News 11.05.2022

Need to Know

A minimalist device fights at-home pollution, Oddity’s digital token makes beauty more equitable, and Britain’s cost of living crisis looms.

This bird-shaped monitor measures indoor CO2

Canairi, Denmark

Denmark – With indoor air quality increasingly front of mind for consumers, Danish designers Andreas Kofoed Sørensen and Hans Høite Augustenborg are proposing a minimalist monitor to alert users to high CO2 levels. Called Canairi, the bird-shaped mechanism spins 180 degrees when CO2 levels stay above 1,000 ppm (parts per million) for longer than 10 minutes. After a window is opened, the canary rotates back to its upright position.

This subtle, non-invasive design tactic references the historical use of real canaries in coal mines to detect toxic gases in the air. Choosing to rely on a playful visual cue was also an intentional strategy amid overused digital alerts. ‘We’re so used to getting alerts and notifications from products all the time, but you tend to ignore them or forget them or turn them off again,’ says Augustenborg. ‘When you see something from the corner of your eye, you always notice it.’

In his recent opinion article for LS:N Global, Rowan Williams further explores such design tactics through the lens of creating ambient home environments.

Strategic opportunity

Home technology brands should recognise the effectiveness of such subtle cues in improving indoor environments. How might you create products that employ ambient design?

Barbara Sturm taps into skintellectual Gen Z

Barbara Sturm Microbiotic Collection, US Barbara Sturm Microbiotic Collection, US
Barbara Sturm Microbiotic Collection, US Barbara Sturm Microbiotic Collection, US

UKRecognising that younger generations are feeling overwhelmed by skincare, the beauty brand is unveiling a microbiotic range for customers aged 12 to 15. Unlike Barbara Sturm’s existing collections, which focus on areas such as anti-ageing, the range aims to help balance sebum levels through microbiome science.

The Microbiotic Collection features a cleansing balm, hyaluronic anti-blemish serum, face cream and stinky pimple treatment. To bolster education about skincare, the brand also plans to connect with young beauty buyers through its online skin school and college ambassador programme. Through the curated product range and educational tools, Barbara Sturm is providing a targeted solution for young consumers navigating the beauty landscape. ‘Most brands’ approaches are so aggressive to the skin and create long-term problems for teenagers,’ says Barbara Sturm. ’You can prevent all this if you do the right thing from the beginning, by listening to trusted advice and using good products.’

With this younger range, the cult beauty brand is demonstrating the importance of science-backed ingredients – and education – when reaching Generation Z.

Strategic opportunity

Companies operating in beauty and wellness are well-placed to change the visual language of products within the teenage skincare and beauty sector

The Oddity Token democratises beauty investment

US – With more consumers seeking alternative investments, Oddity, the parent company of beauty and wellness brands Il Makiage and SpoiledChild, is launching an IPO-linked digital security token. In a first for a brand operating outside of the cryptocurrency space, The Oddity Token forms a bridge between crypto assets and the conventional securities market.

It is also convertible into a regular share of Oddity stock. By offering this, Oddity is expanding investment opportunities to individual buyers in a bid to make the process less exclusionary. As Oran Holtzman, co-founder and CEO of Oddity, explains: ‘By offering this trailblazing token, we are democratising investor opportunity by broadening individual access to Oddity securities, as we continue to disrupt and redefine the beauty and wellness category.’

As more brands explore the potential of equity ownership, this concept shows how sectors such as beauty can create accessible methods of investing. Elsewhere, we’ve explored the ways that the music industry is experimenting with digital tokens to empower both fans and artists.

Arpa. Photography by Julien Thomas, France

Strategic opportunity

Rather than watching Web3 flourish from the sidelines, consider how brand initiatives like this investment opportunity can help to bolster customer loyalty

Stat: Britain’s soaring household bills are set to continue

Early Majority, US Early Majority, US

As the cost of living crisis and soaring energy prices take hold in Britain, citizens are expected to face even higher household bills. According to predictions from The Bank of England, the price of gas and electricity is expected to increase by another 40% in October 2022.

Given the wider state of the economy, the bank also said the impact of living standards and weaker growth would cause a sharp rise in unemployment to 5.5% – a figure higher than the jobless rate during the early stages of the pandemic. With these figures in mind, the onus is on policy-makers and businesses to ensure that financial support is available for people most in need.

In the food sector, we’ve been tracking austerity innovations that are supporting communities hit hardest by rising living costs. Elsewhere, there is an opportunity for workplaces to create job schemes and skills services that bolster people’s prospects amid this uncertain economic landscape.

Strategic opportunity

With economic instability set to have a major impact on citizens, businesses should develop long-term strategies that support people with access to essential products and services

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