News 12.04.2021

Need to Know

McDonald’s zeroes in on carbon-neutrality, a DTC medicine brand makes pharma accessible and fitness apps soar amid global lockdowns.

Betr rethinks the identity and delivery of medicine

Betr, California
Betr, California
Betr, California

California – Betr is a new healthcare provider offering a direct-to-consumer (DTC) alternative to traditional over-the-counter medicine.

The brand offers a socially conscious service in the medical sector, catering for the quarter of Americans who are unable to afford prescription medication (source: KFF). As a solution, Betr operates a donation-based service whereby some 4% of its net revenue is redistributed to offer affordable medication to underserved communities.

Betr also uses a bold visual identity to highlight its accessible approach to medicine. Breaking away from clinical aesthetics, Betr uses monograms and illustrations in bright colours. ‘The category in general is cold, cluttered and often confusing, so we created a brand that is human, easy to shop and challenges established codes,’ says Stephen McDavid, creative director at JKR, the agency behind the branding.

Betr caters for the ongoing gap in the market for Post-pharmacy Brands, which apply cues from the wellness industry to medicinal products to make health more accessible to consumers.

McDonald’s serves up a net-zero restaurant

McDonald’s, US McDonald’s, US
McDonald’s, US McDonald’s, US

US – Fast food chain McDonald’s has opened a carbon-neutral restaurant at Disney World in Florida.

The revamp of the food chain’s global flagship store makes it the first of its kind to operate on a fully renewable basis. To achieve carbon-neutrality, the restaurant avoids conventional methods such as gas-source cooking and water heating equipment. It also features several elements to lower energy consumption, including an air-source water heating machine and solar panels. In addition, the building’s exterior features green walls covered with vegetation and a large canopy to shade and cool the restaurant.

The site will also act as a sustainable testing ground for McDonald’s, reflecting its ongoing innovation in this area. ‘The success of this project will not only influence the design of McDonald’s restaurants in the future, but it will also serve to encourage similar projects to pursue net-zero targets,’ comments Jean Gibbons, vice-president at WSP USA Buildings, a development partner for the project.

This initiative echoes the ideas we explore in Whole-system Thinking, as businesses consider new ways to operate based on long-term societal and planetary impacts.

Anya Hindmarch reinvigorates retail with experiential village

London – Luxury accessories brand Anya Hindmarch is opening a shopping village in London, opting for local over global expansion.

The Village, which will be located in Belgravia, will comprise a cluster of five permanent locations built around the brand’s first store on Pont Street. Each store will have its own identity, including a Plastic Store featuring the brand’s recycled accessories line, and a Village Hall store, which will host a rotating roster of pop-up concepts, beginning with a hair salon. Its original store will continue to offer bespoke collections and personalisation services catering for the brand’s original customers.

In this way, Anya Hindmarch is creating a sprawling urban environment that reflects its brand identity, while maintaining a sense of community in London. ‘We don’t feel we need to have this massive store network all over the world,’ says Anya Hindmarch. ‘If [physical] retail is to exist, it needs to be special.'

For more on the way brands are innovating to encourage consumers to return to city centres, discover our Blended Cultural Realms trend within our new macrotrend, Equilibrium Cities.

The Village by Anya Hindmarch, London

Stat: Health and fitness apps prospered in 2020

Blaque, US Blaque, US

The number of health and fitness apps available in the past year has risen amid increasing demand for at-home solutions.

Data from App Annie’s State of Mobile 2021 report shows that some 71,000 new apps were launched in this category in 2020. This figure represents a 13% rise in the sector from 2019. And while interest in health and fitness apps typically peaks in January, the biggest increase was in April 2020 – with downloads hitting 276m – reflecting a correlation between global lockdowns and increased app downloads.

The most popular downloads include fitness apps suitable for home workouts and requiring no equipment, along with weight loss apps for women. Lexi Sydow, senior market insights manager at App Annie, explains: ‘Publishers should incorporate at-home and on-demand features into their user acquisition and marketing strategies as well as incorporate into their product roadmap to capitalise on the demand.’

As many consumers continue to rely on at-home wellbeing solutions, there is an opportunity for fitness brands to combine entertainment with exercise.

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