News 14.11.2023

Need to Know

Pulpatronics launches sustainable paper RFID tag, Mugler rolls out blockchain-powered product passport and most menopausal women believe brands aren’t catering for their needs.

Loop turns earplugs into stylish earwear in new campaign

Shut Up Noise, Turn Up Sound by Loop, Belgium

Belgium – Noise protection brand Loop Earplugs is challenging the perception of earplugs with a campaign positioning itself as fashionable earwear. The campaign, launched in October 2023, features stylish 30-second spots distinguishing sound from noise, highlighting Loop’s core products (Quiet, Engage and Experience) and introducing the new Switch, a three-in-one noise-reduction product.

The campaign, developed by PDA, shows the company’s commitment to making earplugs a fashion statement akin to sunglasses. The brand refresh includes vibrant colours, new packaging and a sleek carrying case for all core products. As earplugs evolve from functional to fashionable, the campaign invites users to ‘shut up noise and turn up sound’.

‘Sound shapes our lives, and we needed a category-leading brand positioning for Loop,’ says Natalie Lefever, global head of brand for Loop. ‘We leaned into a clear insight about our consumer: so much of what we love is loud! Loop’s new campaign empowers people to choose how they hear the world, to confidently keep doing everything they love – while taking control of life’s volume.’

As explored in Quiet Mode, devices once made for those with sensitive hearing, misophonia, ADHD, autism and other hearing vulnerabilities are now mainstream as consumers are bombarded with noise.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how your products or services contribute to a noise-cancelling lifestyle. Explore how your brand can cater for the rising demand for tranquillity

Pulpatronics launches sustainable paper RFID tag

Pulpatronics, UK Pulpatronics, UK
Pulpatronics, UK Pulpatronics, UK

UK – In a bid to tackle e-waste and mineral extraction, Pulpatronics has launched a recyclable, paper-only radio-frequency identification (RFID) tag primarily for use in the garment industry that is notably cheaper than current versions.

A typical RFID tag consists of a microchip and metal antenna – a simple electronic circuit that enables product identification and tracking through radio signals. In retail, RFID tags are embedded in clothing price tags to help with inventory management, theft prevention and checkout, resulting in more than 12bn RFID tags produced for single use every year in the fashion industry alone, according to the brand.

Founded by two Royal College of Art alumni, the new chipless, carbon-based paper RFID tags do not require metal extraction and are compatible with existing recycling, thanks to a conductive circuit lasered directly onto paper. The encoded information is stored in the geometric pattern of the conductive material rather than in a microchip. Not only that, Pulpatronics uses locally sourced paper, reducing costs and cementing its circularity goal.

The multi-award-winning company is a new kind of eco-disruptor rising to meet the challenges of regenerative practices, which you can read more about in our dedicated Sustainability analysis.

Strategic opportunity

Pulpatronics’ starting point is simplification, directly addressing the ‘over-isms’ in manufacture: over-engineering and over-production. How can your business use this as a starting point to assess circularity demands?

Mugler rolls out blockchain-powered product passports in handbags

Global – French fashion house Mugler has teamed up with tech company Arianee to embed blockchain-powered product passports into handbag design, a first for the brand.

A growing number of luxury brands have been using blockchain technology to offer ownership validation, tracking and transferability. But unlike most product passports, which tend to be available on a digital platform, Mugler is integrating the QR codes inside the brand’s Spiral Curve 01 and 02 purses. Owners will get to experience what Mugler calls a new level of brand engagement, unlocking product authentication, exclusive content, behind-the-scenes insights, event invitations and early access to sales.

‘We believe digital product passport technology offers endless opportunities to build a more direct, interactive and truly personalised relationship with our clients,’ says Mugler managing director Adrian Corsin.

The idea of turning handbags into digital engagement platforms is also a way for the brand to get ahead of forthcoming EU regulations by addressing growing demand for product transparency. You can read more on tech-powered craft and the need to embed product passports from the start in the manufacturing process in our Luxury Recrafted macrotrend.

Digital Passports by Mugler, Germany

Strategic opportunity

Brands are increasingly using blockchain technology to supercharge traceability. Consider how you could take that service to the next level, whether by immersing users in product stories or providing access to unique experiences and features

Stat: Most menopausal women think brands aren’t catering for their needs

Womaness, US
Womaness, US

UK – In a report released in October 2023, entitled The Menopause: The Change We Need to See, the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) sheds light on the advertising industry’s shortcomings in catering for menopausal women. The research indicates that only 7% of women aged 35–60 think brands and retailers are performing ‘very well’ in catering for menopause, despite an estimated billion menopausal women globally by 2025. Although some 45% of respondents believe brands are making progress, 48% feel more could be done.

The report highlights a significant increase – 10 percentage points since 2000 – in women noticing advertising for menopausal products, yet 46% find the content unreflective, 45% say it is uninspiring, 43% believe it is outdated and 41% think it is not relatable. Respondents suggest brands could enhance solutions in nutrition and supplements (63%) and feminine care (58%).

As explored in Rebranding the Menopause, brands must seize the commercial opportunity for Gen M (the menopausal community). From product design to advertising, they must show understanding of and empathy for menopausal experiences.

Strategic opportunity

Health and wellness brands should consider developing and promoting products in the nutrition and supplements and feminine care categories that specifically cater for the needs of menopausal women, addressing their unique health concerns

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