Need to Know
04 : 04 : 19

Supergoop launches innovative SPF products, Monzo partners with The Big Issue to encourage reselling and Spotify is becoming a platform to aid sleep.

Universal Everything digitises luxury goods

Superconsumers by Universal Everything, The Hyundai, Seoul, South Korea

Seoul – The UK-based studio has created a series of video artworks for high-end department store The Hyundai.

Universal Everything's series of animations represent ‘digital pop-art amplifications’ of luxury products, bringing these products to life – from puffer jackets to perfume bottles – as a parade of diverse characters. The videos will be displayed on a 30-metre-high LED screen covering the department store’s façade in Seoul, as well as The Hyundai’s social media.

The characters anthropomorphise luxury goods from the retailer’s fashion, furniture, perfume, floristry and sports departments. The campaign shows how department stores can implement a playful Visual ASMR aesthetic to showcase their high-quality products to potential shoppers.

To see how luxury brands can used digital designs to engage visual-first consumers, read our design direction Virtual Baroque.

Supergoop adds SPF to colour cosmetics and haircare

Supergoop! Supergoop!
Supergoop! Supergoop!

Texas – The sunscreen brand is exploring the boundaries of sun protection with two new product categories.

Shimmershade is a long-wearing cream eyeshadow with SPF 30, while Poof is a mineral powder that contains broad-spectrum SPF 45 for scalp and hair. The new products mark the brand’s first foray into colour cosmetics and haircare.

Both the scalp and eye areas are known to be particularly vulnerable to sun damage, signs of premature ageing and skin cancer. As a result, Shimmershade and Poof have been formulated to better protect these delicate areas while extending the brand’s existing range of formulas, which include lotions, creams, sprays, oils and powders.

By creating new textures and applications for sun protection, Supergoop is also offering new sensory touch-points for the beauty consumer. ‘This [range] has real potential for bringing in a new consumer to the SPF-obsessed world of Supergoop because it's so fun and it's so playful,’ says Holly Thaggard, founder of Supergoop.

The Big Issue is the world’s first resellable magazine

UK – Charitable weekly magazine The Big Issue has partnered with Monzo to allow buyers to pass their copy of the magazine onto a friend, who can pay for it again using a QR code.

The Pay It Forward initiative is the first of its kind in the world. To make use of the feature, those who buy The Big Issue are invited to pass it onto someone else, who can pay for it again by scanning a code with their phone. Once it is sold on, half of the cost – £1.50 ($1.97, €1.76) – is paid to the original vendor.

The Big Issue has been diversifying its payment options to keep pace with the UK's increasingly cash-free society. According to the magazine, 10 years ago six in every 10 transactions were made in cash, but today this share is just three in 10.

Meanwhile, Monzo is finding innovative ways to Bank the Unbanked, such as empowering refugees to set up accounts, solidifying its Civic Brand status.

Pay It Forward by The Big Issue and Monzo, UK

Rapha launches customisable cycling kits

Rapha Custom, UK Rapha Custom, UK
Rapha Custom, UK Rapha Custom, UK

London – The British cycling brand has partnered with fashion software company Unmade to launch a personalised design service.

Rapha Custom allows smaller cycling teams to fully customise a wide range of Rapha kit, with minimum order quantities starting at five pieces. Using Unmade's platform, its templates serve as design starters, with customers able to apply patterns, fades, colours and logos, as well up upload their own graphics. The service looks to improve the experience of ordering custom kit with a user-friendly platform, a scaled pricing structure and eight-week delivery.

‘When launching Rapha Custom, we looked to address some of the biggest constraints for groups of cyclists creating custom kit,’ says Ed Clifford, head of Rapha Custom. ‘The market was crying out for a design-led and fully digital customer experience that was seamless in manufacturing and delivery.’

As Demand-led Design gathers momentum, Rapha Custom is an example of an emerging business model, with start-ups re-inventing the made-to-order system.

Stat: Australians are turning to Spotify to help them sleep

Spotify playlists are being used to solve consumers’ everyday problems, according to new research from the music streaming company’s Australian HQ. The study found that Australians are using the platform to relieve domestic stress relating to sleep, pets, and even the care of houseplants.

Sleep in particular is an area that consumers struggling with, with many turning to Spotify for help. The study found that more than half (67%) of Australians are not getting enough sleep, which it says explains the 9m local playlists on Spotify that mention the word ‘sleep’. To tackle these problems, Spotify has launched a series of life hacks – delivered with supportive playlists – via the dedicated platform Just Add Spotify.

For more on how approaches to sleep are evolving in the digital age, look out for our upcoming Sleep Market update.

Thought-starter: Will mixed reality boost physical retail?

Maciej Zasada, technical director at UNIT9, explains why shoppers’ physical connection to real products, combined with an augmented environment, equals the perfect blend of cool, real and practical.

With research showing that 41% of customers expect retailers to offer access to MR, consumer hunger already exists. And now that HoloLens 2 is on the market, retailers have an opportunity to fulfil these expectations. But should they?

We live in the experience economy and smart retailers have become woke to the pulling power of wow-factor in-store experiences. Until now, virtual reality (VR) has been the standard go-to for retailers that want to invest in highly memorable moments.

The problem with VR, however, is that as the name itself suggests, shoppers are transported into an entirely virtual world, with a virtual product that takes them away from the real retail space and real products. With MR, however, the customer can still interact with all things physical.

While MR has mostly been used as a ‘try before you buy’ tool in retail, where products are digitised and placed as a synthetic layer over a real physical setting, HoloLens 2 brings increased sophistication to the medium.

Read the full Opinion piece here.

Castello: Sensations VR by UNIT9
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