1. Stella McCartney makes CSR integral to its brand
Stella McCartney's World of Sustainability
UK – The luxury fashion brand, known for its commitment to sustainability, has launched a new site that demonstrates its commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) beyond empty promises. Billed World of Sustainability, the platform is ‘entirely dedicated to telling you about our sustainable practices and our journey to operating as a modern and responsible business’.
While CSR is typically consigned to a small section of a brand's website, World of Sustainability offers a comprehensive look at all of the brand's initiatives with a sustainability timeline detailing changes that have already been implemented. For more on why brands need to incorporate CSR as an integral part of their offering, download our Sustainability Futures Report here.
2. Standard Hotel publishes guests’ strangest Instagram DMs
This marks the second time the brand has published guests’ messages on its site, adding its own tongue-in-cheek responses below as a humorous twist. In response to one guest, for example, who writes, ‘Can’t wait to get there. It’s gonna be so cool. It’s like my home town of Toronto on steroids,’ the hotel playfully replies, ‘More like METH!’
Spotify took a similar approach with its 2018 Goals campaign, in which it incorporated user data into witty slogans such as ‘Be as loving as the person who put 48 Ed Sheeran songs on their ‘I Love Gingers’ playlist’, offering a new way for brands to engage consumers.
3. Alibaba aims to appeal to the older generations
China – Internet behemoth Alibaba has launched a new version of its Taobao app for senior citizens. In its latest iteration, the online shopping platform has been simplified, making it easier to navigate for older generations who have not grown up with technology.
According to research conducted by Alibaba, 30m Taobao and Tmall users are over 50, with more than 75% of them aged between 50 and 59, and nearly 20% of them aged between 60 and 69.
In addition, users can stay in contact with family members by clicking on an image of them within the app that will connect them to an in-app messaging service.
Brands are increasingly adapting the design of their products to meet the needs of different consumers, a topic that we explore in further detail in our Implicit Inclusivity design direction.
4. Samsung campaign counters ‘can do’ culture
Co-pilot campaign by Samsung
Global – To announce the launch of its new Copilot smartwatch app, Samsung has created a minute-long tv ad that challenges the modern day propensity to believe that anything is doable. The advert pans past endless billboards emblazoned with taglines such as ‘Never stop’, ‘Break your limits’ and ‘It’s possible,’ before showing people carrying out physical feats that push them to their physical and mental limits.
The resounding message, however, is that no matter how much someone may seek to optimise themselves, they cannot beat sleep. As examined in our Sleep Market, brands are realising the commercial value of sleep, which has become an intrinsic part of the wellness sector.
5. Women are now more likely to have a child than a decade ago
Data from the US Census Bureau shows that women at the upper end of child bearing age were more likely to be a parent in 2016 than women of the same age a decade previously. While there is often a perception that fewer women are having children nowadays, these figures demonstrate the contrary to be true. Analysis of the data by Pew Research shows that some 86% of women aged 40 to 44 are mothers, compared with 80% in 2006. Women are also often taking their fertility into their own hands, both as single parents or as part of an unwed couple, and are giving birth without ever marrying.
6. Thought-starter: Which trends will dominate in 2018?
Using an AI neural network to analyse hundreds of 2018 trend forecasts by leading agencies, The Future Laboratory and Quid have created the definitive guide to the year ahead.
Having already published our Future Forecast 2018, a guide to the 40 major cultural shifts that will define the year ahead which was informed by our Trends Intelligence platform LS:N Global, we decided to take it one step further with our Trends of the Trends analysis report.
It has long been a tradition for trend forecasters to publish their predictions as one year rolls into the next. In acknowledgement of the fact that we are not the only ones to gaze towards the coming months, we joined forces with Quid, a San Francisco-based software platform that uses proprietary natural language processing algorithms to analyse text in different datasets and identify common themes, to offer a comprehensive overview of the overlapping themes that will shape the year ahead.