Nike is using pro athletes to champion yoga
Global – The sportswear brand has launched its first collection of unisex yoga apparel, likening the activity to a secret workout weapon for athletes.
While the retailer has offered yoga-related products in the past, this is Nike’s first yoga-tailored apparel line that includes products for men. Rather than focusing on the types of wellness and mindfulness tropes typically associated with yoga, the line focuses on strength, and is promoted by a range of professional athletes, including NBA players, footballers and skateboarders.
To show yoga’s potential as a secret workout weapon, Nike spoke to a range of competitive sports players and published their answers on its blog. ‘Yoga’s seated fold is very similar to the position you need to be in to land a long jump – legs straight, arms out fully, your chest almost meeting your quads,’ says Paralympian athlete Scout Bassett. ‘To have that kind of flexibility is tremendous.’
By repositioning yoga as a strength-building sport for men, Nike is tapping into the new generation of men who want to become physically strong without adopting a #ripped macho mindset.
CES 2019: Whirlpool has created an AR-enabled smart oven
Las Vegas – Launched at CES, the home appliances company imagines the oven as a digital interface.
The Whirlpool Connected Hub Wall Oven is built with a transparent LCD interface in place of a traditional oven door, which allows users to control the cooking process. Using augmented reality, it lets cooks take a closer look at the food inside without the need to open the oven door and disrupt the process.
The oven interface can also pull up personalised recipe suggestions based on family preferences, and step-by-step instructions from Whirlpool’s Yummly platform. Voice command capabilities and the ability to connect with smart fridges mean that the oven can be a fully connected part of the smart home, removing the need for phones or other devices in the kitchen.
As explored in our microtrend Connected Kitchens, appliance manufacturers are using voice assistants and recipe integration to turn the kitchen into a hub of connectivity.
Tiffany makes diamond sourcing transparent
New York – The American luxury jeweller has announced its new Diamond Source Initiative, committing it to greater transparency around sourcing in the future.
The company will now trace and share the provenance of newly sourced, individually registered diamonds, which will be clearly displayed in store cases. Each of its diamonds that are 0.18 carats or larger will also have a unique serial number etched by laser and invisible to the naked eye, providing customers with information specific to their diamond. By 2020, the brand aims to share the entire craftsmanship journey, including where cutting and polishing workshops are located.
‘There should be nothing opaque about Tiffany diamonds,’ says Alessandro Bogliolo, CEO at Tiffany & Co. ‘Our clients want and deserve to know where their most valuable, most cherished diamond jewellery is from, and how it came to be.’
Amid the rise of ethical, lab-grown alternatives, Tiffany & Co believes being more transparent will resonate with younger consumers who are increasingly engaged with sustainability and human rights.
CES 2019: Numerized digitises physical products in 3D
Las Vegas – French start-up Numerized creates realistic and interactive 3D visualisations of products to improve the e-commerce experience.
The company digitally reconstructs physical products for brands from its 3D studio in Paris, accurately replicating colours and textures so that consumers shopping online can see the finish or quality of items before buying. This process can take a few hours or days depending on the size and type of product. Produced in various file formats, the high-resolution assets can then be easily integrated across websites, e-commerce platforms or augmented and virtual reality applications.
Consumers continue to place importance on being able to see, touch and feel products, with 72% of US shoppers citing this as their top reason for visiting bricks-and-mortar stores. But digital solutions offered by brands such as Numerized, as well as the rise of Augmented Retail, may go a long way to reducing consumer uncertainty when shopping online.
Stat: The big opportunity in football sponsorship
Football has confirmed its status as the world’s biggest sport, according to a study by Nielsen. 2017 data collected from 18 markets across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia found that 43% of people are interested in football, totalling 736m fans.
This number translates into a big opportunity for brands hoping to capitalise on the hype surrounding the World Cup in 2018, especially when it comes to sponsorship. According to Nielsen, 57% of football fans believe that companies involved in sponsoring sports are more appealing to their audience.
Earlier in 2018, fashion designer Thom Brown collaborated with FC Barcelona to dress the team off the field, while whisky label Chivas worked with Manchester United, demonstrating how high-end brands are addressing the rise of Luxury Sports Fans.
Thought-starter: Are young people swapping religion for spirituality?
Spirituality and folk religion are gaining cult online followings, says foresight writer Holly Friend, allowing Generation Z to regain control in a global climate of disarray.
Organised religion may be out of favour among young people, with only a fifth (20%) of Millennials and Generation Z attending religious places of worship, according to a Vice and Virtue study conducted in the UK and the US. But a majority (80%) said they feel a sense of spirituality and believe in a higher power.
As a result, some young people are swapping traditional religions for spiritual modalities, which are becoming established as an antidote to anxiety. Research shows that teenagers with a spiritual connection are 60% less likely to be depressed, says Lisa Miller, a psychologist and author of The Spiritual Child.
Alternative beliefs such as crystal healing and astrology are also becoming more mainstream and gaining cult online followings. A new wave of spiritual influencers are taking to Instagram, including Miranda Feneberger, the creator of a series of quick-witted astrology bingo cards that have been widely shared among Generation Z.
Look out for the upcoming microtrend.