David Beckham, Vivienne Westwood, Kate Moss and Mark Ronson all owe a debt to this industrial process. They’re all well aware of it.
Over my many years here in the UK, I have had the privilege of serving as an independent trader, selling all kinds of things and experiences through The Bubble Shop, a pop-up store aimed at building community.
Starting in Manchester, we have now set up shop in Leicester Square. When I first ventured into my new life as a trader, I would see hundreds of people bustling around on a daily basis, creating and sharing ideas and experiences, following their passions.
This also holds true in the daily lives of all of us today. Everything from live music and ‘gigs’ to street traders, artisans, independent shops and small artisan businesses have this shared sense of community, inviting people to meet and support each other.
Our flagship store has been a venue for those things that don’t come along too often, from lots of pop-up showers to a mini bowling alley. And last year we were lucky enough to cover the entire opening weekend of the Spice Girls reunion, giving a very rare opportunity to see Geri Halliwell perform in the flesh – much to the delight of our staff and customers.
For me, this is the key to a successful economy, encouraging people to share ideas and experiences, and to work together for a common good.
Today our national debate is dominated by the lack of such connected communities. Community, once, was supposed to be about sharing and finding a common truth. Sadly, in the current climate, it feels more like a competition and value-based competition for our present and future world. How many of us are familiar with ‘leakages’, or viral leaks of data, created by our tech giants and often used for personal gain?
We are coming together to make a difference. That starts with your mobile phone – the mobile phone hasn’t changed for the last decade. Since it was released a decade ago it has become essential for all of us, no matter where we are, where we live, how we work or how we play. It becomes your wallet, your game console, your taxi booking app and your digital translator. It is your lifeline, your diary, your source of entertainment, and your way of the future. Your mobile phone has become inextricably woven into your life.
But let’s be honest, it is a phone, not a communication device or a tool of social change, like that of the pioneers of twenty years ago who started bringing mobiles to market. There’s no way to see how we are progressing unless we take a closer look at the interaction with our mobile devices.
Now, if you’re about to purchase something from us at the Bubble Shop, your digital footprint will soon be tracked, because all of your mobile activity is being recorded by our IT systems. How you use it, how you’re using it and where you are using it, all become information that we use to create a better customer experience for you.
It is in this process of data collection and AI, of emotional profiling and AI, of personalisation that we are making a world of difference. That’s why we open all of our pop-up stores, why we invest a lot of time and effort in everything we do, and why we champion transparency and ethics in the eyes of our customers.