Travel & Hospitality

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

Need to Know
25 : 05 : 22

An Asian drinking den comes to Dubai, Love Island promotes pre-loved fashion, and why luxury’s top clients fuel business growth.

Asian counter culture comes to a luxury hotel

Electric Pawn Shop, UAE Electric Pawn Shop, UAE
Electric Pawn Shop, UAE Electric Pawn Shop, UAE
Electric Pawn Shop, UAE Electric Pawn Shop, UAE

Dubai – The H Dubai Hotel is welcoming the Electric Pawn Shop to its hospitality venue, with the aim of blending underground music with innovative drinking and dining experiences. Envisaged by influential DJ Lobito Brigante and Beirut bar owner Lynn Lin, the concept seeks to augment conventional nightlife experiences in the Middle Eastern region.

Notable design elements include fragmented concrete island bars, an indoor amphitheatre and a sci-fi style cocktail lab, while drink highlights include experimental cocktails with playful names such as ‘Shanghai Superfly’ and ‘Strait Outta Malacca’. Here, the bar subverts the traditionally luxurious aesthetics commonly associated with Dubai hotels. By doing so, the bar is likely to attract a younger, more alternative crowd to the UAE.

Lynn Lin, co-founder of Electric Pawn Shop, says: ‘We’re challenging the status quo of bar lifestyles one shop at a time, starting with Electric Pawn Shop,’ highlighting this could just be the start of a wave of new hotel bars that are becoming destinations in their own right.

Strategic opportunity

When creating new hospitality spaces, consider working with local creatives to bring your space to life and establish a unique identity. Avoid overused visual cues that are emblematic of old luxury

Freetree is bringing nature into web browsers

Freetree. Branding by How&How, Spain Freetree. Branding by How&How, Spain
Freetree. Branding by How&How, Spain Freetree. Branding by How&How, Spain

Portugal – With its graphic identity, Freetree, a browser extension that allows online shoppers to plant trees while making purchases, is aiming to bring the tactile sensation of nature to the digital landscape.

The brand identity, which was designed by agency How&How, took the word ‘fuzz’ as its starting point. This word is used to capture the warm and fuzzy feeling that comes from doing a good deed, as well as the leafy foliage that will be planted as a result of using the extension.

Instead of using downbeat imagery to illustrate the climate crisis, the branding agency opted to emphasise joy and optimism. As a result, trees are depicted in bright colours like pink, yellow and orange, and motion is used to give the platform a dynamic and empowering feeling. ‘A lot of climate emergency marketing is bleak,’ explains Cat How, creative director at How&How.

In a further bid to promote positive environmental action, the branding agency asked to be paid for the visual identity with 60,000 trees instead of financial compensation, highlighting how designers can respond to climate change.

Strategic opportunity

Companies are rolling out limited-edition products that can only be purchased through charitable acts, like planting trees, cleaning coastlines and recycling materials

Love Island ditches fast fashion for eBay

UK – The reality tv show is promoting more sustainable fashion habits through its decision to work with secondhand marketplace eBay, showing a major departure from its past seasons as promoter of fast fashion. Marking the first pre-loved fashion partner to sponsor Love Island, the arrangement will see show contestants – or Islanders – wearing second-hand garments on the show. There will also be a shared wardrobe for Islanders to enjoy and further promote circular behaviours.

Much like in previous partnerships, a Shop the Show tab will appear in the Love Island app, this time directing viewers to pre-loved fashion on eBay. Through this initiative, the ITV show is harnessing its mass influence to position second-hand fashion as a desirable choice. Mike Spencer, executive producer of Love Island, comments: ‘As a show we strive to be a more eco-friendly production with more focus on ways in which we can visibly show this on screen.’

This arrangement demonstrates how the influence of Second-hand Brands is appearing in mainstream media, in turn reaching more diverse audiences.

Pandora and Marvel collaboration restyled by Hypebae Pandora and Marvel collaboration restyled by Hypebae

Strategic opportunity

Beyond fashion, media organisations should harness their reach to promote more sustainable choices across sectors ranging from furniture to beauty products

Stat: Top clients are the bedrock of luxury business

Gucci and Farfetch Gucci and Farfetch

Luxury companies are ramping up their efforts to court very important clients, or VICs, as loyal shoppers continue to account for a significant share of their revenue. In a recent interview, Michael Kliger, the CEO of German luxury e-commerce site Mytheresa, disclosed that 3% of the company's top clients account for a staggering 30% of its revenue.

Indeed, according to Kliger, courting high-net-worth spenders is one of the company’s core strategies, as well as a way to distinguish Mytheresa in a crowded e-commerce field populated by players such as Net-a-Porter, Farfetch and Matches Fashion. Speaking about the company’s top clients, Kliger says: ‘They have the money, they need the ideas… And, of course, our customers want to be ahead of the curve, to be shown what hasn’t been seen before.’

As the impact of the pandemic lessens in most countries, luxury consumers are yearning for quality products and elevated experiences. But, as wealth capitals change, and a new class of Crypto Elite rises, companies will have to think of ever-inventive ways to lure the well-heeled customers that form the bedrock of their business.

Strategic opportunity

Partnering with hospitality spaces or restaurants will offer top clients rewards that can be redeemed in locations other than your store

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