Need To Know
27 : 05 : 21

John Lewis becomes an Accessible Premium brand, Lucy McRae imagines reproductive futures and the global luxury sector regains its footing.

John Lewis democratises homeware with Anyday range

Anyday campaign by John Lewis, UK

UK – The retailer is diverging from its long-standing premium retail strategy with a more accessible everyday range.

John Lewis’ Anyday collection includes a range of over 2,400 products across homeware, technology, baby care and baby clothing, with prices about 20% lower than its flagship collections. The more accessible price point allows the retailer to target younger customers and families seeking more affordable branded products.

To promote the Anyday launch, John Lewis has made a relatable tv advert which, in a first for the brand, reveals the prices of the products featured in the campaign, starting at just £2 ($2.83, €2.32) for a coffee mug. According to Claire Pointon, customer director at John Lewis: The campaign feels different in tone and creative from our usual adverts because we really want to showcase how customers live their lives, and highlight the role we can play in their everyday lives.

As we identify in our Accessible Premium microtrend, unexpected retailers are exploring how they can democratise quality and bring premium products to the mass market.

Lucy McRae explores the future of synthetic reproduction

Heavy Duty Love by Lucy McRae at the Venice Biennale. Photography by Brian Overend, Italy Heavy Duty Love by Lucy McRae at the Venice Biennale. Photography by Brian Overend, Italy
Heavy Duty Love by Lucy McRae at the Venice Biennale. Photography by Brian Overend, Italy Heavy Duty Love by Lucy McRae at the Venice Biennale. Photography by Brian Overend, Italy

Los Angeles and Venice The conceptual artist is considering the ethics and experience of lab-grown reproduction.

With recent scientific experiments pointing to a future in which childbirth is achieved through stem cell manufacturing, Lucy McRae is considering the new products we'll need in this new reproductive landscape. Through experiential exhibit Heavy Duty Love, unveiled at the Venice Architecture Biennale, acts as a comfort blanket, evoking sensations of a supportive embrace and therefore a new type of nurture for a humans who have bypassed the womb.

Raising questions about human contact and intimacy in the far future, the artist is foreseeing what products we may need in an age in which childbirth is engineered. She explains: I made this machine because I am curious about the human consequences of bypassing the womb and that first hug of a mother envisaging a new generation of children having radically different formative years, developing new types of sensitivities and neurobiological quirks.

As Synthetic Reproduction inches closer to becoming a reality, McRae's project reflects the future need for preserving early life intimacy and contact in humans.

The Guess Gen Z lab fosters next-gen co-creation

Europe – Apparel brand Guess Europe has teamed up with Microsoft to launch a co-creation initiative aimed at Generation Z.

The Guess Z Lab, created with The Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center (LTCC), provides an opportunity for young people to gain experience working in an industry environment. Through a series of workshops with university students, the collaborative project promotes knowledge exchange to inform the product design process for Guess, alongside live design thinking relating to marketing, advertising and e-commerce, giving the brands a chance to gain invaluable input from Gen Z consumers.

‘We were looking for a project that would connect us with the crucial part of our current and future market, but which would do so in an innovative way that would feel natural to the digital natives we are trying to reach,’ explains Paul Marciano, chief creative officer at Guess.

In our Reformation Generation macrotrend, we forecast the ways in which Gen Z will force brand structures to be redefined – resulting in a Hierarchy Anarchy whereby business will look to consumers as dictators.

Guess Gen Z Lab by Guess Europe, Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center (LTCC) and Microsoft Guess Gen Z Lab by Guess Europe, Lifestyle-Tech Competence Center (LTCC) and Microsoft

Stat: The US and China drive luxury’s global recovery

Scarce, US Scarce, US

While the luxury sector has been hit hard by Covid-19, data from Bain & Co suggests the market is on the road to recovery.

The research outlines a predicted rise in value to £216–255bn ($306–$361bn, €250–295bn) by the end of 2021. This recovery is largely being driven by China, where domestic spending on luxury goods and services is thriving. Meanwhile, the luxury market in the US is also showing promising growth as a result of renewed customer confidence and a successful vaccine roll-out. Elsewhere, Europe is lagging behind due to a slower vaccination campaign and a halt in international tourism.

‘It’s clear that consumers still want to buy luxury goods, and this, along with brands’ ability to adapt and innovate, is driving a return to growth in the market,’ says Claudia D’Arpizio, a Bain & Co partner and lead author of the study.

Interested in learning how your brand can help nurture a luxury sector in recovery? Join us in September at our Luxury and Hospitality Futures event for 2021.

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