Designer Genes is a topic in our current quarterly report, which you can download here.

My sister and dad have a favorite pastime—one that occupies them whenever they are together. On more than one occasion, I’ve walked in on them huddled over their computers, sometimes with charts in front of them, as they map out our family genealogy. My uncle is in on it, too, sending his own contributions to the chain.

Because of their work, I know they’ve traced our family history back to the 1400s. I’ve learned the original spellings of surnames that have gotten Anglicized or distorted over the centuries. We haven’t uncovered any hidden relatives—at least not that they’ve told me about—but the longer the chain grows, who knows.

In addition to this ancestry type of tracking, some members of our family have invested in genetic DNA testing. We haven’t seen any surprising results there, either, but the details are pretty fascinating. And now there is the new (and somewhat complicated) layer that genetic testing brings with it. Beyond relational history, the medical history is something that could be a game changer.

We already know that some members of our family inherited a gene that is tied to cancer. We know others have a gene that causes a heart valve malfunction. Now, the increasing knowledge about how to apply this information is advancing proactive health. It’s giving the spotlight to services that rely on your DNA to help diagnose, treat, and prevent health conditions.

Our CultureWaves quarterly report for Q3-2018 identified this as a category with a lot of behavior-based movement. Our statement says, “Commercial DNA services have helped propel genetics and DNA into the spotlight in both pop culture and business models. Brands are looking to genetics in an effort to find new avenues of relatability with consumers.”

Here is some of the evidence cited by our report:

Spotify and genetic testing company AncestryME are reportedly creating playlists based on a user’s genetic heritage.

Nestle is apparently testing new commercial diet plans tailored to consumer DNA. According to published information, the pilot program consists of testing 100,000 people at home and giving them recommended dietary changes and products from Nestle, putting that brand solidly in the DNA diet space.

Dolce & Gabbana’s recent show at Milan Fashion Week was titled “DNA.” The show was a celebration of heritage—both through diversity and of the brand itself. D&G brought back models from throughout its history, along with their families, to walk the show.

We’ve also seen DNA used to solve crimes and identify separated siblings—the kind of things that would likely never have been uncovered without the advances in this type of science. Brands are taking notice of the possibilities, and this is just the beginning of ways to use our new scientific capabilities to tailor-make products to solve consumer needs.

Who knows where this could lead, but in the world of advertising and brands, expect new products, new ideas, and a chain of innovation that could reach forward for generations to come.

Designer Genes is a topic in our current quarterly report, which you can download here.

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