News 31.03.2021

Need to Know

A digital home for soothing metaverse living, a redesign makes shampoo bars more intuitive and why shoppers are frustrated with e-commerce experiences.

The world’s first NFT house promises immersive living

Mars House by Krista Kim, Canada
Mars House by Krista Kim, Canada
Mars House by Krista Kim, Canada

Global – The Mars House is a virtual home offering a sense of calm and escapism within the metaverse.

Launched as a non-fungible token (NFT), the dwelling represents the most expensive item offered to date as a digital asset – retailing at £370,630 ($512,000, €435,980). Created by digital artist Krista Kim, the virtual house is sold with a soothing soundtrack made in collaboration with Jeff Schroeder of The Smashing Pumpkins. It is designed to show how digital-first spaces can offer positive virtual experiences for people through the provision of a healing atmosphere.

‘Mars House will live for ever as an NFT, so let it represent an art movement for humanity through the power of digital technology,’ says Krista Kim. As NFTs gain momentum, particularly in the art and fashion sectors, this project provides an example of how digital mediums can be enduring, experiential and immersive alternatives to physical products.

As we explore in Alternet Economies, a new wave of decentralised capitalism is emerging and powering new value frontiers for creators, consumers and brands.

Uniform makes scents of homebody lifestyles

Home fragrance by Uniform, Sweden Home fragrance by Uniform, Sweden
Home fragrance by Uniform, Sweden Home fragrance by Uniform, Sweden

Sweden – Fragrance brand Uniform is entering the home fragrance market with a line of mood-enhancing products.

The range of fine perfume products includes incense, bar soap, a candle and two new perfume oils. While the brand’s original offer focused on portable roll-on perfumes, this new collection caters for the growth of homebody lifestyles that have accelerated as a result of the pandemic.

It will offer scent profiles designed to evoke sensations of comfort and homeliness – such as chai, cassis and cinnamon – while others will emulate the sense of escapism that many consumers are craving. Tuning in to the rise of emotive scents, the brand’s creative director Haisam Mohammed describes its new soap as evocative of ‘the first-millisecond of scent you experience when disembarking from a plane at a new destination, preferably in the south of France.’

In our Fragrance Futures Market, we identify the ways that perfume brands are innovating their product ranges to reflect homebody lifestyles, while also helping to evoke particular moods or feelings.

This ‘bottle’ redesign challenges shampoo packaging

The Dissolving Bottle by BBDO Guerrero, The Philippines The Dissolving Bottle by BBDO Guerrero, The Philippines

The Philippines – Creative agency BBDO Guerrero is rethinking the design of shampoo bars, with The Dissolving Bottle project.

Taking inspiration from the shape of plastic bottles used for liquid shampoo, it has reworked the shape of shampoo bars to make them more intuitive to use. This zero-plastic design offers a sustainable alternative to packaged hair products, while the new, familiar shape aims to attract more people to give shampoo bars a try.

To inspire other personal care brands to make eco-conscious products, the creative agency is offering The Dissolving Bottle idea to brand partners, who can then customise the design to reflect their own identities. Meanwhile, BBDO is also offering to supply moulds for the shampoo bars at cost to artisanal producers in The Philippines, helping to support community livelihood projects.

Through this project, The Dissolving Bottle is taking a philanthropic approach to its environmental efforts – aiming to promote a wider mindset shift towards sustainability for brands and consumers. In a similar vein, we have previously seen how a simple soap redesign can promote positive hygiene habits.

Stat: Online shoppers are craving spontaneous experiences

Media Media

Shoppers are craving a chance to browse in stores – but want to do so safely, according to a study by Westfield UK.

In its How We Shop 2021 report, the shopping centre group reports that 38% of UK consumers are becoming frustrated by inaccurate recommendations made to them when shopping online. '[They are] rejecting prescriptive retail experiences based on inaccurate data in favour of free-range browsing and impulse shopping,' reads the report.

The study also highlights growing demand for phygital shopping experiences, catalysed by social distancing and health and safety in stores. One in five shoppers value technology such as augmented reality (AR) in stores so they can try on clothes without touching them. In turn, nine in 10 retailers are prioritising making stores more automated, and more than a third (37%) are aiming to make their stores contactless in the next 18 months.

While consumers have had to adapt to digital-only retail experiences during the pandemic, these findings indicate that many remain excited about returning to bricks-and-mortar locations. For brands and stores, this presents a fresh opportunity to connect with customers on a deeper level through physical stores. For more, explore Inspiration Per Square Foot.

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