Need to Know
28 : 01 : 22

Burma Burma’s pantry essentials for worldly home cooks, US architects want to unionise, and consumers place their trust in businesses – not governments.

Kärcher pokes fun at the home care market

Antoni and Karcher, Germany Antoni and Karcher, Germany
Antoni and Karcher, Germany Antoni and Karcher, Germany
Antoni and Karcher, Germany Antoni and Karcher, Germany

Stuttgart – Subverting the often staid realm of domestic cleaning products, German company Kärcher is poking fun at itself with its Bring Back the Wow campaign. Taking a deadpan approach, the ad shows a group of well-dressed actors demonstrating the most ordinary features of the new Kärcher VC 6 Cordless Premium model.

With a tagline stating ‘Under the couch. Around the couch. Wow,' the campaign mocks the overly technical rhetoric often used to promote new products. Instead of leaning into tired tropes, Kärcher is broadening its appeal by taking an understated route. The actors, dressed in bright colours and lush textiles, also help lend a veneer of gloss to the unglamorous act of hoovering.

By rejecting the needless fanfare that surrounds new product launches, the company is tapping into the rise of Anti-Authenticity Marketing. ‘Not every brand dares to laugh at itself,’ explains Matthias Schmidt, chief creative officer of Kärcher.

Strategic opportunity

To appeal to younger audiences, consider the impact of tongue-in-cheek campaigns. Distrustful of traditional advertising techniques, this demographic responds positively to irony

Pantry staples bringing Burmese cuisine to global foodies

Burma Burma, India Burma Burma, India
Burma Burma, India Burma Burma, India

India – Burmese restaurant Burma Burma is introducing a range of pantry essentials to connect global cooks with its specially developed flavours. Burma Burma Pantry will offer Khowsuey curry paste, lotus stem chips and spice mixes, among other products. Each of these allows people to more easily experiment with Burmese cooking at home.

With branding by designer Rushil Bhatnagar, each item features complementary colours and symbols that balance tradition with a contemporary take on the Burmese artform of lacquerware. By using design cues in this way, the branding retains the heritage of each ingredient while appealing to new audiences. Ankita Gupta, co-founder of Burma Burma says: The idea of Burma Burma restaurants sprung from the thought of sharing my mother’s food with the world and Pantry is an extension to offer Burmese delicacies to a vast audience through our website.

This product line follows a number of other brands that are similarly using vibrant branding to elevate global cuisine. Such tactics enable food brands to maintain tradition while standing out on shelves to reach next-gen cooks.

Strategic opportunity

Communication is key when creating food packaging. How might you balance heritage messaging, colours and typography with contemporary updates that peak consumers’ interests?

Architects threaten to unionise in the US

New York – For the first time since 1940, architects in the US are threatening to unionise. Citing a culture of ‘endless overtime and deadlines’, employees of the New York-based architecture firm SHoP are sounding the alarm on the exploitation and unfair treatment that is rife within the industry.

Famed for its gruelling hours and punishing timetables, architecture has long been known as one of the most demanding professions. With great pay disparity between ‘starchitects’ and regular practitioners, many employees feel overworked with inadequate financial compensation. At SHoP, employees regularly reported working 60 to 70 hour-weeks when a key deadline approached. ‘Many of us feel pushed to the limits of our productivity and mental health. These conditions have become detrimental to our lives and in extension the lives of our families,’ wrote the Architectural Workers United in a joint letter.

Planning to affiliate with International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, this new organisation is expected to send ripples in an architecture industry, with more firms expected to join the movement. To prepare your company for the cultural shifts happening in the workplace, readers can consult The Future According to Sam Moyo.

Architectural Workers United, US Architectural Workers United, US

Strategic opportunity

Employee wellbeing is more important than ever. Ensure that your company is taking active steps to safeguard worker wellbeing by considering flexible remote working policies

Stat: Businesses must step up where governments are failing

Match branding by Collins, US Match branding by Collins, US

Many consumers are expecting more from businesses, as governments and the media are failing to meet societal expectations. Indeed, the findings of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2022 indicate that companies will need to step up to maintain and improve a sense of trust from the public.

According to this year’s barometer, which gathers opinion from more than 36,000 respondents across 28 countries, business outscores government by 53 points on competence and by 26 points on ethics. Despite this, many respondents still believe that businesses are not doing enough to address societal problems. Factors include climate change (52%), economic inequality (49%), workforce reskilling (46%) and trustworthy information (42%).

As we navigate a time of societal unrest, these findings affirm the idea that businesses must develop adaptive and elastic strategies that allow them to step in where governments are lacking. From taking eco-action to supporting employee wellbeing, there is increasing pressure on businesses to contribute to society at a macro level.

Strategic opportunity

Amid this new onus on business to take greater societal responsibility, consider how you might support people at a grassroots level. Think about the impact you could have on your internal employees and local communities

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