Need to Know
17 : 07 : 19

NatWest launches facial recognition for account openings, Go Back to Africa empowers black travellers, and the optimum time outdoors for wellbeing.

A restorative tonic for postpartum wellness

Milk Moon branding by Kati Forner
Milk Moon branding by Kati Forner
Milk Moon branding by Kati Forner

California – Milk Moon creates products that combine nervine and adaptogenic herbs to support the postpartum nervous system.

According to the brand, the nervous system is an overlooked component of women’s health after pregnancy, with new mothers in a near-constant state of high alert during the early months of parenthood. In response, Milk Moon offers a restorative tonic and a range of postpartum tinctures, each of which are said to support a different aspect of a mother’s health.

The products feature herbs grown on Milk Moon’s own herb farm or sourced from local farmers, combined with organic alcohol or local raw honey. The Postpartum Restorative Tonic, for example, is a sweet syrup that blends ingredients such as nettle, rosehip, raspberry leaf and yellow dock root. The tinctures also combine herbs that target specific needs, with Bring me a Dream for sleep, Cloud Nine to improve mood, The Milky Way for lactation, and No Worries to support the nervous system.

For more on how brands are catering for women at this time in their lives, read our Pregnancy Wellbeing microtrend.

Maurten un-brands its sports energy drinks

Maurten Unofficial Maurten Unofficial
Maurten Unofficial Maurten Unofficial

Sweden – With its new Unofficial branding, the start-up is making it possible for athletes sponsored by competitor brands to use its products.

Despite the fact that many of the world’s best athletes are sponsored by sports drink and nutrition companies, Swedish brand Maurten claims many of these athletes use its hydrogel-based products when winning key events. In a bid to negate the contractual risks for such athletes, the company has removed or otherwise pixelated all branding on its packaging.

For the Unofficial range Maurten has removed text and logos and changed the product names. ‘There are many athletes out there who every day rely on our technology. They’ve bought our products in stores or through our website – but it has always been risky for them to use our branded products, especially in competition,’ says Olof Sköld, CEO of Maurten. ‘Now, they don’t have to worry.’

Brands are finding themselves navigating complicated sponsorship deals as more celebrities, influencers and athletes sign contracts. For more, read our Opinion on what Facebook’s music licensing laws mean for brands.

NatWest lets customers open a bank account with a selfie

UK – NatWest has become the first high street bank in the UK to allow customers to open an account with a selfie and photo ID.

The bank has worked with financial technology company HooYu to streamline its onboarding process using facial recognition software and biometrics. The service, which was pilot tested on over 60,000 customers before being rolled out to the public, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to match consumers’ selfies with their photo IDs. The technology enables customers to save time and open accounts quickly and securely on demand, while also reducing fraud.

‘We know customers want to be able to open accounts at a time and a place that suits them and not have to worry about sending precious ID documents in the post, or taking time out of their day to go to a branch,’ says Frans Woelders, NatWest’s chief digital officer.

Learn how biometric innovations are creating a secure and streamlined future for consumers with our dedicated listicle.

Face ID by Apple

Black & Abroad empowers black tourism in Africa

Go Back To Africa by Black & Abroad

Atlanta – The travel company is championing black travellers by flipping the meaning of the statement ‘go back to Africa’.

Running with the tagline ‘displace the hate’, the campaign aims to inspire African Americans to explore Africa’s 54 countries. Black & Abroad worked with data-driven creative agency FCB/SIX to create an AI-led visual platform for the campaign, which collects real-time social media posts of black travellers in Africa. Selected posts are then featured on the campaign’s website to showcase the experiences of African Americans travelling across Africa.

In a supporting campaign film, Black & Abroad presents a series of hate-fuelled Tweets using the phrase 'go back to Africa', reframing these to show the diversity of travellers and African countries. ‘If we can strip the expression of its impact, then we can debunk the age-old narrative that Africa is a desolate, disease-ridden wasteland undeserving of our time and travels,’ says Eric Martin, co-founder of Black & Abroad.

As explored in our Empowered Travel microtrend, the representation of the typical tourist is changing and lesser-heard voices are coming to the fore.

Stat: Just two hours outdoors can boost wellbeing

Spending just two hours a week in green spaces such as parks, woodlands and fields has been linked to better health and happiness, according to a new study by the University of Exeter. The study of 20,000 people in the UK found that the optimum amount of time spent immersed in nature is two hours – while those who spend one-and-a-half hours didn’t experience the same benefits.

Surprisingly, those who spent as much as five hours outdoors a week did not report any additional health benefits. According to the leader of the study, Dr Mat White: ‘Until now we’ve not been able to say how much is enough… Two hours a week is hopefully a realistic target for many people, especially given that it can be spread over an entire week to get the benefit.’

As the health benefits of nature become embedded in society, outdoor sports are being rebranded as elevated, self-fulfilling experiences.

Thought-starter: What’s redefining luxury in France?

The typically conservative French luxury market is rethinking conventional displays of wealth, evolving towards a democratised definition of luxury.

Wealthy French consumers are beginning to question what defines their traditional luxury market, and whether these values still stand. As a result, inclusivity, democratised access and simplicity are emerging as new tenets of luxury in this typically conservative market, with emerging designers, revamped regions and local luxury inspirations helping to propel this evolution.

Indeed, Generation Z and Millennial French consumers are challenging traditional notions of luxury, from inclusivity to access. ‘Today’s consumers are turned off by the very word ‘luxury’. For them, the term has connotations of elitism and exclusivity. Instead, they want a luxury that is inclusive, honest and democratic,’ explains Alexander Gilkes, co-founder of auction house Paddle8.

Look out for the full State of Luxury: France Market, to be published this week.

L’Insane, Paris
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