News 18.04.2023

Need to Know

Ikea’s new savvy-first campaign, Le Bristol Paris embraces NFTs and how AI-powered platforms are taking over the App Store.

Ikea embraces relatability-first marketing with savvy campaign

Show Off Your Savvy by Ikea, UK

UK, Ireland – Ikea UK and Ireland has joined forces with London-based agency Mother for a new visual campaign rooted in the ‘the wonderful everyday’ and promoting savvy, humble and thrifty items saving energy, money and water or reducing food waste.

A collection of 11 short films will be circulated across the UK and Ireland, with some of them taking inspiration from Gen Z’s favourite short-form video formats, including outfit checks turned into ‘savvy checks’ and unboxing vlogs showcasing savvy products. Sarah Green, country marketing manager for Ikea UK and Ireland, said the campaign ‘is rooted in the insight that we can get as much joy when being savvy, as we do from being extravagant’.

Amid a cost of living crisis, brands have to adapt their storytelling to appear in touch with reality. In Retail-flation Responses, we analysed how retailers innovate to support consumers’ tightening purse strings due to inflation.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses targeting mainstream consumers should embrace the success of relatable content on social media and move away from the 2010s Insta-aspirational lifestyle to showcase more authentic narratives

Contact Sports changes the sexual wellness retail landscape

Contact Sports, US Contact Sports, US
Contact Sports, US Contact Sports, US

US – SoHo’s newest sex shop, Contact Sports, is far from the typical neon-signed, latex-adorned storefront and closer to the luxury concept store aesthetic. The 700-square-feet space is designed to resemble a 1970s locker room with panelled cubby holes that display vibrators, body wax candles and other sex accessories.

Founded by Justin and Chelsea Kerzner, Contact Sports was created to emphasise that sex is fun while mitigating the uncomfortable, guilt-ridden feelings usually associated with visiting an adult shop. The store carries a range of hoodies and socks with the brand’s own logo, a rose insignia. The rest of the products are sourced from other brands, including direct-to-consumer vibrator brands Maude and Dame.

Contact Sports opens at a time when several brands are shaking up their narratives around sex – embracing sexual wellness instead of approaching the subject shyly. Brands including Sephora, Ulta Beauty and Target all carry items such as vibrators and lubricants. As discussed in our Retail Therapy microtrend report, creating a destigmatised space that encourages consumers to feel safe from judgement can boost sales in the sexual wellness market.

Strategic opportunity

Optimising luxury branding and communication for sexual wellness products and services can help develop brand loyalty in a fragmented consumer market

Le Bristol Paris merges legacy luxury experience with NFTs

France – Legendary luxury hotel Le Bristol Paris has unveiled a collection of 11 non-fungible tokens (NFTs), opening access to perks and exclusive experiences to their owners. The drop, entitled Le Bristol Unlocked and co-created with Web3 start-up metav.rs, is the sign of an additional revenue stream and CRM tool for the nearly century-old hotel – it opened in 1925 – while showcasing a willingness to embrace the future and innovate.

Each token will reportedly retail for about £12,130 ($15,000, €13,700) and offer immediate access to Le Bristol’s newly created L’H3ritage Club featuring secret menus and cocktails only available to club members and the possibility to use the hotel’s signature rooftop swimming pool generally reserved for hotel guests. But the real prize is a set of exclusive real-life experiences designed by the best gastronomy, service and hospitality experts. Think ‘things that even the hotel guests cannot do and have never been done before’, said Le Bristol’s head of global marketing and e-commerce Thomas Matteï. After launching its NFTs on 15 April 2023, the hotel will officially accept cryptocurrency as payment for both accommodation and at its bar and restaurant.

In Crypto-tels, we previously looked at how hoteliers like Le Bristol diversify their operations to engage with crypto communities while bolstering loyalty, appealing to a new demographic and extending market opportunity.

Le Bristol Hotel, France Le Bristol Hotel, France

Strategic opportunity

Rephrase the NFTs and Web3 narrative with a focus on loyalty perks and access to exclusive services as part of an elite club of customers rather than taking clients to unfamiliar territory and digital hype

Stat: AI-powered platforms are taking over the App Store

Photography by DeepMind Photography by DeepMind

US – Since the public launch of ChatGPT in March 2023, new use cases are emerging faster than you can say ‘generative AI’. Analytics firm Apptopia studied the skyrocketing AI app market in a new report, revealing that the number of downloads for AI-powered apps reached nearly 20m in March, a 1,506% year-on-year increase.

In the first quarter of 2023, 158 AI Chatbot apps, classified using keywords such as ‘AI Chat’ or ‘AI Chatbot’, were added to app stores. As the number of apps and users soars, the AI assistant app market is quickly becoming lucrative for developers – in-app purchase revenue is the fastest growing metric, recording an impressive 4,184% year-on-year growth.

Essentially, Apptopia attributes this peak to developers converting the AI chatbot technology to mobile platforms and monetising it, creating a profusion of niche apps dedicated to specific needs and prompts. The lightning fast evolution of AI platforms may pose a risk that the bubble will burst, but the diversity of use cases suggests consumers are ready to embrace AI as they turn to solutions that make it easier to get what they want from it.

Strategic opportunity

Businesses cannot afford to ignore the buoyant AI market. But using AI tools mindfully by ensuring they offer real value for the user is key to creating long-term solutions rather than quick fixes

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