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This month a partnership between US grocery retailer Albertson and medical tech company Genomind saw Genomind’s DNA testing kits made available to purchase at select Albertson stores. The test – called the Genecept Assay – helps determine how an individual will respond to different psychiatric medications by studying genes responsible for neurotransmitter and metabolism pathways. Users simply take a swab sample from their mouths, post it with a prepaid packet, and receive an online report within five days.

DNA testing firms such as 23andMe have already done much to popularize the idea that all consumers can know their DNA. And hey, since there’s now a quick and easy way to discover your genetic heritage, or even help you choose the perfect housemate, why not have a DNA test to help you manage your mental health, too? The potential benefits of more effective treatments for mental illnesses are hard to understate: around 615 million people worldwide suffer from anxiety or depression.

Of course, there is some impressive technologies behind this service, and behind the progress that’s reduced the cost of sequencing an entire human genome from USD 2.5 billion (2003) to around USD 600 today. But the key factor driving this innovation is convenience; the partnership with Albertson makes accessing a potentially life-changing DNA test as easy as popping out for a packet of paracetamol. So here’s a key challenge for you and your business. How can you innovate to make your core offering simple, easy, even delightful to access? Think partnerships, platforms, subscriptions, end-to-end services and more.

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“54% of consumers expect to receive a personalized discount within 24 hours of making themselves known to a brand” – Segment, October 2017

Smarter tech means smarter ways to access and interpret personal data. From facial recognition to emotion tracking, brands are getting to know their consumers better than they know themselves. In the retail universe of 2018, data is gravity: see how the trend of DEEP RETAIL has evolved over time in The Future of Retail, and how other brands are harnessing its power to anticipate what consumers want (often before they do!).