News 19.03.2019

Need to Know

A new range of brain food for kids, Ikea turns accessibility into a design opportunity and how e-commerce is transforming businesses in rural America.

Noon is a new lubricant brand for the gay market

Noon by Monq and Carme, Brazil
Noon by Monq and Carme, Brazil
Noon by Monq and Carme, Brazil

São Paulo – Creative agency Carme has created a brand identity that distances itself from design associated with the gay market.

Noon is a new sexual lubricant brand aimed specifically at the gay market. Working with consultancy Monq to create a brand positioning strategy, visual identity and packaging development, Noon addresses the lack of originality in product design targeted at gay men.

Rather than relying on feminine branding or stereotypical visual cues such as rainbows, Carme wanted to adopt a more sophisticated approach, using striking black and white graphics. On first glance, the packaging is reminiscent of contemporary skincare products as opposed to sexual lubricants.

While many sexual wellness products on the market are targeted at women, Noon is showcasing how brands in this category have the potential to rebrand masculinity.

LadBible co-launches a social channel for relaxation

Relaxing Stuff by LadBible and Three, UK Relaxing Stuff by LadBible and Three, UK

UK – Relaxing Stuff is a branded social media channel in partnership with mobile network Three.

Pitched as ‘the most relaxing place on the internet’, the channel hopes to interrupt social feeds with video content that uses soothing audio, ASMR, animations and satisfying visuals. It will publish content over Instagram and Facebook, as well as on a dedicated website.

Tying into Three’s recent Phones Are Good campaign, Relaxing Stuff aims to inject a sense of calmness into social feeds, which are known to induce feelings of anxiety. ‘[Young people] naturally consume content through social platforms, so we knew this was the best space to reach and support this demographic,’ says Arian Kalantari, co-founder of the LadBible Group.

As Generation Z become hyper-aware of how excessive social media use impacts their mental health, both brands and influencers are using these channels to educate consumers on the importance of mindful online behaviour.

This range of kids’ yoghurts targets brain nutrition

San Francisco – Ingenuity Brands, a start-up dedicated to brain-based nutrition, has launched a line of yoghurts to support childhood brain development.

Brainiac Kids is a new line of whole-milk dairy products fortified with a unique blend of brain-boosting nutrients, including Omega-3s DHA and ALA as well as choline. Created by a team of paediatricians, nutrition scientists and neurologists, the range aims to meet growing consumer demand in the children’s snacking category for healthier options with added nutritional benefits.

The brand cites a number of studies that suggest children are not getting adequate daily amounts of either Omega-3 fatty acids or choline. ‘These nutritional challenges presented an opportunity to create a food brand from the ground up, focused on brain nutrition and launched with yoghurts that are not only delicious and fun for kids, but also help to feed their brains and close the nutrient gap,’ says Jonathan Wolfson, founder and CEO of Ingenuity Brands.

For more on how the eating habits of younger generations are shifting, read our Young Eaters market.

Brainiac Kids, US

Ikea designs 3D-printed add-ons to make its furniture more accessible

ThisAbles, IKEA, Israel

Israel – The home goods and services company’s Israeli HQ has unveiled a new project that aims to make its products more user-friendly for consumers with disabilities.

Created in partnership with Milbat and Access Israel, two Israel-based non-profits that specialise in creating special solutions for people special needs and disabilities, ThisAbles is a line of 3D-printed add-ons for Ikea furniture. The 13 available designs are intended to modify existing products and accessories in the company’s extensive range, making small buttons larger or lifting sofas higher from the ground, for example.

While the project signals an important step towards greater inclusivity, consumers are currently unable to purchase the add-ons as ready-made products and are instead required to have them 3D-printed independently. But by seeking to address the needs of the disability market, Ikea is embracing access as a design opportunity – an idea we explore in our Implicit Inclusivity design direction.

Stat: E-commerce is transforming rural American businesses

Over the next three years. the digital potential of rural businesses across the US could boost the country’s economy by over £105.5bn ($140bn, €123.2bn), according to new report by the US Chamber of Commerce commissioned by Amazon. Key findings from the survey of more than 5,000 small businesses show that internet connectivity is driving revenue growth, with 55.2% of them agreeing that e-commerce helps them grow their customer base.

‘The opportunity to successfully start and grow a rural small business in our country is a great example of how technology is positively transforming nearly every aspect of our lives,’ says Tim Day, senior vice president of C_TEC, the Chamber’s Technology Engagement Center.

Brands and retailers stand to gain a lot from rural America’s digital progress. In our macrotrend The American Middle, we consider major shifts in the country’s consumer demographics.

Thought-starter: How are consumers re-evaluating romantic love?

Foresight writer Holly Friend introduces the new tribe of consumers who are choosing to embrace singledom, polyamory and platonic love over traditional romantic relationships.

Relationships are not what they used to be. The collective goal for society was once to find a partner, but traditional coupledom is rapidly losing its relevance for a new tribe of consumers, who are questioning the logic of building their lives around one person.

As we report in our Uncoupled Living macrotrend, rates of marriage have notably declined in the last half-century. Meanwhile, experts are discovering that wedded bliss is not as idealistic as it seems. A recent study by Bella DePaulo found that unmarried people are not just happier, but more self-fulfilled.

With marriage no longer a relevant yardstick by which to measure adulthood or personal achievement, consumers are not only disengaging with the ritual, but also re-evaluating the very notion of romantic love. Together, these tribe members represent a future in which relationships will exist fluidly, in the same way that traditional notions of gender, sexuality and identity have become irrelevant today. In response, brands must rethink their marketing, products and services to accommodate the myriad lifestyles of the uncoupled.

Meet The Uncoupled, our first Tribe of 2019, here.

Scarlett, Boris and Emily
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