News 24.04.2024

Need to Know

Vacheron Constantin’s new watch concept, holograms are The Four Season Hotels’ latest perk and Millennials drive interest in astrology.

Vacheron Constantin unveils new watch concept at Watches and Wonders 2024

Vacheron Constantin and Yiqing Yin, Switzerland

Switzerland – At Watches and Wonders 2024, Vacheron Constantin revealed a timepiece crafted in collaboration with fashion designer Yiqing Yin. Named Égérie, the concept watch combines haute couture, horology and perfumery, and features a strap that releases a bespoke fragrance by master perfumer Dominique Ropion as it rubs against the skin.

The partnership between the luxury watch-maker and Yiqing Yin is a fusion of craftsmanship and innovation, bringing the worlds of haute horlogerie and haute couture together. The design ethos behind the watch dial prioritises simplicity and fluidity, incorporating elements like pleating and embroidery to reflect the creative process’s fluid nature. Despite the technical challenges of harmonising couture with watch-making, the collaboration exemplifies the profound connection between artistry, craftsmanship and the eternal passage of time. It also shows how brands are innovating new products and strategies to build long-lasting and enriching relationships with their clientele – a topic we explore in depth in our Guilded Luxury macrotrend.

Strategic opportunity

Today’s luxury consumers are not looking for the newest product, instead they’re keen to become collectors and archivists. Luxury brands need to integrate one-of-a-kind experiences at every touchpoint of a consumer’s journey to tap into that mindset

Four Seasons Hotels experiments with in-suite hologram technology

Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, US Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, US
Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, US Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire, US

US – Hologram hotel clerks might sound like a futuristic dream, but this is now a reality at The Beverly Wilshire hotel. The California-based Four Seasons Hotel took the leap, and announced the integration of hologram technology in penthouse and presidential suites to enhance customer service.

The suites are being equipped with the M, a portable tabletop holographic communications device developed by Los Angeles-based firm Proto. Via the device, the guest experience team at the hotel can beam directly into the room in real time when summoned by clients. Guests can also schedule a specific time for a hotel team member to assist them in sessions where staff and guests can see each other and engage in real-time discussions. ‘We are elated to provide our guests with yet another way to communicate with us,’ explains director of guest experience Serge Sturbois. ‘Based on the guest preference, we can communicate in person, through Four Seasons Chat, text, a call and now by beaming via hologram into their room.’

As historically high-end hospitality institutions can be reluctant to embrace the latest tech, the introduction of cutting-edge holographic tech by the Four Seasons signals growing openness to harnessing tech where it augments the guest experience.

Strategic opportunity

Like the Four Seasons, consider how your business can use technology to make the consumer experience more personalised. Can you integrate tech in a way that feels organic and human to clients?

StepN and Adidas unveil collaborative move-to-earn generative NFT sneakers

US – Merging fashion, fitness and digital innovation, StepN, the move-to-earn platform revolutionising wellness engagement, has joined forces with Adidas to introduce generative non-fungible token (NFT) sneakers.

These limited-edition sneakers blend the aesthetics of Adidas’ running silhouettes with StepN’s distinctive lightning bolt logo. Each NFT sneaker, minted on the Solana blockchain, is a unique fusion of digital artistry and athletic inspiration. The partnership aims to energise Web3 communities, using StepN’s gamified approach to wellness and Adidas’ global influence. Beyond digital collectibles, the collaboration promises app-level collaborations that will reward physical activity, encouraging more active lifestyles. The collection, priced at 10,000 StepN’s native GMT tokens, will be available through a two-phase raffle, with exclusive access granted to select communities.

This collaboration exemplifies the evolving landscape of NFTs, where digital assets transcend mere collectibles to become integral components of interactive and gamified brand experiences. For more insights on gamification strategies, head to our Gaming topic.

StepN and Adidas, Germany and Australia

Strategic opportunity

StepN’s gamified approach to wellness demonstrates how incorporating game elements can incentivise behaviour and drive participation. Can you explore gamification strategies to enhance user engagement and loyalty?

Stat: Survey finds that Millennials lead astrology interest

Photography by Mikhail Nilov, US Photography by Mikhail Nilov, US

US – A survey conducted by Harris Poll and shared by Cosmopolitan sheds light on astrology’s popularity among different generations in the US. The survey, which polled 2,069 US adults in February 2024, reveals that Millennials show the greatest interest in astrology, with 83% considering themselves believers, compared to 62% of Gen Z respondents. Interestingly, Millennials even surpass Gen X in their interest in astrology.

The surge in modern astrology between 2017 and 2020 coincided with the rise of popular apps like Co-Star and a plethora of astrology entrepreneurs. But interest in astrology reached saturation point, with many indicating that they find people who speak about astrology annoying. Despite this, astrology remains widely known, with 95% of respondents aware of their zodiac sign. Millennials, in particular, embrace astrology for relationship guidance, with 81% having consulted the stars or saying they would do so, compared to 59% of Gen Z. The survey suggests one of the reasons astrology remains popular among Millennials is that as they enter pivotal life stages, they seek introspection and deeper meaning. Meanwhile, Gen Z can maintain a more sceptical stance due to lack of life experience and maturity.

In our Generations reports, you will find more insights on attitudes differentiating, but mainly uniting, consumer demographics.

Strategic opportunity

Although Gen Z might not be as interested in astrology as older generations, their quest for spirituality will grow as they get older. Consider how your brand can step in by offering young people purpose, meaning and community

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