News 05.12.2023

Need to Know

Uno bra line created for breast cancer survivors, Unilever opens its own AI laboratory and why Gen Z’s interest in nostalgia affects their listening habits.

Uno single-cup bra line champions post-mastectomy confidence

One-cup Uno bra, UK
One-cup Uno bra, UK
One-cup Uno bra, UK

UK ­– In a move that combines innovative design with personal experience, architect and breast cancer survivor Katy Marks of Citizens Design Bureau has introduced Uno, a bespoke one-cup bra line for post-mastectomy women. Born from the necessity Marks faced after her own surgery, Uno is designed to restore confidence and comfort without the need for prosthetics.

Marks, whose London-based firm typically deals with the built environment, turned her architectural skills to the intimate scale of underwear design after finding post-mastectomy options lacking. She crafted the Uno collection to be as sustainable as it is supportive, opting for small-batch production and eco-friendly materials like stretch satin and Lenzing modal, a textile derived from sustainable timber industry by-products.

The collection’s design features asymmetrical bras and swimwear, customisable for either the left or right breast, with a focus on preventing the garment from twisting or causing discomfort along scar tissue. Uno’s initiative stands out in a market where options for post-surgery women remain limited, and sets a new standard for thoughtful design in the Inclusive Fashion Market.

Strategic opportunity

Explore opportunities to develop inclusive products that cater for specific needs in underserved markets. Conduct market research to identify unmet needs and design products that provide comfort and confidence to a group of individuals facing similar challenges

Vape brand Ripple branches out into incense aromatherapy

Ripple⁺ Ripple⁺
Ripple⁺ Ripple⁺

UK – Ripple is best known for its range of nicotine-free portable aromatherapy diffusers, in other words botanical and better-for-you vapes. The brand is expanding into another area of aromatherapy with the launch of sleek, drop-shaped incense cones.

Droplets are Ripple’s take on traditional scented incense cones, giving them a modern spin for new generations of wellness fiends. The conic incense drops are low-smoke burn, plant-based and nicotine-free to ensure a non-addictive and non-toxic sensory awakening experience. Available in six scents, each Droplet aroma is coupled with functional benefits – Focus, Boost, Relax, Power, Dream and Happy. Ripple suggests that Droplets can be an alternative to scented candles without the toxins and fumes. Instead, incense boasts clean formulations blending botanicals, resins and essential oils, packed in colourful and aesthetically pleasing cones with matching glass holders.

Ripple’s mood-enhancing at-home aromatherapy, matching scents to emotional states, is setting the standard for functional and personalised Fragrance Futures.

Strategic opportunity

Consider how to merge wellbeing tools with great design. New generations of wellness-orientated consumers will seek products that stimulate the senses, while blending in with their home décor

Unilever embraces AI with the launch of Horizon3 Lab in Canada

AI imagery by The Future Laboratory, UK AI imagery by The Future Laboratory, UK

Canada – Unilever, based in the UK, is set to open its first AI-dedicated lab, the AI Horizon3 Lab, in Toronto, Canada. The lab will explore 15 key focus areas, including forecasting and modelling complex data relationships through graph technology.

Unilever’s spokesperson revealed the lab’s initial emphasis on these areas, aiming to make an immediate impact and generate scalable concepts globally. The move aligns with Unilever’s commitment to using AI for increased productivity and efficiency, building on its current customer service, marketing and supply chain logistics applications.

To start with, the lab will focus on graph database applications, simplifying complex data representation and fostering benefits like visualising data relationships and powering recommendation engines.

‘The simplicity with which these graph databases can represent complex data offers many benefits such as facilitating visual representation of data and relationships,’ says Gary Bogdani, Unilever’s head of data science for North America and Canada. ‘They can also power recommendation engines by identifying connections between consumers and products, and support collaborative and social applications by efficiently managing connections between users, posts and interactions.’

As explored in our Artificial Intelligence Topic, businesses can tailor the technology to their specific in-house needs, but the challenge remains to be transparent and ethical about AI usage.

Strategic opportunity

Moving away from chatbot and prompt use cases, identify key focus areas for AI exploration within your industry, such as forecasting and data modelling, to make an immediate impact and stay ahead of market trends

Stat: Gen Z’s Spotify listening habits are driven by mood and nostalgia

Spotify Wrapped 2023 OOH Campaign, Germany Spotify Wrapped 2023 OOH Campaign, Germany

Global – Each year, Spotify publishes its Spotify Wrapped campaign, providing users with bespoke analytics about their listening habits, as well as a compilation of datasets on how more than 574m people listen to music around the world.

In its 2023 report, Spotify found that Gen Z continue to embrace genreless listening, moving seamlessly through sounds, and searching for songs and playlists driven by the mood or moment they’re in; Gen Z were +1,338% more likely to stream ‘heartbreak’ playlists on Spotify in 2023.

The music streaming platform also found that between 2021 and 2023 consumption of Indian classical instrumental music grew by close to 500%, with 45% of listeners aged under 25. Meanwhile, since 2017, the Afrobeats genre has grown by more than 550% in streams online, with new audiences emerging in Mexico and India.

Streaming numbers for catalogue artists (who haven't released new material in at least a year and a half) skyrocketed by 145% among Gen Z globally over the past year too. Kill Bill by Sza (2022) and I Wanna Be Yours by Arctic Monkeys (2013) topped the charts for most listened to songs by Gen Z.

For more updates on the latest generational behaviour trends, check out the Gen Z demographics page on LS:N Global.

Strategic opportunity

Take inspiration from the hugely popular Spotify Wrapped and integrate a similar data collection and hyper-personalised diagnosis concept into your brand communications to make every customer feel seen and special

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