Travel & Hospitality

Market shifts, microtrends and expert opinions that signal significant change for global travel and hospitality companies and consumers

Need To Know
26 : 05 : 21

Pinterest distances itself from tech branding trends, The Locket imagines micro-retail for premium shoppers and the state of UK hospitality remains fragile.

Pinterest rebrands away from tech clichés

Made Thought x Pinterest Endless Inspiration

Global – The social media platform has been rebranded to focus on anti-authenticity amid a monotonous technology landscape.

Working with creative studio Made Thought, the platform presents a visual identity based around five key principles: visually appealing, novel, relevant, positive and actionable. It purposely avoids technology clichés, which over time have come to revolve around empty promises of humanity and diversity. Instead, Pinterest is representing itself as brand which moves people not to scroll but to plan, play, dream’, explains Made Thought in a statement.

We wanted to stand out and stand for something more than the ‘approachable aesthetic’ of tech,’ says Alistair Webb, creative director at Made Thought. ‘Prioritising immersive worlds over flat interfaces was central to how the brand developed.’

By avoiding the conventional branding tropes of technology companies, which have raced to define themselves as 'authentic' in recent years, Pinterest is tapping into our trend for Anti-authenticity Marketing.

IMVU is the next frontier for virtual fashion

GypsySport’s virtual fashion in IMVU GypsySport’s virtual fashion in IMVU
Collina Strada Collina Strada

Global – Social networking app IMVU is set to host a virtual fashion show, allowing users to engage with digital looks designed in collaboration with metaverse creators.

At the event, which takes place on 27 May, seven emerging designers will showcase their virtual collections in a runway setting, after which IMVU users will be able to buy pieces for their avatars. The metaverse platform, in which users can create and dress personal avatars, grew by 44% during the pandemic (source: Vogue). The immersive experience will include looks from designers such as Gypsy Sport, Freak City, Mimi Wade and My Mum Made It, designed in collaboration with creators from the IMVU community.

The event will also feature customised digital rooms on IMVU, providing designers with a space to showcase digital items beyond the runway. ‘We want to show the world that real-life fashion drives meaningful connection, creativity and expression in virtual worlds too,’ says Lindsay Anne Aamodt, senior director of marketing at IMVU.

Through the event, IMVU is recognising how its metaverse can be used as a breeding ground for creativity as well as shopping – something we explore in Fashion Meta-Networks.

The Locket re-invents vending machines for local luxurians

US – Premium lifestyle brand Alchemista has launched a modular marketplace concept, offering high-quality amenities in a convenient format.

Dubbed The Locket – a portmanteau of locker and market – the on-demand marketplaces are modular, allowing people to purchase anything from meals to artisanal gifts, pet treats and spa amenities. All meals are made within a short distance of The Locket locations and available within hours – resulting in a safe and convenient way of accessing premium food products.

The Locket is designed to sit within high-end residencies or corporate settings, and can be customised depending on the needs of a particular location.These buildings are all very nice, fancy buildings, and they all have the same baseline amenities,’ says Christine Marcus, founder and CEO of Alchemista. Now they’re seeing our lockers and this amenity as a differentiator for their buildings. The demand is beyond anything we’d hoped for.

As we explore in Micro-Retail, smaller, hyper-local and convenient retail concepts are emerging in unconventional spaces, allowing brands to cater for consumers' more personalised shopping behaviours.

Alchemista, Boston The Locket by Alchemista, Boston

Stat: British hospitality suffers 22 closures a day

The Gastro Safe Zone programme by HUA HUA Architects, Brno, Czech Republic The Gastro Safe Zone programme by HUA HUA Architects, Brno, Czech Republic

The hospitality sector in Britain has been devastated by Covid-19, resulting in a staggering number of venue closures since March 2020.

According to the latest Market Recovery Monitor report from CGA, Britain registered just 106,548 licensed premises at the end of April 2021 – meaning 8,560 sites have been lost since March 2020. The number is equivalent to the closure of 22 venues per day over the 13 months of Covid-19. Of these closures, food businesses have been hit the hardest, with 9.7% fewer businesses than last year, compared with a drop of 5.6% in the drinks sector.

The report also examined the re-opening rates of Britain’s hospitality venues, and revealed that rural operators achieved the highest success in trading again. In countryside areas, 37.7% of licensed hospitality venues were open at the end of April 2021 – meaning city venues are still struggling to regain their footing.

While many food and drink businesses have struggled to maintain operations in the past year, those that have thrived have been the ones to adapt to uncertainty and cater for the new realities of Pandemic Dining.

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