New York – Following the opening of its first bricks-and-mortar store earlier this year, online mattress retailer Casper is venturing into new physical realms with the launch of a pay-per-use sleep space.
Located in the heart of Manhattan, The Dreamery is designed to offer downtime on demand. Customers can hire a sleep pod for up to 45 minutes, where they can take a short nap or a quiet break. Each pod is furnished with a Casper mattress, sheets, pillows and blankets. Additional amenities such as Sleep Jones pyjamas, Sunday Riley face wash and audio tracks from Headspace are also available to encourage better rest.
‘The Dreamery is about making sleep and rest a part of our regular wellness routines – similar to how many people prioritise a workout class,’ says Neil Parikh, co-founder and COO at Casper. Hinting at future spaces that Casper may explore, he added: ‘The concept enables us to pilot new ways of bringing better sleep to more people and to more places – whether that’s here, the workplace, airports or beyond.’
Beyond breathes new life into death
Funeralbooker rebranded as Beyond by SomeOne agency
Funeralbooker rebranded as Beyond by SomeOne agency
UK – Funeralbooker, an independent funeral booking platform, has rebranded as Beyond, with a modern design that avoids the conventional clichés and sympathetic language often used by funeral providers.
Its new branding features a bearded male character and regular use of the colour yellow – a hue typically associated with happiness and positivity – as well as simpler, accessible language that positions it as a friendlier, warmer and ‘knowledgeable companion for everything after life’.
The platform was originally set up to provide grieving individuals with a space to compare the considerable costs associated with funerals. Alongside its new look, the brand’s updated name, Beyond, refers to its wider products and services ‘We are developing the Beyond platform to bring people helpful products such as funeral finance or pre-paid funeral plans, as well as expanding our help centre to ensure that people have access to the advice and support they might need,’ says the company’s founder Ian Strang.
While most brand communications in the funeral sector remain confined to respectability and tradition, Beyond has adapted its visual and verbal approach to reflect a new conversation around choice, services and price for modern – if not younger – audiences. For more on how the language around death is changing, read our market report here.
Facebook trials augmented reality adverts
Global – The social media platform has announced it is testing augmented reality (AR) advertisements in users’ news feeds.
The development will enable users to try and test products through AR technology while logged in to Facebook. Michael Kors was the first brand to trial the experience with an advert in which users could try on various styles of sunglasses and later buy directly through the platform. Facebook plans to expand this feature further in the run-up to the festive shopping season with AR experiences for accessories, cosmetics, furniture, gaming and entertainment.
‘People now expect a personalised and visually inspiring experience wherever they shop, whether on their phone or in-store, which is why video will play an increasingly important role in the mobile shopping experience. As retailers prepare for their biggest shopping season in the year, we’re excited to introduce new products that will help them both delight and inspire shoppers, and ultimately drive sales,’ says Ty Ahmad-Taylor, Facebook’s vice-president of product marketing.
Facebook augmented reality ads
Uber celebrates real people behind the wheel
Spike Lee's Da Republic of Brooklyn trailer by Uber, US
Brooklyn – The ride-sharing company has collaborated with American director Spike Lee on a series of films that explore the real lives of Uber drivers living and working in Brooklyn.
After making headlines throughout 2017 for various internal issues, the brand is attempting to rebuild trust among consumers by celebrating the men and women behind the wheel of its vehicles. The five documentaries, directed by Lee, explore the positive side of the gig economy, showing the unique backgrounds and stories of its diverse workforce. Domingo, who describes himself as living the ‘Brooklyn hustle’, works in numerous jobs, on a farm and as a flight attendant, but enjoys driving to interact with people. Another driver, Sunny, uses her tips from Uber Eats deliveries to fulfil her artistic ambitions.
In the UK, Uber has demonstrated its commitment to nurturing a greater sense of community with a recent UberGiving project in which it encouraged users to pack up items of clothing, book a driver and have the garments collected and delivered free to Cancer Research charity shops.
Stat: Amazon dominates US e-commerce
Recent figures from market research firm eMarketer demonstrate how mega-systems such as Amazon are dominating e-commerce. In 2018, the company will account for 5% of all retail sales in the US, which equates to nearly £198bn ($260bn, €222bn).
With consumers motivated by convenience, Amazon has responded by combining advanced data analytics and accelerated delivery mechanisms to create a constant stream of refined goods and services that satisfy almost every consumer need.
Thought-starter: Why brands need to talk about female puberty
Bunny Ghatrora, co-founder of Blume, a subscription service for girls going through puberty, explains why brands are missing an opportunity to cater for this pivotal life stage.
Blume is America’s first cohesive line of self-care products created specifically for a pivotal moment – when girls start getting their period. Their bodies are changing, so they need to start wearing deodorant for the first time, and they switch from washing their face with regular soap and water to using face wash. It’s normalising a universal life experience that all girls go through.
‘I think addressing self-care is important, and having people talk about what makes them feel good and having the right hygiene tools to take care of themselves. That’s what we’re looking to address right now,’ says Ghatrora.
‘Blume products are for women of all ages, and girls of all ages, and we really want these to be the products that girls grow up with. So they’re introduced to them at a young age, and they continue to use them as safe and fundamental products that they need throughout their life. We really just hope to build a brand that girls grow up with.’