Need to Know
05 : 03 : 18

05.03.2018 Beauty : Hospitality : Wellness

Hermès diversifies into essences de parfum, Harry’s questions what it means to be a man, Airbnb targets the luxury consumer.

1. Hermè​s creates a sense of ritual around its scents

Hermessence by Hermès, France Hermessence by Hermès, France
Hermessence by Hermès, France Hermessence by Hermès, France
Hermessence by Hermès, France Hermessence by Hermès, France

France – Fashion house Hermès is expanding its perfume offering with a new range consisting of eaux de toilette and essences de parfum scents. Part of its Hermessence collection, the oil-based essences de parfum mark a departure for the brand, which has until now only created the lighter eaux de toilette. Intended to be worn either as a base for other fragrances or on their own, the fragrances add an additional layer to the ritual of putting on perfume, an idea explored in our Multisensory Beauty microtrend.

The musk-based scent profiles, Cardamusc and Musc Pallida, draw on cardamom and iris oils, both of which are known for their wellness properties, including use as a decongestant. In line with Psychoactive Scents, as the wellness and beauty sectors become increasingly entwined, brands are exploring new ways to combine the properties of essential oils with high-end scents.

2. Airbnb seeks to raise its profile with luxury consumers

Airbnb Plus

Global – In a bid to position itself as more than just a cheap alternative to hotels, Airbnb has announced the introduction of two new luxury services. Airbnb Plus collates listings of an exceptional standard: those which have been awarded a 100 points plus rating by an Airbnb employee to assure features such as a well-stocked kitchen, comfortable bedding and good wifi. Meanwhile, Beyond by Airbnb is a new service providing luxury accommodation and customised experiences, described by the company as ‘trips of a lifetime’.

‘Part of what we wanted to do with this launch is to reframe why people come to this platform,’ explains Surabhi Gupta, Airbnb director of engineering. ‘There are a bunch of guests that aren’t considering us today. They’ve written us off because they think Airbnb doesn't have a product for me.’

See our brand innovation debrief for more on how Airbnb is changing and diversifying its offer.

3. Barking Riverside promotes healthier living

UK – Billed as London’s only ‘healthy new town’, Barking Riverside is a new development of more than 10,000 homes situated close to the River Thames. The wellness hub will offer an initiative known as Biking Riverside, providing free cycling lessons and bike maintenance to encourage people to make use of the site’s extensive cycle path network.

Working with PEARL (People Environment Action Research Labs), a research lab associated with University College London, the developers are hosting a number of pop-ups that will explore how different surfaces affect people’s propensity to walk. The culmination of this research will be the implementation of a new on-site walking network, while plans for a lido aim to provide both physical and mental health benefits. In our Wellness Architecture market, we look at the growing interest among consumers in property that provides tangible health benefits.

Barking Riverside, London Barking Riverside, London

4. Shaving brand Harry’s redefines masculinity

A Man Like You film by Harry's, US

US – The latest campaign by online shaving brand Harry’s, A Man Like You, calls into question traditional ideas of what it means to be a man. Positioning itself as a ‘voice of progressive masculinity’, the spot follows a young boy who, after encountering an alien in the countryside, teaches him ‘how to be a man’.

Initially drawing on dated conceptions of what it is to be a man – ‘men know stuff, like cars, sports, how to give a good handshake,’ explains the protagonist – the ad ends with the boy’s realisation that ‘a real man is simply a good human’. A noticeable shift in tone for a male grooming brand, Harry’s examines changing definitions of masculinity, an idea explored in depth in our forthcoming New Masculinity series.

5. Obesity among Millennials set to balloon

While Millennials are generally considered to be a more health-conscious generation than their predecessors, new figures from Cancer Research UK suggest that there is a discrepancy between this portrayal and the reality. Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention expert, blames the imminent epidemic on the society’s normalising of obesity, in conjunction with clever marketing tactics from the food industry and greater access to unhealthy food.

6. Thought-starter: Have we moved beyond room service?

Desperate to win over today’s travellers and compete with Airbnb, junior creative researcher Holly Friend considers how hotels are re-assessing the functionality, flavours and frills of their room service offerings.

Room service is undergoing an existential crisis. With hotels questioning whether the service makes sense in today’s hospitality landscape, and the concept being challenged by sharing economy giants such as Airbnb and Deliveroo, room service must adapt to survive.

One way of doing this is to implement invisible service in a bid to compete with the seamlessness of home rental platforms. Ian Schrager’s Public hotel in New York has proved to be an innovator in efficient room service. Just as customers can order ahead at Starbucks, guests go online to order food from the downstairs delicatessen before picking it up from the lobby five minutes later.

Other hotels are developing the flavour profiles of these menus, while some are taking room service beyond food and drink, drawing inspiration from innovators such as the Well Hotel to offer spirituality on demand.

For more on how to modernise an age-old hospitality tradition, read our microtrend Room Service Revitalised.

Lokal hotel by Jersey Ice Cream Company, Philadelphia Lokal hotel by Jersey Ice Cream Company, Philadelphia