News 15.09.2023

Need to Know

Uncovering the brands on a quest to age better and longer, Dan Hastings’ Foresight Friday and why American Gen Z say no to lipsticks.

How the pursuit of longevity is changing our perspectives on ageing

The concept of living, if not for ever then for a much longer time, is becoming a possibility. Evolving technologies and advances in science are aiding beauty, health and wellness businesses in building products and services that let consumers live longer and better quality lives, a pursuit The Future Laboratory has dubbed Longevity Lifestyles. According to David Sinclair, director of Harvard Medical School’s Paul F Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research, some £4bn ($5bn, €4.5bn) has been invested in ageing drug development since 2020 (source: The Harvard Gazette).  Businesses and brands can use Longevity Lifestyles to create products that redefine how consumers take care of themselves.

Watch Martin Raymond, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, offer a brief overview of the trend, and learn more about how Longevity Lifestyles are shaping the beauty, health and wellness industries.

Find out more

LS:N Global members can find our Longevity Lifestyles foresight research here. LS:N Global is the trends and consumer foresight platform that powers The Future Laboratory’s services, which include our highly regarded Strategy team who can help unpack the relevance of Longevity Lifestyles specifically for your business. So get in touch with us now to find out how we can help you make a better, more resilient future happen

Microsoft promises to protect those who are sued after using its AI tools

Global – Microsoft has introduced a Copilot Copyright Commitment promising to protect any customers challenged on intellectual property grounds over the use of the company’s AI tools, such as Microsoft 365 Copilot.

Launched in March 2023, Microsoft 365 Copilot is a productivity platform enabling users to create decks, meeting notes and spreadsheets from simple text prompts. Generative AI, however, is still a largely unmoderated space, creating potential copyright infringement issues for creators.

Under the new Copilot Copyright Commitment, Microsoft assumes responsibility for any IP risks and will defend the customer and cover the costs of any necessary judgements or settlements, as long as the user adheres to measures put in place to reduce the risk of copyright infringement while using the software. Other firms such as Shutterstock and Adobe have recently made similar pledges.

In a Microsoft blog post, Brad Smith, vice-chair and president, and Hossein Nowbar, corporate vice-president and chief legal officer, wrote: ‘We are charging our commercial customers for our Copilots, and if their use creates legal issues, we should make this our problem rather than our customers’ problem.’

From creative to corporate, AI tools are continually evolving to aid every industry, as we explored in our Generative AI Creativity Market report. Copyright commitments signal companies’ faith in, and commitment to, the future of AI in the workplace.

Photography by SHVETS Production, Global

Strategic opportunity

AI is no longer hypothetical, it’s here and ready to be used. Take the lead from big brands like Microsoft and begin experimenting with the different ways AI text prompts or text-to-image generators can boost productivity in your workplace

Foresight Friday: Dan Hastings, deputy foresight editor

Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory Victoria Ling for The Future Laboratory

Every Friday, we offer an end-of-week wrap-up of the topics, issues, ideas and virals we’re all talking about. This week, deputy foresight editor Dan Hastings dives into New York Fashion Week, Pokémon and being vanilla.

: The quest for social media virality is getting as embarrassing as it is ridiculous on the catwalks. Theatrics overwhelmed the fashion, from the approximative dancing in a prom dress at Christian Siriano to Elena Velez’s muddy swamp and Sami Miro Vintage’s designer deconstructing jeans into an ill-fitting skirt with a double train. In tune with our analysis of Subversive Sustainability Ads, designer Collina Strada sent creepy smiling models down the runway, acting like everything is fine while the world is burning.

: I was born and raised in Réunion island where, in 1841, a 12-year-old enslaved child figured out how to marry a male anther and the female stigma of an orchid to make vanilla production faster and avoid shipping beans across the Atlantic from Mexico. His name, Edmond Albius, was erased from history, and he never made a penny from his discovery. In a fascinating long read, The New York Times dives into the history of the aroma that became a byword for blandness.

: In other news, one in three ‘dudes’ has an STI, according to research published in The Lancet; Pokémon is joining forces with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the US, is searching for two reporters dedicated to Taylor Swift and Beyoncé news – what a dream!

Quote of the week

‘People we know as ‘awesome guys’ can be predators and abusers. It’s tough to accept, but we have to. If we say we support victims – women, children, men and boys – then we must be able to take this stance’

Christina Ricci, American actress

Stat: American Gen Z prefer lip gloss and lip care to outdated lipsticks

Sephora, UK Sephora, UK

Global – Released in August 2023, consumer insights firm Circana’s US report on beauty trends in 2023 suggests that Gen Z could be the downfall of the lipstick business. The young generation are the least likely consumers to wear lipstick, at 48% versus 62% for the total consumer base of make-up wearers.

This new consumer behaviour is mostly due to the rise of lip oil, lip gloss and balm sales. Nearly 70% of Gen Z make-up wearers told Circana that they use gloss, compared to 55% of other make-up wearers. In the first half of 2023, lip make-up was the fastest-growing market across all the beauty categories from prestige and mass beauty retailers. Gen Z consumers are the drivers of this industry shift towards non-lipstick lip products, as they are more likely to wear lip gloss than any other age group.

As explored in How beauty is being refined for Generation Z report, this group are looking for beauty products designed for both aesthetic and wellness purposes. The skincare industry, in particular, is re-inventing coming-of-age rituals for a more pragmatic – but still visual-first – generation of customers.

Strategic opportunity

Recognise the growing preference for caring products such as lip oil, lip gloss and balms among Gen Z consumers. Diversify your product line to include these alternatives that cater for both wellness and beauty needs

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