News 27.05.2022

Need to Know

Renault is recharging cars and communities in rural France, Voicy turns memes into soundbites, and the world is losing sleep over climate change.

Renault connects EV drivers with rural French communities

Plug Inn by Renault, France

France – The car-maker is encouraging electric vehicle (EV) drivers to discover remote areas – and local communities – in France. Through its Plug Inn platform, drivers can discover private charging stations in remote regions, which could be at people’s homes or small businesses.

By connecting drivers to local communities, Renault opens up tourism opportunities for EV owners, in turn benefitting local residents. With the service, Renault aims to build a ‘recharge community’ of about 475,000 individual charging points, and is offering tools and advice to charging station owners planning to join the platform. Here, the company recognises the opportunity of empowering both its customers and local communities. Such a service also helps to make the transition to EVs more appealing and accessible.

Looking ahead, we can expect more car brands to follow suit and facilitate connections between charging point owners and EV drivers. By doing this, such strategies reflect the emergence of People-powered Networks – a shift we explore in our Neo-collectivism macrotrend.

Strategic opportunity

In future, more sectors will also benefit from creating such networks. Consider how your brand might facilitate connections for people to share tools and resources without needing to buy anything new

Ankorstore brings chaos to e-commerce

Ankorstore in collaboration with Pentagram, UK Ankorstore in collaboration with Pentagram, UK
Ankorstore in collaboration with Pentagram, UK Ankorstore in collaboration with Pentagram, UK

Paris – A rebranding by graphic design studio Pentagram is helping wholesale marketplace Ankorstore express its novel approach to the concept of rewilding retail. Instead of focusing on plants, greenery or the environment, Ankorstore’s definition of the phrase is about restoring a sense of chaos and spontaneity to the online shopping experience.

Founded in 2019, Ankorstore connects independent businesses and creators with retailers across Europe, aiming to empower small businesses with the tools they need to scale their operations. To help make the experience of online shopping feel as natural as it would in the everyday world, Ankorstore’s rebranding helps bring the products in its large eco-system of brands to life. As a result, items are rendered in three dimensions, and dynamic typography is used to lend the platform a similar feeling to trawling through a store or a flea market.

While most companies promoting the idea of rewilding retail are focusing on ecological and environmental concerns, Ankorstore is seeking to bring the exhilarating feeling of discovery and spontaneity to the world of Community Commerce.

Strategic opportunity

How can your company lend a bit of texture and friction to the online experience? Consider how seller-generated content can make the e-shopping experience feel more personal

Voicy augments digital socialising with audio memes

The Netherlands – With social audio formats growing in popularity, online content platform Voicy is offering tools to create user-generated audio snippets. Drawing on sounds from popular media and entertainment outlets, users can create their own audio using viral noises including Borat clips and Squid Game sounds. They can also choose from internet memes that have been captured in audio formats.

Through the platform, Voicy enables audiences to express themselves creatively, beyond conventional methods. As co-founders Xander Kanon, Joey de Kruis and Milan Kokir explain: ‘In areas such as gaming, where communicating with images or text doesn’t work as well – there’s a huge gap for audio to really enhance the experience.’

As Generation Z leads the shift away from traditional social networking platforms, such initiatives demonstrate the ongoing influence of Connective Audio – a movement that remains relevant even as many have returned to in-person socialising.

Voicy, The Netherlands

Strategic opportunity

Traditional social media sites can also take inspiration from this platform and similarly build interactive elements into their functionality. How might you use audio to elevate your user experience?

Stat: The climate crisis disrupts sleep

 Evolution of Sleep by ManvsMachine for Purple, Global Evolution of Sleep by ManvsMachine for Purple, Global

If rising stress and anxiety levels weren’t enough to interfere with a good night’s rest, recent research suggests that global heating is eroding sleep quality across the world. According to the findings published in One Earth journal, the average global citizen loses 44 hours of sleep a year.

Rising night-time temperatures is one of the leading causes of the problem, as individuals struggle to sleep in the heat. In a city of a million people, for example, night-time temperatures of 25°C would result in 46,000 people sleeping less.

The research shows that hotter evenings will disproportionately affect women, the elderly and those without access to air conditioning or ventilation systems. Older people are known to have poorer temperature regulation, while women’s bodies cool earlier in the evening than men’s, meaning rising night-time temperatures will adversely affect these groups.

Sleep is essential for maintaining health and wellbeing, but with heatwaves sweeping the world, most recently across India and Pakistan, the outlook for global sleep quality is bleak. As a result, companies will have to ramp up their Synchronised Care efforts to confront the challenge.

Strategic opportunity

Insomnia levels are rising across the world. How can your company check in with its employees to ensure that they are getting enough sleep?

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