Need to Know
21 : 03 : 18

21.03.2018 Wellness : Retail : Travel

FitBit’s latest wearable encourages children to exercise, DoNotPay uses AI to revolutionise travel, Brooklyn Kura brews American sake.

1. Fitbit commits to teaching kids healthier habits

Ace by Fitbit, US Ace by Fitbit, US
Ace by Fitbit, US Ace by Fitbit, US
Ace by Fitbit, US Ace by Fitbit, US
Ace by Fitbit, US Ace by Fitbit, US

US – In a bid to encourage the younger generation to become more active, Fitbit has launched a children’s fitness tracker called Ace.

With decreasing levels of physical activity amongst children leading to obesity, the new device includes various features to help kids build healthier habits from an early age. The tracker aims to redefine fitness as fun through challenges and activities, and also pushes personal reminders to encourage the user to reach 250 steps each hour. Fitbit allows parents access to their child's tracker in order to monitor their activity and approve friend requests.

The concept of wellness is trickling down to the younger generations, but it is important for brands to balance the message of health with unrealistic fitness ideals.

2. MikMak expands its social commerce features

MikMak Attach Cart, US MikMak Attach Cart, US
MikMak Attach Cart, US MikMak Attach Cart, US
MikMak Attach Cart, US MikMak Attach Cart, US

US – Video social commerce brand MikMak is expanding its Attach offering, which allows retailers to transform their Instagram stories into sales with shoppable mini-commercials. Recently, the platform launched a host of new Attach features that increase the convenience of social media purchases.

MikMak Attach Cart allows retailers to sell directly to consumers by attaching a customised URL to their social video content, immediately turning the content into an add-to-cart purchase. The platform aims to create a more efficient buying process and eliminates the need to transfer a consumer to the brand’s website. Another recent feature is Multi Cart, which allows users to purchase directly through social but choose amongst a list of retailers that stock the product.

As brands continue to try to merge social media and commerce, MikMak demonstrates how to make the transaction a seamless, almost subconscious endeavour.

3. Chatbot offers price protection service for air travellers

US – DoNotPay, a bot originally designed to challenge parking fines, has expanded its artificial intelligence (AI) services to exploit the legal loopholes in travel documents and save travellers money.

The robot lawyer gathers flight information and works regularly to respond to price fluctuations up until the day of departure. Once a lower price is identified, the bot scans the terms and conditions of a customer’s travel documents, rebooks their flight and requests a refund from the airline. Using their ability to interpret the complex and verbose language of legal documents, the brand will act as the traveller’s legal representation when communicating with the airline.

With services like DoNotPay making it easier to challenge brands, airline companies will have to be more transparent about their Pricing Strategies.

DoNotPay DoNotPay

4. New Yorkers develop a taste for sake

Brooklyn Kura, New York Brooklyn Kura, New York
Brooklyn Kura, New York Brooklyn Kura, New York
Brooklyn Kura, New York Brooklyn Kura, New York
Brooklyn Kura, New York Brooklyn Kura, New York

Brooklyn – Founded by Brandon Doughan and Brian Polen, Brooklyn Kura is New York State’s first sake brewers. Dedicated to establishing a new tradition of American Craft Sake, the brand wants to demystify the Japanese brewing tradition and make it more accessible for American consumers.

There is a common misconception in the West that sake should be served as a warm shot but as Doughan and Polen explain on the brand's website, high quality sake offers a complexity of flavour that requires it ideally be served chilled or at room temperature.

With sake sales in Japan continuing to fall as Japanese consumers become more enamoured of traditionally western spirits like whisky and gin, new opportunities are opening up for sake producers in the West. Read our Global Spirits Market for more insight into changing consumer tastes around the world.

5. UK consumers need direction on how to recycle

Britons recycling stat Britons recycling stat

A new study by the British Science Association indicates that while most UK consumers are concerned about recycling, with the average UK household putting equal amounts of litter in their recycling as their rubbish bin every week, they are often misguided about what can be recycled. The top reason given by those that admitted that they don’t recycle enough was not being sure what can and can’t be processed (30%).

Waste is one of the most visible sustainability issues for consumers and one that forward-thinking brands are addressing through the shrewd use of technologies like artificial intelligence.

6. Thought-starter: What happened to the serendipity of Airbnb?

With Airbnb's push into the mainstream market, creative researcher Holly Friend considers how it risks losing the very elements of home-sharing that led to its success.

Addressing a packed-out audience at ITB Berlin last week, Airbnb’s co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk unveiled his company’s plethora of launches for 2018. Behind these superfluous extras was a very clear mantra: Airbnb is for everyone. According to Blecharczyk, the company is intent on shedding its alternative image.

But what’s wrong with being alternative? The entire concept of home-sharing is rooted in the idea that it’s authentic – you’re temporarily living the life of your host, seeing a city through their eyes. Considering Millennials’ much-publicised fetish for authenticity, experiences, and that old phrase ‘living like a local’, it’s surprising that Airbnb has veered so far from its heritage.

By introducing the likes of Plus, Niido and its forthcoming top-tier service Beyond, Airbnb's pursuit of a more mainstream consumer is putting the brand in danger of losing its alternative appeal. Perhaps, soon, the alternative will be staying in a hotel?

For more, read the full Opinion piece.

Airbnb and Stay Floyd, US Airbnb and Stay Floyd, US