News 27.06.2023

Need to Know

Sego Innovations’ foldable solar panels for backpackers, luxury hotels are thriving in Ukraine despite the Russian invasion and why TikTok has turned into a reliable news source for young adults.

Sego Innovations introduces foldable origami solar panel for travellers

Sego Charger by Sego Innovations, US
Sego Charger by Sego Innovations, US
Sego Charger by Sego Innovations, US

US – Passionate about bringing space-based deployable solar array technology to Earth, Sego Innovations has crowdfunded over £193,000 ($245,200, €224,600) on Kickstarter for its latest invention: Sego Charger. An innovative solution for power on the go, the device is a foldable origami solar panel designed for portability – it can easily slide into backpacks and pockets.

A convenient choice for travellers, the origami-inspired design features durable and visible hinges for sturdiness and is laminated with weather-resistant plastic, making it virtually dust- and dirt-free. It also comes with a tripod, enabling easy set-up on various terrains, and is built to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Users can effortlessly charge their personal devices by plugging them directly into the panel that boasts a 25-watt power rating. After the first batch, expected to ship in Q2 2024, Sego Innovations plans to offer the foldable origami solar panel in various wattages, including 50-watt, 100-watt and over 400+-watt options, to meet different power needs.

The Sego Charger team drew inspiration from their collaboration with NASA engineers. Their research on the origami technique used for space-based solar arrays led to the development of this Earth-based solution tailored for travellers and backpacking enthusiasts.

In our coverage of Milan Design Week 2023, we highlighted similar brands and creatives tackling the global energy crisis head on with tangible solutions through the lenses of urban – and now nomadic – living.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how your existing hardware and systems could adapt to new forms of energy generated by devices such as the Sego Charger. Could you set more ambitious ESG targets to reduce your carbon footprint while preparing for a future when a lack of fossil fuel could generate global electricity cuts on a daily basis?

Diesel opens shop dedicated to its 1DR bag

1DR Land by Diesel, Italy 1DR Land by Diesel, Italy
1DR Land by Diesel, Italy 1DR Land by Diesel, Italy

Italy – Italian clothing company Diesel has opened a shop in Milan dedicated to its 1DR bag. Located next to its flagship store in San Babila, Diesel hopes customers will experience the store as a multi-sensory art concept rather than a traditional retail space.

Designed by Diesel creative director Glenn Martens and the Diesel design team, the shop takes its visual inspiration from the distinctive silver Oval D hardware featured on Diesel’s 1D bag. The space is a 52-square-metre cube with walls, floor and ceiling adorned in crushed silver fabric, enveloping guests in a 3D metallic silver world.

The shop is showcasing an expanded range of 1DR bags, an accessory first introduced by Martens in spring 2022. This includes a palette of signature metallic colours and multiple shapes, many of which are made using lower-impact materials. In addition, a limited edition of 30 unique 1DR bags will be exclusively available in the store. Diesel’s 1DR store will remain open for a year and the company plans to open similar spaces worldwide.

We’ve previously observed how retail pop-ups are evolving, becoming less transactional and more immersive. They exist as places for consumers to develop deeper relationships and a greater understanding of a brand’s value and culture.

Strategic opportunity

Use pop-up experiences as a valuable opportunity to refine and showcase the essence of your brand. Select a key item or element to convey the fundamental essence of your offering to consumers

Luxury hotels are thriving in Ukraine

Ukraine – Despite attacks on Ukraine’s energy grid, reduced general supplies and Russian shelling following the invasion in February 2022, the country’s luxury hotels are thriving. They are packed with guests filling the spas, on-site casinos and restaurants, and willing to spend up to £1,000 ($1,270, €1,165) a night for luxury getaways.

Most of these five-star hotels had to close temporarily when the war began, but have since re-opened and shown a robust will to remain operational. Most hotels have reported the majority of their staff showing up to work every day since the invasion, hoping to offer guests a break from external realities.

These hotels have become a retreat for many Ukrainians and are now offering luxury amenities and services that weren’t previously possible due to food shortages and supply issues. Our Uneasy Affluence macrotrend report analysed how luxury brands are rethinking their products and services to be more social, accessible and supportive. The work of Ukraine’s luxury hotels elevates this trend and offers evidence of the important role that luxury hotels play in offering consumers a break from extreme circumstances.

Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv, Ukraine

Strategic opportunity

Adaptability is a winning formula for luxury travel and hospitality brands. The Ukrainian travel and hospitality sector shows how businesses can cater for changing demands by constantly moulding themselves and their services to the needs of the day

Stat: TikTok is a growing news source for young consumers

Photography by Polina Tankilevitch
Photography by Polina Tankilevitch

Global – According to the Reuters Institute’s Digital News Report, TikTok is becoming an increasingly popular news source among Gen Z, with 20% of respondents aged 18 to 24 using the platform for news. This marks a 5% increase on the previous year. The report also reveals that fewer than half of the 94,000 individuals surveyed expressed significant interest in news, a 15% decline since 2018.

Among those who do follow current affairs, platforms like TikTok and Twitter are preferred over traditional news sites, with 30% of consumers visiting social media networks before news sites for headlines. Gen Z, in particular, show less interest in reading news articles and prefer watching or listening to news stories. Trust in news remains low, with only 32% of Americans believing the news, and 56% of all respondents expressing worries about identifying fake news.

In The New News, we saw how young consumers are seeking an alternative to the 24-hour news cycle. Traditional news providers need to become more dynamic to provide news to the younger generation in ways that feel intuitive in terms of how they process information.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how to adapt your digital content strategy to young consumers' preference for video and audio over copy while learning from their growing distrust of news outlets. How can you earn their trust in ways that legacy publications haven’t been able to?

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