries.


Since the beginning of the company, they have had a clear goal: to offer the best sleep system to their clients. For that reason, they can say that they offer up to fifteen different ways to rest, because we’re all different, and we all need different ways to sleep and rest.


The best products are the fruit of the best processes, and the best processes are the result of employing the best team in each stage.


That’s why at WLN Barcelona they have experts in design, experts in finding the best products from around the world (from Australia to Tanzania, and from Argentina to Thailand), experts on research and development, experts in production processes, and the best logistical collaborators.


The combination of products and elements like wool, cotton, latex, etc., with carbon fiber, palm, liquid gel… in different layers and dimensions, allows them to offer sleep systems personalized according to the needs of each client.


Additionally, they offer to their clients 30 days to try the bed, as well as 10 years of guarantee. They offer a great product, and they’re the only brand that offers their clients the M1 IGNIFUG standard in all of their beds, and they’re also the only brand that shows their clients the materials inside—they have nothing to hide.


The fact that first-class hotels like Hotel Regency Kuwait, Hermitage and Plaza in Andorra, Mandarin Oriental in Barcelona, or the Mövenpick Hotel Kuwait, have been equipped with mattresses and accessories Weightlessness, and that mattresses are also available for boats, with customized sizes and formats, as they are the only ones prepared for their materials and their composition with suitable tissue to resist changes in temperature and humidity continuous sea is another indication of product quality.


With this product in hand, WLN Barcelona set to step forward, to evolve its corporate image with a more modern and dynamic logo, outlining the colours of the brand, making it more clear and direct, and renewing all corporate stationery, designing a new brochure of its products in four languages ​​(Catalan, Spanish, English and Russian), launching a new multi-language website also to reach new markets and, of course, opening a shop of 500m2 at the Via Augusta in Barcelona.


The bases to face the future with more optimism are already put …