Need to Know
29 : 03 : 21

Start-up accelerator Huckletree celebrates pandemic pivots, AutoStore replicates future climates and festival sales soar among hopeful music fans.

Ruby takes a psychedelic approach to health branding

Ruby Hibiscus Water, US
Ruby Hibiscus Water, US
Ruby Hibiscus Water, US

US – Health brand Ruby has opted for a colourful visual identity for its hibiscus water, in order to differentiate from typical health branding.

The ready-to-drink functional water uses hibiscus – a plant well documented for being high in antioxidants and featuring anti-inflammatory properties – to offer health benefits without sacrificing taste. Its visual identity, created by agency Talmor & Talmor & Talmor, differs from traditional green, organic health drink branding and instead borrows its nostalgic aesthetic from vintage soda bottles.

The visual identity incorporates colourful figures alongside the bright red drink in a bid to create a psychedelic look. By taking a playful approach to health food and drink branding, Ruby can illustrate the health benefits of hibiscus while still visually appealing to consumers’ desire for sugary drinks.

The visual definition of nourishment is evolving to celebrate a less sterile approach that combines nostalgia and pleasure. Explore more case studies that take this approach in our design direction Frivolous Foods.

Huckletree champions inter-Covid start-up culture

To Be Continued… by Huckletree, UK To Be Continued… by Huckletree, UK
To Be Continued… by Huckletree, UK To Be Continued… by Huckletree, UK

UK – For its latest campaign, small business accelerator Huckletree commemorates the perseverance of start-ups during the pandemic.

Created by design agency Otherway, the To Be Continued… campaign showcases the milestones achieved by its community of start-ups. This includes accomplishments from companies such as Hylo, which launched a sustainable running shoe; edtech firm MEL Science, which secured a round of investment from Huckletree’s investor introductions; and disruptor bank Starling, which extended its services to offer bounce-bank loans during the inter-Covid period.

By highlighting these triumphs, Huckletree demonstrates how the pandemic has fostered a new wave of innovation for its members. ‘After a year dominated by bad news, we wanted to shine a spotlight on the incredible stories of success that have come out of the Huckletree community during the last 12 months,’ says Stuart Finlayson, partner at Otherway.

With the pandemic galvanising companies into thinking, reacting and changing at a moment’s notice, brands’ ability to adapt is now an indicator of success. Uncover more on these flexible business models in our new macrotrend Elastic Brands.

This innovation hub replicates supply chain environments

AutoStore Innovation Hub AutoStore Innovation Hub

Norway – Robotic technology company AutoStore has unveiled an innovation hub to test and replicate various climate conditions in stores and warehouses.

As the demand for robotic storage and fulfillment technology in retail grows, the testing centre will allow AutoStore to efficiently analyse its facilities and develop reactive solutions for its clients. The environment can be adjusted to allow robots to be tested in both hot and cold conditions, as well as identify any changes in oxygen levels when goods are stacked. It can also simulate high-impact natural disasters like earthquakes to assess how its warehouse and store technology would respond.

‘The needs will vary from store to store, and industry to industry. Our flexibility must enable the brands to streamline operations in line with their specific needs, and to achieve this we must constantly test and develop new solutions,’ says Karl Johan Lier, CEO of AutoStore.

To discover the future of the retail sector, including the new demands for e-commerce fulfillment, book tickets to our forthcoming Retail Futures online event on 29 April.

Stat: UK music festivals prepare for summer of hedonism

Waso by Shiseido and Wieden + Kennedy. Photography by Viviane Sassen Waso by Shiseido and Wieden + Kennedy. Photography by Viviane Sassen

Following the UK government’s announcement on easing Covid-19 lockdown measures in summer 2021, event ticket sellers have seen booking rates soar.

Traffic to ticket sales and distribution company Ticketmaster increased by 600% following Boris Johnson's roadmap announcement, with some 500,000 people visiting the site’s Festival Finder. These findings indicate that, despite ongoing health concerns, UK consumers are eager to return to physical entertainment and music events.

‘The pent-up demand to get back to live events is undeniable – fans are ready to make up for lost time and it’s just brilliant to see,’ explains Andrew Parsons, managing director of Ticketmaster UK.

As we continue to navigate the inter-Covid period, consumer mindsets are set to polarise, with existing paradigms predicted to either accelerate or be abandoned altogether. For more, read our opinion piece by Liganova managing partner Dr Marc Schumacher on the emerging hedonist behaviours we can expect to see.

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