1. A new smart suit that ensures online clothing purchases make the cut
ZOZOsuit by Start Today USA
Tokyo – Start Today USA is launching an at-home measurement device that will allow e-commerce customers to ascertain their exact fit when buying online. The American subsidiary of Japanese fashion brand Start Today has created a suit that uses sensor technology to capture 15,000 body measurements.
Named the ZOZOsuit, the garment collects the data and sends it via bluetooth to the ZOZO app. Customers can then shop the brand's collection and the app will make recommendations as to whether the item will fit based on the measurements the suit has captured. E-commerce brands have long struggled with the fact that customers are often unsure of sizing when it comes to buying online, which contributes to 30% returns rate for online purchases. There is therefore enormous potential for online fashion brands like Frilly, which is launching its own, more rudimentary version of the ZOZOsuit, to benefit from these type of precise measuring tools.
2. Using the Internet of Things to promote inclusive hospitality
Accor Hotels' smart room uses the Internet of Things to allow easier accessibility
Paris – AccorHotels is testing a new smart guest room at its Parisian headquarters. With features such as the voice-activated Google Home assistant and a tablet that controls lighting, the curtains and other amenities in the room, the space will be more accessible to people with limited mobility. Demonstrating an understanding of the importance of design that correlates with our Implicit Inclusivity design direction, the brand also allows guests to adjust the height of their bed depending on their physical needs or preferences.
In line with our Well Hotels microtrend, the trial room also incorporates sleep aids like Dodow, which acts as a 'luminous metronome [to] promotes both concentration or sleep,' and a Dreem headband to enahnce the quality of sleep.
3. Male contraceptive gel could relieve women of birth control burden
Global – A new contraceptive gel that is being developed for men marks a step towards more equal responsibility between the genders when it comes to birth control.
As women become more aware of the negative effects that the hormonal pill can have on their bodies, digital alternatives like Natural Cycles have emerged, but these continue to place sole responsibility on women for birth control.
The gel, which is designed to be rubbed on the upper arms and shoulders, contains testosterone and progestin to prevent the production of sperm and is being trialled on 400 couples from around the world.
In line with our Modern Male Medicare microtrend, a host of new brands are emerging that focus on male health problems, particularly with regards to sexual health.
4. Nike’s flagship store will offer a multitude of new services
Nike New York Flagship 2019
New York – Nike has announced the opening of its new flagship store in New York early next year, with the venue set to offer an abundance of products and services tailored to the different needs of its clientele. The lower level will house Hyperlive, a new retail concept providing a data-driven assortment of local products, while speed lockers will allow for easy pick-up and returns.
The brand is also catering to its VIP customers with a members-only destination that allows access to unique products and experiences, as well as one-on-one appointments with a Nike Expert to offer personalised advice. Brands are increasingly expanding beyond mere product offerings and creating retail destinations that offer services and experiences.
5. The financial cost of non-branded fast food packaging
A new report by Brand Finance speculates on the financial cost of introducing plain packaging for unhealthy food and drink options, similar to the restrictions recently introduced for tobacco in the UK. The company has based its figures on eight companies, AB InBev, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, Heineken, Mondelez International, Nestlé, PepsiCo and Pernod Ricard, which in total own 907 brands within the alcohol, confectionary, savoury snack and sugary drinks categories. Early last year, JTI launched its Future of Brands campaign which looked at how food and drinks brands can remain relevant if packaging regulations are brought into effect.
6. Thought-starter: How will the South African travel market evolve?
As tourism in South Africa booms, creative researcher Holly Friend examines how a rise in the number of African travellers and of companies bringing about positive social change is providing a foundation for growth.
As a country that welcomes millions of international and domestic travellers every year, South Africa continues to cement its reputation as a luxury travel destination with high-end hotel and museum openings, while also looking to be more inclusive to intracontinental tourists.
South Africa is already an established luxury market, but is expected to increase its domination. According to The New York Times Luxury Travel Conference, Nigeria and South Africa are expected to dominate the African market for luxury travel in the next few years, and a report by AT Kearney predicts that, by the 2040s, sub-Saharan Africa could be the ‘biggest, fastest, strongest and most attractive region for retail in the world’.
Find out more about the South African travel market here.