News 06.07.2023

Need to Know

Bang & Olufsen turns musical tastes into virtual avatars, Michelin-starred chef experiments with lab-grown chicken and young luxury shoppers are more concerned with hard-to-get items.

Bang & Olufsen unveils bespoke virtual avatars for music lovers

Bang & Olufsen, Denmark
Bang & Olufsen, Denmark
Bang & Olufsen, Denmark
Bang & Olufsen, Denmark

Denmark – High-end consumer electronics company Bang & Olufsen has introduced an innovative way for music enthusiasts to engage with their favourite tunes. The See Yourself in Sound campaign allows users to share personalised 3D visualisations of their listening habits on social media platforms.

To participate, consumers can visit the dedicated website and connect their Spotify account or complete a brief questionnaire about their music preferences. Based on this information, a unique virtual avatar is generated, with its body, limbs and appearance reflecting the individual’s listening history, including the mood, energy and groove of their music choices.

‘It was essential to me that Bang & Olufsen makes a space where our community can visualise their passion for music, alongside the process of curating, listening and enjoying it,’ says Kamel Ouadi, chief marketing officer at Bang & Olufsen.

Bang & Olufsen, renowned for its high-end audio products since it was established in 1925, is now embracing the growing popularity of virtual worlds and digital interactions. The campaign, developed in collaboration with agency partner Hello Monday/Dept, aims to engage users in the evolving landscape of hyper-personalised avatars – a growing trend we previously analysed in Affirmative Avatars.

Strategic opportunity

Consumers escaping in VR and AR realms could be synonymous with a demand for new identities embodying different hyper-personalised digital selves. Brands and businesses must excel in code-switching and customer data analysis to translate one's identity (or identities) into personas with the right visuals and aesthetics

Michelin-starred restaurant serves lab-grown chicken for the first time

Dominique Crenn for Upside Foods, US Dominique Crenn for Upside Foods, US
Dominique Crenn and Upside Foods, US Dominique Crenn and Upside Foods, US

US – Lab-grown chicken, produced entirely from animal cells, made its debut at a San Francisco restaurant in July 2023. Manufactured by Upside Foods and Good Meat, which received recent approval from the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture, the cultivated chicken was served to winners of a social media contest at Bar Crenn. The chicken was prepared in a tempura batter, accompanied by a burnt chilli aioli, greens and edible flowers, all presented in a black ceramic dish.

Lab-grown meat producers aim to reduce the environmental impact of the traditional meat industry and provide an alternative for individuals concerned about the ethical treatment and killing of animals. But the cultivated meat is not technically vegetarian or vegan.

‘It’s the first time meat has made it back on my menu since 2018, because Upside chicken is the first meat that I feel good about serving,’ said Michelin-starred chef Dominique Crenn. She called Upside a ‘significant step towards a more sustainable and compassionate food system’.

The cultivated chicken has yet to become a regular menu item at Bar Crenn, but it will be featured in other monthly events throughout the year.

In our Adaptive Appetites macrotrend, we previously analysed how, as inflation and supply chain fragility send food and drink prices soaring, consumers and companies are adapting rapidly and embracing frugality, innovation and indulgence.

Strategic opportunity

Hospitality businesses will have no choice but to add lab-grown protein to their menus as global warming and growing ethical concerns affect traditional intensive animal farming. How can you introduce this new kind of cultivated meat into your current offer as a trial?

Roblox introduces 17+ age category to expand content options

Spotify on Roblox, US Spotify on Roblox, US

Global ­­– Roblox, the popular gaming platform predominantly used by younger players, has introduced a new age category specifically tailored for older audiences. The addition of the 17+ classification reflects the natural progression of Roblox’s user base as the platform matures.

Previously, Roblox had categories for ages 9+ and 13+. Traditionally viewed as a platform for children, Roblox has undergone a demographic shift, with 38% of its most active users being 17 and older in 2022, marking it as the fastest-growing age group, according to the California-based firm.

Access to the 17+ content requires users to provide a live selfie and upload a government-issued ID to verify their age. This stringent measure aims to ensure compliance with age restrictions. The new category offers experiences that may involve more mature themes, according to the platform, including violence, crude humour, romantic elements and the presence of alcohol. But Roblox’s existing community standards still apply, prohibiting content that is sexually explicit or which features illegal substances.

The expansion of the age categorisation, and the content options that come with it, is an interesting shift for the brand’s strategy as it showcases not only the financial power that comes with users getting older, as explored in Youth Culture Is Entering Its Flat Age Future, but also the potential of the Affirmative Avatars Market for adults.

Strategic opportunity

Gaming platforms and other businesses that are focused on children should consider how they can adapt their products to serve their customers as they get older ­– when they can independently loosen their purse strings

Stat: Young luxury consumers most concerned with hard-to-get items

Senior influencer Iris Apfel collaborates with Ruggable on its latest rug collection, US Senior influencer Iris Apfel collaborates with Ruggable on its latest rug collection, US

Global – A November 2022 report by direct-to-consumer platform ESW, formerly known as eShopWorld, suggests shoppers buying luxury outside of their own country are more prone to FOMO (fear of missing out).

Surveying over 16,000 consumers across 16 countries, the Global Voices 2023 study found that 47% of cross-border luxury shoppers are more willing to pay full price for an item that they want to be among the first to own – compared to 19% of non-luxury apparel shoppers.

Gen Z and Millennial shoppers are leading this trend, given one in four say they buy luxury while travelling. ‘With luxury, it’s not simply fast shipping and delivery [that] motivate Gen Z and Millennials to purchase luxury products online,’ says Martim Avillez Oliveira, CEO of ESW Europe. ‘They are also more incentivised by scarcity and exclusivity than Gen X and Baby Boomers and, in fact, are two to three times more willing to pay full price for luxury goods if they are one of the first – or only – people to have an item.’

The research shows that younger consumers eye exclusivity to stand out on social media and feel unique, while their elders are usually more willing to pay the total price to get the exact item they want, even if scarcity or exclusivity is not a factor.

In Heating Up Luxury Fashion For Gen Z, we previously sat down with Futures 100 Innovators nominees Joe Wilkinson and Mario Maher from Heat, who proved that their go-to mystery box featuring luxury fashion items was designed for Gen Z luxury shoppers’ preferences for uniqueness and excitement.

Strategic opportunity

As luxury shoppers are very responsive to exclusivity, consider how your brand could give early access to new collections or first choice on limited editions to a curated list of wealthy clients

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