News 08.08.2023

Need to Know

Modem’s Heirloom Hardware wants to preserve and pass down memories away from cloud services, Estée Lauder joins forces with Manchester United in China, and uncovering EV owners’ growing concerns.

Modem developed code-enhanced timepieces to store and pass on memories

Heirloom Hardware by Modem and HB-AS, The Netherlands
Heirloom Hardware by Modem and HB-AS, The Netherlands
Heirloom Hardware by Modem and HB-AS, The Netherlands

The Netherlands – In our digital epoch, reliance on cloud systems to store data is ever-growing. Modem’s Heirloom Hardware presents a tangible real-life alternative to preserve and pass down memories locked in a timepiece.

Cloud platforms brought us cost-effective and convenient data storage, to the point that many users turn into ‘data hoarders’ archiving pictures, emails and screenshots beyond measure. Modem lifted the idea that behind this convenience lies a paradox – while our lives are more documented than our ancestors', whether the data will outlive us is not certain.

As a response, Modem teamed up with industrial designers HB-AS to develop Heirloom Hardware. This range of real-life storage devices secures each user’s personal memories in the form of photos, videos and documents they can pass on to future generations. Heirloom Hardware offers a tangible alternative to transient cloud services, coding in the data in objects such as a pendant or canister.

In our macrotrend, The Paralysis Paradox, we highlighted how businesses will begin safeguarding futures, ensuring that legacies can be rediscovered, re-learned and re-explored. We expect initiatives to preserve legacy, such as Modem’s Heirloom Hardware, to multiply in the upcoming years.

Strategic opportunity

At a time when we digitalise many aspects of our lives, take cues from Modem and audit the long-run legacy of your work – how are you safeguarding your archives? Are you servicing analogue enthusiasts?

Estée Lauder teams up with Manchester United to tap into Asia’s male beauty market

China – Beauty and skincare behemoth Estée Lauder announced an exclusive partnership with Manchester United in July 2023 to tap into the club’s fanbase in China and the wider Asia-Pacific region. With Manchester United boasting a staggering 250m fans in China alone, the collaboration comes as an intriguing strategy for Estée Lauder, considering its forte lies in the beauty realm.

Erica Kwok, senior vice-president of integrated marketing at Estée Lauder, explained that male consumers, who are often passionate about sports, are a big target market for the brand. This alignment with China’s football fever holds the potential not only to address Estée Lauder's current challenges but also to carve out a substantial market share in the long term. Feigua data shows that in the first half of 2023, the GMV of men’s make-up on popular Chinese social media app Douyin surged by 364.6% year on year.

The focus of this pioneering partnership will be on Estée Lauder's iconic night serum, encapsulated in the signature little brown bottle. The announcement, featuring Manchester United stars including Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw, will emphasise the shared values between skincare, sports and competition.

'As one of the most followed sports teams in the world, we understand the importance of educating fans on a healthy lifestyle, and skincare is an integral part of that process,' said Manchester United’s CEO of alliances and partnerships, Victoria Timpson. ‘In the same way our athletes prepare the night before a match with regular training rituals, healthy skin also requires a consistent and effective regimen.’

Our Men’s Beauty Market report previously explored how a new kind of male beauty consumer, from China and Korea to Europe and the US, disagrees with traditional masculine ideals and is driving demand for grooming and skincare products, as well as gender-fluid make-up.

Photography by Sunny Ng, China

Strategic opportunity

By aligning with renowned sports teams, brands from the beauty and wellness sector can tap into the fervent and digitally engaged sports fandom and connect with a global demographic that is increasingly interested in grooming and skincare

Stat: Electric vehicle charging stations and mileage remain a concern for EV owners

BMW i Vision Dee, Germany BMW i Vision Dee, Germany

US – As the electric vehicle (EV) market expands, concerns about charging infrastructure are coming to the fore. A survey from Morning Consult released in August 2023 suggests that 62% of EV owners are worried about accessing charging stations, a factor that could affect the industry's growth. Another challenge for car manufacturers is addressing consumers’ expectations for extended mileage. A quarter of potential EV buyers seek a range exceeding 500 miles – a rarity in the current market.

Many auto-makers have adopted Tesla's Supercharger technology, and it garners broad support among EV owners, yet concerns arise about potential overcrowding and waiting times as more vehicles use the same charging stations.

To challenge the firm's dominance in the charging network, non-Tesla auto-makers are working together to install 30,000 charging stations across the US. Interestingly, a significant portion of EV owners already have charging access at home, but this figure drops considerably for future EV buyers.

In our Mobility series, in which we explore what travel will look like in a regenerative future, we have covered a variety of innovators, brands and shifts in consumer behaviour, including how Gen Z want anything but their parents' car.

Strategic opportunity

The advertising industry should consider how charging stations will be the billboards of tomorrow, with drivers spending more time charging their EVs than they would be filling their tanks with petrol. How can you collaborate with charging network providers to benefit from their captive audience?

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