Mastercard unveils its sonic brand identity
US – The financial services company has introduced an audio identity that will encourage brand recognition across physical, digital and voice touchpoints.
Having recently made the transition to a wordless logo, Mastercard’s sonic identity is the next stage in its attempt to simplify and streamline the brand. The melody will be used across several brand assets: as an audio logo, for holding music and as a point-of-sale acceptance sound when a person pays with a Mastercard.
‘Sound adds a powerful new dimension to our brand identity and a critical component to how people recognise Mastercard today and in the future,’ says Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer. To ensure the melody will resonate across different cultures, Mastercard has enlisted a number of global musicians to create more regional interpretations.
As the Voice Retail Market continues to grow, brands need to consider how they connect with consumers through sonic branding. By turning its attention to audio strategy, Mastercard is looking to preserve its presence in a less visual commercial landscape.
Public Goods unites DTC products under one membership
US – Public Goods customers, who pay £46 ($59, €52) a year for membership, now have access to healthy food in addition to personal care items and households goods.
The direct-to-consumer (DTC) start-up now stocks 60 organic products, ranging from extra virgin olive oil to split pea soup. Each week, more items, such as granola, tuna and pasta, will be added to the inventory.
While other DTC brands offer quality goods at an affordable price, they often stock only one product category, such as razors or sanitary products. By expanding its offer, Public Goods hopes to consolidate affordable products in one place and under one membership scheme. As founder Morgan Hirsh explains in a recent interview with Fast Company: ‘[Previously] you would buy razors from one place, tampons from another, then go to another website to get your dog food and then yet another to get your vitamins.’
Elevating the idea of the dollar store online, retailers are exploring how they can democratise quality and bring premium products to the mass market.
Tide introduces eco-packaging for e-commerce
Cincinnati – The detergent brand has created new eco-packaging for its concentrated liquid laundry detergent, designed specifically for e-commerce.
Made with 60% less plastic and 30% less water than the standard 150oz Tide press-tap, the Eco-Box has been created to reduce the shipping footprint of Tide’s products sold online. The box is delivered in a sealed, shipping-safe cardboard box containing a sealed bag of detergent and a no-drip twist tap.
‘We know that the last mile remains the biggest challenge both economically and ecologically in e-commerce,’ says Isaac Hellemn, brand manager for e-commerce innovation in Procter & Gamble’s Fabric Care group. ‘The Tide Eco-Box is designed to keep the convenience of online shopping for the consumer but reduce the overall impact of that convenience on our environment.’
As an increasing number of FMCG products are sold directly to consumers through online portals, brands are rethinking how they package their products. We explore post-shelf packaging in our Subconscious Commerce macrotrend.
Google augments the fan experience with Playmojis
US – Childish Gambino is the latest interactive character that Google has added to its Pixel camera with augmented reality (AR).
The new Playmoji is part of Google Pixel’s Playground tool, which, using the phone’s AR capabilities, brings animated characters to its camera. Fans of Childish Gambino can now add the rapper into their photos or videos by simply pointing their camera and dropping him into the scene.
The avatar’s dancing mimics Childish Gambino’s real-life moves, with ARCore’s motion tracking technology allowing fans to dance with him in their own videos. His facial expressions also react in real time, evolving through machine learning.
The Playground tool points to a future of both entertainment and AR-enabled fan experiences. While avatars have been employed as brand ambassadors, news anchors and even museum guides, Google shows how this technology could change how we interact with our idols.
Stat: Gambling spend is fuelled by mobile devices
Gambling is increasingly a mobile-first activity, according to a new report by software company Iovation. The study, which analysed more than 518m transactions, found that 70% of online gambling transactions are now made using mobile devices. Furthermore, financial transactions processed via mobile devices grew at an average annual rate of 95% from 2012 to 2018.
As gambling becomes more mobile – and arguably more frictionless – FinTech companies are experimenting with ways to re-introduce spending and access limits. In December 2018, Barclays became the first traditional bank to offer in-app controls that allow customers to block their own gambling spend.
Thought-starter: Can gyms use people power to become energy-efficient?
Gyms are harnessing the power of people’s workouts to generate energy consumption and demonstrate their environmental credibilities.
As the global shift towards renewable energy sources accelerates and consumers help to drive a global sustainability movement across sectors, fitness brands are recognising an opportunity to demonstrate not only how they can boost the health of people, but also that of the planet.
The next logical step for gyms is to harness the vast amount of energy expended within their four walls as sweat equity. At this year’s CES, SportsArt introduced the world’s first energy-producing treadmill as part of its Eco-Powr line. Walking, jogging or running on the machine can generate up to 200 watt-hours of electricity, which is enough to power a 40 watt light bulb for five hours.
‘We noticed a gap in sustainability present in gyms and knew we had to do something about that,’ says Ivo Grossi, CEO of the Americas for SportsArt. ‘We took the treadmill, a staple in fitness, and incorporated revolutionary technology that would not only reduce energy consumption, but actually produce it.’
Read the full Eco-fitness microtrend here.