News & Views

Contagious 45 / Out Now

by Contagious Team

The latest issue of Contagious is on its way to subscribers, packed full of articles, ideas and provocations. Here's a glimpse of what readers can look forward to.  

The brand spotlights cover two contrasting leaders in retail: all-American pharmacy chain Walgreens and iconic British department store Harvey Nichols. We explore Walgreens’ mission to transform itself from a glorified convenience store into a health and wellness destination and assess how Harvey Nichols is reorganising itself around a powerful new vision and redefining luxury retail in the process.

The Oxford English Dictionary has named Emoji as its word of the year. We speak to Dr Bernie Hogan at the Oxford Internet Institute about what the rise of this nuanced communication style means for marketers and how they can best use the icons in their conversations.

Alex Jenkins explores the dangers of an anti-creative juggernaut that threatens to run down entire businesses: he argues that awareness is the best weapon to combat the budget cutters, the short-termists and our own biases.

However, wide-ranging opportunities for progress are still available to us. Louise Potter looks at an emerging form of more down-to-earth innovation that doesn’t necessarily require moonshot thinking, but has the potential to have a sizable impact. And Raakhi Chotai argues that the rapid uptake of ad blocking is not a big a threat to the industry as previously thought.

Sam Conniff, founder of agency Livity, explains why he believes the chief purpose officer is a vital new role for your company. And Matt O’Toole, brand president of Reebok, tells Dan Southern how he’s engineering a fighting comeback for the brand in our Up At Night feature.

Elsewhere, we pick out the hottest startups in our Small But Perfectly Formed section. From a butler on demand, to personal banking by text and tennis lessons with Serena Williams, this quarter’s most exciting startups provide services fit for a king. We talk Business for Punks with craft beer champion BrewDog, which we featured as a SBPF in 2010 and now boasts a turnover in excess of £50m ($76m). We speak to co-founder James Watt about what he’s learnt and the lessons he can pass on to other businesses.

We’ve also dedicated a portion of the magazine to Most Contagious, where we analyse the key trends of the year and consider what they mean for 2016. We dig into artificial intelligence, virtual reality, mobile video, visual culture and equality. Snapchat gets the nod as our platform of the year and we put the key events of the year into context in our Movements section. Most Contagious is also available as a download that you can share with your colleagues, ensuring everyone is primed for the new year.

Subscribers can access the magazine online. Not subscribed yet? Learn more and order Contagious here.