News 23.06.2023

Need to Know

Fictional members-only Rochambeau Club introduces real rosé, Pavan Bivigou's Foresight Friday, and why nearly half of consumers believe AI can find them the right shade of foundation.

Members-only Rochambeau Club launches real rosé

The Rochambeau Club, France
The Rochambeau Club, France
The Rochambeau Club, France

UK – Established in 2021 on Instagram as an ultra-exclusive tennis club based in the Saint-Paul-de-Vence, South of France, The Rochambeau Club has never existed in real life. However the brand, which was imagined by London-based entrepreneur Christopher Seddon and writer Joseph Bullmore, grew its audience online thanks to retro aesthetics, IYKYK humour and highly produced content. The business is now entering real life with its own Racquet Rosé.

Rochambeau's rosé will retail online for £117 ($150, €136) for a case of six bottles and will be available in selected restaurants and bars around London. The club hopes its 'genuine membership of over 2,000' people for the digital version will naturally turn into rosé customers. Registered in the UK as a wholesaler of wine, beer, spirits and other alcoholic beverages, Bullmore and Seddon's business hints at upcoming new drinks designed with their 80s preppy universe in mind – even though their imaginary club can't even serve them.

In our Anti-Authenticity Marketing macrotrend, we previously analysed how brands like Rochambeau are building a new kind of loyalty among customers, with marketing strategies asking them to play the part and engage with silliness, dark humour and fake advertising.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how your brand's universe is a crucial part of your content marketing strategy, even when not trying to sell a product or service. Find inspiration in Rochambeau's approach to keeping a secret within a growing community for two years before unveiling a shoppable product

QR codes get a creative makeover

QR by nhciao, Global QR by nhciao, Global
QR by nhciao, Global QR by nhciao, Global

Global – Reddit user nhciao has created a series of artistic QR codes using AI image-generator Stable Diffusion that can be read as QR codes by smartphone camera apps. These functional pieces reflect artistic styles found in anime and Asian art with images depicting flowers, landscapes and humans.

QR codes, initially developed in the Japanese automobile industry, have found wide-ranging applications across sectors including advertising, product tracking and digital payments because of their large data-storing capacity. Although the creator did not detail the exact technique used to create the codes, they are most likely a result of feeding existing QR codes into Stable Diffusion and then synthesising an image around them. QR codes are good formats to play with as they have an inherent error correction feature built into them which allows Stable Diffusion to blend in picture details.

This creation hints at massive opportunities across the creative industries and is an apt example of how AI-driven tech can offer out-of-the-box thinking – an area we track in our Artificial Intelligence series.

Strategic opportunity

These creative QR codes evidence huge opportunities for the digital art, marketing and advertising industries. Brands should think beyond traditional applications to bridge art and technology to differentiate themselves and also stay attuned to AI advancements for innovative opportunities

Foresight Friday: Pavan Bivigou, senior foresight analyst

Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory, UK Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory, UK

The Future Laboratory team offer an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, LS:N Global’s senior foresight analyst Pavan Bivigou talks AI at Wimbledon, Pharrell Williams' Minecraft prints and the ever-esoteric future of quantum computing.

: Game, set, chatbot: Not even a 146-year-old tennis tournament can escape the influence of new tech. AI-generated audio commentary will be part of Wimbledon this year. The official app will also provide AI-powered analysis forecasting the odds of each player’s path to the final.

: Pharrell Williams, a fashion creative pursuing a collaborative future, showed his first collection for Louis Vuitton's spring 2024 menswear this week. Reviews were mixed, with the clothes sparking joy for some, while others thought the pixelated prints featured throughout the show were reminiscent of Minecraft.

: 'The very idea that, once work hours were over, no one could get hold of you is completely alien to contemporary young people,' wrote Dan Kois for Slate. His gallery of testimonials highlighting what it was like to 'be (about) 27 in (around) 2002' says a lot about what work was like in the past – and what it could be in the future.

Strategic opportunity

This is a quantum computer. We barely know how it works. It’s basically magic.

— as heard in the latest season of Netflix’s sci-fi series Black Mirror

Stat: Beauty consumers prefer AI for shade matching over in-store assistance

Good Weird, US Good Weird, US

UK – Retail software platform Bolt recently collaborated with YouGov on a report that highlights young beauty consumers' keenness to embrace new technology in e-commerce.

In The Future of Beauty E-commerce: Customer Identity, a staggering 80% of Gen Z and 62% of shoppers overall said they were more likely to buy a beauty product if they could find their perfect formula using tech. The report also emphasises the significance of customisation technology in meeting the needs of diverse consumers by providing tools that enable them to feel adequately catered to.

Overall trust in technology to meet beauty needs is high, with 43% of shoppers preferring the convenience of AI-powered shade-matching online to traditional in-store testing. However, the report highlights a clear generational divide as a whopping 70% of Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation still firmly prefer shopping for beauty products in-store. A multi-channel approach to customisation from brands remains crucial.

In today's EQ-Commerce landscape, brands must become comfortable with leveraging advanced technologies such as augmented reality and AI to meet young consumers' expectations for customisation. The potential rewards are substantial, as 58% of respondents to Bolt’s survey said they are willing to pay at least 10% more for personalised online shopping.

Strategic opportunity

Elevate the online shopping experience for tech-savvy young consumers by becoming more experimental. Introduce AI beauty advisors or gamified product discovery to excite and encourage them to engage with your brand in innovative ways

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