News 22.11.2023

Need to Know

Elf turns to Roblox to reach Gen Z entrepreneurs, Emirates’ new line of luxury upcycled luggage and why shared mobility is on the rise.

Elf launches educational Roblox experience to nurture Gen Z entrepreneurs

e.l.f. Up! Roblox experience by e.l.f Beauty, UK

Global – Elf Cosmetics has taken a leap into the metaverse with its inaugural Roblox experience Elf Up!, strategically addressing Gen Z’s entrepreneurial inclinations. Elf aims to equip young people with essential skills for the evolving economy, citing BazaarVoice research revealing that 62% of Gen Z identify as current or aspiring entrepreneurs, coupled with World Economic Forum insights highlighting the importance of creative, analytical thinking and coding in today’s workplace.

Steering away from conventional tycoon-style game play, Elf Up! introduces purposeful gamification, incorporating spaces linked to meaningful causes. The virtual landscape is a play on its core offerings and includes a Big Mood recording studio/karaoke bar, a Holy Hydration! marine life charity hub, a Halo Glow jewellery and art gallery, and a Power Grip climbing gym that doubles as a tech start-up. The brand also plans to add a pet adoption centre and expand language options. Elf’s continued interest in the metaverse, particularly within Roblox, reflects how younger audiences are entering brands’ consciousness, as revealed in The Zalpha Reckoning.

Strategic opportunity

Brands looking to establish their presence with Gen Zalpha should not only invest in gamified experiences, but also ensure that they are aligning with their forward-thinking values. How can you offer virtual experiences that safeguard gender, sexuality and other fluid identities?

Crate & Barrel is bringing the in-store shopping experience to customers at home

Crate & Barrel virtual store, US Crate & Barrel virtual store, US
Crate & Barrel virtual store, US Crate & Barrel virtual store, US

US – Furniture and home décor retailer Crate & Barrel has created an immersive digital version of its new flagship New York store.

Customers can navigate the store in a similar way to a computer game or Google Maps technology, observing the displays and clicking on products to discover pricing. As well as being a digital twin of the physical location, the virtual store also includes gamified features such as plates flying off the wall to form the perfect holiday party setting on a table when clicked on.

While most e-commerce stores require the customer to search for products, in-store shopping is more suited to organic discovery. Barrel & Crate’s virtual store aims to replicate this digitally.

Crate & Barrel is positioning itself as an industry-leader when it comes to the future of e-commerce, following the announcement of its multi-year plan for investment in technology in August 2023. Sebastian Brauer, Crate & Barrel’s senior vice-president of products, visual and Web3, told Fast Company he believes e-commerce is on the cusp of transformation: ‘We want to be ahead of the curve, so that we’re ready when the transformation comes.’

Whether it’s the latest metaverse activation or virtual shopping experiences in gaming, on LS:N Global we’re tracking the latest innovations in e-commerce in our Retail section.

Strategic opportunity

Digital twin retailing could offer a way out of the tile-and-scroll rut of current e-commerce product display formats, offering more opportunities for collecting valuable data on consumer behaviour and popular products, and providing consequent opportunities for personalised e-commerce experiences

Emirates re-uses old aircraft interiors to create luxury upcycled luggage

Emirates, Dubai, UAE Emirates, Dubai, UAE

UAE – Emirates has announced the launch of a limited-edition capsule collection of luggage, bags and accessories crafted using upcycled materials from retrofitted aircraft.

Emirates introduced the Retrofit Project in August 2022, seeking to upgrade interior cabins of 120 of its Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft. As part of this initiative, the airline is launching a one-off luggage collection serving the double purpose of offering a chance to own a piece of Emirates’ history, while avoiding material waste. ‘This initiative is a passion project, and we are proud of how it aligns with both our innovation and sustainability aims, and even better – that all proceeds will benefit worthy causes via the Emirates Airline Foundation,’ adds Ahmed Safa, Emirates’ divisional senior vice-president for engineering.

The collection, which will be on sale in 2024, includes suitcases, backpacks, handbags, cardholders, toiletry bags, belts and shoes. Every piece is hand-made by Emirates tailors in a dedicated workshop in Dubai, repurposing high-quality materials such aluminium headrests, leather from couches, seatbelts and even fur from the captain’s seat.

The initiative showcases how upcycling can be executed for luxury products, echoing notions of Circular Craftsmanship we explore in our Luxury Recrafted macrotrend.

Strategic opportunity

Emirates’ luxury luggage made of retrofitted aircraft materials is proof that upcycling doesn’t have to mean diminished value. Consider whether your business holds unutilised waste streams that could be rescued and magnified thanks to disruptive thinking and craftsmanship

Stat: Shared mobility market in urban areas could reach £319bn

Lime, UK Lime, UK

Portugal – Unveiled during Web Summit Lisbon in November 2023, a new report on the future of urban transport by consultancy Oliver Wyman using data from Bolt Germany suggests that shared mobility will expand in the 2020s to make up 7% of all urban transport journeys globally by 2030, an increase from 3% in November 2023.

The report forecasts the shared mobility market could reach a staggering £319bn ($400bn, €365bn) by 2030. Shared mobility includes ride-hailing services, taxi scooters, e-bike and scooter rentals, and car-sharing. Oliver Wyman estimated that more than 9m people were earning an income from shared mobility services in 2023 – the number is forecast to grow to 16m by 2030.

Urban car owners who drive less than 9,320 miles (15,000km) a year could be losing out on substantial cost savings, according to the report. Investing in alternative modes of transport, such as shared mobility, could be more affordable for these individuals and help reduce carbon emissions in urban areas.

As explored in our Equilibrium Cities macrotrend report, shared mobility is one of the many possible answers to consumers’ demand for a more receptive and equitable built environment that will allow future urban generations, nature and businesses to thrive.

Strategic opportunity

Amid the emergence of shared mobility in cities, consider forming strategic partnerships with urban planning authorities, local governments and alternative transport businesses to position your business as eco-friendly and innovative

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