Travel & Hospitality

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

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26 : 08 : 21

KFC entices fans with a pop-up hotel, anti-aspirational nail varnish in the world’s ‘ugliest colour’ and social media users seek inspiration from the everyman.

KFC’s pop-up hotel offers chicken on demand

KFC House of Harland, London

London – The fast-food giant is offering fans a novel experience through a branded pop-up hotel. Located in Shoreditch, London, the House of Harland hotel takes inspiration from KFC's signature flavour combination of 11 herbs and spices. Open for a limited period of 11 days and available for £111 ($152, 129) per night, guests can enjoy a pick-up service in a black Cadillac called the Colonelmobile, and once checked in have access to a Press For Chicken room service button, and a private cinema.

Through this experience, KFC elevates its existing presence by creating an immersive space that borrows from the wider hospitality sector. Its on-demand approach to room service also reflects the changing demands and tastes of travellers, with more people seeking non-traditional in-room catering. Going beyond novelty, however, all proceeds from the hotel will go towards the KFC Foundation, which supports young people across the UK.

As the landscape of food and drink continues to evolve and find new ways of engaging audiences, delve into our dedicated vertical to keep track of the latest innovations.

Strategic opportunity

Fast-food retailers should experiment with taking up space in unexpected locations. Consider partnering with shops and hospitality venues to create novel pop-up experiences that entice new and existing customers

Intentionally ugly nail polish taunts beauty ideals

Compost Nail Polish by J Hannah Compost Nail Polish by J Hannah
Compost Nail Polish by J Hannah Compost Nail Polish by J Hannah

US – Seeking to challenge conventional beauty ideals, jewellery brand J Hannah is launching a drab olive-brown nail varnish. The shade, known as Compost, has been named the world’s ‘ugliest colour’ by market researchers.

By presenting this colour as a covetable nail polish, J Hannah takes an anti-aspirational stance to beauty and personal appearance. This non-traditional nail varnish and its associated messaging in turn encourages customers to rethink the ideals around colour trends they’ve previously bought into. Compost is a statement in the nuanced line between the revolting and the luxurious, between the hideous and the refined,’ says the brand. A reminder to not flatten beauty's complexity into a single note.

In the fragrance sector, we’ve explored the ways that unexpected scents can capture the interest of audiences. Discover a series of 'anti-perfume' concepts within New Fragrance Frontiers, including attention-grabbing scents inspired by decay and disorder.

Strategic opportunity

Beauty and fashion brands should unpick one-note ideals around acceptable inspirations and aspiration. Be provocative with your products and communications to reach consumers in new ways and stand out from your competition

Ikea becomes a clean electricity supplier

Sweden – As the global furniture retailer continues to make positive strides towards climate action, its latest venture supports consumers by providing accessible and affordable clean energy. Through its STRÖMMA subscription service, customers can access electricity from solar and wind, which they can track through a dedicated app.

To align with its solar panel offering in 11 countries, the service allows existing customers to track their solar production and sell back any unused electricity. By expanding its sustainability efforts beyond environmentally friendly store designs and products, Ikea recognises its ability to support consumers in a more holistic way. ‘We believe the future of energy is renewable and we want to make electricity from sustainable sources more accessible and affordable for all,’ says Jan Gardberg, new retail business manager at Ingka Group, Ikea’s parent company.

Such a service also echoes the ideas we explore in Offset Sellers, with retailers increasingly recognising that they can weave carbon offsetting initiatives into their existing product ranges.

Fortune Favours the Frugal by Ikea and Mother Fortune Favours the Frugal by Ikea and Mother

Strategic opportunity

Take inspiration from the sustainability steps you’re taking internally and think about how you can replicate these on a smaller scale for customers. Consider simple elements like offering carbon-neutral delivery services at checkout stages

Stat: Social media users prefer everyday influencers

Emcee Emcee

With social media platforms oversaturated with celebrities, a survey from Bazaarvoice finds that an increasing number of consumers are seeking inspiration from everyday people. No longer enamoured by fame alone, social media users are seeking genuine, day-to-day content from un-ostentatious users without a specific agenda.

The research reveals that for over half (56%) of global consumers, everyday social media users have become their preferred influencers to follow. Some 38% of respondents say this group is the most trusted source for authentic content. Almost the same percentage (39%) believe that experts on a particular subject share the most authentic content.

Given these findings, retailers should capitalise on opportunities to work with everyday influencers to expand their product reach. Find out more about the apps and platforms bolstering peer-led sales in our recent round-up.

Strategic opporutnity

Brands should avoid relying on celebrity clout and instead work with smaller platforms that incentivise everyday users to spotlight their favourite products. Consider profiling everday users through your channels to generate traffic

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