Business Briefing: Digitisation vs Dehumanisation #13

Harriet Nicholson
Harriet Nicholson
Head of Strategy 9 Jul 20203 minutes read

A round-up of the most important insights and what they mean for your business.

Digitisation vs dehumanisation

Welcome to this week’s Business Briefing! Each week we wade through the Covid-19 noise to unearth the most valuable insights for your business.

This week we take a look at the digitisation of loyalty schemes, technology’s potential to dehumanise brand experiences, the significance of banking as a service enablers and gaming diversity.



Instagram partners with Time Out to host a virtual live-streamed festival to support small independent retailers.

Amazon could be forced to reveal its source codes and algorithms.

M&S relaunches loyalty offering Sparks as a digital only solution.

Why does this matter?

M&S’ digitisation of its loyalty offering is both a sign of things to come for the retailer, but also for loyalty schemes more broadly. Following M&S’ recent investment in digital and data teams, we can expect a greater onus on personalisation, instant rewards, dynamic pricing and improved alignment across M&S data sources. Say goodbye to points cards people.


New booking data shows lopsided global recovery.

UK hotel bookings surge by 63% in a week.

Travel sectors are retooling back office payments in response to contactless demands.

Why does this matter?

In a bid to drive minimal contact experiences, we’ve seen a paradigm shift and the rapid digitisation of the hospitality industry. Even some of the smallest outfits are digitising menus, testing app ordering, embracing contactless payments solutions and minimising front desk contact through improved use of messaging services and contactless arrivals. This shift is remarkable, but the test will be how the seamlessly the technology complements, rather than simply dehumanises, the brand experience. 


UK fintech Nude helps first time buyers get on the property ladder.

Shifting consumer habits are paving the way for longer term fintech benefit.

The rise of 'banking as a service' fintech enablers is a game changer..

Why does this matter?

Fintech enablers – or ‘banking as a service’ players - effectively lend their banking licensing, allowing countless fintech companies to come to market faster. But that’s the tip of the iceberg. Fintech enablers effectively modularise banking, in theory meaning that companies from any genre could start to offer financial services. The implications are huge, not least in breaking down distinctions between technology and finance companies.


Kickstarter data nods to the resilience of gaming during lockdown.

#Thankstovideogames highlights gaming’s positive social impact.

The games industry shows positive signs in improving diversity, but still has a long way to go.

Why does this matter?

While the games industry has made some positive steps, arguably more positive than other sectors in the creative industries, there’s still a long way to go to improve diversity and representation. Fortunately, there’s recognition that diversity isn’t just a nicety, it’s essential for commercial advantage. With the gamer profile shifting, a more diverse games industry is imperative to reflect and support a more diverse gaming audience.


Each week, we pick a feel-good story that showcases human resilience and brilliance during a time of great change and innovation. So what have we loved this week?

To make learning more accessible to disadvantaged children and schools, e-learning company BookNook are rolling out an equity-based pricing model. When determining the price to charge schools, they will consider the relative privilege of that community – the higher the percentage of children eligible for free school meals, the lower the cost. Brilliant.

Discover more and stay connected with the Etch Group.

Twitter | LinkedIn