News 09.01.2024

Need to Know

Neom reveals plans to build luxury coastal town Norlana, Equinox fitness club hires a star-studded health advisory board and British teens admit to being addicted to social media.

Meet Neom’s latest community and sports-orientated town, Norlana

Norlana by Neom, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia – Norlana, a coastal town designed for active lifestyles, is the latest development to join the line-up of Saudi futuristic mega-city project Neom.

Designed by architecture studio 10 Design, Norlana has been imagined around a marina on the Gulf of Aqaba. The town is described by Neom as ‘an ultra-modern active lifestyle community’ fit to house 3,000 residents. It will offer ultra-luxurious modern living, blending nature with technology integrations.

Norlana has been imagined as a hub that will bring together enthusiasts of sports and wellbeing, with an extensive line-up of services to experience the natural environment while staying active. The development will include an 18-hole golf course, equestrian club and tennis club, with other amenities catering for a range of water sports, including sailing and diving.

Saudi Arabia’s move to attract hyper-luxury tourism will lead to unprecedented development on a super-sized scale. Look out for our upcoming New Codes of Luxury report with Together Group, which will unpack the implications and opportunities for business in the region.

Strategic opportunity

Neom’s Norlana project offers insights into how businesses can apprehend travel and hospitality in an ultra-luxury context. When marketing to UHNWIs, bridging convenience with comfort is expected, but so is the seamless integration of tech within nature

Loewe unveils a free luxury fanzine available in-store

Loewe: Issue 1, Spain Loewe: Issue 1, Spain
Loewe: Issue 1, Spain Loewe: Issue 1, Spain

Global – Renowned Spanish luxury brand Loewe has launched its first-ever quarterly magazine, Loewe: Issue 1, available free in-store since December 2023.

Creative director Jonathan Anderson’s vision comes to life in this fanzine, where glossy pages editorialise the brand’s aesthetic through captivating photos, celebrity interviews and profiles. The inaugural issue spotlights American artist Lynda Benglis, known for collaborating on the spring/summer 2024 fashion show and co-branding a jewellery collection with Loewe. In addition, interviews with celebrities like K-pop sensation Taeyong (from the boy band NCT) further enhance the magazine’s appeal, especially among the South Korean star’s global fan base.

Functioning as both a collector’s item and a tool to drive customers to physical stores, Loewe: Issue 1 aligns with a trend among luxury brands, emphasising the enduring appeal of print media in an era of digital dominance. This move follows Loewe’s previous foray into print with Eye/Loewe/You magazine launched in 2018.

In Brand Innovation Debrief: Loewe, we take a closer look at how the label, crowned the hottest fashion brand in 2023, is using craftsmanship for longevity and relevance across generations.

Strategic opportunity

Use analogue collectables such as print media as a tool to drive foot traffic to physical stores, creating a seamless integration between the digital and the physical brand experience

Equinox taps into wellness experts for health advisory board

US – Luxury fitness club Equinox has established a health advisory board comprising wellness experts, medical professionals, academics and industry leaders.

Focusing on the core tenets of movement, regeneration, community and nutrition, the collective will provide insights and guidance to empower and enable high-performance lifestyles for members. The board will also support the club’s Fitness Training Institute in offering training and accredited certification for performance coaches.

Board members include Eric Cressey, the New York Yankees director of player health and performance; Dr Mark Hyman, founder of The UltraWellness Center; surgical oncologist Stephanie Kuku; world-renowned sleep scientist Dr Rebecca Robbins; and Dr Jordan Shlain, founder and chairman of Private Medical and AI digital health company Healthloop.

As Longevity Lifestyles increasingly become a priority for health-conscious consumers, demand for science-backed expert advice will continue to rise. By building a renowned board, Equinox puts itself ahead of the game, bolstering its fitness and wellbeing offering with years of scientific research, and ensuring its club members get the optimal health experience.

Equinox Hotels, US

Strategic opportunity

If experts are the new influencers how can your brand work with industry leaders to provide your customers with expert knowledge and ensure product innovation is guided by scientific research?

Stat: Nearly half of British teens are addicted to social media

Photography by Polina Tankilevitch, Russia Photography by Polina Tankilevitch, Russia

UK – Almost half of British teenagers are addicted to social media, according to early findings from a University of Cambridge paper analysing data from the Millennium Cohort Study. After surveying 7,022 teens aged 17 between January 2018 and March 2019, researchers from Cambridge found that 48% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement: ‘I think I am addicted to social media.’

The study, not yet peer-reviewed, also highlighted a higher proportion of girls (57%) expressing addiction compared to boys (37%). ‘It could be that, for some, their relationship with social media is akin to a behavioural addiction,’ said Cambridge graduate student Georgia Turner, who led the research. She emphasised that feeling addicted doesn’t necessarily mean clinical addiction, as individuals have diverse relationships with social media, from compulsive checking to coping mechanisms.

The findings contribute to the ongoing discussion about the impact of social media on mental health and the responsibilities that big platforms like Meta, TikTok and X have with regard to their users’ toxic dependence on them. To read more about evolving consumer behaviour related to social media, head over to our analysis of The Rise of the Expert Influencer.

Strategic opportunity

Explore opportunities digital wellbeing solutions that address compulsive behaviours associated with social media usage. Can you provide tools or prompts for your young clients to manage their screen time and encourage them to maintain a healthy relationship with technology?

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