News 29.02.2024

Need to Know

A daily recap from Mobile World Congress 2024, Coach takes celebrities to the metaverse and why family planning is impacting wellbeing at work.

Mobile World Congress 2024 daily recap: app-less phones, transparent laptops and flying cars

Mobile World Congress 2024. Photography by Howard Sayer, Spain

Spain – Monday marked the beginning of the latest edition of Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona. More than 95,000 attendees are expected at the event throughout the week, with more than 800 global start-ups showcasing their work.

MWC is no longer mobile-first or even digital-first, but 'future-first', said Lara Dewar, CMO of GSMA, a global organisation unifying the mobile ecosystem, who introduced the conference.

At Lenovo's stand, attendees queued up to see a prototype of the company’s most recent ThinkBook Transparent Display Laptop, a 17.3-inch transparent screen with a keyboard that doubles as a drawing tablet. Lenovo hopes the conceptual laptop showcases the brand's innovative thinking when it comes to the future of laptops, though use cases for the transparent screen are currently limited.

Artificial intelligence was everywhere, including at T-Mobile which presented its vision for the future of AI-powered search. Aiming to streamline the experience of searching for something on a mobile device, the firm's app-less phone uses AI to pull up results from the internet via voice command. Should a user ask, ‘Suggest a present for my son who likes trains,’ the AI service would generate results found through search engines, e-stores and social media, without the need to open any apps.

Alef Aeronautics, led by CEO Jim Dukhovny, unveiled a half-prototype of the world's first flying car, boasting a US Federal Aviation Administration certification received in July 2023. The full vehicle, resembling a sports car ('People love eye candy, functionality is not enough' joked Dukhovny on stage), is confirmed to be functional, with plans for a demo in Silicon Valley and potential production starting by the end of 2025. The high pre-order demand (2,850 inquiries according to the CEO) has pushed the firm to seek new investors. However, Dukhovny emphasised that the vehicle is designed for driving (with flying capabilities intended to overcome obstacles) rather than replace traditional long-distance driving or plane flying.

For more insights on the future of flying vehicles, head to our CES 2024: Smart Living Futures report.

Strategic opportunity

AI is already impacting the future of search engines. How can you optimise your website, e-store or social media posts on Instagram and TikTok to be easily spotted by an AI search engine and recommended to users?

Coach unveils Find Your Courage campaign set in a virtual universe

Global – Luxury fashion brand Coach has launched its latest campaign, Find Your Courage, featuring a virtual universe where model and digital creator imma embarks on a journey alongside Coach ambassadors Lil Nas X, Camila Mendes, Youngji Lee, Kōki and Wu Jinyan.

The campaign, set against a virtual landscape, showcases Coach’s spring collection while emphasising the theme of The Courage to Be Real. Through a series of chapters, starting with Lil Nas X, the campaign aims to inspire individuals to embrace their authentic selves and blur the boundaries between the physical and virtual realms.

Directed by Vallée Duhamel and photographed by Charlie Engman, Find Your Courage uses CGI to bring the virtual world to life, providing consumers with a unique and immersive experience. Sandeep Seth, Coach’s global chief marketing officer and North America president, said in a statement: 'Find Your Courage is meant to inspire our consumers to seek out all possibilities for who they can be, despite the tensions and expectations in life they might feel.'

Embracing the digital and gaming worlds offers brands the opportunity to better build and engage a loyal fan base, a topic we explored in Why Gaming is Your Next Brand Touchpoint.

Find Your Courage by Coach, US

Strategic opportunity

The metaverse and gaming worlds not only offer brands the opportunity to understand and celebrate their customers’ identities, but it also gives them the space to showcase values and aspects of their company culture to deepen connections

L'Oréal and Prada expand partnership with Miu Miu Beauty launch in 2025

Prada Beauty, Italy Prada Beauty, Italy

France – During its 2023 annual results conference, L'Oréal announced a groundbreaking move in the luxury beauty sector. The global beauty giant, in collaboration with Prada, has signed an exclusive long-term licence agreement to create, develop and distribute luxury beauty products for Miu Miu. Following its partnership with Prada (which started in 2019), Miu Miu is set to embark on a new beauty chapter under the L'Oréal Luxe division. Miuccia Prada's brand will join Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Valentino and more luxury names in this division.

Cyril Chapuy, President of L'Oréal Luxe, expressed excitement about this collaboration, stating: 'We are now thrilled to welcome Miu Miu and unleash together its outstanding potential in beauty.' The first Miu Miu fragrances under L'Oréal are expected to hit the market in 2025, pending regulatory approvals.

This strategic partnership signifies L'Oréal's commitment to strengthening its foothold in ultra-premium luxury beauty and responding to the evolving demands of the market.

In our Luxury States: New Codes of Luxury 2024–2025 macrotrend report, we highlight how luxury's push into beauty is transcending the practical benefits of a product to generate emotions.

Strategic opportunity

Recognise the shift in consumer behaviour towards emotional engagement. Develop products and marketing strategies that connect with customers on a deeper, emotional level, as highlighted in our Luxury States report

Stat: Calm alerts on the debilitating impact of family planning for working women

Photography by Ketut Subiyanto, Global Photography by Ketut Subiyanto, Global

Global – In its Voice of the Workplace Report released in February 2024, meditation and sleep app Calm reveals that employees believe their workplace is not supportive of women’s reproductive health. After surveying over 4,000 workers in the US, UK, Germany and India in September 2023, Calm stated that 90% of women said family planning challenges can be all-consuming and affect their overall mental health as well as their ability to focus at work and be productive. Respondents quote miscarriages, fertility treatments (such as pursuing in vitro fertilisation), menopause and abortion as all-consuming challenges related to women’s health.

Only 25% of the female workers surveyed said their workplace was supporting menopause needs and 35% said the same regarding reproductive health (pregnancy, fertility, abortion) support. Menopause remains the least-discussed women’s health topic at work, with 28% of women saying they would not share their menopause experiences with coworkers. Calm’s proprietary data also showed a 61% increase between 2022 and 2023 in search topics related to women’s health and family planning.

In our Work States Futures macrotrend report, we explored how employers should choose an intersectional approach rather than a one-size-fits-all solution when designing their strategy for wellbeing at work.

Strategic opportunity

Recognise the impact of family planning on employee wellbeing and expand wellness programmes to include support for women's reproductive health, covering topics like pregnancy, fertility, miscarriage, menopause and abortion

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