News 19.10.2023

Need to Know

Hometree’s rebranding about bringing colour to energy conservation, the Tampon Tax Back Coalition and why streaming services are missing the mark on subtitles.

Hometree injects much-needed colour into energy conservation

Hometree. Branding by How&How, UK
Hometree. Branding by How&How, UK
Hometree. Branding by How&How, UK

UK – Energy service provider Hometree is brightening up the energy conservation market with a creative, fun and playful rebranding.

From optimising existing boilers to transitioning to energy-efficient heat pumps, Hometree offers innovative and programmatic solutions to help consumers achieve net-zero homes.

The rebranding by global branding agency How&How was centred around positioning Hometree as a ‘transition companion’ for home-owners and launched a tree-shaped logo-turned-interactive-assistant named Maple to help answer customers’ queries.

The rebranding also introduced a rich palette of yellow and green to reflect the brand’s approachable yet environmentally conscious demeanour and seamlessly blends visuals of energy apparatus into cosy domestic backdrops. The new visual look is a far cry from the typically dull branding you might expect from the energy sector.

‘We aimed to represent the transition as snug: from the cold uncertainties of 'brrrrr' to the warm assurance of 'whrrrrr’,’ said Cat How, How&How’s co-founder and executive creative director.

Hometree’s vibrant rebranding reflects a wider shift in narratives around the home. Don’t miss our Home States Futures: Residential Retail webinar on 19 October for more information on how the concept of the home space is undergoing rapid transformation and how brands should adapt accordingly.

Strategic opportunity

Small additions to your branding such as playful colours or an interactive chatbot logo can help provide a humanising flair to your brand, making the information you’re trying to put across seem less intimidating and more appealing to consumers

Inside Gohar World’s whimsical first physical store

Gohar World, US Gohar World, US
Gohar World, US Gohar World, US

US – Tableware label Gohar World has opened its first physical store in New York, giving customers the opportunity to experience the brand’s eccentricity in real life. The store is open until 14 January 2024.

Founded by sisters Laila and Nadia Gohar in 2020, Gohar World is a ‘tableware universe’ embracing craft, tradition and humour through its surrealist tabletop objects.

The Gohar World store follows much the same ethos. Designed by Rafael Prieto, the interior is wallpapered with customised photographs taken by Prieto in the South of France while products are displayed on top of antique furniture adorned with heavy linen tablecloths. Gohar World houses the collective’s 2023 holiday collection as well as classic linens, unique tableware, surrealist candles and limited-edition vintage pieces.

‘Because Laila and Nadia work with ateliers all over the world, from Egypt to Italy, Gohar World is inherently a brand that transports you to different places – sometimes, even to your grandmother’s living room,’ Prieto said in a statement.

As explored in our Luxury Recrafted macrotrend, heirlooms are getting a facelift from young, antique-obsessed consumers. Brands such as Gohar World are fulfilling this demand for Topline Tableware with a whimsical twist and the Gohar World store only adds to the brand’s artisan-antique appeal.

Strategic opportunity

Explore unconventional and artistic branding approaches to set your brand apart and intrigue consumers. Surrealist elements can create a distinctive identity as part of a hyperphysical store

US brands create Tampon Tax Back Coalition

US – In a collective push for menstrual equity, eight women-founded menstrual hygiene brands have formed the Tampon Tax Coalition to advocate for the elimination of taxes on menstrual products in the 21 states where they are still levied. Despite progress in recent years, with 22 states eliminating these taxes over the past decade, the coalition aims to ensure that the taxation of menstrual products becomes a thing of the past across the US.

The coalition believes this is only the beginning of a broader effort to make menstrual products more affordable and accessible – in a fight against period poverty. As part of their advocacy, the coalition is committed to reimbursing customers who have paid taxes on these products in states where they are still levied. Consumers can visit the coalition’s website within 10 days of purchase, submit their receipt, and expect a Venmo reimbursement within 24 hours.

The Tampon Tax Back Coalition comprises eight brands: Saalt, August, Cora, Diva, Here We Flo, The Honey Pot, Lola and Rael. Despite their competitive landscape, these brands have come together in a united front to drive positive change.

As explored in Civic Brands, brands should be ready to become educators, enablers and activists to make the change they want to see in the world.

Modibodi, Australia

Strategic opportunity

Consider creating reimbursement programmes for underprivileged customers who are affected by taxes on your products, demonstrating a commitment to their wellbeing and financial relief

Stat: Streaming services are missing the mark on subtitles

Samsung Shift by Form Us With Love, Sweden Samsung Shift by Form Us With Love, Sweden

US – New data highlights a significant discrepancy between generations on the use of subtitles while watching visual content. According to US research by Morning Consult, Gen Z and Millennials report higher usage of subtitles or closed captions for streaming content than Gen X and Baby Boomers.

This suggests that older generations may not be getting the accessibility they need for clear audio, especially given that hearing deteriorates with age. Accessibility and quality concerns might be acting as deterrents for older viewers, leading them to increase the volume instead of using subtitles.

In addition, it is important to note that young viewers often use multiple tools, including headphones and speakers to enhance their entertainment experience, showcasing the need for standardisation in sound quality across platforms. Subtitles, for many, serve as a means to stay focused on content, making them a valuable feature for viewer engagement. This ties in with the rise of second screens as social media platforms build their short-form video and shopping offerings and why some business are investing in Audio to Watch to immerse consumers more fully.

Strategic opportunity

Subtitles shouldn’t be dismissed as a fleeting trend for the TikTok generation. Streaming platforms must invest in enhancing subtitle quality and language customisation features in order to improve the overall user experience and engage a wider audience base

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