Media & Tech

From consumer tech to digital futures and media innovations.

Need to Know
23 : 05 : 23

Airbnb Rooms encourages travellers to rent a single room to save money, Kiki turns customers into product developers, and why TikTok is inspiring HNWIs.

Airbnb reflects cost of living concerns with focus on single rooms

Airbnb Rooms, US

Global – Airbnb is addressing consumer concerns about the cost of living and inflation with a renewed focus on renting out single rooms to travellers at a more budget-friendly rate. The short-term rental app will launch a range of features, labelled Airbnb Rooms, to encourage users to rent single rooms.

New features will include the ability to search for private rooms with an en suite bathroom and to check if rooms have internal or external locks to ensure they have a minimum level of privacy before booking. The average price for an Airbnb room in the UK is £59 ($73, €67) a night, while globally more than 80% of rooms cost less than £80 ($100, €92).

‘One of the things we know that’s on people’s mind is inflation and the possibility of a recession,’ Nate Blecharczyk, co-founder of the company, told The Guardian. ‘So money really matters and we think that Private Rooms is a very compelling value proposition.’ As discussed in our Neo-collectivism macrotrend report, organisations that unite around values of empathy and thoughtfulness towards community can build long-lasting connections with their consumers.

Strategic opportunity

Consumers expect brands they spend money on to embrace collective responsibility. As a business, what strategies have you implemented to offer support and empathy during the cost of living crisis?

Web3 beauty brand Kiki co-creates products with its customers

Kiki, US Kiki, US
Kiki, US Kiki, US

Global – Kiki, a new Web3-enabled beauty brand, was launched in May 2023 with a new business model encouraging consumers to co-create its products. Those who sign up to become members via the brand’s Kiki World platform are encouraged to decide which colours, fragrances and formulas to use in the brand’s upcoming products.

Kiki was launched online with peel-off nail polishes in Matte Black, Gloss White and Crackle. Members have been tasked with choosing which polish colours the brand should release next. They are also encouraged to offer input on upcoming products, including the brand’s Clean Face Candy cleanser, Magic Bubble Moisturizer and One Night Hair Stand temporary hair dye.

The Kiki World platform incentivises engagement by giving members points every time they use it, which can later be redeemed for rewards such as branded merchandise, NFTs and beauty products. In Transforming Brand Loyalty, we previously looked at similar brands using non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and memberships to transcend fluctuating popularity and create value-driven loyalty networks for smaller brands.

Strategic opportunity

Consider building brand loyalty by creating spaces showing your clients you hear their feedback and are open to learning from it. How can you produce a specific email campaign to collate feedback in exchange for an exclusive NFT, merchandise or coupons?

Plastic-eating microbes in the Arctic could be a recycling breakthrough

Switzerland – A study published in May 2023 in Frontiers in Microbiology has unveiled cold-weather microbes in the Arctic and the Alps that can break down certain plastics at a low temperature of 15°C (59°F).

The team of scientists, led by Joel Rüthi, a Zurich-based environmental microbiologist at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, WSL, confirmed that ‘microorganisms from high-alpine and polar regions are efficient producers of plastic-degrading enzymes and thereby may contribute to future efforts for an environment-friendly circular plastic economy.’

Similar microbes able to digest certain plastics using specially adapted enzymes are already being studied by researchers as new tools to recycle plastic, but require high temperatures to release their enzymes. Rüthi’s groundbreaking research could set new standards for plastic and microplastics recycling using microbes to break down certain plastics at much lower temperatures.

In our Sustainability series, we offer market-leading insight and analysis about the climate crisis, from new approaches to recycling and repairing to questioning the over-consumption mindset.


Strategic opportunity

As humans collectively throw out millions of tons of plastic every year and legislators tackle the issue, consider how to rethink your business’s plastic footprint to show your early commitment to sustainability before being forced to do so by new restrictive laws

Stat: One in five UK millionaires find luxury inspiration on TikTok

HyunA's collaboration with Loewe, South Korea HyunA's collaboration with Loewe, South Korea

UK – The Global Millionaires 2023 TrendLens report released by data and insights firm Agility Research & Strategy confirms the growing impact of TikTok on high-net-worth individuals. Some 21% of the UK’s millionaires cite the short-form video platform as a source of luxury purchase inspiration. In Germany, four in 10 millionaires use TikTok to get ideas about buying luxury items.

The research is based on interviews of 761 millionaires from the US, the UK, Germany, China, Spain, France and Italy conducted in February and March 2023. ‘Despite its correlation with the Gen Z demographic, luxury brands must not underestimate the rise of TikTok, as we have found that the platform is a key source of purchase inspiration for HNWIs across several markets,’ said Amrita Banta, managing director of Agility Research & Strategy.

In Generation Z Luxury Market, we previously looked at how young consumers use their status as digital natives and experts in social media to research and carefully select luxury brands and products rigorously.

Strategic opportunity

From stealth wealth to quiet luxury, consider how your brand can jump on global TikTok trends to achieve credibility on the platform and among HNWIs watching your content

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