News 03.10.2023

Need to Know

New Ritz-Carlton campaign is worth a trip, Birkenstock joins forces with Tekla and why inflation is worsening US consumers’ mental health.

New Ritz-Carlton campaign celebrates transformational travel

Ritz-Carlton, US

Global – The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co has announced a new international marketing campaign celebrating the transformational power of travel.

Created in collaboration with Team One agency, the Leave Better campaign invites guests to embark on a ‘powerful journey of self-discovery through thoughtfully tailored experiences and the genuine comfort and care offered by a stay at The Ritz-Carlton’.

With a central campaign question of ‘How will a stay leave you?’ and taglines such as ‘You Arrived a Bud. You Departed a Bloom’, the campaign suggests guests will check out of The Ritz-Carlton in a better state than when they checked in.

‘Through Leave Better, we invite travellers to journey with The Ritz-Carlton to places, moments and spaces that are marked by genuine care only we can deliver, and will encourage self-growth and discovery, staying with them long after they depart,’ said Jamie Kerr, senior director of global marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, in a company press release.

The campaign acknowledges growing consumer demand for experiences that extend to Before & After Travel. Anticipation and post-stay rejuvenation become tangible experience points that luxury travel companies can tap into to provide a holistically premium experience.

Strategic opportunity

Guest experience doesn’t have to end at check-out. Take The Ritz-Carlton’s messaging a step further and implement mood-boosting products and services such as wellness kits or access to exclusive post-trip events to help ease guests’ transition back into daily life

The Birkenstock and Tekla collection is a homebody heaven

Tekla and Birkenstock collaboration Tekla and Birkenstock collaboration
Tekla, Denmark Tekla, Denmark

Global – German footwear brand Birkenstock is teaming up with Tekla, a Danish lifestyle label best known for its bed linen, blankets and cotton pyjamas, for a collaboration placed under the sign of comfort.

For Birkenstock, 2023 is a big year, from filing for IPO in September to coming out as Barbie’s new favourite shoe in Greta Gerwig’s blockbuster film. The shoemaker’s next trick involves a capsule collection co-created with Tekla, inspired by stillness and enjoying moments of comfort. Expect cosy versions of Birkenstock’s best-selling Arizona sandals and Boston clogs, as well as hygge-ready loungewear in buttery soft fabrics and pastel hues.

If a collaboration between a shoe brand and a bedding specialist seems odd at first, the result feels organic – drawing on both brands’ shared philosophy of good, simple design with comfort at the core.

‘We share the belief that [home] is more than just a physical space but also a sense of comfort, intimacy and familiarity,’ adds Klaus Baumann, managing director at Birkenstock – a philosophy sure to resonate with the Gen Z consumers who self-identify as part of the Generation Homebody.

Strategic opportunity

This collaboration underlines how our perceptions of comfort and home are changing as consumers enjoy wearing casual sleepwear outdoors. Consider developing products and marketing strategies that cater for Generation Homebody’s desire for comfort, simplicity and home-focused experiences

Carrefour is helping consumers spot shrinkflation in France

Photography by RF_studio Photography by RF_studio

France – Carrefour is cementing its position as a cost of living ally for consumers. The supermarket chain has rolled out shrinkflation labels in stores, warning shoppers of deceitful pricing and pressurising suppliers to quit the unethical practice.

Shrinkflation refers to reducing products’ size while charging the same or a higher price. As costs of raw materials started dropping but inflation is still high, suppliers have been widely using this pricing tactic to increase profit margins.

French supermarket chain Carrefour has been noticing dozens of such examples: Guigoz infant milk formula produced by Nestlé has been reduced in size from 900g to 830g, while PepsiCo’s Lipton Ice Tea bottles shrank from 1.5 to 1.25 litres. If these small but substantial changes can be hard to spot, Carrefour made them impossible to miss, with labels on shelves stating that volume or weight fell, effectively raising the price.

‘The aim in stigmatising these products is to be able to tell manufacturers to rethink their pricing policy,’ explains Stefen Bompais, director of client communications at Carrefour. This Retail-flation Response is a masterclass in loyalty-building, showing how to play the long game and be a part of the solution, instead of exacerbating the problem.

Strategic opportunity

Do not underestimate how knowledgeable your consumers are – not only are most not fooled, they will not be shy in taking their loyalty elsewhere once trust has been broken

Stat: US consumers’ mental health hit hard by low income and inflation

Photosystem II by Zünc Studio for Signal Festival / Kunsthalle, Prague Photosystem II by Zünc Studio for Signal Festival / Kunsthalle, Prague

US – A survey released in September 2023 by Atticus, a company helping people in crisis to claim aid from the government and insurance, suggests financial difficulties directly affect Americans’ mental health. Atticus surveyed 1,000 Americans from various backgrounds and concluded that 56% of low-income individuals in the US face severe mental health effects due to financial strain.

The research also found that low-income individuals say they need an average salary of £42.6k ($52k, €49.1k) to feel financially secure. The average American needs a salary of just under £61.5k ($75k, €70.9k), according to Atticus’ data, which is far less than similar studies have indicated. In July 2023, a Bankrate report said that Americans thought earning £191k ($233k, €220.3k) would make them feel financially secure.

As explored in Work States Futures, employers have even more responsibility regarding their workforce’s mental health amid hybrid working and inflation. If pay rises are not possible, mental and physical health could be improved through money advice and support services focused on wellbeing.

Strategic opportunity

Recognising the impact of financial difficulties on mental health, employers should expand mental health support services, including counselling and access to mental health professionals, to help employees cope with stress and anxiety related to financial strain

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